Sunday, March 3, 2019

Pilot Review: Whiskey Cavalier

Whiskey Cavalier (ABC)
Premiered February 24 at 11:35pm

I saw more than a few advertisements for this show while I was watching the Oscars, and choosing to premiere over a week before it settles into its normal Wednesday timeslot was probably smart since those looking to experiencing something a bit more exciting than awards being handed out might have stuck around to watch it last Sunday night. I’d probably describe this show as a combination of action and soap opera, a good fit for ABC which has been mostly characterized by Shonda Rhimes dramas over the course of the past decade. I know that star Scott Foley had prominent roles on two Rhimes shows, “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” while Ana Ortiz, who plays Susan, was immediately recognizable to me from her role as the title character’s sister on the network’s “Ugly Betty.” Tyler James Williams, onetime star of “Everybody Hates Chris,” made his debut on UPN, while the other top-billed star, Lauren Cohan, comes from cable after many years on a show I didn’t realize she was no longer on, “The Walking Dead.” I wouldn’t have imagined that this part would be her follow-up to her time spent as the resourceful and resilient Maggie on the zombie drama, and it’s a bit disappointing to see that this is what she wanted to do. There is a rhythm to this show and its globetrotting nature that could be fun, but it feels so much like a relic of shows that used to air back in the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s equally stocked with action and predictability, a recipe that might work for audiences but doesn’t win me over.

How will it work as a series? The previews had made it seem like they were a team all along, but now Foley’s Will and Cohan’s Frankie are going to have to co-lead a team while each thinking that they’re the one who is really in charge. It should be fun but also far from serious, something that could work okay but isn’t my cup of tea.
How long will it last? The reviews aren’t all that bad since I think most people appreciate it for exactly what it is, and the ratings were pretty good both after its initial post-Oscars airing and when it played again this past Wednesday, the timeslot it will normally occupy. This seems like the kind of show people want to watch right now and so I’d expect that a renewal might be around the corner, even the enthusiasm doesn’t last too long and this show is done after just two seasons.

Pilot grade: C+

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