Welcome to blue sky season! Last Thursday, USA debuted its latest entry in the Summerwatch canon, Graceland. It feels like the network has been promoting this one for nine months, yet with little explicit information about what to expect. But now that it's finally here, can it stand beside other cable titans like Burn Notice and Royal Pains? Will it tide you over until Breaking Bad returns? Here's what we know after the pilot.
This is the show for you if you like: Friends, Law & Order, and White Collar. Graceland is supposedly based on a true story, though the precise facts are unclear. Apparently the U.S. government operates multiple properties in California to house undercover law enforcement personnel. In this show, the house is called Graceland and the occupants include four FBI agents, three DEA agents, and one customs guy. The show has already been highly educational regarding law enforcement because it never occurred to me that customs agents do anything outside of airports. The two principal characters are FBI agents Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) and Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata), so I guess we know which agency is atop the hierarchy. Of course, all legal and police activity is set against an impossibly sunny Southern California backdrop, which is very noteworthy given the house's floor-to-ceiling windows. The U.S. government doesn't mind paying for prime beach real estate. The officers/roommates do things like celebrate busts with Laguna Beach–style bonfires, go surfing together, and recite the house rules frequently ("There's no guns downstairs." "No local girls upstairs. I know, I know, it sucks.") And all of this is brought to you by the blue-sky master of White Collar, Jeff Eastin.