For the better part of the last decade, network television has done everything it can to chase the brass ring invented by the advent of cable and streaming dramatic programming. In that process, it often feels like the networks have forgotten what they do best: high concept, broad appealing entertainment. Thankfully, it feels like the pendulum has begun to swing back in the right direction and the best proof of that is this season’s best new series, Whiskey Cavalier.
Created by David Hemingson, Whiskey Cavalier follows the lives of F.B.I. agent Will Chase and C.I.A. agent Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge as they are forced into a reluctant but necessary partnership as part of an interagency black-ops task force designed to track down the worst of the worst across the globe.
Since the marketing campaign began for Whiskey, the one word ABC has chosen to throw out time and time again is “fun.” “Whiskey Cavalier is fun. It’s the funnest show. It’s the most fun show of all time.” Well, in a wonderful twist, none of this is false advertising, for once. Whiskey Cavalier really is one of the most fun shows to come out of the television world in a while.
It’s sweet, it’s charming, it’s action-packed, it’s light and it also has the potential to be so much more. It’s been a long time since television – network, cable and streaming – had its “cool” show. The show that isn’t the most awarded or the most watched but is the most thought about and adored. Examples of this are that of Miami Vice, The X-Files, The Shield and 24. Sometimes these shows can be up for awards consideration, but that’s never the goal. This is the category Whiskey Cavalier falls under.
The other nice thing about Whiskey is its limitless potential. Like some of the best procedurals of modern times (see: Supernatural and Leverage), Whiskey Cavalier has established a premise that can transform the series episode to episode into whatever it wants to be, and there is every reason to believe it will deliver some of the most furiously entertaining episodes the small screen has to offer right now.
In short, Whiskey Cavalier is the best new show of the season and is setting a high bar for the new year. It’s action-packed. It’s funny. It’s fun. But, most of all, it knows what is and wants to be. It’s going to hit the audience with great drama when the time comes, shows like this always do, but priority one will be to entertain and that’s what will make it great.
Whiskey Cavalier premiers Wednesday, February 27th at 10pm/11pm central with a special sneak preview airing Sunday, February 24th after The Academy Awards on ABC