By in Movies & TV

State of Affairs (Spoilers!)

State of Affairs is an American espionage thriller that recently premiered on NBC. Starring Alfre Woodard ( Steel Magnolias ) as the president of the United States and Katherine Heigl ( Grey's Anatomy ) as the president's CIA security briefer, the show is a first look this very specialized area of the spy trade.

Alfre Woodard's character is strong, but I'm not sure yet if I like her. In the premiere she seemed like she was a woman of integrity, and it felt like they had underplayed her role in the series. Yet when she had a more central role in the second episode, I didn't like her.

She came off as vengeful and borderline obsessed with the terrorist who killed her son. She also seemed rather less than interested in saving the Russian CIA asset, and instead placed all her emphasis on not letting the Russians make her personally look weak. It certainly didn't make her any more attractive when she basically ordered the death of an entire submarine crew...

Katherine Heigl is a CIA field operative, turned intelligence briefer. Her character is first seen in a psychiatrist's office, where we learn that she has taken to a rather wild life since the death of her fiance. It's later revealed that this fiance was also the president's son, which explains why Charleston (“Charlie”) Tucker has a privileged relationship with President Constance Payton.

In the first episode we get a bit of a chance to see Charlie in action, as she evades the Secret Service after a political foe suspends her and orders she be detained. Honestly, there's a little too much of Heigl being made up like a model for my personal liking. I also don't feel her character is that strong, but I am curious about the secrets she's hiding from President Payton and her CIA colleagues. Is it just that her fiance's killer was her asset in the field, or is there more to it?

I really want to like this protagonist, and I sense that she has her heart in the right place. I'm hoping for a little more depth in this character, and for a glimpse at why her colleagues are so loyal to her. So far, it's not as if she is glowing with the aura of authority.

State of Affairs has been described as “Homeland Lite.” It comes up against some serious competition from Madam Secretary , which got an earlier start. Tea Leoni is more believable as Elizabeth McCord, CIA agent turned Secretary of State, and the plot line of this CBS offering has been compelling right from the start.

I will likely be watching more State of Affairs , but I do think unless NBC writers step up their game the show will remain in the “lite” category for me.

Have you watched the show yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

This is my Movies and TV entry for Dawnwriter 's A-W Category Challenge

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Image credit: American flag by Vít Luštinec/Wikipedia ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

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celticeagle wrote on November 29, 2014, 6:33 PM

Although I like Katherine Heigl I haven't watched this yet. Saw it advertised but there must be something else on that I watch.

Ruby3881 wrote on November 30, 2014, 4:27 AM

I think it's Monday at 10 pm. I'm never sure, though. I stream most of my TV...

midastouch wrote on November 30, 2014, 5:36 AM

Some of these thrillers actually mirror the happenings in the society or government whichever the writer is trying to bring to the fore

celticeagle wrote on November 30, 2014, 8:05 PM

I have cable and love it.

Ruby3881 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:14 AM

I think many times that's very true, Jerry. Apparently, this show has a gentleman who is a consultant. He was some sort of intelligence briefer, and he tries to keep the show realistic without stepping over a line into revealing secrets.