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Sunday, April 3, 2011



Starring: Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Close, Tim Blake Nelson, James Murray, Carmen Ejogo, and Kurtwood Smith

Created by Tom Spezialy
Written by Tom Spezialy, Directed by Brett Ratner

Chaos is a new comedy-drama from CBS that has a real old-school feel to it starting right from the very beginning with a montage of clips from the Cold War-era CIA. The rest of the pilot really does play like an old fashioned spy series with a mix of comedy and shoot 'em up action. The show centers on the Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services (CAOS) unit of the CIA and newbie Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) who is planted there by the CIA Director (Kurtwood Smith) as a mole to find out if they are doing their job well and effectively with so many budget cuts coming. Of course, the CAOS division is smarter than that and immediately blackmails Martinez so he will be on their side.

Chaos is not great but it is fun. The show sets the tone as a comedy-drama from the very beginning and while it occasionally tries to hard to be quirky, it mostly comes off as good clean fun. The cast wasn't heavily developed in the pilot though Freddy Rodriguez did do a nice job as the new guy on the block. He was likable enough to root for and good at his job but not a know-it-all as too many stars have been lately. The rest of the team (Eric Close, Tim Blake Nelson, and James Murray) are a bunch of misfits, but very good at their jobs. The way they team up against Martinez but then need him to come through for them plays pretty well. A friend to the CIA Director Fay Carson (Carmen Ejogo) who hooks up with Martinez at the end wasn't developed much in the pilot.

The show also looks like it will be fun in its settings. In the pilot, they went to the Middle East and were riding camels across a desert. This is one of the many elements that seems to harken back to the classic spy comedy Get Smart. One of the best things about spy dramas is the exotic locations that are used and this looks like it will be no exception. The whole show is very cartoonish but it works for the genre and this particular show. Its ratings indicated that it won't be around long and its shtick could get tiring soon anyway but I'll enjoy it while it's here.

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