There’s a lot of choice when it comes to TV shows; from the plethora of Sitcoms to the myriad of cop shows, from the pseudo reality to the epic literary based fantasy. There is almost certainly something out there to appeal to any kind of taste.
But what if you just enjoy TV? With so much choice, how do you know what’s worth taking a bite out of? You could commit to watching scores of hour long dramas and dozens of half hour comedies to then collate a list of all that’s worth watching and then dedicating your time to those chosen few. Or, you could have a friend that does that for you and save yourself a series of a show that is going absolutely nowhere.
I’m lucky enough to have a few of these ‘filter friends’. One such friend pointed me towards a 2013 American show that is just one season old; Graceland, and it totally took my by surprise.
The plot revolves around Mike Warren, a newly graduated member of the FBI who, because he’s the protagonist of a TV show, is top of his class. Having graduated he’s sent to Graceland. Graceland being a beach house in southern California, seized from a drug baron who apparently had an obsession with Elvis. Said beach house also happens to be the home of six other undercover government agents.
While the premise of six agents living in a California beach house seems like the things spoofs are made of, this show really delivers.
Instead of solely focussing on Mike and his introduction to lying, drug busts and Spanish the show does a really good job of fleshing out all the main characters. Graceland dedicates screen time to all of the housemates. This lets you really grow to admire the characters, their flaws and their redeeming features, even if some of them take their time to pop into three dimensions.
The realism of the characters and of the situations they find themselves in is Graceland’s major boon. As you grow closer to the characters, through focal episodes and histories that are revealed as the plot thickens, you can’t help but think that they’re in far over their heads, and that everything isn’t quite as it seems in the house built on lies.
With the show focusing on what is effectively a family, the dialogue is familiar and natural. You immediately get a sense of how out of place Mike feels among these old friends. Witty quips and character idiolects make for some excellently light hearted scenes, which if nothing else, make the drama even heavier.
This show is incredibly serial and with mystery abounds I have to insist that you watch it in order. It’s not that the show won’t make sense, but you’ll miss out on so much of the incredibly well built suspense and internal themes if you do.
With 12 action packed episodes in the first season, Graceland is an entertaining, tense and well thought out series. It’s also incredibly addictive, which is ironic, considering the whole ‘drug bust’ thing it has going.