Graceland Season 1 Premiere Review

Graceland Episode 1 Pilot (3)
The new USA Network drama Graceland premiered last night and got off to a pretty action packed start. The show, from White Collar creator Jeff Easton, stars Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) and Aaron Tveit (Les Mis). Based on real life events, the show focuses on a group of undercover agents from a cross-section of federal agencies – DEA, ICE, FBI, etc., who take up residence in a Southern California beachfront property seized by the government that once belonged to a drug lord with a thing for Elvis.

The premiere started off with Mike Warren, a rookie FBI agent, who just graduated at the top of his class. Warren was expecting a typical desk job when he was unexpectedly assigned to Graceland. He suddenly found himself on his first undercover assignment under the tutelage of fellow FBI veteran agent Paul Briggs. At first, it appeared that Warren joined the Graceland group because of the shooting and outing of a fellow agent, Donnie. More on Warren’s real message later. One look at the collection of attractive people under one roof and the show reminded me of a scripted version of The Real World. The agents take their chore wheel and personally-labeled groceries as seriously as they do their undercover assignments. And no guns downstairs!

After becoming acquainted with house rules and learning how to ride a few waves, Warren finally received his first big assignment in which he posed as the brother-in-law to a petty criminal. The assignment was a success until Warren nearly got killed. Briggs arrived just in time to prevent Warren from becoming a casualty on his very first undercover mission, although the shooting did seem a bit suspicious.

In a twist that seemed to come right out of The Shield, Warren received a call from his FBI supervisor (portrayed by Courtney B. Vance) who asked if Warren could still investigate Briggs despite just having his life saved by the guy. It’s too soon to declare that Briggs is the next Vic Mackey, but Briggs is quite mysterious and doesn’t appear to have much use for playing by the rules.

What did you think of the Graceland premiere? Will you be returning for more?