TV Review - Agent X

Writer William Blake Herron comes up with an absolutely ridiculous premise in order to proffer what is tantamount to an American James Bond, a classier Ethan Hunt or any, super-masculine spy or generic action-figure whose only function is to run around brandishing a gun, shooting anyone who gets in his path or utilizing fisticuffs when need be. It's nothing but dumb adrenaline that doesn't even aim for anything higher like CBS' Person of Interest.

Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct and Casino) stars as Natalie Maccabee, the first, female Vice President. Except, she doesn't star in this series. Her screen time is minimal as almost to have her top billing be laughable. She's at best a guest star, meant to add gravitas to a series where it's seriously lacking.

After her inauguration as Vice President, Natalie learns of a secret chamber underneath where she works and lives as the Vice President. The secret chamber supposedly holds the original version of the U.S. Constitution. What differentiates it from what most think is the original version in the National Archives is an extra section in Article 2.

Gerald McRaney (House of Cards and Major Dad) co-stars as Malcolm Millar, the Chief Steward to the Vice President who informs of this original version not in the National Archives. He tells Natalie this version has five sections to Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution whereas the Constitution that most know only has four sections. This hidden, Section 5, specifically assigns a secret agent to the Vice President who is supposed to perform missions that can't be linked to the Executive Branch otherwise.

This Section 5 premise is absolutely ridiculous. It is the stupidest thing ever. What's even more ridiculous and stupid is the fact that Natalie accepts all of this without question. Yes, James Earl Jones guest stars as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who verifies this story, but because we have no idea of either of their politics, whether they're Democrat or Republican, we have no clue why they would go along with this.

First off, just because something is in the original Constitution doesn't make it gospel. That's why the Constitution has amendments, but how does anyone know, especially Natalie, that this secret version of the Constitution is authentic? The National Archives can verify its version. Who verified this secret document? The fact she doesn't question it is stupid.

Jeff Hephner (Chicago Fire and Boss) co-stars as John Case. He's the titular character. He's the one tasked to be the agent identified in the secret Section 5. How he was chosen or why he was chosen isn't explored in the first three episodes here. Why Natalie isn't the one who handpicks the guy is never explained. Why she doesn't have the option seems weird too and possibly a little anti-feminist.

What also doesn't help the show is Stone's character could have been like Téa Leoni's character in Madam Secretary on CBS, but she's not. Stone's character of Natalie is not as strong a female character as Leoni's character of Elizabeth McCord. She's not as central and the show always handles her superficially. We're invited into Elizabeth's home and family and we're given a fuller sense of her work and life. Here, we get practically nothing about Natalie.

Despite being more of a presence than Stone, Hephner's character of John is so much of a nothing character too. John is just a lot of posing, macho bravado. He's there just to hold a gun, run from here to there, and exude unneeded testosterone.

Herron and his writers fail in even justifying John's existence. What is it about this guy that can't be accomplished with U.S. Army Special Forces, or SEAL teams, or even just CIA or FBI. The series never lays down why this guy is so unique or vital to the problems that arise, or even the rescue missions.

The series also doesn't make great use of the amazing Mike Colter in the first few episodes. He was better used in the Marvel Comics series in which he plays Luke Cage. Ironically, there is a Marvel character called Agent X, but this isn't it. Maybe Coulter is better used in the later episodes, but unfortunately, I won't be watching.

One Star out of Five.
Rated TV-14-DLV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 9PM on TNT.


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