We've already seen the first few episodes of a show you probably don't even know exists (unless you committed our most anticipated new fall shows list to memory): Cinemax's Hunted. But is this a show that should stay forgotten, or is it a program to get in on early so you can tell your friends that you were first to see it? Let's find out!
Yep! Hunted is a co-production between Cinemax and the BBC that's already gotten a two-week head start in the U.K. It's stars Melissa George (Alias, Grey's Anatomy) as Sam, a not-too-shabby-looking female spy who works for an independent agency in London. While on a mission in Tangier, she's double crossed, shot, and left for dead. Over a year later she returns to England and the job, much to the surprise of her co-workers, to take on a new assignment and figure out who set her up. Plus, it has Stannis Baratheon (actor Stephen Dillane) in it! And Mr. Eko (actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), too!
If you're a Cinemax-subscribing Yank, Hunted debuts Friday, October 19 at 10pm on Cinemax. If you're from jolly old England, it's already started, mate!
Hunted's suspense, action, and cinematography will appeal to fans of the Bourne movie franchise, so we're looking at a heavily leaning male audience that's after more than just shootouts and high-speed boat chases. However, espionage fans of all genders should dig this one.
At least early on, the series is split into two stories: one dealing with the mission at hand and another concerning Sam's quest to figure out who set her up. That leads to a constant sense of tension as Sam slips further and further down the throat of the enemy while undercover, and then that tension is doubled as she's taking orders from people who also might be the ones who tried to kill her a year ago. The gorgeous look and feel of the show is purposefully unglamorous, which serves the story and tone well; you won't find a bright color or studio lighting in the eight hours of the first season and let's face it, in a program about hot-headed revenge, would you want to? There's also a really creepy assassin who has an eye-opening method of killing his victims, and more double crosses than an OCD priest. And have I mentioned how delightful Sam is to look at?
This thing is deliberately paced, and it's in no rush to sprint to the next plot point; coupled with the dreary grays of London, it's a show that needs to be watched while on Adderall or 10 hours' worth of 5-Hour Energy for those who've got a tendency to let their minds wander. I was also under the impression that the London mission was going to be wrapped up in the first episode and we'd be going on missions-of-the-week, but that's not the case. The opening hour was fantastic, but I saw some hints of dragging in the second episode, which I fear may carry over to later installments. Maybe this should have been a two-hour movie instead? The concise dialogue results in some clunkers at times, which drag down the apparent quality of the show. And as pretty as Sam is, she does make some funny faces that can be distracting (normally I wouldn't even bring something like that up, but trust me, it's worth noting).
This one is really going to be a matter of taste and opinions will vary from person to person, but I'm going to go ahead and say yes, especially if you're a fan of the long game. Hunted is well put together, and the side-by-side goals of Sam play off each other to create some thick paranoia. But don't compare Hunted to Homeland like the British press did (the two series were released over there on the same weekend); it's an entirely different flavor.
Can I see a trailer?
Right here! And take note: We'll have the full series premiere available to view on TV.com this weekend... just keep an eye on our episode page.
Chill some gin, put it in a martini glass, and sip. And who cares if it's shaken or stirred?
Hunted debuts Friday, October 19 at 10pm on Cinemax.