Scott Foley watched a lot of TV when he was a kid. And, apparently, his taste in programs was a little unusual when he was 7. And 9. And 13.
Which explains why a guy whose resume includes “Scandal,” “Felicity” and “True Blood” is now starring in the action/spy adventure/romantic comedy “Whiskey Cavalier.”
“I wanted to do a show that reminded me of the shows that I grew up watching — 'Remington Steele,' 'Moonlighting,' 'Hart to Hart,' 'Simon & Simon,'” said the 46-year-old actor. “I miss those light, one-hour shows. And for me, I wouldn’t be interested in doing this if the comedy wasn’t there.”
Well, that's pretty much calling “Whiskey Cavalier” a throwback, so I don't have to.
Foley stars as the title character — it’s the code name of sensitive-but-tough FBI agent Will Chase, who is great at saving the world but devastated by a recent break-up with his girlfriend. He’s teamed with tough-as-nails CIA agent Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge — code name Fiery Tribune (really). Chase and Trowbridge (Lauren Cohan, Maggie on “The Walking Dead”) clash, but they have great chemistry.
It's light and fun even when the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
What “Whiskey Cavalier” is not is original. But that doesn’t really matter. Executive producer Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs”) deemed it a “good-time popcorn ride,” and that pretty much nails it.
The show is gorgeous to look at; production was based in Prague, and some scenes were shot in other parts of Europe, Including a trip to Paris for the premiere.
It's not so much laugh-out-loud funny as it is charming. And there's nothing wrong with that.
The one unbelievable thing about “Whiskey Cavalier” is that it’s sort of fact-based. Creator/executive producer David Hemingson said the idea for the show came from a longtime friend — an FBI agent who called several years ago after working on a “terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia.”
The reason for the call? The FBI agent friend had just broken up with his girlfriend and asked Hemingson to “edit [his] playlist because the guys from the CIA think it’s way too heavy with The Smiths, and way too shoegazey.”
“And I’m thinking this guy [is] off saving the world, and he’s calling me about his breakup with his girlfriend,” Hemingson said. “He is an American hero. He is an amazing guy. And at the end of the day, what he wants is what we all want, which is love.”
That explains why one critic jokingly asked Foley if his character would be “less weepy after the first hour.”
Apparently not. “I have a very strong belief that it’s time to sort of reinvent that trope that is the leading man in an action series,” Foley said, adding it’s “much more relatable to have a character like this than someone sort of stoic.”
“Whiskey Cavalier” premieres Sunday after the Oscars and the local news — at 10:35 p.m. on ABC/Channel 4. The same episode repeats Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the series’ regular time slot.