So, there was this British spy TV series, called Spooks, when it was broadcast in the UK, or MI-5 here in the U.S., and I’ve been hooked on it via Netflix for weeks, squeezing episodes into scattered hour-long gaps in my ridiculously busy days.
The show follows fictional exploits of the British intelligence agency MI-5, and I’m hooked, like I say, despite its significant flaws (to name a few):
- the occasional glaring implausibility of plot
- ineffective spy gimmicks used repeatedly and followed by disbelief that they fail
- the unstated dismissal, after several seasons, of the idea that MI-5 is supposed to be a purely domestic agency, like the FBI
- characters you like who leave MI-5 or get killed, accompanied by a frighteningly short-lived acknowledgment of their absence by their colleagues
And yet, one has to admit that a show is doing something right when it keeps you coming back, episode after episode, season after season, and that something right is rooted in the genre. Not every episode is successful, but as a series it is a pretty darned brilliant example of the spy suspense thriller — slickly shot and written, with all the spy gadget eye candy one could ask for, the occasional “where the hell did that come from” plot twist, etc.
The fact that it’s an excuse to listen to the ever-charming British accent for hours on end is just icing on the cake.
What’s more troubling, on the other hand, is that, as I go about my day-to-day lately, I’ve been thinking more and more like a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Walking around, I wonder if there are spies hiding everywhere, if there are cameras watching my every move, if my cell phone conversations are being listened to, whether that package someone is carrying is filled with secret documents or, worse, a bomb.
I could do without the latter. Really, I could. I don’t like being spooked by Spooks.
Unfortunately, I’m only a little more than halfway through, and like I said, I’m hooked.
Wish me luck.