NBC’s The Brave is the second of the three military/intelligence shows that are out this year on network television. Like SEAL Team, it features a hardened black ops team, missions in exotic locations, and lots of action. With that said, it has none of the nightmarish distractions that keep it from taking flight.
In short, it is the best of the three shows by a country mile. Yadda yadda yadda. Let’s get to it!
There Are Actual Characters Here!
If nothing else, The Brave sets itself apart through the strength of its cast. The combination of decent writing and good acting allows audiences to see who these people are, what they’re all about, and some little character quirks that play into each episode.
Mike Vogel leads the cast as Adam Dalton, a former Delta Force operator who works in special operations in the DIA. While the character has some of the standard qualities of a leader, the writing gives Vogel plenty of opportunities to play with the human side of the character. Sure, he focuses on the mission when danger is near, but he also teases his teammates and goes out for a drink with them. It’s nice to see a balance!
Anne Heche does a good job as Deputy Director Patricia Campbell. While her role is business-oriented, she gives her all to a rather multidimensional character. Patricia focuses on the week’s mission from an intelligence angle, but she is also a grieving mother, a caring boss, and a reasonable person.
Demetrius Grosse, Natacha Karam, Noah Mills, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, and Hadi Tabbal round out the team. All of them do a great job with the supporting material, but I think that Ellington, Karam, and Mills stand out the most because of their interesting little quirks. To give you one example, it seems like Jasmine “Jaz” Khan is the kind of sniper who would blow out some bubble gum as she takes down the baddies. She has that kind of wit about her.
The Show Is Suspenseful.
As mentioned above, The Brave focuses on a mission-of-the-week. The team deploys to a certain location, works their way through a mission, and comes out the other end. While that may sound like a standard action show, the characters are convincing and the writers actually try to play with the circumstances of an operation in creative ways. I’m not going to spoil them here, but I will say that some of the solutions are quite surprising.
And most important of all, this show differentiates itself by what it doesn’t do. When the mission begins, the suspense ramps up and never dies down. We are not distracted with nonsensical dialogue or a cut-away to characters that we don’t care about. The focus is on an action thrill ride that may remind audiences of the glory days of 24.
Yeah, it’s that good!
On top of that, the cast is diverse, but it isn’t stupid or distracting. These men and women have a job to do, and the show focuses on their ass-kicking exploits in a meaningful way. I want to stress this again for all of my readers because some people don’t get it. Most people are not against the idea of representation. We are against sloppy execution with a side of social justice lecturing.
Luckily, The Brave doesn’t do that! Hooray!
Okay, It’s Not Perfect. Whatever.
The show does a decent job on the technical side of the equation. The action sequences are competently shot, the settings are believable, and the little details add to the suspense of the show. On the other hand, the team doesn’t seem to switch out their weapons all that much, but they do dress for every op in a convincing manner. It’s a forgivable balancing act between a competent portrayal and possible budget constraints.
If I have to ding The Brave, it’s because of the eye-rolling little nitpicks that most people won’t notice. One example that people might spot in this show is the old trope of the “Hollywood Silencer.” In “The Seville Defection,” Jaz provides overwatch for the team as they try to rescue a Russian defector. She shoots a Venezuelan hitman and the defector’s handler, but her massive sniper rifle is whisper quiet.
The Brave is a lot of fun. Its cast is excellent, the show is suspenseful, and any flaws can be easily looked over in the name of a good time. There’s more than enough here for you to see if it’s your cup of tea. If you’re in the mood for some black ops action, you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Speaking of which, we’re about to get to the third military “drama” on the docket. Stay tuned!
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