USA, June 6, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
Your typical USA series doesn't stir up the addictive devotion of, say, ABC's Scandal (an endless roller coaster) or AMC's Mad Men (a weekly meditation on Jon Hamm). Shows like White Collar and Covert Affairs are TV dramas that could more properly be called capers: winking, teasing, playful. Just because they're light doesn't mean they're not a real achievement—because they are. And they're hits. Graceland is an attempt to scuff up the model a little, to scrape off the sparkle and see what you get. It is a drama, with just enough heft and just enough fun. Paul Briggs (Rescue Me's Daniel Sunjata) heads up a beach house of undercover federal agents in Southern California. Despite the sand and the sun, the area is infested with drug operators and crooks. The FBI brings in a smart young agent, Mike Warren (Les Misérables' Aaron Tveit), who's as squeaky clean and untested as a fresh lab mouse. Warren has, in fact, been dropped into a kind of maze: It's not at all clear that Briggs isn't himself corrupt. And how long can Warren remain on the up-and-up? What makes the show work is the nicely set up polarity of Briggs and Warren, as well as the charismatic presence of Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) as a major criminal player. It wouldn't hurt to pick up the pace, but Graceland is a successful move toward true grittiness.
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NEW GIRL ON THE BLOCK
What was it like being the Bachelorette?
It was incredibly emotional, but I'm very happy with how everything worked.
You said your parents are your relationship role models.
They have been together 40 years and married for 35. It's the cutest thing because they still act like they are 16.
What's the craziest date you went on?
We danced down the side of a building in Hollywood with Bandaloop (aerial dance company). I love to be adventurous, and I do love heights, but when it comes down to it, you just close your eyes and do it.
Why bring back the series after seven years?
It is probably more popular now than it ever was, which is unusual. In a lot of ways, it was a little ahead of its time.
How did it feel reuniting with the cast?
It was great to be back working with these people I love. But it was strange. It'd been such a long time. So much has happened in all of our lives.
You became a father and split from wife Amy Poehler last year.
Fatherhood completely altered my life for the better. It puts everything in perspective. I'm overall a much happier person than I was [before I was a father].
How do you balance parenting and work?
We figure it out. Everything else is second fiddle to your kids. Work doesn't even come close. It's the best thing in the world to watch them grow.
Are Archie, 4, and Abel, 2, excited you're voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and starring in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
They are very excited. It's a one-two punch of cool-dad things to do.