On March 23rd 2023, „The Night Agent” starring Gabriel Basso and Luciane Buchanan premiered on Netflix. The show is a massive hit and was picked up for a second season only one week after premiering. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good show. Let’s take a closer look (minor spoilers ahead).
Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Basso) is a young FBI who works the night shift at the White House, manning an emergency phone for night agents, who need urgent assistance. One day he gets a call from Rose Larkin (Luciane Buchanan). She says all the right things, but has no idea what is going on. Her aunt and uncle were night agents, who were murdered while investigating a conspiracy. They gave Rose the phone number and the codes. Peter and Rose must uncover the conspiracy before whoever murdered Rose’s family kills her too.
The Night Agent is a very formulaic series. Every aspect of the show is familiar and has been done before. The lead character Peter is so naive that the viewer wonders if he is a high school kid pretending to be an FBI agent. It is difficult to assess if Gabriel Basso is a good actor, because the character is one-dimensional and some choices are beyond stupid. For instance, he thinks it is a good idea to block an emergency line in the White House for hours to flirt with Rose over the phone. This really happens in the show!
The whole one man against a major conspiracy in the White House is a common trope in political thrillers. The show copies “24” constantly, even with the conspiracy involving the vice president. Ironically, the main character’s surname is “Sutherland” and Kiefer Sutherland played the main character in “24”.
The character of Rose is skilled with computers and is extremely bossy. While Rose is a strong female character, it is difficult to feel for her, because she is completely unsympathetic.
The action sequences are decent enough, the story is well paced. The saving grace for the show is Hong Chau as Diane Farr. She gives a great performance and steals every scene she is in.
This show is to political thrillers / action series, what Hallmark movies are to romantic comedies. If you haven’t seen a lot of this genre in the past, you might enjoy it. If you are very familiar with the genre, it is best to stay away, as the lack of creativity and constant imitation of other stories becomes quickly irritating. The so-called main twist is so obvious that you can’t call it a twist.
Its success is in large part surely attributed to an aggressive marketing campaign by Netflix, which has had the show on the header of the starting page for weeks. Netflix basically decides in advance, which shows should be a hit. It would be interesting to see a completion rate for this show. I watched the complete show, only to write this review, otherwise I would have turned off after the first episode.
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Maria is our resident nerd and passionate about all things fantasy and science fiction. She is Spanish and grew up in Germany, which is why she is a native speaker of both languages. Becoming a fantasy writer was only logical to combine her skills and passions. In addition, she is working on her English degree and loves to play tennis and dance Salsa. She is currently writing her first novel and will mainly be covering Star Wars, Star Trek and Shadow & Bone.