State of Affairs isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is; a bit of entertaining TV fodder…”

by Ed Blackadder

High-ranking CIA analyst and the person who briefs the President each day, Charleston “Charlie” Tucker (Katherine Heigl) has no recollection of what actually happened a year ago when the diplomatic convoy she and her fiancĂ© Aaron were on was attacked. Charlie and the former Senator Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard) barely survived the ordeal, however, Aaron (Mark Tallman) was shot and killed, leaving Charlie with constant flashbacks of that fateful day in Kabul. Not only was Aaron Charlie’s fiancĂ©, but he was also President Payton’s son. Charlie and Payton have made it their duty to avenge Aaron’s death.

State of Affairs
Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman
First Aired
17 November 2014
Ed’s Grade: C+

NBC’s new show State of Affairs, may not be spilling over with originality. However, the modern take on how threats to the US are dealt with, and using all the latest memes in the dialogue, gives the show enough of an edge to make it feel somewhat fresh. Whenever we’re taken into the battlefield, we’re treated to some fantastic first-person action, just like that of the hugely popular game franchise Call of Duty. The action is very exciting, and is seen through green-hued night-vision goggles and black & white drone cameras.

Of course, it all begins with Charlie (Heigl) and her underlings gathering intel, so that they can compile a list of the top ten threats to the USA. This is a task that’s performed every single day by Charlie, and then the file is given to the President during the morning briefing. From there, the decision whether take any action on the intel is decided by what’s in that file.

Although Heigl seems a bit young to be playing such a character, I didn’t really have a problem with it. Certainly no more so than the transparent move of having a Black female president. Sure, a few may not like some of the cliches and coincidences that crop up, like Aaron being the President’s son, or Charlie’s troubled personal life. But State of Affairs isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is; a bit of entertaining TV fodder, and at that it appears to have succeeded.

The first episode was intreguing enough for me to want to watch the second. And provided it continues to be as interesting, then I think I’ll tune in every week. With Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas and David Harbour making up the cast, this show just might have a future. Although, nothing is a sure thing when it comes to this type of show.