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ABC’s new action-comedy Whiskey Cavalier stars Scott Foley as Will Chase, an FBI super-agent whose defining characteristic is his sensitivity. His girlfriend has just dumped him, but he needs to get back into the field, even if he still tears up every time he sees a couple in love. International crime doesn’t stop for a broken heart.
Chase unwillingly pairs up with Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (Lauren Cohan), a beautiful, hard-nosed CIA operative with trust issues. The two clash at first but slowly learn to respect each other. This series revisits the idea that opposites attract by building in some romantic tension.
Whiskey Cavalier contains elements from many popular shows, but scenic European settings end up being the only attractive thing about the series. Chase and Trowbridge occasionally exhibit some chemistry, but the comedy’s timing falls flat, and the script often relies on cringeworthy sexual references and inappropriate language.
Is it a coincidence that Whiskey Cavalier debuted at the moment when many in America announced a war against toxic masculinity? The writers emphasize Will Chase’s “sensitivity” to the point of absurdity: It could be an interesting character trait, but they make it a plot device in every episode. Maybe ABC will realize that a series-long narrative arc in the action genre needs more than a character’s ability to empathize.