Graceland review: Tripp Vanderbilt is carrying a gun

gracelandI’ve been looking forward to the premiere of Graceland for two reasons mainly: 1. I watch a lot of SVU marathons on USA so I’ve seen the commercials a million times and 2. I love me some Tripp Vanderbilt (of Gossip Girl fame, if you weren’t aware).  On Graceland Tripp plays a charming recently graduated FBI Agent who moves to a lovely beach house in Malibu with a bunch of other special agents who are led by the nurse who used to date Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy (apparently his name is ‘Briggs’ on this show).

Tripp (I know his name is Mike or something here, but whatever. It’s not important. He will always be Tripp) was the top of his class at the training academy, but his new roommates quickly make him realize that he knows nothing at all about being an agent. Besides Briggs, the house also serves as home to a short little wise-cracking sidekick kid, a tough-seeming (but probably deep down big softie) African American customs agent who is posing as a Jamaican to track down some kind of illegal bird trade, and two women.  One overtly flirts with Tripp and tries to make him feel more at home by giving him some keys to the house (NOT a euphemism) and one who is not at all friendly because Tripp is taking the room of her injured partner who she may or may not be in love with.  I can’t decide yet if Tripp is going to hook up with the girl who hates him or the one who can’t wait to get in his pants.  Probably both, but which one first?

Tripp goes on his first assignment and although he has to go a bit off script, in the end he does pretty good for his first gig and the biggest error of all isn’t even his fault! His cover is blown, but for some reason the guy they arrest doesn’t sell him out to the bigwig scary drug family guy who visits him in jail as his ‘lawyer’. Afterwards Tripp does more bonding with his roommates and Briggs lies in his bed studying Tripp’s file, making us believe that later this season there are going to be some big secrets revealed.

But before that can happen, Tripp has to go back to work as the ‘brother-in-law’ of the guy they arrested.  Apparently the drug family still wants to use him to keep the arrested guy in line.  I don’t know, cop talk is confusing.  The important thing is that they still need Tripp to do work and he really has to put all his training to work for the first real time.  As I’m sure will be par for the course on this show, things don’t go exactly as they should and Briggs has to jump in to save the day, but in the end it all works out and the agents get their guys and everyone accepts Tripp into the fold, just in time for the ultimate plot twist at the very end!

This pilot really lies out what I’m sure will be the standard formula for most episodes and sets up enough back story and mysteries to make you want to find out what exactly these characters are all about and where they will go from here, which is really the exact purpose of a pilot.

Now I don’t have the highest standards for television shows, but this one meets all my criteria: A pretty cast, characters that I want to get together and do the nasty, some witty one liners, and an occasional pop in from a vaguely familiar face (this week it was Erica Hahn from Grey’s Anatomy who made sure everything the agents did was by the book). All of this paired with the fact that the adorable Tripp Vanderbilt is the lead means that I will definitely be tuning in for the rest of the season and if you like the other fare on USA or dozens of other cop/crime shows on TV then Graceland is probably something you will want to check out too!

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About the author: Samantha
Samantha
I'm Sam, your reality TV expert. When it comes to television my motto is: the trashier, the better. If a show is winning Emmys and making critics swoon, it probably isn't my style. I'll take Kardashians and teen moms over great acting and writing any day of the week.

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  • Eric Pharand

    I liked it despite there being nothing special or new about it.