Graceland Review: Crazy Levi

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A federal government job never looked this good.

But leave it to Jeff Eastin and company to deliver a hot pilot just in time for summer. Nothing says summer life sun, surf and beach houses, right? And Graceland has all three.

A Different Kind of Undercover

Eastin has created another federal agent-based drama that draws you in and doesn’t let you go till the credits, and even then, you’re still wondering what will happen next.

Special Agent Mike Warren was expecting to be assigned to the Federal Bureau in D.C. But before he could, he was reverted to an emergency assignment in California where he lives with five other housemates in a seaside villa known as Graceland. This isn’t training day, this is D-day - and from the moment he steps into the house, Mike is immediately immersed in the undercover life, while still managing to navigate the challenges of living with five diverse individuals.

One thing is for sure: if this installment was an indication, things will never be boring at Graceland. From the comedic relief Johnny provides... to Lauren’s refusal to accept the new guy... to Charlie’s quite compassion and support for Mike, it seems there’s still a lot to learn and a whole season ahead to learn it.

Perhaps like most of you, I was inexplicably intrigued by the bombshell dropped in the last two minutes regarding Mike’s assignment to investigate Briggs. Clearly Briggs colors outside the lines, and his decision to shoot the hitman without any proof he was armed was a little much for Mike to handle in the moment.

Cleverly, Mike now feels he owes Briggs for saving his life, even though he’s now charged with investigating him. The purpose for which Mike has been charged with investigating Briggs has yet to be revealed, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the bits and pieces of that come to light.

Maybe my favorite part of the pilot was the fact that Briggs' fake movie kept coming up throughout the course of the hour, whether in casting roles on the spot to Mike actually utilizing the characters and their back stories to get him out of the different situation he found himself in. From being married to a prostitute, to making his alter, Frankie Bout, the man who shot someone on the toilet, he’s quite the quick thinker.

I can’t say enough about the talent and drama this pilot exudes from the very beginning. It makes you wonder how so much content and character development can be compacted into a 43 minutes of run time. I will definitely continue to tune in and hope you all will too.

Other highlights from the series premiere:

  • Mike trying on flip-flops for the first time.
  • Charlie giving Mike one of Donny’s spare keys.
  • Mike inheriting a truck-worth of counterfeit Levi’s, then being nicknamed after them.
  • That adorable dog that keeps following Mike around.
  • The DJ/OJ incident.
  • That adorable woman on the plane teaching Mike the phrase “Manos arriba,” even after he fibbed about going to California to be a teacher.

What did you think of the premiere? Do you have a favorite character yet? Sound off below and grade the Graceland opener:


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 1.9 / 5.0 (442 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


(continued) calls someone who's supposed to be in hiding? As for Mike's mission, I've a sneaking suspicion Briggs is onto him--just a feeling I got when he looked at Mike's orders. A graduate at the top of his class groomed for a D.C. assignment doesn't land in SoCal by accident. Briggs ain't that stupid. :-)


Not a fan of cop shows about drugs. I'm a fringe person that believes this country, originally a Republic, should not be enforcing Drug laws. Pledge of Allegiance: "to the Republic for which" A Republic is definitely NOT Republican or Democratic! It's a form of government that preserves the rights of each individual in their own pursuit of happiness. Ours is a country of hypocrisy where we allow poisons like Nicotine (more addictive than heroin), Alcohol (a drug cocktail) & mind alerting pharmaceuticals to be legal (profiting big Corporations) while we punish people for taking "non sanctioned" drugs. Portugal legalized ALL drugs in 2001 & it was a resounding success.
Our War on Drugs is Prohibition for this age. It didn't work 100 years ago & it's not working now.
It criminalizes people, fosters lawlessness and wastes billions of tax payer dollars. Power and control over people is the greatest aphrodisiac. You get it by having money or working for the government.
The show is ok, a bit predictable.


OK, let's get the important stuff outta the way; there is some SCRUMPTIOUS male eye candy on this show. Daniel Sunjata always looked good in his lab coat as a forensic tech on Law & Order, but he looks even better OUT of it ; Aaron Tveit's chiseled handsomeness was made for TV; and "Johnny's" first appearance, topless in a wet suit--words fail me. I thought the acting was a bit over-the-top at times, particularly Lauren's vengefulness, but I think that'll settle once the plotline with Danny resolves itself (assuming it will). I thought the "movie" was a humorous diversion and I like how Mike went about his mission while those at base were seconds behind creating a back story and checking his movements. I was confused by a couple of plot holes though. Danny was taken to a safe house, yet Lauren was able to call him there. Then the address turned out to be the safe house where Danny was--they didn't know that beforehand? They're his team!!!!! And how are you allowed to call someone who's supposed to be in hiding? As for Mike's mission, I've a sneaking suspicion Briggs may be onto him--it's just a feeling I got when Briggs was looking at Mike's paperwork/orders. Graduated top of his class; high test scores; requested, and was presumably groomed for a D.C assignment; yet assigned to SoCal. Briggs can't be THAT clueless.


This show is just so awesome! I love the humor&action in it. I will definitely be watching this new awesome show!


Pretty boring. Have to agree with SMS, too predictable.


I've been waiting for this show for months and so glad it's final here. It was an amazing first episode. I loved it and I can't wait to out more about the characters and Mike's assignment to investigate Briggs. I can't wait for the rest of the season. The next episode looks really good I can't wait for it.


Everything about this episode is incredibly amazing! Aaron Tveit (Mike Warren) has stepped up his game another level and accompanied with Daniel Sunjata you get perfection. I can't wait for more episodes (and seasons) to come. Jeff Eastin sure does know how to write a good show! I hope this show can become as awesome as White Collar. MANOS ARRIBAS!


I believe they have a other hit on their hands


Way too cute and predictable.

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Graceland Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

From this moment on, your lies are your life.


Mike: No wire?
Briggs: Not since The Wire.