Review: The Code (CBS)
I wasn’t going to check out The Code – and truth be told – I watched JAG back in the day and it was a decent enough show, but a military drama/procedural surrounding the legal side of the things isn’t really my first choice for TV viewing. I’ll take Gibbs and the investigative side of the military in NCIS long before I follow along with the lawyers that handle the aftermath of said investigations.
That being said, Craig Sweeny (Elementary, The 4400, Medium) is one of the masterminds behind The Code – and he’s responsible for one of my favorite all-time shows, Limitless – So, I had to give this a chance. (By the way, it’s an absolute TRAVESTY that Limitless never saw more than one season and I’m still bitter about it.)
On to my spoiler free review:
Created by Craig Sweeny and Craig Turk (Private Practice, The Good Wife) – The Code is tackling some of the toughest cases within the U.S. Marine Corps. It brings us the stories of prosecution VS defense via Captain John “Abe” Abraham (Luke Mitchell – Blindspot, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Captain Maya Dobbins (Anna Wood – Reckless, Falling Water). Ato Essandoh, Phillipa Soo, Dana Delany, and Raffi Barsoumian round out the starring cast.
The show airs on CBS, Monday nights at 9/8c. At the time of my writing – 3 episodes have aired.
Let’s start with the characters… I really like them. The cast brings their swagger and their banter to life – and the chemistry can be felt coming off the screen. There’s a strange confidence and even cockiness that exudes from both Abe and Maya – and is interesting intertwined as prosecutor and defense attorney actually work together when searching out the truth.
In an unlikely choice, Warrant Officer Rami Ahmadi (Raffi Barsoumian) is probably my favorite character. He’s stiff as a board, laser focused, and even a little quirky – but he’s got everyone’s best interests in mind and is the ultimate team player.
The cases/stories, so far, seem to be “slam dunk” at the onset, but as things unravel – it’s hard to tell how things will end with each episode. I like that things aren’t always as they seem. Side note: I was surprised at the abrupt end in the pilot episode. It was a little too quick for me, and I sat there scratching my head a bit. You’ll have to let me know your thoughts on that.
I’ve heard/seen some grumblings that the uniforms used aren’t 100% and even some of the procedural aspects are off a bit. This may be true (I’m not an expert in the military…), but I don’t think it should take away from the story or characters. It’s TV after all – it won’t be perfect, and let’s face it – you can’t make everyone happy.
- What’s up with Abe’s hair? I’m fairly certain it passes for acceptable in the military – but I feel like it should be more “high and tight.” Maybe it’s just me.
- Colonel Turnbull is way too… accommodating? Captain Abraham pushes the limits A LOT – and even if he were a “favorite” of the Colonel – I just don’t see her allowing him to get away with how almost-insubordinate he is. Perhaps a Colonel out there could chime in on this…
So… Should You Watch?
Short answer: Yes, it’s worth a shot
Long answer: There are a ton of procedural-type shows to choose from on TV… Quite a few military dramas overall. Is it the best one out there? No. Is it a good entertaining show? Yes. Does it replace JAG? No, not really – and it shouldn’t. It’s obviously similar, but it’s different enough that it can hold it’s own. Give it a chance – you might just like it!
My Overall Rating
So Many Shows Scoring 1-10: 7.0
High points: Characters (Chemistry and dialogue)
Low points: Military inaccuracies, and there’s no NZT in this story (Limitless reference)
Final thoughts: With over 1.3 million active duty and 20 million military veterans out there – I think it’s important that the creators consider hiring a new or different advisor. That’s a lot of potential viewers that could be turned off by some of the missing or inaccurate pieces. Just my 2 cents…
Let me know if you agree with my review in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Stay connected with So Many Shows: