With it’s new and first ever television show, Rogue, DirecTV has poured a lot of resources into the production and cast of what could be a hit. With a gritty and realistic take on the drama of a cop partnering with a crime lord to take on their respective institutions, the first two episodes of ‘Rogue’ present an intriguing story that could develop into a hit.
Rogue is the story of Grace (Thandie Newton), a narc agent who is pulled from undercover duty after her very young son is killed in a drive-by shooting. With no leads on finding those responsible, Grace becomes increasingly frustrated with a police force that isn’t doing enough to track down her son’s killer. When the crime lord she was previously investigating has a murder in his organization that can be linked to her son’s death, Grace puts herself back undercover to track down how related the cases are.
As the leader of a crime organization hiding under a shipping company, Jimmy (Marton Csokas) is proud of the empire he’s built but looking to move onto more legitimate ways to acquire money – something he has not told his crime family. But as he is on the brink of making that change, the murder of his accountant, the disappearance of much of his money, and the intrigue that is beginning to plague his organization pushes him to look outside for help. Knowing she is really a cop, Jimmy offers Grace a way into his organization so she can pursue vengeance and he can route out the people who are turning on him.
The set up is very interesting and we can see that there are some intriguing characters. Jimmy’s son, Alec (Joshua Sasse), and his wife, Cathy (Leah Gibson), want what’s best for the organization. While Alec wrestles with following his father or looking out for himself, Cathy works in the background, reinforcing Alec’s fears and mistrusts. Alec’s brother Max (Matthew Beard) is newly released from prison and automatically enigmatic. Alec and Max seem to love each other, but everyone in the family doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to trust each other.
It is easy to see that the network put a lot of effort into their first series. The camera work is above the normal television show, and during the movie theater viewing of the pilot, I do wonder what it will be like to then see this show on a smaller screen. What also goes above and beyond the normal tv show is the content. The violence, language and sexual content are not cut or sugar-coated. In the first two episodes, two sex scenes will raise your eyebrows and possibly your hands to shield your eyes with promise of more to come. It’s full frontal nudity – female AND male – and it’s easy to see that Rogue is attempting to find status among shows like The Sopranos.
The cast they’ve pulled together also has promise and already established ability. Thandie Newton seems over the top in the first few episodes, but it will be interesting how that develops as she settles into her role. Marton Czoskas is menacing and angry – possibly a bit over-styled by the hair and makeup team – but his chemistry with Matthew Beard and Joshua Sasse as his sons looks to make for some interesting drama. Leah Gibson (who looks a lot less mob trashy in person) is not as well known as others in the cast, and we do not see her much in the first two episodes, but her developing manipulative, ambitious wife character is already working by the end of episode two.
All in all, Rogue is a show to watch and see where it goes. It has the right mix of people, the support from it’s production company, and a compelling story, but only time will tell if it will live up to what it could be.
Check Out My Interview with Joshua Sasse and Leah Gibson below.