Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Television Tuesday: "Love Undercover," Succeeds via it's Charm

"Love Undercover," is a new dating reality show on Peacock (an underrated streaming service) that follows a group of extremely popular soccer players going to the one country where they can be (generally) unnoticed so that they can date a variety of women as just regular international guys on a show that the gals think it just about dating international men. That nation is, of course, America. Hence, we've got footballers who would be swarmed by crowds in any other country able to be, "Undercover," and claim they work in ad sales, construction, or manage restaurants. It's a clever hook but these shows live and die by the protagonists being interesting. Thankfully, the guys and gals (plus announcer Jared Freid) are all a hoot.

Jamie, Ryan, Lloyd, Marco, Fabián, and Sebastián are the international bachelors who have to hide their fame and get by on their personalities---or in the case of the younger ones whom the older guys admit being a bit jealous of as they attract a lot of women speedily, their looks a bit too. Jamie is absolutely hilarious and I can see why he is a commentator on soccer too as the guy is clever. Lloyd and Sebastián are both kind of F-boys (but fun) and Ryan has an incredibly dry sense of humor that makes him pretty easy to like. Marco, meanwhile, is probably the most famous of them all but a bit older and in the first four episodes that have been released is struggling to make a connection. There is an irony in that when he's Marco the famous footballer he has to beat the women away with a metaphorical stick. 

The cast of ladies ranges from the usual younger influencers to some who are actually in their late 30s and have normal jobs like being a teacher or TSA agent, so I appreciate the variety. Jacklyn is incredibly sarcastic and has some good jokes, Gabby is incredibly sweet, and nobody seems to be behaving in a manner that is absolutely awful yet besides one girl seeming to possibly be leading Marco on in order to stay in the penthouse where the show takes place...and date the other guys.

Another aspect of the show that interests me is once the initial dating is done in the Penthouse and the men and women pick to be together, the program is going to actually continue with after the ladies learn the truth and move with the guys to their home countries. A lot of reality shows end with a, "We pick each other and we're happy!" kind of finale even if not too long after everything falls apart. Having a show continue and show us what happens after the initial gimmick is an interesting premise that I feel doesn't happen a ton with reality television shows involving folks, "Competing," for love (I think, "Love is Blind," does it, but nothing else comes to mind). I am quite intrigued to see what happens after the penthouse dates are done, the truth is revealed, and the ladies and men go back to real life and it is time to deal with the ramifications of dating a soccer superstar.

"Love Undercover," and its first four episodes are pretty darn fun. By having a good mix of, "Undercover," guys, women who don't all immediately fit the reality show archetype, and clever conceit of continuing past the so-called undercover part it has me wanting to keep watching. Episodes are released every Thursday and I'm eager for more!

5 out of 5 Stars.

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