‘Graceland’ pilot episode preview: Aaron Tveit doesn’t disappoint as FBI rookie Mike Warren

Aaron Tveit as Mike Warren and Daniel Sunjata as Paul Briggs in "Graceland."

Aaron Tveit as Mike Warren and Daniel Sunjata as Paul Briggs in “Graceland.”

It looks like I have less self-control than I thought, because although I said that I was going to wait for the premiere so as to not ruin the surprise, I just couldn’t help myself.  First thing Monday morning, I got online and watched the first episode of USA’s new series Graceland.

The series isn’t set to premiere until June 6 at 10pm, but USA Network released the pilot episode early via Video on Demand and viewers will have access to the pilot through May 12.

I don’t want to give too much away for those who are waiting for the premiere, but I do have a few thoughts I’d like to share.

We’ve heard various cast members say over and over that Graceland is going to have season-long arcs as opposed to each episode being neatly wrapped up and that this is “not a procedural cop show.”  They speak the truth.

As in any pilot episode, main characters are introduced and the over-arching scenario is set up.  In this case rookie FBI agent Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) is sent to “Graceland” after graduating from the FBI Academy.  “Graceland” is home to undercover agents from the FBI as well as U.S. Customs and the DEA.  We see Mike go out on his first mission where he earns his new nickname “Levi.”  At the end of the episode we find out the real reason that Mike has been handed this assignment, which sets up for some conflict between Mike and his mentor Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) for future episodes.

This may go without saying, but it was super exciting to see Tveit in a starring role on TV.  We’ve seen him in so many leading theatrical roles (Next to Normal, Wicked, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can) and in several supporting television roles (Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Law and Order: SVU), but this is the first time he’s one of the “it” guys in a television series.  I think it’s pretty neat that both Tveit and his character Mike have this “newness” factor about them.  Tveit is relatively new to television, and Mike is a brand new agent thrown into a new job with new people and new dangers.

On a totally different note, can we take a moment to recognize how suave he looks when handling a gun?  This show definitely has a certain spice factor to it that we haven’t really seen from Tveit before, and I can’t wait to see how his character develops during the rest of this season.

If you haven’t watched the Graceland pilot yet you have about a week left to catch it before it goes away until June.  If you have watched it, what do you think?  Leave a comment and let me know!

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2 Responses

  1. I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot episode! Aaron having his first starring role on a television series was the initial draw, along with the fact that it was a USA Network program (they’ve rarely disappointed me in the past), but I must say that it seems like it has a lot of potential! I am looking forward to tuning in every week to see what happens – June can’t come soon enough.

  2. Haha, how “suave” he looks with a gun. I’m convinced that the fangirls on Tumblr (myself included!) have a different turn of phrase….