The Recruit offers a cheap thriller wrapped around a pretty boy

Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in The Recruit

Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks the recruit
picture: Courtesy of Netflix

Perhaps this is how Netflix has us thinking about its shows, but even when only watching its pilot the recruit We can’t help but reduce it to its similar titles. You know, the class that’s recommended if you’re binging your way in and hoping to find something similar to watch. You’ll see Nick name There is of course. And proverbs Chuck And the Nikita. Maybe even things like Black list And the Secret Affairs. Which is to say, many elements of this spy-adjacent show starring internet buddy Noah Centineo definitely feel familiar.

the recruit It’s not so much a throwback to a hit you loved as an easy-going version of it, which struggles to find its raison d’être other than joining such a flashy row on your Netflix homepage. Speaking of algorithm, if you’ve enjoyed shows like that, you’ll likely find something to love about Centineo’s first stab at becoming a Gen Z hero. (He’s the kind of agent who, in times of crisis, actually suggests using his Instagram drafts folder to relay sensitive information. Very; no, really).

Perhaps this line of reasoning is enough to pique your interest; the recruitAfter all, he knows exactly who his audience is. Why else would the first words out of Centineo’s mouth be the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song? If you must know more about the introduction to the show, don’t worry. It’s very simple. That is, even, in true spy form, the plot just keeps getting more and more intricate, even with easy-to-find set pieces and action sequences a mile away.

Owen Hendrix (Centineo) is the new kid at the CIA. A lawyer by trade, now recruited to be part of the agency’s legal team, tasked with the most useless job of them all. As a kind of hazing, Owen is called upon to beat through the many threatening letters the agency receives on any given day and see if any of them pose any real threat to national security. An obedient boy, Owen finds someone who might be worth pursuing. Max Meladze (Laura Haddock, Lena Olin gave us an on-Nick name good vibes) sitting in jail for murder. But it appears to have secrets that could jeopardize the agency’s operations in Russia and Belarus. (This is a spy show, after all.) Owen has every reason to believe that she is, in fact, onto something. It’s a liability if they don’t help her.

The Newbie, of course, dives into Max’s case. and co-workers (played by The Big Bang TheoryAarti Mann W superstoreColton Dunn, cast options you allude to vice president— such as the energy flirting with the show created by Alexi Hawley) they’re all happy to heighten his haze. If being tortured at a black ops site could be illogically called “hazing on the job,” that is. Which is exactly what happens. It’s only the first instance in which Owen’s apparent naivety has married an impossible lucky streak that continues to the end of the episodes. Somehow we are constantly led to believe that Owen is nothing but a “golden boy” who is always over the top – whether his tasks call him evading assassination attempts left and right or outwitting skilled spies in exotic locales suited to James. The kind of Bond who constantly insists he’s not: “I’m not a spy. I’m a lawyer,” he notes every other episode. Or, as he put it midway through the season, “If I worked in intelligence, do you think I’d be so bad at it?”

Recruiter | Official Trailer | Netflix

He’s bad at it because, as he admits to his roommate he’s cut off his ex-girlfriend by cutting off one of his various love interests on the show (we don’t think any woman, it seems, can refuse his comforting charm), he never acts. He’s not very good at it. Such a metaphor for a man needing to bend the rules to get shit done is so exaggerated that it is almost laughable when presented in earnest. However, he seems to be great at his job because he is under Max’s guidance and is in high demand With the help of these women around him, he constantly finds a way to not only survive but also to fulfill his various mission briefs. All of this, of course, requires him to fly all over the place and constantly make paranoid demands from every new person he meets.

As the season draws on a high-stakes winter mission for Owen and Max, the plot of the Spider-Man culminates in a sort of well-worn confrontation as Centineo is forced to deliver lines like, “You’re a prisoner of this constant need to survive” with a straight face. It’s a testament to his commitment to the show and this character (who, we should note, is shirtless and/or in boxer briefs the requisite amount of times you’d expect) that Centineo doesn’t get completely sucked into this series’ outrageously ridiculous series. (Oh, did we forget to mention that subplot involving a torture robot?)

If the latest episode is any indication, plans for a second season are certainly well under way. the recruit It will undoubtedly perform as designed. It may require all of us to let go Wanting to know more about Owen. Then again, he’s not a character. It’s a driver for the show’s plot going forward, for us to skip the recaps and watch episode after episode to see what happens. One only wishes this spy drama was more of a cheap thriller that wraps around a pretty boy who keeps failing (and in the wrong hands, time and time again).

the recruit for the first time December 16th on Netflix.

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