TV Show Review – The Assets

Here Is TVRating:  3 (out of 5).  “The Assets” stars Paul Rhys as the CIA-agent turned soviet spy Aldrich Ames in this eight-part mini-series based on the book “Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed.”  The critics are mixed on this spy thriller.

Newsday gives it an A- rating, and further notes, “”The Assets” isn’t flashy, but boy, is it effective. It just grinds away, laying down intriguing details of “asset” care and feeding, made vivid through determined performances and intense crescendos.”

Los Angeles Times notes, “Except for departures from the main action, in scenes where outed spies are chased, caught, interrogated, tortured and/or shot, the opening episodes run mostly at a low boil. This is appropriate given characters whose work it is to escape notice.”

According to The New York Times, “The show is oddly paced, and in some places almost comically lurid and hammy: At times it seems as if it were made in the 1980s.”

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “Rhys and Whittaker are terrific and the two big reasons to watch the series.”

Variety writes, “Similar in tone to John Le Carre’s novels (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” comes to mind), the emphasis on tradecraft is understated but engrossing — and perhaps better suited to cable, frankly, than these somewhat more demanding environs.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks, ““The Assets” just seems like a shoddy, short-term, inexpensive placeholder.”

Chicago Sun-Times thinks, “Spy games aren’t nearly as fun when you know who the mole is from the start. That’s the main problem with this unsuspenseful eight-part miniseries based on the real-life cat-and-mouse story of Aldrich Ames”

Uncle Barky rates the mini-series a D, and further says, “The Assets just can’t get untracked, lumbering through its first two hours without any sense of purpose, style or urgency.”

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