Tuesday, May 30, 2023

TV Tuesday: The Company You Keep

One of the new shows that my husband and I enjoyed this winter/spring was The Company You Keep. With its combination of unique crime show and forbidden love story, it is welcomingly original.

Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us) stars as Charlie Nicoletti, the son and heir apparent of a unique family business. His mother, father, sister, and he all work together as criminals and con-men, with their working-class Baltimore bar as cover. His father, played by William Fichtner, and his mother, played by Polly Draper (of thirtysomething fame), own the bar, and Charlie and his sister Birdie, played by Sarah Wayne Callies, work there, while the whole family plans their next job in their off-hours in the basement. Birdie also has a deaf daughter named Ollie, played by Shaylee Mansfield, who is not in on the family secrets. They're a close-knit family, and they are very, very good at what they do. After a huge, $10 million score, they consider retiring from the life of crime, but the big-time drug-dealing, arms-buying crime family they scammed isn't ready to let them; they want to use the Nicolettis' unique talents to earn back the money they stole from them. One night, a beautiful woman named Emma Hill, played by Catherine Haena Kim, comes into the bar, and she and Charlie hit it off. There is instant chemistry between them and plenty of witty banter, though it is clear to both of them that the other has secrets. It turns out that Emma is a CIA agent, so Charlie must keep his criminal life even more secret than usual, as the two get closer and their physical attraction turns into a deeper love. Emma is not only in law enforcement but comes from a well-known D.C. power family, and her brother is running for the Senate (to take his father's role). What kind of future is there for a federal agent and a career criminal who come from such different worlds?

The beginning of this show is a playful secrets-and-lies love affair between Charlie and Emma, but their respective secrets are revealed to each other fairly soon in the first season. Things get even more complicated when Emma is investigating the very crime family that is blackmailing Charlie's family. The acting in this show is top-notch, with great writing featuring lots of witty banter between Charlie and Emma. Its fast-paced, fun heist plots rival any crime show but with the added fun of Charlie and Emma's opposite positions. We really enjoyed this show with its perfect mix of suspense, action, family drama, and romance.

Unfortunately, I just read that ABC decided not to renew The Company You Keep for a second season, though the final episode of season one certainly sets up plenty of threads for a continuation. I decided to still review it because this first season is a lot of fun and worth watching on its own ... and we can always hope that one of the streaming channels picks it up to continue it (as Netflix did with Manifest which comes back for a final season starting June 2).

The Company You Keep is an ABC show, so it can be viewed on cable On Demand, on Hulu, or a variety of other streaming services. It is also available free on ABC's website.

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