There are many espionage series out there, and quite a few are gearing up for release. So what sets Sacha Baron Cohen starrer The Spy apart from the crowd? One, that it has the hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen essaying a dramatic role. And as far as the first couple of episodes go, that is perhaps the only selling point of the Netflix series.
Sacha is a talented actor, he knows how to play up a scene and serve his fans. However, with this Gideon Raff creation, he sets out to do something starkly different from what he has done in the past. And that risk has to be applauded, and if one is being fair, Sacha doesn’t disappoint this time either as the undercover Mossad agent Eli Cohen who operates out of Syria.
Right from his appearance to his body language, Sacha Baron Cohen comes across as sincere and dedicated, which is obviously a requirement of the character he is portraying. It is quite another thing that I was at most points (especially in most of the pilot) expecting the actor to break into a comedic line or two a la The Dictator. But courtesy Sacha’s skills, I was swept into the world of Eli Cohen eventually.
The Spy has been created by Gideon Raff, the man who is also behind the production of Prisoners of War. Therefore the writing and direction are in sync, but it does take time to come through. The Spy looks like a slow burn that will prove to be a fruitful experience, only if you manage to stick through to the very end. It is definitely not the kind of show that you can ‘binge-watch.’
The Spy is currently streaming on Netflix.