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6 Shows like Covert Affairs: Heroes in Heels

Laura Light itcherForget Jack Bauer, the silver screen is being invaded by kick-ass women, who are tough, smart, ambitious, and can do everything Jack did…..while wearing heels! So if shows like ‘Covert Affairs’ are your thing, then check out ‘Alias’, ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘In Plain Sight’. ~ Laura Light

Girl Power

So why the sudden explosion of female action heroes I hear you ask?

Okay, so there’s always been women on television who could kick your butt and look amazing while doing it, from Lynda Carter’s ‘Wonder Woman’ to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ to Maggie Q’s ‘Nikita’. Do female viewers want an escapist fantasy when they’re working hard balancing families and careers? I know I do!

So if you’re like me and love the idea of head butting a rouge assassin or holstering your gun after an epic shoot out, then these next three TV series like ‘Covert Affairs’ are for you!


Shows Similar to ‘Covert Affairs’…

‘Alias’ (ABC, 2001-2006)

We kill ourselves to do the right thing, meanwhile the bad people keep coming back…

I’ve got to confess, I love ‘Alias’. At university, I always imagined a suit walking up to me and telling me I had what it took to be an international spy! Sadly it never happened, but it didn’t stop me from loving this show.

For years, it had been a Rubik’s Cube of drama. It may have reinvented itself more times than Madonna, but in a neon swirl of chase scenes, high kicks, and delightfully gratuitous wigs kind of way.

I like Annie, but I think I love Sydney more. Both leads are ass kicking goodies, but Syd is just one of those unforgettable characters; a true gem in the history of episodic television.

Similarity Match: 95%
As a series similar to ‘Covert Affairs’, both have part James Bond, part Indiana Jones female leads. Although one trusts their employer while the other remains suspicious.

‘Veronica Mars’ (The CW, 2004-2007)

I track down the bad guys, call you, you make the bust. You know what that makes everyone Sacks? A winner…

I must admit, I’m a fan of witty teen shows with strong female characters, and had a giant Buffy-shaped hole in my life. No idea how but I stumbled across ‘Veronica Mars’, and geez Louise I’m pleased I did! 

She is a heroine for the ages, witty and wounded, and as ready with a dirty quip as she is with a Taser.

Okay, so it’s geared more towards teens, but its sharp writing, excellent acting and thoughtful subject matter made a world that felt real. Unfortunately it suffered from the age-old curse that most teen dramas suffer from: the arrival of university. Sulk!

Similarity Match: 85%
Both leads sure can run in heels, and look good doing it, but Annie is an international girl of mystery and can half shoot a bad guy.

‘In Plain Sight’ (USA Network, 2008-2012)

Do I get to play “Bad Cop”?

‘In Plain Sight’ has a perfectly good premise, marshals protecting the informants and witnesses who must adjust to new lives under the federal witness protection program, but it’s our hero’s way of trying to balance her prickly personality and predictably messed up personal life, and her caseload that really brings this series to life. 

Most of Mary’s time is spent sparring with her sardonic sidekick, her partner and fellow marshal, named Marshall (Frederick Weller) who, despite his muscle job, is a closet intellectual. Her family are totally screwed up, her father is a felon on the run and if she ever finds out where he is she’ll have to arrest him, and her mother and sister are just plain crazy. All in all Mary is a tough nut to crack, enjoyable to watch, and a great character to come back to week after week.

Similarity Match: 85%
Hard hitting action with a touch of comedy, but whereas ‘Covert Affairs’ is full of kung fu fighting exploits, ‘In Plain Sight’ is more attitude and badge waving.


If You Like ‘Covert Affairs’, You Will Like…

I do love a good female protagonist don’t you? ‘Covert Affairs’ may not have the revenge factor of ‘Burn Notice’ or the bromantic banter of ‘White Collar’, but it’s fast-paced, fun and has a charade charm about it. Which got me thinking….what would TV shows like ‘Covert Affairs’ look like with a partner? Ummm…let’s see….

‘Bones’ (Fox, 2005- )

What? What spark just went off in your big brain?

‘Bones’ reminds me of a sexed-up variation of all the ‘CSI’. With a supernatural ability to generate accurate assumptions based on her examination of the corpse’s bones, Dr. Temperence Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is often consulted by brash FBI Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz). Naturally intuitive and freewheeling, Booth is immediately at odds with the clinically analytical Brennan, but despite their personality clashes, cases do get solved.

Tip: Avoid eating and drinking during Brennen’s interview at the beginning of ‘The Woman in the Car’ (season 1, Esp 11). It’s hard to laugh that hard with food in your mouth!

More forensic then investigative, but Brennan and Annie are both kick butt fighters who take no prisoners.

‘Castle’ (ABC, 2009- )

He has proven to be a brilliant partner and he’s always had my back…

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard “Rick” Castle (Nathan Fillion) receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide detective (Stana Katic) for research purposes.

What it comes down to, ladies and gentlemen, is chemistry and these two have it. They are a joy to watch even when they are not in scenes together and that is what keeps viewers tuning in each week.

Both leads are overachieving agents who don’t know when to quit, can speak Russian and play a prostitute more than once, but where Annie is somewhat naïve, Kate is dark and broody.

‘Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye’ (PAX, 2002-2005)

I’m going to go and exercise another one of my rights, that’s what I’m going to do…

Based on a true story, ‘Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye’ follows the adventures of Sue Thomas, who’s one hard-headed, soft-hearted woman whose talent for reading lips helps crack crimes and bag the bad guys. With her hearing-ear dog and partner, Levi, Sue’s a glutton for jeopardy – and there’s (almost) nothing she won’t do to bring notorious criminals to justice. This remarkable, edge-of-your-seat drama is an inspiring tribute to the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity and achieve great things.

Like ‘Covert Affairs’, ‘Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye’ focuses on a strong female lead who loves heels. That being said, both shows have a very different vibe.


Justice Served

Who doesn’t love strong, independent, kick-butt female characters? Just switch on your TV now and you’ll see a range of female protagonists ranging from tough-as-nails mob bosses to a group of clones more dangerous than anyone else in the sci-fi genre. One of my favorite characters at the moment is Fish Mooney from ‘Gotham’, okay so she’s not a cop, but I wouldn’t call her a baddie either….maybe a gangsta with a heart?

Who Is Your Favorite Female Character on TV?

Does Buffy Still Rule ‘The Roast’?

Let me know in the comments below!

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