The new CBS action comedy, TRUE LIES, is based on the 1994 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Harry Tasker’s wife, Helen, thinks he sells computers to insurance companies. However, he’s actually a skilled international spy who keeps his double life a secret from her and their two children. Harry returns home from a mission, but he doesn’t realize that Helen thinks he’s become a bit boring. When he suddenly gets called away on a mission to Paris, Harry decides to take her with him, for a romantic vacation. However, the bad guys kidnap them. So, Harry must save their lives while he explains to Helen the truth about his other life as a spy.
The pilot episode of TRUE LIES capitalizes on the difficulties and hilarity that the protagonist’s double life presents. It has consistent tension, a good sense of humor, excellent writing, convincing characters, and decent performances. Best of all, it has a strong moral, pro-family worldview. The pilot episode of TRUE LIES has some light action violence and brief suggestive content, but no foul language. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
(BBB, V, S, A, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong moral worldview with strong family values where husband, wife and children love and invest in one another, and wife and husband fight to keep one another safe
No foul language
Some light action violence includes a woman shoots a tranquilizing dart and hits a man in the neck causing him to collapse, a man fights with another man with a neck chop, and punches and neutralizes him with a pillow, arms dealers chase a truck firing machine guns, a man disengages and explodes a flammable food trailer taking out his assailants, a base in Iraq explodes from an unknown attack, a man fights another man in an elevator and knocks him out, a man fights multiple assailants in a restaurant and takes them out with bottles and plates while his wife throws a few punches, married couple shoots through a window before plunging through it to escape attackers, a villain interrogates hero while he punches him and threatens to cut out his eye with a knife, some other fighting and shooting occurs, a man falls from a helicopter to his death, and a woman is in peril hanging from a helicopter until her husband pulls her up into the cockpit
A married woman is seen in a black bra and tight pants dancing seductively in anticipation of her husband’s return to their hotel room, a woman tears off part of her dress and is seen in sheer black stockings and a cleavage revealing top, and wife thinks her husband might be having an affair, but she’s wrong
No nudity but a female agent disrobes and briefly shows a lot of torso and legs before getting into a new disguise, a woman is in a tub filled with suds but only her legs are exposed, and some female cleavage
Some social drinking
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
A man lies to his wife about his life, job, plans, etc., but the truth comes but that he’s been a secret agent since before they got married and had children, and his agency forces her to become a trained agent.
The pilot episode of TRUE LIES on CBS follows the story of Helen, an unfulfilled teacher and wife who gets a real wakeup call when her seemingly lackluster husband, Harry, suddenly takes her to Paris, where she discovers he leads a double life as a skilled international spy. Based on the 1994 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the pilot episode of TRUE LIES is funny and action packed, with a strong pro-family message.
Episode 1 opens with Harry taking on an ongoing mission regarding worldwide arms dealing while trying to maintain his cover as a “normal” husband and father. Harry returns home, but he doesn’t realize that Helen thinks he’s become a bit boring and uninvolved.
While at a family barbecue for Helen’s boss and colleagues, Harry’s colleague, Gib, shows up at the outing. Gib tells Harry he has to fly in Paris the next morning for another mission. However, Harry can’t bring himself to leave his family so soon, so he tells Helen that Gib has helped him set up a romantic vacation in Paris.
In Paris, however, the bad guys capture them. So, Harry must save their lives while he explains to Helen the truth about his other life as a spy.
The series is a high quality spy story which capitalizes on the difficulties and hilarity that the protagonist’s double life presents. Harry’s position as a devoted husband and father seeking to provide for his family and having to keep what he does a secret makes him a very sympathetic character. Helen’s misgivings and desire to have her husband more involved makes her equally sympathetic. The fact that his secret life could bring them together in a way they’ve been missing for a long time is a winning and compelling story.
The pilot episode has consistent tension, a good sense of humor, excellent writing, and convincing characters portrayed well by talented actors. Cinematography and pacing are also top notch. It’s a very entertaining series with restrained action violence, light sexual material, and no foul language, making it excellent viewing for mature viewers. Best of all it is, so far, a powerhouse bastion of family values in which husband, wife and children like, support and invest in each other.
The pilot episode of TRUE LIES has a strong moral, pro-family worldview. It becomes clear that Harry and Helen need and love each other as they work together to overcome the challenges of marriage and international espionage. Harry’s children obviously love and miss him. Harry’s job is to fight evil in the world, and he takes steps to protect his family while away and spend time with them when present. His act of telling lies that retain as much truth as possible, while misguided, is done in the interest of keeping them safe. When his cover is blown and the truth is out, husband and wife work together very well and realize that they’re “a team.” This is a strong positive view of family, showing that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) and that “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Just hearing a husband say, “I love my wife,” and “what’s the use of saving the world if you’re not doing it for the ones you love,” and really mean what he says, is very refreshing, perhaps because it’s such a rare phenomenon in television today. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children, including younger teenagers.
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