Aim High, the high school undercover spy comedy starring Twilight‘s Jackson Rathbone, premiered its first two episodes this Tuesday on Cambio. You have the choice to watch the episodes with “personalized settings,” where your Facebook profile will add your music and pictures to the show, or you can watch it without, which is just as well because the show doesn’t need all of that “you” distraction anyway. Aim High is a smart, funny show that adds more heaps of legitimacy to web series as the medium continues to grow. But hey, if you’d like to see a show more tailored to your interests, Warner Bros. and executive producer McG are hoping the social aspect of the series will draw people in more. It’s a pretty great idea.
In Episode 1 of Aim High, we meet Nick Green (Rathbone), who is a likeable, slightly awkward teenager who happens to be a part of something called the Department of Education Piliot Program, a spy program for teens that actually is pretty dangerous and people do get killed. The acronym is D.E.P.P, I’m assuming a reference to Johnny Depp, so the show isn’t really trying to hide its 21 Jump Street-ish roots. Speaking of which, Green’s best friend is Marcus, played by Johnny Pemberton, who happens to have a role in the 21 Jump Street movie due next year.
Green seems to be getting hit on by his physics teacher, Mrs. Walker (Lost‘s Rebecca Mader), and he has another really cute girl in his sights, the lovely Amanda Miles (Friday Night Lights‘ Aimee Teegarden), who seems to kind of like him but is dating a swim jock. By Episode 2 we realize that Nick and Marcus’ friendship is somewhat based on having information on each other, but they seem like they would be friends anyway. And the show introduces who looks like will be the show’s first season main villain, Boris (The Shawshank Redemption‘s Clancy Brown), who is going around killing people for fun. And that ain’t cool.
So the show has a lot going for it. Rathbone plays the part of awkward teen/killer spy exceptionally well, Pemberton, Mader, and Teegarden are all well-suited to their roles and often funny, and Ally McBeal‘s Greg Germann gets laughs as an in-over-his-head principal. The action isn’t half bad either. There’s lots of good writing, throwaway gags, and even though it’s not needed, it is kind of cool to see some of your friends’ pictures pop up in random spots throughout the episode, or see your last name show up on a crate of explosives. I’m sure people with far more detailed Facebook profiles than mine will see more (and hear more) than I did. It does add a personal element and isn’t all that intrusive as I thought it might be.
This is an exciting series and I can’t wait to see more. Hopefully it’s connection to Facebook will begin the age of “water cooler” web series talk.