‘Intelligence,’ starring David Schwimmer, surprisingly has a lot to offer thus far
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
Nick Mohammed’s political satire Intelligence recently debuted on Showcase and has much to offer to comedy fans. The story follows National Security Agency (NSA) liaison Jerry Bernstein when he’s assigned to the UK’s cyber security division. There, he meets hyper-eager Joseph (played by Mohammed) and other quirky staff as he tries to adjust to his new work life with often funny results. The premiere of this first season excels with an original story and strong chemistry among its diverse actors.
Upon watching its first episode, the show is very much like Greg Daniels’ The Office. If you’re a devout fan of his classic series, then Intelligence’s setting, characters, and offbeat approaches won’t be so unexpected. Mohammed’s impressive script and the banter from the cast gets you through the day with its memorable humour.
Friends superstar David Schwimmer proves he truly belongs in comedy with his hilarious performance as Bernstein. He delivers worthwhile laughs while playing the story’s lead as an obnoxious government suit. This is way better than his more disappointing work from restaurant drama show, Feed the Beast. His fast-paced quips and chemistry with Mohammed are the episode’s best moments and that connection will most likely continue being the highlights for the rest of the series.
The premiere also uses political satire to parody the stereotypes of government norms and work culture. Bernstein’s amusing foil with his sarcastic and head-strong boss Christine (Sylvestra Le Touzel) uses comedy to relay the anxieties in conforming to a strict agency.
The show presents weird characters and how they, for the most part, easily get along with each other despite their zany attitudes. Mohammed’s young cast lends his show an encouraging tone for viewers. He normalizes how important it is to embrace what makes you different through his writing which conveys this positive message excellently.
Segments with jazz music build comedic tension and elevate the dysfunction throughout the episode. These moments are balanced with silence during other scenes to foreground character dynamics.
However, the premiere has snappy editing that sometimes overwhelm viewers with jokes being launched at them all at once. The story could have relaxed its cuts and allowed moments between characters to last a bit longer before the next edit.
Overall, Nick Mohammed’s new satire Intelligence is a delightfully absurd take on what makes a cyber security division tick. The show promises hilarity for its first episode with a highly relatable cast. Mohammed’s bold humour and the convincing relationships between characters make his show an easygoing watch for anyone in need of a good laugh.