Have you ever felt bored with your career? Thought "I need a change", so you quit your job to be a civil servant? Yeah, me neither. I'm mean, really....who does that? Tim Elliot, that's who. When this middle aged, divorced, single father, working in a London electronic store realizes his life is going nowhere, he up and quits to take the civil service exam. When Tim fails to find the right room, he ends up taking the MI-5 exam by mistake (it's kinda like British Homeland Security). AND HE PASSES!
Tim's biggest motivation in quitting his dead end job is to make his son Marcus proud of him. Now he's in training for arguably the coolest job ever, but he can't tell anyone. Maybe a hint that he won't make the best spy, Tim blabs to his best mate Chris pretty much immediately. Chris is an angry, know-it-all, jerk, but he's nothing compared to Marcus who even Chris describes as a "dick". Marcus is ten years old. He is the most pedantic, erudite and didactic person you've ever met. AND HE'S TEN! He wears a suit and carries a brief case. Definitely evil genius potential. Actually I'd be surprised if he didn't go down that path. Marcus puts down Tim every chance he gets. Why Tim is fighting for custody of such a snobby brat is a mystery to everyone that's ever met the Elliot family. But he fights. He tries every day to impress Marcus, who has impossibly high standards for a king let alone a smart-mouthed pre-pubescent.
On the other side of this family feud is Judith, your classic angry ex-wife. She's dating Phillip, Marcus' headmaster. In series one (of two), Phillip is played by the side-splitting Tom Goodman-Hill. Phillip is.....unusual. Most of the time, it seems as though he'd rather be in a relationship with Tim instead of Judith. Always looking for Tim's approval and affection. But he's got competition. Paula, the therapist assigned to evaluate the family situation and recommend who should have custody, is bat-shit crazy and obsessed with Tim. But wait! There's one more person who vies for this newly anointed spy's affections. His MI-5 trainer/boss known only as The Examiner. Dramatic, I know. The Examiner drinks too much, is very careless with firearms & intel, oh and he's a DUDE! Robert Lindsay is absolutely hilarious as Tim's boss and head of MI-5. I have no idea how he ever gets through a scene with a straight face. I really hope there is a blooper reel somewhere.
What is it about this tall, blond, blundering man that has men and women alike all in a tizzy? It must be his plaid shirts and baggy sport coats. Agent Elliot definitely has the worst fashion sense of any spy....ever. He looks more like an adjunct professor at a community college than James Bond. Maybe if he classed it up a little bit, his co-worker Caitlin that he's crushing on would take a little more notice. And it's not like they don't spend enough time together. For being spies, they spend an inordinate amount of time in the office. We really don't see them doing all that much spying. It's mostly about Tim trying to get his son to like him and he just happens to be training as a spy. Ya' know, like you do.
No matter the combination of characters in a scene, you are sure to laugh. With the exception of Tim and Caitlin, pretty much everyone else is absolutely mental. With that many over-the-top personalities, you definitely get some side splitting moments.
So if you're looking for some classic British humour and an attractive leading man (despite the horrible fashion sense), "Spy' might just be right up your alley.
Watch the first two seasons of Spy exclusively on Hulu
P.S. I've now said the word spy so many times that it doesn't sound like a word anymore. Spy...Spy....Spy....Spy...Spy....Spy...see?