By Clark Collis
Updated June 06, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT
3000 MILES TO DRUG BUSTS Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit co-star in this unique spin on undercover drug cops
Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Fictional depictions of undercover drug cops have tended to accentuate the grimy aspects of a job whose skills involve a tolerance for hanging out with dangerous ne’er-do-wells and an aptitude for thinking up reasons to turn down crack cocaine. (For example: ”I’ve just done some, thanks”; ”I have to officiate at a bris later”; ”Never before lunch!”)

This new crime drama created by White Collar executive producer Jeff Eastin about California-based, undercover agents from the DEA, FBI, and Customs is based on actual events but approaches its subject in an extremely breezy manner. Daniel Sunjata from Rescue Me exchanges his fire hose for a gun — and a surfboard — to play zen-ish FBI agent Paul Briggs who oversees a band of similarly easy-on-the-eye undercover-types, including those played by Serinda Swan and Manny Montana, at the titular beachside house. (The previous occupant, we learn, was an Elvis-loving drug lord.)

Aside from the initial shooting of another agent at a drug buy-gone-wrong, this pilot is in no hurry whatsoever, and a lengthy mid-episode surfing sequence seems to be exist purely because someone thought it would look cool. But that’s no crime, and the script has occasional moments of genuine crackle. ”Ooh, no wires?” asks Aaron Tveit’s puppyish Fed Mike Warren, after being given a microphone disguised as a necklace. ”Not since The Wire,” replies Sunjata. No one is going to confuse Graceland with The Wire. But no one’s going to be shooting up their television after watching it, either. B