'The Company You Keep': Is Milo Ventimiglia convincing as a charismatic criminal?
Catherine Haena Kim, William Fichtner, Polly Draper and Sarah Wayne Callies star alongside Milo Ventimiglia in the Robin Hood-type heist story
Milo Ventimiglia brought us to tears in This Is Us, made us fall in love in Gilmore Girls and took us on an adventure in Heroes, and now the famed TV star plays a suave but sensitive thief in ABC's The Company You Keep (premiering Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app in Canada).
Ventimiglia is not only the star of this new show, alongside Catherine Haena Kim, William Fichtner, Polly Draper and Sarah Wayne Callies, but he's also an executive producer on the series.
Based on the Korean Broadcasting System series My Fellow Citizens, the new show combines family drama and forbidden love, with a Robin Hood-type heist story.
What is 'The Company You Keep' about?
In The Company You Keep, most people believe Charlie Nicoletti (Ventimiglia) and his family run a bar, but they're actually crooks stealing from wealthy criminals. In this family operation, Charlie's personal life seems to complicate matters.
The series begins with the Nicoletti family, Charlie, his sister Birdie (Callies) and their parents Leo (Fichtner) and Fran (Draper), working to pull off a big "job," but it ends in disaster and heartbreak.
At the same time, Emma (Kim) claims to be a data analyst for a logistics firm, but she's actually a CIA agent. Just as she is trying to zero in on a drug trafficking cartel, Emma gets her own dose of deceit in her love life.
Emma and Charlie meet at a hotel bar, both reeling from love lost, and end up developing a passionate connection.
The big "uh oh" moment in the series is that Emma is pursuing the same criminals who fell for the Nicoletti family's latest heist, and are seeking revenge, but Emma and Charlie are unaware of that connection. As their relationship moves beyond their initial steamy encounter, Emma and Charlie both have to keep their professional lives a secret.
Is 'The Company You Keep' worth watching?
Ventimiglia playing the stoic but sensitive guy isn't a completely new construct (think Jess Mariano as the rough around the edges, but smart and well-read love interest for Rory in Gilmore Girls). But he's great at it. There's an undeniable charisma to his performances in the past, and that certainly extends to The Company You Keep.
From watching the first two episodes of the series, it's clear that this show falls into that easy viewing category, with enough suspense to keep you interested and a love story to tug at those heartstrings.
The biggest question for The Company You Keep is whether the series can effective handle all the moving parts of its story. There's the crime, the love story, the family drama and the personal dramas to tackle, so we'll see how it plays out.
This seductive "crime of the week" series may turn out to be your great escape, especially if you're not necessarily looking for something that's going to make you cry your eyes out every week like This Is Us.
Ventimiglia is an undeniably fantastic leading man and so far, The Company You Keep seems to be a great vehicle for him to shine.