TV Review: ‘Blood & Treasure’ on CBS

Matt Barr, Sofia Pernas, Michael James Shaw, Katia Winter, James Callis, Oded Fehr, Alicia Coppola, Mark Gagliardi.

Few things in the TV industry are predictable anymore, but the cornerstone of the breezy summer procedural stands strong.

This season of global misadventures and banter thick with sexual tension kicks off with “Blood & Treasure,” a new CBS drama about renegades trying to track down priceless artifacts and a notorious terrorist. Danny MacNamara (Matt Barr) is an art enthusiast who’s referred to by his full name more often than not. (He’s also explicitly an “Indiana Jones” fan, so the show isn’t exactly trying to be subtle about his origins.) Lexi (Sofia Pernas) is a fugitive for hire with trust issues and a wicked left hook, who just so happens to also be Danny’s ex-girlfriend. After their foe raids and blows up the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra — yes, that Antony and Cleopatra — Danny calls upon Lexi’s expertise to help him get to the bottom of how and why.

So as you can probably tell from that description, “Blood & Treasure” — from co-creators Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia of CBS’ “Limitless” — is about as straight up a heist series as it gets. Danny and Lexi are recognizably basic characters to anyone who’s watched an action movie, with the slight gender-flipped twist of Danny being the marginal nerd and Lexi preferring to solve all her problems with blunt force. Between them, the federal agents pursuing them, and the ancient Egyptian mystery at the center, “Blood & Treasure” often feels like the writers threw “The Mummy” and “National Treasure” into a blender until they resembled something more network TV friendly. In fact, in a funny bit of coincidence (or is it?), the terrorist is even played by “Mummy” co-star Oded Fehr, who brings a welcome extra dimension to a potentially flat character. (The show also attempts to mitigate the eyebrow-raising optics of a nefarious Middle Eastern terrorist anchoring the action by making Lexi Egyptian, albeit with a posh British accent she credits to private school.) Very little about its opening two hours truly shocks; everything from the story to the dialogue is thoroughly paint by numbers.

On the other hand: that kind of predictable fun is exactly what someone tuning in to a CBS procedural called “Blood & Treasure” probably wants. This isn’t the kind of show that’s trying to reinvent the wheel so much as go for a joyride that can be thrilling even if the destination is clear all along. Throw in some splashy mythology, handsomely shot setpieces on location in Rome and Morocco, and entertaining performances from Fehr, Paras, and a bumbling Michael James Shaw, and you’ve got yourself a solid distraction to turn to in the general desert that is TV’s summer programming.

“Blood & Treasure” premieres with a special two-hour episode Tuesday, May 21 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

TV Review: 'Blood & Treasure' on CBS

Production: Executive producers: Matthew Federman, Stephen Scaia, Taylor Elmore, Ben Silverman, Marc Webb, Mark Vlasic, Howard T. Owens and Michael Dinner.

Cast: Matt Barr, Sofia Pernas, Michael James Shaw, Katia Winter, James Callis, Oded Fehr, Alicia Coppola, Mark Gagliardi.

More TV

  • Netflix’s ‘Undercover’ Gets New Season With

    Netflix’s ‘Undercover’ Gets Second Season, With a Story on Illegal Arms Sales

    A second season of Netflix’s first Benelux original, “Undercover,” is in production, and the story will move from focusing on the illicit drugs trade to the illegal arms business. Non-English-language drama is finding a global audience on streaming platforms, and “Undercover” has ranked as one of Netflix’s most popular series in that category in the [...]

  • Hasan Minhaj

    Nahnatchka Khan, Hasan Minhaj, 'Just Mercy' Cast Talk Inclusion

    “Always Be My Maybe” was “satisfying” to create because it gave focus to two characters that wouldn’t typically be portrayed as romantic leads, said director Nahnatchka Khan of her Netflix film at the CAA Amplify conference in Ojai, sitting on a panel with comedian Hasan Minhaj and NBA star Chris Paul. “We’re all big fans [...]

  • Sebastian Maniscalco

    Sebastian Maniscalco to Host MTV VMAs

    MTV has announced that comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco will host the 2019 “VMAs” live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Monday, Aug. 26. Last year, Maniscalco published his best selling book “Stay Hungry,” followed by a stand up tour of the same name. The comedian has also sold out [...]

  • T-Pain, Faheem Rashad Najm. T-Pain performs

    TV News Roundup: 'T-Pain's School of Business' Sets August Premiere

    In today’s roundup, “T-Pain’s School of Business” sets an August 6 premiere on Fuse, and OWN greenlights a new talks series. EXECUTIVE NEWS Matt Brodlie is leaving his role as director of original film at Netflix to join the Disney+ content marketing team as senior vice president of international content development. In his new role, [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs For Screens: Labrinth on Scoring HBO’s Drake-Produced Drama 'Euphoria'

    British singer-songwriter Labrinth (née Timothy Lee McKenzie) has been having one of the biggest years of his nearly decade-long career, from the April release of his collaborative album with L.S.D. (a.k.a. Labrinth Sia & Diplo) to his starring role in the latest campaign for MINI, where he reinterprets Cole Porter’s cowboy classic “Don’t Fence Me [...]

  • The Office

    'The Office' to Stream Exclusively on NBCUniversal Service Beginning in 2021

    NBCUniversal announced Tuesday that it will begin streaming “The Office” exclusively on its standalone streaming service beginning in 2021. The popular comedy series will leave Netflix once the current deal with NBCU expires at the end of 2020, the same year that NBCU plans to launch its ad-supported streaming service. All nine seasons of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content