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In a few weeks, Starz’ new series Counterpart will premiere. The upcoming series is a science fiction thriller and espionage story set in modern times. Centering on J.K. Simmons’ (The Closer) character Howard Silk. Counterpart is one of those series mostly enjoyed when you don’t know too much up-front, so I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Howard Silk is a long time employee at a bureaucratic UN agency. However, he never rose through the ranks, much to his dismay. Then, one morning, he is taken aside and a whole new world opens up for him. Literally. Silk’s bosses Aldrich (Ulrich Thomsen, The Blacklist) and Peter Quayle (Harry Lloyd, Manhattan) reluctantly let him in on a big secret the agency they work for has been guarding for 30 years.

Silk learns there is a portal to a parallel dimension in very building he has been working at for 29 years. He soon learns the only reason he is being told all of this is because his counterpart (also played by Simmons) from the other side has come to warn them after a mysterious assassin (Italian actress Sara Serraiocco) made her way from his dimension to ours.

Counterpart‘s first episode was somewhat confusing at the start. The first 10 minutes Silk’s ‘normal life’ was introduced, which seemed far from regular. After the necessary introduction, the series is quick to get up to speed and the speeding train barely slows down.

Viewers are experiencing a similar thing as Silk is. Slowly information is revealed and simultaneously with Silk the viewers try to put the pieces together. Counterpart has a good way of telling the story. It is engaging and there is plenty of exciting things happening. Meanwhile, the show isn’t just about a bunch of action and murder plots, but also explores Silk’s personal life, making his character multi-dimensional.

All in all, Counterpart is a great new addition to Starz’ lineup and a show you don’t want to miss. J.K. Simmons does a fantastic job portraying two very different, but still similar Howard Silks. Clearly, Starz knew what kind of a treasure it had on its hands, as the network ordered two seasons simultaneously.

Counterpart premieres on Sunday, January 21st at 8/7c.

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