Ever since his stint on those six seasons of Oz, there are more than a few people in the world (and I would include myself among them) who would you tell you there is almost no such thing as too much JK Simmons. Well, there is a double dose of Simmons in Starz’s complex and compelling conspiracy drama Counterpart.

Originally set to debut on the premium cabler January 21, Starz is now playing a highly valued promotional card and previewing the Justin Marks-created, doppelgänger-centered multiverse spy series right after the Season 3 finale of Outlander on December 10. Like a dealer, Starz is giving you a taste with the opener, directed by The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum, to get you hooked on wanting more. With Whiplash Oscar-winner Simmons ultimately first among equals on the series, it is an appealing addiction indeed, as I say in my video review above.

 

However, the Berlin-set Counterpart  — ordered straight-to-series for two 10-episode seasons — is a slow burn and, as good as it is, the first episode doesn’t really reveal how meticulously narratively structured it is. No spoilers, and not all is unveiled even several episodes in, but a percipient, resolute and magnetic tale of what is and what may be is in the offing from the series produced by MRC, Anonymous Content and Gilbert Films.

The Cold War legacy saga, or sagas, is made all the more valuable with ardent performances from Manhattan alum Olivia Williams and, in her American TV debut, Sara Serraiocco. The solid core of Counterpart also features Harry Lloyd, Homeland vet Nazanin Boniadi and Ulrich Thomsen and their own counterparts in the ensemble that plays off Simmons’ center and takes off on unexpected trajectories.

So, click on my video review for more of my take. Will you be watching the preview this Sunday after Outlander? You should.