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Saturday, September 24, 2016



Starring: Lucas Till, George Eads, Sandrine Holt, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires

Based on the series "MacGyver" created by Lee David Zlotoff
Developed by Peter M. Lenkov
Story/Teleplay by Peter M. Lenkov and Paul Downs Colaizzo, Directed by James Wan

In the category of "reboots we never needed," we have MacGyver this year. Based on the hit 1980s show that became a punchline (and popular SNL skit) over the years, CBS for some reason thought we all wanted to have a new version on TV. Maybe some do but I don't. I never watched the original so I don't have anything to compare it to but there is nothing here that's for me. It was an OK pilot for what it is, but what it is is a completely unnecessary remake. MacGyver this time is played by Lucas Till who follows up on an incident involving a virus and his girlfriend as seen in the cold open. His team includes CSI's George Eads and House of Cards' Sandrine Holt. Rounding out the main cast is his buddy and cover story, Wilt (Justin Hires), who knows very little about what MacGyver does.

My favorite part was actually the first scene before the credits but then it was downhill and repetitive after that. The opening reminded me a bit of Get Smart with the need to get through sticky situations but this show felt the need to be completely transparent about everything it was doing, whether it was the narration by MacGyver telling us exactly what he was doing or the labeling of everything he was "macgyvering." As if this show doesn't already appeal to the lowest common denominator, it then left nothing up to the imagination of the audience. It had to be completely obvious.

There are so many things that annoy me about TV reboots. Very few of them are successful and the ones that are like Hawaii Five-0 are just kind of there. But one thing I always like about reboots is we usually get the theme song back in an era where the sad fact is very few shows even have theme songs. So imagine my surprise when there was a theme song but it bared very little semblance to the cheesy but fun original song. I didn't expect it to be the exact same but I at least wanted the main melody in a new arrangement (beautifully down by shows like Hawaii and Dallas) and that didn't happen. So the one thing I like about TV reboots was not present here and that was really disappointing.

I didn't mind Lucas Till in the title role and George Eads showed he's a veteran of procedural dramas with a nice element of comedy. Sandrine Holt and the other characters didn't make much of an impression on me. I get the feeling every episode is going to feel pretty much the same as the pilot did: lots of action, a little bit of funny banter, and very transparent explanations of what's going on. That's about all there is to say about this show.

I've never seen a full episode of the original MacGyver and I have no desire to watch another one of this one.

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