MacGyver ep 1

I’ve not seen the original tv series in years – I’m guessing the 80s politics of the whole thing would probably make my head explode now – but the Richard Dean Anderson incarnation of MacGyver was right up there with The A-Team in the young Miss Cregg’s essential childhood weekend viewing, so I didn’t really need much persuasion to give the first episode of this reboot a go. Fool me once, though…. Getting me to watch episode two would probably take thumbscrews and a blowtorch.

My God. I’ve watched a lot of terrible tv over the years, but not since the heady days of Vexed have I seen something as utterly wretched as New MacGyver’s opening scene: bland, blond twentysomething “Mac,” a smug, seemingly omni-talented young Gary Stu with a face like Son of Action Man and a haircut like Mum of Barbie, sidles his way out of a flash car on the shores of Lake Como, adjusts the sleeves of his spotless white tuxedo, and asks his adoring (spoiler: or maybe not) girlfriend/ analyst/ my God, girl, you can do better: “How do I look?” At this point, I wonder if things can possibly get worse. Then girlfriend/ analyst etc replies “Yummy!” and I have my answer.

That’s the tone set, then: stroke-inducing levels of smirking (I have never seen so much smirking in my LIFE, and I’ve watched Shondaland shows) are the order of the hour, as this junior photofit of an action hero dashes about fighting unnamed goons and making DNA kits out of elastic bands or whatever, while girlfriend/analyst etc and BFF/brother in arms, played by actual adult George Eads (Dude. Why?), alternate between hi-fiving his awesomeness and trying to convince the viewing audience this gurning chucklehead is a cross between Batman and an entire team of Navy Seals.

I know I’ve said it before, but: MY GOD.

As for the plot, I can’t imagine anyone caring what happens to any of these grinning fools – any sympathy I might have for girlfriend/ analyst etc or George Eads for being stuck with the insufferable “Mac” is immediately extinguished by how much they seem to love him – but, for what it’s worth, it’s hi-energy, hi-stupidity “bantz”-tastic procedural-by-numbers: blah blah biological weapon, blah blah Vinnie Jones?!, blah blah girlfriend’s dead, blah blah girlfriend’s not, blah blah cheesy roommate, blah blah stern-but-not-really boss, followed by blah blah save the free world with a paper clip. What’s particularly annoying is that a lot of this could have been cheesy, entertaining fun – replacement analyst Riley for instance is actually a decent, watchable character, or she would be if she weren’t surrounded by asshats – but the dialogue is so tooth-achingly embarrassing in its attempt to appeal to the kidz, it’s more like being stuck in an endless episode of Blind Date than high-watermark-for-this-type-of-thing Blindspot. Long story short: New MacGyver is unspeakably, mortifyingly bad tv and I hated it.

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14 thoughts on “MacGyver ep 1

  1. Kay20 February 11, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    Told you.

    • CJ Cregg February 12, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      You did indeed! Was ep 2 as bad?

      • Kay20 February 12, 2017 / 6:41 pm

        Yes because a random friend was introduced out of nowhere and the younger hacker gets annoying. Why is everyone 12 on this show? And how does Macgyver know everything at age 12?

        Agree on the four stars for the review!

        • CJ Cregg February 12, 2017 / 9:54 pm

          Hey, thank you πŸ˜ƒ

          I agree about the youth – a big part of my problem with “Mac” (apart from him being insanely annoying) is there’s no way he could know and do all the things he knows and does. He comes across like he’s still in high school. The idea that he and Dalton are of similar seniority and experience, and in fact Dalton defers to him is just ridiculous. The show is so desperate to bring in younger viewers it forgot to make any sense.

          • Kay20 February 13, 2017 / 12:29 am

            Exactly CJ. I was offended on behalf of the older agents on the show.

  2. Traxy February 12, 2017 / 2:05 am

    I used to love watching MacGyver growing up, so this show was approached with trepidation. It was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike MacGyver. RDA’s Mac was pretty much a pacifist, for starters. The whole Jack Dalton being the guy you could always trust to have your back actually made me exclaim “HAH!” because that character used to be shady as hell! I didn’t like the Sherlock style on-screen explanations and that he had to keep explaining what he was doing and why. RDA just got on with it, and not explaining how something works feels like that makes it easier to suspend your disbelief. When they go out of their way to explain the mechanics the urge to exclaim “I call shenanigans!” is pretty strong. But at least they had some semi-credible techno babble, so there is that. But making a new version of MacGyver? It didn’t work for me. (Vexed, on the other hand, I really enjoyed! πŸ˜› )

    • CJ Cregg February 12, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      Absolutely, the onscreen text and the voiceover were both horribly grating. As well as being as daft as the rest of the writing, it felt like they went down that route becaus they really didn’t trust the audience to follow what was going on, although what was going on really wasn’t that complicated and as you said couldn’t stand up to too much scrutiny.

      (We’re going to have to agree to disagree on Vexed 😳)

      • Traxy February 13, 2017 / 4:39 pm

        (I think I like Vexed because Toby Stephens was in it more than anything. πŸ˜‰ #TeamRochester)

  3. e February 12, 2017 / 5:07 am

    Didn’t bother watching the show. 4 stars for the review.

  4. Peanuts February 12, 2017 / 9:00 am

    BUT! Loved your review. In honour of the (real ;0) MacGyver of our youths and in gratitude for your evisceration of said reboot… you have saved me an hour of life I’d never get back!

    Took one for the team you did CJ.

    • CJ Cregg February 12, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Heh, happy to be of service, Peanuts πŸ™‚

  5. Tim February 12, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    In a word: unwatchable. Having said that, I did actually watch it just for the sake of completeness but I won’t be back for episode 2 either, CJ. I spent the entire episode wanting to punch Mac in the face and wondering if the writers had been deliberately trying to pitch Mac as the Eleventh Doctor’s annoying kid brother, right down to the casting of vaguely Matt Smith lookalike Lucas Till. Utter, utter garbage.

    • CJ Cregg February 12, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      I see what you mean about the baby Eleven thing, Tim. Whatever the idea behind it, it backfired badly….

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