As I mentioned in my last post about Blue Bloods, I have a pretty high tolerance for a show with cheese factor, so I wasn’t immediately turned off by the idea of rebooting MacGyver. I figured I would give it one episode to test it out, but I fully expect it to not make it past the mid-season mark. Having watched that first episode, I find it hard to believe it got past the pilot.
Lucas Till plays MacGyver, and his acting and fight scenes are relatively okay. Not much more being asked of him than his X-Men outings. The bigger problem for him is that the reboot has taken the original narration device and kicked it into major exposition overdrive. Along with an odd documentary style text overlay where they label some of the things he’s building (like an episode of MythBusters or something). Highly disruptive to getting into the story. Way overload.
His partner is played by George Eads of CSI fame, and while I didn’t mind him on CSI, he is incredibly annoying here. Every relationship he has is irritating to watch.
Their boss is “Director Thornton”, played by Sandrine Holt. She’s been in a fair number of shows for a season or two, none of which I watched, and a lot of guest spots, many of which I’ve seen and didn’t really notice. She’s background for most of the guest spots, not key plot development potential, and I have no idea what her “role” is supposed to be in the team. Close, distant, completely weird dynamic and I never got a bead on her.
They have a new field analyst in the episode, Riley. Played by Tristan Mays who I’ve never seen before, she is the only bright spot in the whole dang episode. A bit sassy, a bit confident, a bit street. She’s great. Her character goes from “bad criminal girl” to “hey, thanks for giving me this great job” in a single episode, but hey, whatever. The writing sucked, the plot was worse, but she shone. I suspect her character turns out to be Eads’ daughter, but I won’t be watching to see it.
There are two baddies in the episode and I thought one might stick around. The first “baddie” is Vinnie Jones who was the heart of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but equally shone in his episodes of Elementary playing Moriarty’s henchman. I expected him to disappear in one episode perhaps, and he does. The second “baddie”, and this is a spoiler alert, is played by Tracy Spiridakos.
I really liked her as Charlie on Revolution, and as she is revealed to be a traitor to the group, I was hoping for some “oomph” from her in the episodes. Maybe some sort of super baddie for the future. She’s not listed for any of the other episodes though, so likely a future occasionally returning character. Too bad, she could have added some meat or gravitas to their weekly stakes. Equally unfortunate, the episode uses about a tenth of what she’s capable of doing. The opening scenes are very different from who she is later, and you could be forgiven for thinking it is really two different characters as the arc linking the two is relatively off-screen and a stereotype/action trope to boot.
Poor acting. Poor plotting. Bad dialogue. And way over the top exposition / narration. I don’t mind cheese, but stinky moldy cheese is too much even for me.