Monday, 16 July 2018

MacGyver: Season 1 ☆☆☆☆☆

In this painful remake-filled world, it seems like there is no limit to what the film and television industry is happy to shit all over. Even shows that were pretty shit to begin with, like MacGyver (which ran from 1985-1992), are being rebooted and made even worse. In 2016, Peter M. Lenkov developed this particular reboot which took the television equivalent of a festival urinal and took a massive shit in it. Ah, I feel mean. The original MacGyver wasn’t that bad. But this reboot certainly is. Despite being renewed for a second season in 2017 and a third season in 2018, this abomination shouldn’t have even got funding, to begin with. I’ll start by quoting IMDb user Nicki Fellenzer’s user review on that website, who starts her review by bluntly stating “five minutes into the show, I wanted to throat punch the arrogant, millennial twerp in the title role”. And she’s being polite.

For those who’ve never seen an episode of the original series, the show follows Angus "Mac" MacGyver - an operative of a secret U.S. government organization with an extraordinary talent for problem-solving and an extensive knowledge of science, both being skills he uses to save lives. But primarily, his talent is creativity, saving the day using paper clips instead of pistols, birthday candles instead of bombs, and gum instead of guns. Lucas Hill (Havok in the recent X-Men films) takes the role of MacGyver and basically beats all the charm out of it with a baseball bat, delivering a performance that is painfully devoid of any of original star Richard Dean Anderson’s personality. I know, I know, this is a reboot and Hill probably wanted to make the character his own – but he missed the mark completely and turned the character into an unwatchable bellend. In the original series, MacGyver was likeable. Humble, kind, fun. Now, he’s a brash and obnoxious little tit. This problem lies primarily with the writing, sure – but it’s not MacGyver. It’s MacArsehole.

Cheesy enough to make the lactose intolerant ill by contact alone, this reboot is utterly painful to watch. Clunky dialogue, exposition and bland plots make each episode worse than the last one, with every minute of the show feeling like an hour. The wooden acting is like something of the SyFy channel, and the low stakes make every mission tedious and unengrossing. Not only that, but the show takes no time to build any sort of interest or suspense. Back in the original, MacGyver’s homemade mission-saving contraptions took time to piece together and the editing of the series made this an interesting part of each episode. The audience didn’t know how Mac would save the day, and we’d be watching him put his gizmo together with suspense. “What’s he doing with that paper clip? Maybe he’ll connect it to…oh, no, perhaps he’ll…wait…”. But in the new series, he just bungs things together in seconds and f*cks off. Then reminds us in the voiceover how amazing he is.

And yet, somehow, MacGyver is currently gearing up for its third season – despite critical panning and declining ratings. Shows like Deadwood and Hannibal get cancelled, leaving fans clinging to the hope of a wrap-up film, while shit like this continues to smugly pump out episodes. There is no justice in this world. If you’re a fan of the original MacGyver, or anything resembling quality in general, steer clear of this disgrace. 

Cayleigh Chan

MacGyver at CeX

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