Have you nerds watched "Human Target"? Oh, they messed up that show in the second season . . . but that's a topic for a different post. The first season was a throwback to the sort of action shows that made Stephen J. Cannell a bearded multi-billionaire space pope back in the 80s. Cool guy goes somewhere new every week and solves someone's problem. Different pretty girl every week. A little colorful sidekickery. Yep, to this day, that is how I try to live my life. And you just don't see much of this genre anymore.
And in particular, there just aren't any guys like MacGyver on TV right now. And the world needs him . . . a smart, socially conscious troubleshooter for the 21st century. So what are the main ingredients for the reboot?
1. Keep the Phoenix Foundation as good guys, for one. It would be easy to make them morally ambiguous and even black-opsy . . . it's some sort of vast think tank with unlimited resources and ties to U.S. intelligence, after all. Don't do it. Good guys.
2. Work some real-world social issues in there. MacGyver used to outwit Russian spies in one episode and then spend a week teaching kids to stay in school or fight pollution or whatnot. I don't think a modern audience requires that same sense of resolution you got at the end of the old shows. I mean, when MacGyver tackled illiteracy, by the end it seemed like everyone in the world could read now. But mix some current affairs in with the ticking timebombs.
3. Casting, as always, is key. One thing you'll notice on this blog is that when we get down to casting ideas, we tend to use genre veterans because, well, that's what we watch. [I don't know, maybe Jeeg watches "NCIS" and just doesn't advertise it.] So I'm open to suggestions. Has to be something nice for the ladies, but also believable as an action hero who can improvise.
And I'll admit, although I like the idea of Jack Dalton, recurring pilot buddy who drags Mac into trouble (on the weekends, I guess), I never liked the guy who played Jack.
4. What's the real advantage of MacGyver 2.0? DVD and Hulu and other opportunities to watch episodes over and over, or knock out a season over a lazy weekend. This lends itself more toward continuity rather than a strictly episodic approach. You can build the universe, play with the recurring characters, put some foreshadowing in there and let it pay off slowly.