Friday, September 23, 2016

MacGyver Reboot: Episode Recaps

SEASON 1
The Rising
Metal Saw
Awl
Wire Cutter
Toothpick
Wrench
Can Opener
Corkscrew
Chisel
Pliers

Dashboard's MacGyver Reboot Updates

12/16/16 -- From now on I'll be sharing my thoughts about the episodes in the comments below instead of in individual posts.  That's because I'm not enjoying the show very much and don't feel like spending extra time on the posts or saying the same thing over and over -- mainly that while I really like Lucas, I don't care for the weak plots, the rushed MacGyverisms, Riley's hacks, the annoying music, anyone on MacGyver's team, or the fact there is a team, and it bums me out that it doesn't feel like MacGyver in the slightest.  It seems like there are others out there who are enjoying it which is great, but it's just not a show that appeals to me personally.  But perhaps one day that will change and I'll start writing individual posts again, but until then see comments below...

2/3/17 -- I'm done (with leaving comments and watching the show).  As for the comments, I don't want to continually disparage a production that people are working hard on just because it's not my cup of tea.  As for watching the show, maybe at some point curiosity will get the better of me and I'll tune in again, but for now it's just not an experience I'm enjoying.  Given what I would call my spiritual connection to the original, I was always going to be a tough audience member to win over. But I wish the reboot team well and hope that the new audience of today will enjoy the new MacGyver.

34 comments:

  1. Episode 11 -- Scissors. Riley hacks the NSA and comes within seconds of starting WW3.
    -- So WW3 is about to start in 24 hours, let's call in 3 people to deal with it! Including Bozer who has no skills and has been working at Phoenix for a week.
    -- I liked MacGyver shorting out Riley's hacker friend's computer.
    -- Riley's Mom seems concerned that Riley would put herself in danger and confused about her lifestyle: "So when you get back, you're going to start from the beginning and tell me everything I clearly missed." But we learned a minute earlier that Riley set her up with a new identity after she went to prison so this shouldn't be a surprise.
    -- Chinese Central Command has some gaping security holes: MacGyver messes around with the noisemaker directly outside the perimeter, the team is taken into the building and put in a nice room, the guard doesn't notice his key missing, they roam the halls freely after escaping, and there's one guy guarding the cyberweapon.

    Didn't enjoy this one. If you're gonna go big (i.e. US and China about to start a war), a much higher quality plot and execution is required. And I don't really care about Riley's past or her relationship with Jack because I don't really care for Riley or Jack.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was an improvement compared to last week but that's a pretty low bar. It started out with some potential with Riley's abrupt and mysterious disappearance, orchestrated as a result of her mom being kidnapped. The actress playing her mom was Michael Michele, who played the fiancee of one of the cops on one of the best shows of the 90s, "New York Undercover". Overall though, I thought the episode peaked there. I couldn't figure out what MacGyver did that made it easier to cut the cord of the bomb around her mom's neck. And then the light and goofy way the Chinese Central Command incident played out squandered any credibility and momentum it had. The episode hit bottom when Riley seduced the Chinese tech guy into giving her access to his badge.....and he was completely cooperative and apparently failed to report. Jack holding onto a live wire for, what, 30 seconds, was also absurd. Unfortunately, not a surprise that it was another dud. Most of these CBS cookie cutter shows at least manage to stumble into a really strong episode once in a while but 11 episodes in, this "MacGyver" reboot has yet to unconditionally impress me once. But I'm sure we're looking at a complete turnaround in 2017....when we'll enjoy EVERY episode as much or more than the original!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah that part with the Chinese tech guy giving up the badge was cringeworthy. And how did they get out of the Chinese prison so quickly?

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah....I forgot about that part. The Chinese military whisked them away and they cut straight from that scene to everyone warm and cozy in MacGyver and Bozer's apartment without explanation. Spectacularly lazy.

      Delete
    3. The MacGyverism with the scissors on the SAK....normally the handle is so small that you use your thumb to operate them. So you are holding the SAK and using your thumb to operate the scissors so you have as much strength as your thumb has. By using the post he gave the scissors a much bigger handle thus allowing him to hold it with his full hand thus allowing him to apply more force and have more leverage. I may have just studies simple machines with my daughter in grade 1 science, thus helping me understand.

      :-)

      Lory

      Delete
  3. Episode 12 -- Screwdriver. Nikki returns as a deep cover agent and exposes Patricia as a mole.
    -- I noticed a "shake" from MacGyver in the opener
    -- Nikki's "reveal" as a deep cover agent was very anticlimactic and poorly done, with not enough surprise or emotion from any of the actors
    -- It's bad enough that Wilt is part of the inner circle despite having no discernible talent or experience, but now he has the authority to make tactical decisions like bargaining with Murdoc and authorizing a covert op in New York
    -- Speaking of Murdoc, what was the point of including him in this episode? He served no purpose, and his performance came off as silly.
    -- The soldiers who set the "trap" at the cabin did a terrible job -- their first step should have been to sabotage the getaway car.
    -- 30 minute mark: really tempted to fast forward through the rest of this; when will it be over?
    -- if the bank is funding bad things, why would they keep a paper trail in order to obey the law?
    -- so Patricia is the mole. Pete Thornton is rolling over in his grave. And another scene with no feeling or emotion.

    This was horrendous -- the worst episode yet. I once said about "Honest Abe" that Chernobyl was less of a disaster, but that episode was William Shakespeare compared to this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got this email from the MacGyver Project Mom:

      Just watched Mac. Thornton! Really! Now what? Who is going to run Phoenix? Just like Mission Impossible when they made Jim Phelps the bad guy. I did not like it then and I don't like it now. Not a happy camper. I don't really like this Thornton actress. But then give her another name and not use Pete. Mom

      Delete
    2. I didn't hate it as much as you (seems like it would be hard to) but it certainly wasn't good. Jack had a couple of lines tonight that were funnier than some of his previous foolishness...but that's a pretty low bar. And even though she didn't do it for me in the beginning, Riley has won me over as a straight-up hottie in recent weeks as she's worn her hair down more. I still don't have much use for her character, but she at least offers some eye candy amidst the other soul-crushing disappointment going on onscreen. As to your mom's question, maybe Bozer will now run Phoenix. Perhaps he's been so impressive to the Phoenix board during his few weeks since coming onboard they'll let him jump immediately to the head of the organization! It would make about as much sense as turning Thornton into a traitorous villain.

      Other than that, this episode reeked of a desperate midseason attempt to retool a failing show. You'd never know this show was a ratings success based on watching this hour and knowing it was Episode 12. They're clearly swapping out one regular character with another, knowing that there was more audience connection with Nikki than the disastrous hot mess that was the Patricia Thornton character. Ultimately they just dug the hole way deeper though, removing whatever intrigue surrounded the motivations of the Nikki character and wrapping it all up with an idiotic "she was a good guy all along but even top-secret Phoenix people didn't know it!" She was about the only character left that I had any hope for a richer payoff from....but now that ship has sailed. As for Patricia Thornton, I wonder if it was actress Sandrine Holt who wanted out of this turkey or if the showrunners recognized her character wasn't working and decided to make an emergency triage. Whatever the case, I sort of saw it coming before that last commercial break when Patricia showed up and rained on their parade that she'd be outed as the villain.....but couldn't quite bring myself to believe that they'd make the iconic Thornton name synonymous with treason rather than a lifetime of dedication to serving American interests.

      Agreed that the Murdoc scenes were pointless. All that weird build-up to getting his hands on the original copy of that book and absolutely no revelation as to why he wanted it. I figured there'd be something in the book that would facilitate his escape by the episode's end, but who has time for that when there's roughly 11 minutes in the hour to dedicate to melodrama between Jack and "Sara"?!??!?

      So yeah....you convinced me. It was a pretty rough episode...and sadly one that seemed intended to a pivotal turning point. I think we both discussed it before and agreed that we'll keep watching this show no matter how much we did or didn't like it, but I'm curious if you'll be able to keep that promise as it keeps drifting further and further from even your most restrained expectations?

      Delete
    3. In the meantime, I recommend you take your mind off the reboot disappointment and watch something that you know you'll like better.....like "Honest Abe"!

      Delete
    4. Abe would be a breath of fresh air right now! I probably will keep watching, not because I really want to but because I feel somewhat obligated to, but I may change my mind and give it up at some point. I DVR'ed it and really thought about fast forwarding at one point because I had so little interest.

      Over Christmas I got my parents into Burn Notice and my Dad said, "This is way better than the new MacGyver."

      Delete
    5. Did you get your parents watching "Burn Notice" from the very beginning or did they watch along with the episodes in the sequence you were watching?

      And curious if you agreed with my assertions about how this reboot episode seemed like the kind of frantic midseason course correction one would expect from a certain about to face the cancellation axe. Amazing that they managed to shame the Thornton name and remove the intrigue from the last character on the series that had the potential to be interesting by delusionally turning Nikki into a good guy again.

      Delete
    6. I watched the first 3 Burn Notice episodes with them -- they liked it and plan to keep watching.

      I think Lenkov had this in mind from the beginning at least related to Nikki. A while back before production started I read that there was going to be a woman who betrayed MacGyver, and I emailed him and suggested the name Deborah (ala The Negotiator), and he wrote back and said it was Nikki Carpenter but not to worry and that it would "make sense." I think his tone was suggesting that he didn't want me to think they were going to take a "good" character and make them "bad," so I'm guessing the Patricia move is a more recent development (unless she's not actually bad and it's a trick).

      I was surprised with how easily they removed the intrigue as you put it -- that scene with Nikki in the church had no emotional appeal or shock value, it was very stale.

      Maybe they can keep arresting members of the team as traitors. I'd start with Bozer and then do Jack next. Eventually we'd be left with just MacGyver and then maybe I'd get back on board.

      Delete
    7. Interesting that Lenkov revealed that much since this Nikki revelation tonight was clearly supposed to blow our minds. I checked on Facebook and it's getting mixed reviews among posters. Some clearly seemed to believe it was an awesome hour of television and the "twist was unbelievably great"!

      Delete
    8. Hm... there was a serious lack of MacGyverisms, no? :-(

      Delete
    9. I stopped watching this new reboot, but I did watch this episode with Murdoc. Not live though. I watched it online. So I fast forwarded everything and just watched Murdoc and at the end when Pat was taken away because she is the mole. Why is Murdoc in jail? He should have escaped by now. Why did Pat have to be the bad person?!!?! UGH! Man I hate this show! Nick when are you going to stop watching this new reboot? ROFL!

      Delete
  4. Yes, we are watching Burn Notice. It is growing on us. MacGyver Mom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Episode 13 -- Large Blade. MacGyver and Jack are transporting a prisoner when their helicopter is shot down over a forest.
    -- I wonder if "Maddie Weber" is a reference to Matt Weber from "Early Retirement."
    -- Now Bozer's giving orders to the CIA and gets to oversee the mission in the special video room despite having no qualifications or experience whatsoever. Pretty soon he really is going to be running the organization.
    -- If Bozer is the worst character on the show (now that Patricia is gone), then Jack Dalton is right behind him. I find him annoying and not funny -- if he was in one out of every 15 episodes it wouldn't be as bad, but he's in practically every scene.
    -- Getting the water out of the tree reminded me of the MacGyverism from Ghost Ship.
    -- It sure didn't take long for the lightning to hit the water bottle in the field. And it sure didn't take long for the cavalry to come after getting the call from the SAT phone.
    -- Hold that thought about Bozer being the worst character on the show because we've now met "Maddie the Hun" with lines like "Get your feet off the table, blondie." As if the show wasn't farcical enough already.

    Not a good episode. Not much else to say that hasn't already been said in previous posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really surprised you didn't like it! Here we had an episode in the woods that should have been right in your wheelhouse! Are you seriously saying you didn't walk away just as inspired as you were after "The Survivors" and "The Endangered"? I thought of "Ghost Ship" when he was extracting water from the tree as well. And obviously I thought of "Good Knight, MacGyver" when he captured electricity. With hat tips to two of your top-10 episodes of the original, surely you have a new entry into your all-time "MacGyver" franchise top-10, right? Right?

      I'll give you credit for picking up on the "Maddie Weber" connection to Matt Weber. Good catch...and insofar as the writing goes on this series....good one by the writers. Figured you'd love Bozer giving orders to the CIA. Amazing how the show has all these characters and it seems like they have virtually nowhere to go that anybody cares about. I think Eads could make a good Jack Dalton, but 99% of the material he's given is terrible, and he's played to be as dumb as an ox. The hilarious part is the showrunners clearly think they have a golden nugget with him as they infuse him into the series more every week. At least this week it was a little more clear "blondie" was the main event....a little more clear. And speaking of "all these characters", what happened to Nikki? Now that she's been cleared and presumably part of the team and back to making out with MacGyver on the keyboard, shouldn't she be at least as much of a regular fixture on the series as....Bozer?

      The helicopter SWAT team cavalry scene was awful....rushed for no reason with spectacularly bad CGI. And why were MacGyver and Jack unable to hear each other even before the lightning struck?

      And how about that Maddie the Hun? Are you nostalgic for the complex and three-dimensional Patricia Thornton yet? I was prepared to say this episode was at least a step up from the last episode until that brutally painful introduction to "Maddie". I have a coworker who is 30 and never seen the original but knows my affinity for it. She and her husband love the reboot. But how? How is this show capable of being genuinely enjoyed? I guess I'm glad somebody is.

      Delete
    2. Just goes to show that a setting in the woods does not necessarily a good episode make. After seeing Maddie the Hun I am indeed nostalgic for "Patty." I'm also glad that there are others who are enjoying the show -- clearly I'm not in the target audience. But it's like a car wreck that I can't look away from, not yet anyway.

      Delete
    3. So curious how your least favorite fly-by-night characters from the original compare to the regulars from the new show? If you could replace the new Jack Dalton, Wilt Bozer, and Patricia Thornton/Maddie the Hun with Abe Sherman, Lulu, and Neil from "Deadly Silents", would you make the trade?

      Delete
    4. I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. How about you, would you trade for Mama Lorraine and MacGyver's Women?

      Delete
    5. Tough call. I'd make the trade for Kate, Jenny, and Maria but Mama Lorraine might be a bridge too far. I want to keep Riley as at least she's easy on the eyes.

      Delete
    6. Which Kate? There were only about a jillion of them. ;)

      Delete
    7. Overall, I liked this Episode! I'm still too annoyed to write up the positive points, though, because: What the hell are they doing with the constant noise in the background??? I can't remember a single scene without any overlay of sounds of any kind! *argh*

      Delete
    8. He was talking about Kate Murphy (Kim Zimmer) from MacGyver's Women (his least favorite episode from the original). And Dash, I'm with you on the constant noise -- it makes the show practically unwatchable for me.

      Delete
  6. Hey Nick, I was over on MacOnline and saw you were hanging out too, so decided to stop by here to read your thoughts on this one. Can't tell if Mark was being sarcastic in his reply to your post but I am also surprised that you didn't like this one. At least Mac didn't have the ENTIRE team there in the woods with him this time, just himself and two others (and an escaped criminal) doing their darndest to survive. One thing I noticed in this episode is that Till's Mac displays that same 'never give up' attitude that so many found so endearing and was a practically patented hallmark of the original Macgyver. I'm quite glad that SOME of RDA Mac's most profound and iconic traits lives on in this reboot....such as it is. I thought Till did a good job of portraying Survival-Mode, Use-Whatever-Is-Handy-Think-On-Your-Feet Macgyver. Also, Hat Tip Alert: Mac's trademark comforting-hand-on-the-lady's-face move. Even if it was to check her temperature. I did NOT like the ending and thought that the new 'director', whatever, came off as way too abrasive. Chill out, girl! However, for a few moments I was wondering if the showrunners had actually got Elyssa Davalos (orig. Nikki) to play the new director. Ha! What a hoot that would've been!! I was almost holding my breath until that other lady showed up, darn. All-in-all, until the ending, not a bad episode. G'nite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment! Yeah he was being sarcastic. I agree on Lucas, I like him and think he is doing a good job. But as long as they have the goofy team members (Dalton, Bozer) and the constant annoying and uninspired music, I don't think I'm ever going to really like the show.

      Delete
  7. Not even a final review of tonight's episode for old time's sake!?!??!?! You should check out the Coltons episode when it comes on, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I'm retired! I may watch the Five-0 crossover episode but I think that's it for the near future...

      Delete
    2. Now that you're retired I'm assuming you're gonna be buying a condo in Florida!

      Delete
  8. In the last scene of Episode 14 between MacGyver and New Boss, there is NO BACKGROUND MUSIC/NOISE for at least 30 seconds and it's amazing! (No, really!)

    No offense to Keith Powers and the sound editors who sure work long hours to get the episodes ready within a few days; but it really changes the tone of the scene so much if there is just the actors and their voices for once. I hope we'll get to see more of that!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Mark says You should check out the Coltons episode when it comes on"

    What?! There is going to be a Colton's episode? When?! I wonder if they are still going to say the word slick. :) Wait wait. The Coltons shouldn't come on until years later when Macgyver is older.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I read we'll be seeing the Coltons on February 16th. There was a cast photo I saw somewhere that looked good in terms of casting authenticity. I'm not confident the actual content will be worthy of the original but we'll see.

      Delete
  10. "Mark says I think I read we'll be seeing the Coltons on February 16th."

    Ahh okay.

    "There was a cast photo I saw somewhere that looked good in terms of casting authenticity. I'm not confident the actual content will be worthy of the original but we'll see."

    Yeah probably not.. It hasn't been. For example, Murdoc is still in jail!!!! Come on now!

    ReplyDelete