The original “MacGyver” show starring ?Richard Dean Anderson was a big part of my childhood. Yeah, it was your typical cheesy 1980’s action TV series, but I still have fond memories of watching “MacGyver” with friends and family.
Reboots of stuff I loved as a kid are hit-and-miss with me, just ask Michael Bay. So going in last night I fully expected to hate CBS’s reboot of “MacGyver.” But to my surprise, I kinda liked what I saw.
CBS has a reputation for delivering good, solid crime procedurals. Just look at any episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” “Scorpion,” or any of the NCIS shows. The network’s blueprint is clear: a strong lead character (usually a male) puts together a team to battle the bad guys. And well. the new “MacGyver” fits perfectly into the CBS wheelhouse.
The new series centers on Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Lucas Till), a bomb-diffusing genius who leads a secret government team to fight bad guys all over the world. His team includes a female boss (Sandrine Holt), a former CIA agent (George Eads) and a hacker (Tristin Mays). Mac also has a best friend and roommate (a fast food worker) played by Justin Hires, who is unaware of his secret life who provides the comedic relief. The series also features MacGyver’s former teammate and girldfriend played by Tracy Spiridakos.
The cast has some potential, particularly the charismatic George Eads as Mac’s CIA agent co-worker, Jack Dalton. His chemistry with Mac is solid and might be the best part of the show so far. There’s definitely something to build on here. Eads also has some good banter with Sandrine Holt which should be explored.
As for Mac, the guy can solve any problem with tin foil, a paperclip or chewing gum, but the show needs to figure out how to make that compelling to the viewer. The original show did it well, but the new series relies very heavily on voice-over narration, and title cards to explain all of the science behind everything Mac does.
This was the only thing about the pilot I really hated. I mean seriously, after a couple of times I think we know he’s using a paperclip. I don’t need another floating word to remind me of what he’s using. I’d rather they would just let us watch what is going and enjoy it.
Look, “MacGyver” is not a perfect show and I’ll admit it has a few flaws. The show needs to limit some of the cheesy moments, and improve the editing on the action scenes. But there is potential here. The cast has room to grow, and the main story could lead to major things.
At the end of the day, “MacGyver” surprised me more than I expected. I would say it is worth checking out at some point. I just hope CBS gives it enough time to find its groove.
“MacGyver” final score: 7
“MacGyver” airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS. Only CBS.