Pilot Perception: MacGyver

MacGyver

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show — here MacGyver — in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: MacGyver, CBS in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Fridays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: This version was created and written by Peter Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0), who executive produces with original MacGyver creator Lee David Zlotoff and producer Henry Winkler, Craig O’Neill (Burn Notice), James Wan (the Saw movies), and Michael Clear (Lights Out). The pilot was directed by Wan.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Lucas Till (X-Men) stars as MacGyver, along with George Eads (CSI), Sandrine Holt (House of Cards), Justin Hires (Rush Hour), and Tristin Mays (The Vampire Diaries).

The Premise: This “reimagining” of the classic revolves around young Angus “Mac” MacGyver and his team in a clandestine government agency traveling around the world solving problems with his unique skillset.

A Taste:

 

What Works: There’s a lot of action and attractive people and fancy locations and MacGyver, you know, MacGyvering stuff. There were a few team bonding moments that made me almost say “aw” a little.

What Doesn’t: You guys, this pilot was just so boring. I honestly did not realize something with so much flashy-seeming action could be that dull. The writing and acting were totally flat, and I just did not care about anything going on at all. I guess it didn’t do anything egregiously bad other than make me willing to do a lot to never have to watch this show again.

Our Favorite Line: “Is that real? It doesn’t sound real.”

You Might Like This I’ve never seen the original, so I don’t know if fans of that would like this or not. But what it did remind me of was Burn Notice, with the focus on a voiceover explaining how the main character was pulling things off. Except Burn Notice didn’t make me want to run screaming from my apartment.

If You’re Interested: catch the pilot on demand or on the CBS or Global TV sites, then set your DVR for Friday at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of CBS.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea