Hands Off
MacBeth lolmac wrote in bethinexile
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The Anti-MacGyver, Week 2
Last night, I waffled mightily over whether or not to turn on the TV set and see if the train-wreck-in-progress would stick to the rails -- any rails -- any better with Wan the Mighty Movie Director out of the picture.  I finally did, although a few minutes late.  (If there was a pre-credits sequence, I didn't see it.  Note that I do not say "I missed it.")

Week 2:

Nice callbacks to: Mac sleeping on the couch; Mac having bad dreams; Mac having a general show up when he's chilling out.  Pity that the "general" is his racist trope hilariously comical and clueless black roommate in a costume.  Roommate now knows what Mac's job is, after making a big point of him not knowing in the first episode.  Attempted funny banter is wrapped up with lame ugly borderline fag jokes.

KidGyver is sad.  KidGyver "compartmentalizes his emotions", according to Jack-the-CIA-thug.  Mac's dad left when he was 12.  (Presumably no other member of his family ever existed.)  KidGyver and Token Black Girl Hacker make hilarious jokes about how Terribly Old Jack is.  (Yeah, he's in his 30s, horrors.)

Token Black Girl Hacker has most of the decent scenes and less stupid lines this week.  Yay.  At least a third of the episode is filler.

Visible signs of any charm, personality, or originality:  still close to nil.  Thug!Jack has all the brains, the contacts, and the badass ex-girlfriend who requires rescuing.

Some of the voice-overs are "Mac" thinking aloud, but none have any interest.  They come across as the self-involved wallows of a white dude young enough to narrate his own life because the world revolves around him.  There's an attempt by "Mac" to explain (mansplain) why MacGyverisms are cool and special.  *headdesk*

The MacGyverisms are almost all simplistic items that appeared in the original series.  The text overlays make the pedantic voice-over lectures more than redundant -- and the science lectures are much more detailed and niggly than the original ones ever were at their worst.  (I ended up saying "Shut the fuck up already" a lot.)  And without RDA's touch of sardonic energy -- he couldn't save some of the original VOs, but he got what he could out of them.

Because non-Mac now has a team, instead of the episode providing human beings in a given new location -- who have lives and troubles which may be tropetastic but are at least character points, who have skills and knowledge that Mac needs, who help or are helped, whom Mac cares about, thereby showing us that Mac is a caring person that we care about -- instead, we require no actual people other than the Young Edgy Teammates.  Bad-assed girlfriend had a sympathetic local friend, but by the time we meet him, he's been tortured to death.  I suppose this saves the network the cost of hiring actors, since playing a corpse only gets you credit as an extra.  And besides, fridging an old man instead of a hot babe shows that we are not sexist, right?

Venezuela is apparently populated entirely by Shady Characters.  The Big Bad Guy this time around is an Evil International Arms Dealer.  How is this different from the original? Instead of a white Bad Guy plotting with the local evil Latino, this one IS the evil Latino!  Not that he actually appears in the show; at the time I bailed out, he had a name and a set of bad habits (arms smuggling, partying, beautiful women, and torturing extras), but no scenes or lines.

After rescuing Thug!Jack's badass (white, blonde) ex from the Clutches of teh Evil Bad Guys (not white), they retrieve the Important Evidence that will convict the bad guy!  But oh noes, he has fridged the extra!  And now he will escape from the country and they won't be able to stop him (never mind the Important Evidence)!  Therefore, Mac will help his badassed buddy and the buddy's badassed squeeze break into the villain's lair so they can "take care of him".

Yes. that's right.   Mac does not speak out against killing, vendettas, vigilante behaviour, etc.  Instead, Anti-Mac helps the rogue agents reach their target.

I assume the payoff was shooting the Bad Guy; at that point, my TV system hiccuped and shut off, because I had forgotten a timer function.  I felt no motivation whatsoever to push the button on the remote and turn the set back on and see if they decided, in the end, not to shoot him; after the body count of the first episode, I didn't think it was in question.

I did feel truly squeamish at the final image I got -- three white Americans breaking into a South American compound to murder a target who just happens not to be a white American.  In an episode in which no non-American has any lines, except for Ugly Leering Latino dudes.

Yechhhhhhhh.

I actually caught a few minutes of this episode.

I saw the couch seen while walking through the room and immediately knew what was on, so that was something. I then didn't see anything else until the last 15 minutes or so. It was...odd.

I didn't understand that Jack was Jack, but OK. Rebranding the character, I guess.

I appreciated some actual emotion in Jack and Mac at the very end, but overall I was...nonplussed. Basic, garden-variety action show to me. Nothing that jumped out as MacGyver (other than the couch and that jacket). I actually liked the split screen stuff but the voiceovers were lame.

Yes -- you remember that Jack Dalton once claimed to have been a rogue CIA agent? The reboot decided to believe that. So, yeah, that's supposed to be Jack Dalton. His job in the first episode was to kill and torture the bad guys, so that "Mac" did not actually have to do that himself.

Did last night's episode conclude with them killing the arms dealer? Or did they actually try to resolve it some other way?

Edited at 2016-10-01 18:16 (UTC)

Ah.

And...I don't remember? Sorry! I wasn't really watching. It was just...on. And I was mostly talking to M.

I liked the split screen effect also -- combined with the text layovers, they actually have the tools for handling the MacGyverisms in a really good, effective, interesting manner that would allow the pace of a given scene to be maintained in spite of the drag -- but they need to STOP DOING THE VOICE-OVERS. Especially since their VOs are much, much worse than in the originals!

OMG...I still haven't seen the first one. But I'm guessing that if I think of it as 'anything BUT MacGyver' I MIGHT be mildly entertained while doing the crossword???

*CRIES*

Eldest Daughter was escaping another program in a flaming hurry, and got to the very beginning of this episode. It was dull enough that I honestly cannot remember what it was, so fear not, you most definitely did not "miss" anything worth noting. Neither of us could face anything beyond hacker girl handing out the first digit of her phone number, so off we went to a movie Eldest Daughter wanted to revisit, and I wanted to ignore.

Clearly New!Mac is not for me.

Why is 2016 the worst?

I'm not sure if that question is a rhetorical observation, a riddle, or an existential sigh.

?

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