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
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.