Saturday, May 8, 2021

Another MacGyver Rings Down the Curtain

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

Television and movie producers have been criticized by their frequent "reboots" of existing material, and some people wonder if they are out of ideas. (Why reboot? The established meaning is to reload an electronic device with the existing material.) Some try to keep to the spirit of the original, but others only have a superficial resemblance to what is being remade. In this case, MacGyver 2016.

The reboot of MacGyver bit the dust. While there are official reasons, I suggest other factors that Hollywood elitists ignore that also contributed.
Tombstone image before modifications: Vukki
The first name of the character in the original series, Angus, was kept a secret until the seventh season. May was well use it from the get-go in the new one since the secret is out. For quite a while, I expected Richard Dean Anderson to appear as Mac's father, but Anderson didn't like the new version and refused. Several character names from before were used in the reboot, but the characters were usually quite different. The Phoenix Foundation was also used as the organizations each Angus worked for.

Special Mentions

Regular cast members at the end include Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires (these three were in the series from the beginning), and Levy Tran (joined in season three). They do their jobs well when they have good material and directing.

David Dastmalchian played the psychotic Murdoc, and he did his job extremely well with a mix of charisma and evil that made Murdoc someone to be feared. 

Meredith Eaton joined as Matty Webber in the first season. She was originally the hardnosed boss, but her character developed and there was a balance of caring for the team and getting the job done. Also, Meredith is a dwarf. What I liked is that nobody made a deal about it. Although unrealistic, there were no jabs at her size, but I appreciated the fact that the writers and producers just let her be a person. Would that there was more of this in movies, television, and society in general instead of trumpeting that they hired someone of a certain sexual preference, gender dysphoria, ethnicity, skin color, or whatever. Just let them play their parts.

Late to the party was Henry Ian Cusick, who portrayed Russ Taylor, a spoiled rich guy and demanding owner of the company. He, too, became a valuable asset to the team and showed excellent acting skills.

Why it was Canceled

April 30, 2021 was the final show. Well, the ratings were dwindling, and that's what happens. Then there's the "real" reason it was canceled, supposedly providing information that is less commonly available. Digging deeper, I learned a new word: showrunner, which is a special kind of executive producer. Peter Lenkov, the showrunner for MacGyver and Magnum P.I. who was at the helm for several seasons, was fired for making the work environment toxic. But even with a new showrunner, ratings continued to fade.

Other Things to Consider

There seemed to be a revolving door for actors, especially the females. Reign Edwards, who played Leanna Martin, was a part of the team and then disappeared (she was eventually written out as having been killed in a CIA operation). Isabel Lucas was Samantha Cage, but chose to leave. At least her character survived an attempted assassination. Remember Pete Thornton, Mac's boss in the original series? The new show had Patricia Thornton (see what they did there?), played by Sandrine Holt, who left the show in the first season. It turns out she was one of the bad guys all along, which struck me as bad writing.

George Eads was Jack Dalton, Mac's friend. This character was borrowed from the original series, and was a strong part of the new series into the third season. George had some problems with the producers and wanted out of his contract. He also had a problem with CSI after fifteen (!) years.

People leave shows, it's a fact of life for that industry. It struck this child that MacGyver had quite a few in a relatively short time. That makes it difficult to develop storylines and have character development, and I thought that the series was a bit convoluted.

Sometimes it seems that there's a little extra beyond the acting; the actors and people behind the scenes seem to like each other and doing the show. They also struck me as growing tired and going through the motions. Although it seemed that Russ Tayler, the new boss of boss Mattie, added some spark, but the writing and directing didn't let him shine. Even so, it was probably too little, too late.

If any of y'all watched the show Scorpion, about a group of super geniuses saving all or parts of the world, there were writing similarities that wore thin. (Robert Patrick was great as the Scorpion team's handler.) Personal dramas, one thing leads to another as things go from bad to worse to heroic save, and the impossible happen. There were times in both shows that I had to turn my suspension of disbelief up to eleven and hope the next episode (of either MacGyver or Scorpion) wouldn't be so outrageous.

I didn't know that I was watching the series finale, it seemed like a season finale instead. (But then, the writers had to make adjustments to the last show because they were taken off guard.) I was tolerating the leftist virtue signaling since I liked the characters and the show was still reasonably entertaining. Riley was using her hacking skills (which originally landed her in jail, later working for the Phoenix Foundation) and teaching other wayward girls — except one, who identified as "non-binary". That's herd mentality science denial, old son.

They also openly endorsed the Marxist organization Black Lives Matter and suddenly made a big deal about blackness. Further, they did the Black Panther movie's Wakanda Salute, something made for a movie but has been liberated for the leftist revolution "culture". Indeed, people can be harassed for not complying with this nonsense.

The villains of nanobot experimentation and a planned saturation of citizens (for purposes of control) in the final episode was the United States government. If I want anti-American sentiment, I'll watch mainstream fake news media, you savvy that?

Deserved to be Canceled?

I discussed several reasons that the reboot of MacGyver was canceled. Low ratings may have been brought on by lackluster writing, disjointed storylines by cast members leaving, and other reasons. However, the leftist virtue signaling was pushing me away; when the last episode aired (again, I thought it was the season finale and not the series finale), I was seriously considering dropping the show from my watchlist.

Keep your wokeness tyranny to yourselves. I don't give a flying — I mean, I'm not interested in your ideology, television and movie producers. There are a few million people who are not into elitist leftist tactics and do not hate the United States. The producers may have been alienating their viewers for many reasons, including the show's growing political and cultural agendas. It was happening to me. Fortunately, I can stream the classics with Richard Dean Anderson.