The new MacGyver recaptures the original’s hokey action

Lucas Till is the new MacGyver.

Two and a half stars

MacGyver Fridays, 8 p.m., CBS.

CBS has put a lot of effort into rebooting cheesy ’80s action series MacGyver, which starred Richard Dean Anderson as an absurdly resourceful secret agent known for improvising weapons and other devices out of common household items like paper clips and duct tape. The original MacGyver, which ran for seven seasons on ABC, was a guilty pleasure at best, and the new version maintains those low standards. Developed by Peter M. Lenkov, who helped turn a reboot of the similarly disposable Hawaii Five-0 into a hit for CBS, MacGyver stars Lucas Till as the title character, part of a team of ultra-secret government agents keeping the U.S. safe from your standard terrorists and assorted bad guys.

After the original pilot was scrapped and the cast was retooled, the show has ended up as more of an ensemble piece, with George Eads, Sandrine Holt and Tristin Mays as fellow members of MacGyver’s team. The new show replicates the breezy, hokey tone of the original, with a bit more violence and sex appeal, and should fit in well with CBS’ low-ambition crime dramas. Till’s overly explanatory voiceover and the onscreen text identifying the components that MacGyver uses for his various contraptions recall the style of USA’s MacGyver-influenced Burn Notice, but the new MacGyver lacks that show’s creativity and wit. It’s clumsy and forgettable, and it’ll probably end up lasting seven seasons without anybody really noticing.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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