Missing the target with “Human Target”


It’s never a good sign when the first two episodes of a new show have essentially the same plot. In the premiere of the new Fox action drama Human Target (January 17, 8 p.m.), badass bodyguard Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) has to figure out how to stop a damaged bullet train before it derails, killing everyone on board, including him and his client. In the show’s second episode (January 20, 8 p.m.), Chance has to figure out how to land a damaged airplane before it crashes, killing everyone on board, including him and his client. No word if future episodes (Target settles into its regular Wednesdays at 9 p.m. time slot January 27) will include out-of-control tanks, yachts or zeppelins.

The Details

Human Target

Target is based on a DC Comics series that was made into a TV show once before (an extremely short-lived version starring Rick Springfield in 1992), about a man of mystery who takes on the identities of his clients in order to protect them from harm (that is, he himself becomes the target). Here, Valley (Boston Legal, Fringe) merely plays a really competent bodyguard, whose meager cover is quickly blown in each of the first two episodes. The production values and storylines are on the level of low-budget action movies, and while Valley and co-stars Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley are all solid performers, the characters and dialogue they have to work with are flat and cliched. Target’s premiere may be leading in to the latest season of 24, but Christopher Chance is certainly no Jack Bauer.


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