TV Spotlight: MacGyver and Exorcist get rebooted

MacGyver o CBS
MacGyver on CBS


When I was a kid my brother and I spent summers at our grandparent’s house, which was pretty fun but also a little awkward at times…especially during the teenage years. I had one obsession, and my grandmother could not understand for the life of her why I needed to be home at 7pm to watch TV. She didn’t understand that I needed to know how to do amazing things with paperclips, chewing gum, and a little bit of foil. MacGyver was the coolest guy I knew and I wasn’t going to miss out on his adventures to go on a walk around the neighborhood…who does that?!

So when I heard we were getting a reboot for MacGyver I was more than a little skeptical and a whole lot worried about what they were going to do to Mac… Could they modernizing without ruining the show? Would people get it? What about the mullet?!

The mullet is gone, but Lucas Till (X-Men First Class, Walk the Line) does have the hair…he’s also a believable Mac, just the right mix of James Bond and Q and good timing on the cheesy lines that just have to happen. George Eads (CSI:Crime Scene Investigation) is Jack Dalton reimagined, and while I missed a bit of the get rich quick style of the original Jack (originally played by Bruce McGill), I feel like the new former navy seal Jack will be a bit more useful and a lot more helpful in the plot…also he can pilot a helicopter so I felt that was a bit of a nod to the original. In a bigger twist we have a gender flip for Pete Thornton, Patricia Thornton is the new Pete and is played by Sandrine Holt (House of Cards, Fear the Walking Dead). She was the only character I didn’t like from the first episode, she seemed stiff and just, well, not overly believable.

Overall it’s clunky and some of the things Mac does are a bit over the top (why did we need to know how to make smoke? Couldn’t you have just burned up a small piece of paper or something?). I will hold out hope though, and see it through at least a few more episodes.

The Exorcist
The Exorcist on Fox


This didn’t fare as well in the ratings as it’s counterpart, MacGyver even though they’re both reboots of classics. I think the problem withe the Exorcist is, well, it’s going to be gimmicky, I mean even as a person who doesn’t really like horror films I knew what was coming and when on a lot of it. The film is a classic, and for all the right reasons considering when it came out. Full disclosure here, I “watched” this while reworking my Pathfinder character sheet…because horror scares me, but I had to give this one a go.

Father Thomas Ortega is our young priest, played by Alfonso Herrera (Drunk History, Sense8) and based on some of the dialog he’s had a few discretions in his career as a priest. Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone, House of Cards) is Father Marcus Keane, our older priest who seems to be known for his exorcisms and a black sheep in the priesthood, because pulling a gun on another priest tends to make you just a bit unlikable.

Spoilers ahead:

In the first episode we learn a few things…namely that things that happened in the movie may not be holding true here. Heads that make like they’re going to spin snap before they make it all the way round. We also learn demon possession isn’t always as obvious  as one may think. To be honest I called the family member possession in the Range household…but that could be caused by the amount of crime shows I watch.

While I and a few others may enjoy watching the TV visual effects of bone crunching and head snapping, most viewers probably did what my roommate did and just turn away. For those horror fans watching for the scare factor, it really isn’t there yet.  It may just be a little too much and a little too graphic for most of the people home at 9pm on a Friday night. It’s an okay show, but Outcast is better in my book.


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