MacGyver stinks, The Exorcist doesn’t!

When I heard “MacGyver” would be rebooted as a new series I must have been part of a collective head shake around the world.  Most of them coming from anyone who grew up on 1980’s TV.  Dear God, what’s next?  “Magnum P.I.” or “Simon and Simon” returning with younger, untalented actors with ripped bods in the lead roles?  I can’t even fathom the thought.

I decided on Friday night to give “MacGyver” a one-episode chance, and that will probably be all it gets.  The action sequences and explosions were spectacular.  The acting and the dialogue?  Um, not so much.

Lucas Till’s pretty-boy looks can’t be what carries an entire show.  If his stiff, monotone delivery is any indication, I don’t expect this one to be around long, despite all the hype it received ahead of its premiere.  Till needs to loosen up more.  Add some swagger and pizzazz to this character.  And better scriptwriters are desperately needed.  The dialogue and one-liners were lousy.

On the up side, MacGyver is hooking up with a new version of his archnemesis “Murdock” in 2016.  But here, Murdock’s a girl named Nikki.  And their relationship goes south faster than you can diffuse a bomb with a bobby pin.

Or was it spelled Murdoch?  This show should have never happened, so why am I even worried about this?

Also premiering on Friday night, on another network, was a TV version of the scariest movie of all time (at least some think so), The Exorcist.  When I learned about this one at least a year ago, my first thought was “how can they make a demonic possession of a girl into a weekly TV series?”  Not only that, but all of us who have seen the movie countless times knows how it ends.

And Oscar nomination or no, do we really need another actress trying to imitate Ellen Burstyn’s hysteria and antics (which got annoying fast).  Her F-bomb-laced verbal attacks on all the men in the movie, save Max Von Sydow, at times rivaled those of Pazuzu’s.

The whole point of this post seems so negative, I apologize, but I loathe remakes.

Not so fast, Trent!  This version of “The Exorcist” stars Geena Davis and has nothing to do with the 1973 classic movie.  They are set in the same universe; there’s even a nod to the events of the movie when one of the characters does an internet search on possession.  But outside of the same-world device, there’s no Reagan McNeil spewing pea soup.  No Chris McNeil taking out her frustrations on doubtful priests and telephone operators.  There is a fatal neck-snapping head spin about halfway through the episode, with better special effects than what was obviously a remote-controlled ‘Linda Blair-bot’ all those years ago.

Oh, and who couldn’t help but think of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds during that one scene?  I’ll say no more–no spoilers for those who warily DVR’d and are still second-guessing whether to watch.  Just pick up the remote and hit play.  As Mercedes McCambridge would say in her non-Pazuzu voice, “hush and finish your popcorn.”

The plot and the characters of this show (the Rance family) are much different than the movie, and a clever twist toward the end of the first episode baited me.  I’ll be back next week.

I did not realize until the next day that Geena Davis’ character’s husband, who seems to suffer from some form of dementia, is played by none other than Alan Ruck  A.K.A. Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Pictured below is Father Marcus, played by British actor Ben Daniels.

Courtesy “The Exorcist”, FOX
“The Exorcist”-1; “MacGyver”-0

Mercedes McCambridge’s “hush and finish your popcorn” interview here!



2 thoughts on “MacGyver stinks, The Exorcist doesn’t!”

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