‘MacGyver’ series premiere review: Is CBS’ remake a worthy watch?

MacGyver -Remakes are something network TV knows rather well. We’ve got shows out there like “Hawaii Five-0” and “Lethal Weapon,” and “MacGyver” is trying to roughly do the same thing: Tell a story that is familiar enough to appeal to fans of the original, while at the same time appeal to a younger, hipper generation that doesn’t need to MacGyver much of anything in their lives. With technology so rampant, the idea is almost anachronistic.

To a certain extent, that’s what makes the show interesting: It’s a throwback. The original series was fun and creative, and in between the theme song and a few lines here and there, we saw some tributes laid to the original.

As a whole, though, this show still has some work to do to be consistent Friday entertainment, starting with the fact that it may be a little too polished for its own good. We feel like it’d be a little bit more fun on a smaller scale rather than trying to be a big-budget action movie. Also, we could’ve used a little more of an introduction over being thrown right into the action. This made the entire first episode high-octane, but made it hard to find your footing.

Ultimately, the biggest thing that the show probably needs to work on is preserving a little more of the humor and the charm of the original. So much time was spent on the action scenes that the series still feels a little soulless. Lucas Till is capable in the lead role, and while we know some out there have a problem with his age, that doesn’t bother us as much. We just would have enjoyed this more as an origin story than throwing us right into MacGyver at the peak of his ability.

The supporting cast is also solid — George Eads and Justin Hires have recently history with CBS, and both deliver whenever they are present. “MacGyver” is well-cast, and we know that Peter M. Lenkov (“Hawaii Five-0”) knows a thing or two about crafting a good action-oriented show. This is just one that needs a little more incubation in time. Aside from a few moments here and there the story was fairly predictable, it is going to require some viewer loyalty to see if it gets to that place we know that it can. Grade: C+.

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