Thursday, February 18, 2010

Human Target, "Lockdown": No one dies harder than Christopher Chance

Another fun "Human Target" last night, with Chance working his way through a secured office building, Winston and Guerrero pulling an Aunt Linda and a bunch of recognizable guest stars playing largely to type (Kevin Weisman as a lovable dork, Autumn Reeser as a lovable and cute dork, Mitch Pileggi as a tough guy administrator, etc.), and a few more hints about Chance's backstory.

That said, the show at the moment doesn't have enough meat to really justify the episode-by-episode blog treatment, does it? It's basically "Burn Notice" on a broader canvas with much less of a serialized element (and suggests Dan was right on yesterday's podcast when he said "Burn Notice" shouldn't avoid arcs, but just bad arcs). It's fun, Mark Valley is a good action hero, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley have turned into a good comedy duo, and... that's pretty much all I got, week after week. So I'll keep watching, but may reserve future posts on it for episodes that more explicitly break the mold in some way.

What did everybody else think?

19 comments:

Ian said...

I gotta admit, I like this show a lot more than I was expecting to. There's not much to discuss about individual episodes, but in some ways it's sort of the MacGyver to Leverage's A-Team and it's fun to have them both on the same night.

One thing that impressed me about this episode (which has also been a hallmark of the series in general) is how big-budget it feels. Yes, what would have been the 3 major effects gags all happened off-camera, but they do a good job of making it seem nearly feature-film level big and expensive even though it presumably isn't. By contrast, Chuck this season has suffered from both visible and invisible manifestations of budget cuts and it's hurt the show.

I'm looking forward to the inevitable reveal of Chance's former boss (Michael Clarke Duncan would be kinda awesome there, speaking of Chuck) even though they've been teasing that storyline with nothing even resembling subtlety.

amysusanne said...

The show's a lot of fun and I like it a lot, but there's really not a lot to talk about beyond that. Where something like "Chuck" has a lot of layers and mixes genres quite a bit (plus, there's the "spot the 80s reference" thread that runs through each episode), this is what it is on the surface. Still, I hope it survives a long time because it has the potential to be a really reliable popcorn show. I'm definitely not going to turn away from a show starring these three people together.

I agree with Ian that they do a great job of making it feel big budget. Even when there are cheesy green screen moments like last week's car fight, the camera work and editing and the music manage to make it look bigger than it actually is.

T.J. Hawke said...

Does the show plan on ever becoming more serialized?

Stellar Drift said...

Has Burn Notice had anything but bad arcs?

And yeah Human Target is light fun but not much more.
But then that too is needed in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

I'm amused at how an action-based popcorn show is rapdily becoming a showcase for sci-fi stars to have guest spots. Tricia Helfer, Alessandro Juliani (BSG), William B. Davis, Mitch Pileggi (X-Files) -- can Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating of "Star Trek: Enteprise" be far behind? Or Joe Flanigan and Jason Momoa from "Stargate: Atlantis"?

Anonymous said...

I am quasi-enjoying this show, but I far prefer Burn Notice. I really don't like the editing of the fights - I find it very jarring. It almost seems like rather than even attempting actual stunts they would rather just do lots of jump-cuts and jarring camera work. I guess it's one approach, but I really don't dig it.

Hatfield said...

I also love it for its action movie of the week feel, but I agree there isn't a lot to say. I know the ratings haven't been great; is it too early to lay odds on its chances of renewal?

Joan said...

This show is perfect light entertainment. I don't need every tv show to be thought-provoking. There's a lot to be said for popcorn -- just not so much to say about it.

Anonymous said...

It's no Keen Eddie (I kind of wish they'd remake that show) but it's light, action-y fun and I find Mark Valley infinitely charming. Plus bonus of Chi McBride! I feel like the show is still trying to find it's legs but I'm not intellectually invested enough mind. Like Castle, it's enjoyable even when they have an "off" episode.

Andy L said...

I find the show entertaining, but every week I find myself thinking about how Matt Nix doesn't bother with big climactic fight scenes because there is nothing interesting about them. You know Michael Weston will always win at hand to hand combat.

I wish HUman Target would apply the same thinking. The fight with the head of security was well done (Does an elevator count as a vehicle?), but I never for a second thought that there was a chance that Valley would lose. And they have those fights EVERY episode

Chazz Goodtimes said...

I agree- as is the show doesn't have enough going on to warrant weekly discussion. That said, last week's episode cemented its status on my DVR B-team along with Castle and Southland. HT is an entertaining 40 minutes of TV- the concept of popcorn television isn't something I'd thought of as a genre but I agree with describing the show as such.

blinky said...

I gave up on the pilot when the whole story hung on the inability to stop the runaway train because the brakes were broken. Well why didn't they have the train engineer throttle down.You know, take his foot off the gas pedal?

Anonymous said...

i'd sort of been enjoying it in a take it or leave it fashion, but this episode had the worst green screen since the dukes of hazzard. and i need a little bit o' plot; getting the guy out of the building was basically one big chase/fight scene. it's wearing thin and i might possibly be reclaiming 43 more minutes per week of free time soon.

Kate E. said...

I think this show has some great talent (I'm happy to watch anything with Chi McBride) and the concept is fun and could be great. But the writing is god awful. The only thing saving the writing is the actor's who are working really hard to not make it sound so lame. The plot twists are evident from the first scene and much like reading a Dan Brown novel I keep wanting to shout at the screen..."Just run and jump and blow stuff up...don't talk". Which isn't the actors fault, the lines are just lame. Which I think is the difference between this and Burn Notice.

Having said that, this episode was considerably better then the last few so it has earned at least another week or two on our DVR.

Bryan said...

If a show provides enjoyment, for whatever the reason, then it is a good show. HT is a fun romp every Wednesday, and should not be condemned for the simplicity of some of the plotlines and dialogue. After all, look at what show it is preceding...American Idol.

Alan, I would keep on writing about this show unless you literally can't find a thing to say about it. But the cohesion and chemistry between Winston, Guerrero, and Chance makes me think that there will always be something redeeming about HT.

Oh, and that FBI agent from the Russian spy episode can't reappear soon enough...the show has lacked eye candy!

BigTed said...

I agree that this show's kind of fun, but it's odd how the "good guys" keep killing people just because they have the bad luck to be working as security guards at the wrong businesses.

(Although I guess that's a little more realistic than the action shows in which the heroes manage to incapacitate dozens of armed men without actually hurting anyone.)

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed with this show. It's all flash with no substance. I usually love Mark Valley, but he feels like he's phoning this in.

I just erased this from my tivo. There's too many otehr shows I'm trying to keep up with.

Also- no women. The show could have used a strong female lead like on Burn Notice, Chuck and Leverage.

Xeddicus said...

He blew the window before putting the parachutes on. Right, good plan. They should have had him drop them or something due to the tougher than expected landing.

King Killer Dave said...

Nice Guyz Nite shout out in the headline, Alan!