Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Human Targezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh, sorry. I didn't see you there. I must've dozed off.

Human Target shows exactly why Burn Notice is so awesome: the cast/character chemistry - especially IMHO the Michael/Fiona relationship, and the overriding mystery (that, let's be honest, we know is never going to resolve itself until the series finale... if it even does resolve itself then!) These are two aspects of Burn Notice that the viewer - even the casual viewer - can carry away at the end of the episode... and hopefully be brought back for more amusing spy action next week (not to mention all the do-it-yourself voiceover know-how).

Human Target doesn't have those things or anything like them. The regular characters (alpha male, sarcastic man servant, thug/tech guy) are cardboard cut outs. Which wouldn't be so bad... but there is just nothing else to hold onto in this series that, if at least one character truly stood out, I could see people coming back ("at least I'm entertained when X is on screen!"). We're supposed to feel that when either Winston (McBride) or Guerreo (Haley) are on screen, quirkily playing off of each other.

But... that hasn't happened. At least for me.

Let's move beyond mere character traits to plot.

Chance doesn't have a personal life that we've been let into (even if he has a traumatic one in his past... there's nothing in the present). And nothing, week to week, matters. Every week there is simply a protectee, a threat, and a convoluted way to neutralize said threat that throws just about every cliché in that week's genre (to point out a few from pilot / post-pilot... train episode: brake problems, train cars separated, train going to run off the rails; plane episode: pilot incapacitated, fire on the plane, flipping the plane).

Not that the male characters are three dimensional by any means, but there's a severe lack of fully fleshed out women on the show (as in, there are NONE). What would Burn Notice be without Fiona, (even putting aside the romantic subplot)? Think about it. Yeah. And in cases like this third episode, when the protectee is male? There. Are. No. Women (unless, shock! the villain is a woman, look how smart we are, didn't that MAJOR TWIST just turn your preconceptions on their heads?) And, no, that female spy from tonight's episode, even if she does come back, does not alter this trend.

Human Target may only aspire to be the pulpy throwback its credits indicate. Which, okay, fine, that's what it wants to be. But someone should've told Fox, Warner Bros, and all involved in shaping the show that TV has moved on from that.

In short: Michael Weston FTW.


Tim said...

Thought I'd leave a comment just to let you know that you are not preaching to an empty church. I follow you for more than just the ratings. You have great insight.

You are dead on in your assessment of Human Target.

It's short comings should be obvious to the producers and writers as well.

Hopefully the gaps will be filled quickly. FOX is giving this show every opportunity by giving it a terrific time slot.

Kudos to Bonnie Hammer and USA. She must be the only person at NBCU that has had any success lately.

Stellar Drift said...

"At least for me"

That's just the rub isn't it - I don't see any chemistry between them. I think its an annoyance with her around whining all the time, I'd much rather they boot her of and get someone else on.

And last weeks uber contrive way to get Madeline to do something against he will was totally lame.
And don't kid yourself Burn Notice is just as much formula as the Target thing. How will he ever get unburned - yawn. For a real change fix it NOW and take the story in a different direction.

Of course that wont happen because money is more important than story and enough viewers like what they see.