Human Target: More Than Just Muscle

His head looks like it's made of titanium topped with foliage stolen from an Aryan poster boy, but Mark Valley (Fringe, Boston Legal) is much more than a pretty boy. As Human Target's bodyguard-cum-private-dick, Christopher Chance, he pumps up his appeal with snippy delivery, a subtle sorrow and a midriff so rippled you could drizzle on fudge sauce and eat it like ice cream.

This isn't the first time Human Target, originally a DC comic from the 1970s, has been adapted for TV. In the early 90s ABC had a go, casting Rick Springfield as the lead. It drifted by unnoticed but Fox's well-casted revision should do well, even if it is buried on Syfy (which changed its name from The Sci-Fi Channel today to remain in keeping with its American parent channel).

The pleasantly rigid formula sees Chance assigned a person to protect at the start of each episode. But playing a purely defensive game isn't his style; Chance has a bulging justice gland so usually won't stand down until he's put hot lead in some bad guys. And because he's born of a comic book character, CC's own injuries are never life threatening. Most of the time they don't even take the snap-crackle out of his Kung Fu moves. Yet we live in an era where health and safety rules so, naturally, he takes precautions. In the pilot, a miffed client demands to know why he's got a bulletproof vest and she hasn't, he fires back: "I'm your vest." It's one of many economical but delicious lines. Meanwhile, Chance's team--ex-cop Winston (Pushing Daisies' Chi McBride) and shady hacker Guerrero (Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley) give the show bite.

Mostly, we like Human Target because of the action. It's high-impact, plastic coated and, judging by the first few episodes' tendency towards vehicle-staged violence, expensive. But the series never rests on its budget. It matures after the pilot, adds depth in some places and even feeds through a line of catwalk-ready potential mates. But our hunk's relationship baggage means he's reluctant to bed down. It's frustrating, but then making Chance a frivolous womaniser (they must have work-shopped the idea, surely) would belittle his past-life pain. Gradually his lady issues become central to his appeal.

There's nothing innovative about Human Target but it's a solid, fixating watch that'll make you want more. For Valley, it's proof that he can carry a show. We never would have pegged him for anything other than background muscle but clearly that was a mistake.

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Agreed somewhat
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I'm really enjoying the show for what it is, and have to say the latest episode (number 12) is probably my favorate hour of tv in a while. Also Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Harley are both great in the show.
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Amen!
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I like the show but like AprilFox find the music really annoying.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Yuuup! Preaching to my choir here. I love the Mark Valley Smirk. This show isn't Lost or Breaking Bad, but it's Human Target, and that's great.
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Our family likes the show alot, the one problem is the movie themed soundtrack music which is okay at the beginning of the program but continues to irritate the heck out of me throughout the program.
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