So, Human Target is back. And it is still really, really, REALLY stupid. In a good way. Mostly.
Basically, this show is clearly on redefinition mode. Somebody with a marketing degree and a blank check from whoever greenlit a second season went in with a monkey wrench and duct tape and kicked up a storm. In his or her defense, though, mostly the changes are for the better. Ames, the new hot, spunky young girl is formulaic as they come but does a decent job of broadening the demo. The redesign of the dingy office by a wealthy benefactor is less bohemian (God forbid we like a hippie superhero, he's "new age"), but the concept of a private fund working for truth and justice is delightfully Reagan era camp, which fits the show. The cliffhanger is shoved aside as the afterthought it is, but not before we get the first of two graphically mangled hands in th episode. Because edgy is fashionable and, really, housewifes are all over gore these days (NCIS can give you gutted, rotten corpses, as long as they burn out the nipples on ladies and use a strategically placed groin towel). And what needs to be kept as it is because it tested well, namely Chi McBride, Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Valley, remains the same.
But it is still Human Target precisely because of the terribly overmarketed paint-by-numbers stuff. It's so formulaic it works, and it seems designed for the sole purpose of selling action figures (only who in their right mind would buy a poseable Mark Valley?). That's why it's endearing.
So, given all that, the only real misstep here stands out much more: Where the hell is the overblown, derivative, extremely hummable and catchy opening title? What is this synthy aberration? Did somebody think this show was to be, dare I say it, cool? It's not cool. It's nerdy and cheesy and nostalgic. And you want a mid-sized orchestra cheekily ripping off John Williams. But if you're going to go down this route, you are at least obligated to give us something we'll be shamefully humming in the shower. It needs to be Knight Rider-worthy. Which this is not. Fix it.
Otherwise, if you're in the market for a guilty pleasure, it's this or Hawaii Five-0. Bring it on.
It all starts more or less where it left at the end of season 1, with Winston captured, and the guys (Chance and Guerrero) going to his rescue. So you've got action and shooting since the beginning. Right after that, the actual story starts, and it evolves around the new main character, Mrs. Ilsa Pucci, played by Indira Varma. Christopher Chance retires to an ashram in Nepal, but Mrs. Pucci convinces him to get back into action. The team (Chance, Winston and Guerrero) gets back together, and the two new characters are introduced: the above mentioned Ilsa Pucci, and Ames, played by Janet Montgomery. I still can't understand why people didn't watch this show, which led to its cancellation.
We started watching Human Target about halfway through the first season, and have yet to see them all. Always looking for a new dramatic series with decent dialog, good scenery, and first-class cinematography. I would rate the episodes we saw earlier this year as ok, and we put the series on our DVR.
The new season opener, "Ilsa Pucci," was a definite improvement. Better script, impressive acting, and some good international location shots. I was skeptical about adding two more to the team, thinking this series would look far too much like "Leverage." They were much better than I expected, and thank you, producers, for not making one of them the stereotypical computer tech. Chi McBride is a pretty impressive actor, especially in the bomb-on-the-chest scene, but we knew that from his work on the much-lamented "Pushing Daisies." Another amusing scene - in Nepal, when Chance waffles on taking up with Ilsa, the monks drop his duffel in front of him - you're gone! A weak plot spot - having someone check to see if any "private planes" left recently. From SFO? Please! SFO logs almost 100k non-airline operations a year. And who are they going to ask - Air Traffic? Get an aviation advisor if this is going to continue.
Really liked the escape scene from the Geneva bank - Ilsa and Chance crashing through a window to the lake below, with a boat ready for pickup. Of course new team member Ames is terminally pretty, but I don't foresee an inter-team romance, and that's a good thing. This show is much easier to watch than several of it's competitors in the action/law enforcement category, so it stays on the DVR and moves up in the priority list a bit. We're actually looking forward to the next episode - #2-1 was fun.
An ashram my eye! Even the priests had him packed up to go! And by the way, how does someone NOT move...anything...for three days?! But I digress...
So Chance is a great shot. Did you see that hand? And so, Guerrero is a great shot. Did you see that butt explode? At least, that's my visual, and I'm sticking to it.
So, Ilsa Pucci: I'm going to like her. I'm betting the boys are going to want to strangle her more often than not, though. But while she may assist Chance's redemption effort via work, that will be all she gets. I'm still holding out for the FBI agent as the one who gets his heart...somewhere in season 6...
Ames is the dark horse. Funny and entertaining this episode, unless the writing is consistently spot-on for this character going forward, the cutsie thing may have a tendency to wear off. I hope it works. They need a light fingers on the team; someone who does their best work other than with a gun.
Nice intro to the new season. Worth the wait.
You don't need to be afraid to start some advertising now, FOX...
I really enjoyed the Season 2 premier of Human Target. I'm amused at how they mixed a little bit of gore (anyone else see the eye thing coming from a mile away), with a little bit of humor, and a whole lot of action. I must admit, though, that the "missing fingers" bit did take me aback a little; I did not expect it to be "that" graphic. As for the story line itself, I like the idea of a benefactor, as it allows them to just concentrate on the cases. I'm not so sure, however, that I like the new girl. She feels very forced. Hopefully, she'll grow on me.
My biggest concern, for the series overall, is that based on the clips from next week, the show looks like its heading into Leverage, territory. I love Leverage, I think its a fantastic show, but that doesn't mean I want a clone. I hope Human Target can keep its own feel and flavor.
Good to see Human Target back on the air again after the somewhat brief feeling season finale. After the cliffhanger it did feel a little bit rushed Chance just disappearing at the bank after they have saved Winston and is this whole shooting guys in the hand at banks thing becoming a trend? Anyway, the show returned in top form as Chance is approached by a billionaire while in Nepal with a protection job and he then has to stop the assailants after a kidnapping and takes a thief along for the ride as well. The show has definitely worked on its sense of humor particularly in the moment when Winston apologizes to Ilsa that they are normally more professional and Chance saying, "No we're not" but with all the shootouts, punch-outs and chases this season is far from falling short of my expectations.