Matt Watches a Thing: Macgyver S1E01

Armed with a new Paramount Plus subscription, I’ve started watching Macgyver. And my thought is, “Hey, I should blog my watch through. Get content and all of that. (and get into the habit of quick, pointless blogs, and of writing thing on the daily.

General summary: It was really enjoyable!

10 Point Summary

  1. Did I like it? Yes
  2. Did I like the Main Character? Yes, a lot?
  3. Did I like the Villian? Eh, not really.
  4. Did I like the side characters? Yeah, probably more than not
  5. Did I like the Plot? Yeah, really good.
  6. Did I like the Resolution? eh, kind of a let down
  7. Did I like the Creative Choices? Yeah. Well written
  8. Was I immersed? Not really
  9. Proper Emotional Response? Always tricky, but let’s say yes, benefit of the doubt.
  10. Would I Watch It Again? Yes. Very much


Longer review

So, I ran across some MacGyver clips on Youtube, and decided to check it out. This first episode was really fun. Here’s some thoughts.

this show has an interesting technique of Don’t Tell. It doesn’t always show, but really doubles down on the not telling. this episode as Mac being asked questions, that he doesn’t answer. Like, you’d expect that when someone asks what he was doing, he’d explain it, but he doesn’t. a set of side characters had a sole job of asking questions that the MC never answered. I guess they may have been audience stand ins, to focus on the puzzle. It’s like an episode of some children’s tv show, where the screen pauses and the VO goes “Can you see how Mac will use the chocolate to save the day?” before the action resumes. It’s odd, and I’m curious if that was a first episode thing or if it’ll persist.

Speaking of the chocolate: the science. I have no idea about the chemistry. Some of it looked a bit loose, but plausible. The audience doesn’t see enough of the puzzle to come up with the answers before they show us the solution, but nothing has felt really out there. Sure, I could drill down into each MacGyvering and see if it works or not, but part of the premise of this show is that he does the thing. We’ll see if it gets stupid, though.

Speaking of stupid, let’s track some numbers:

  • Bombs stopping at 1 second left: 1
  • Paperclips: 1
  • Times Mac made a bomb: 1

The character of Mac is fascinating. Because he’s a humble super genius. He knows all this stuff, and can do crazy things, but he has a “oh, shucks” sort of attitude. The fact that he says twice this episode “I hate heights” before going up or down a ladder is great characterization, and the Voice over stories that reflect the action on some scenes is really fun. (I know of these from watching clips. It only happened once in episode 1, iirc.) It’s some great character writing for the MC, at least.

Plot wise, I think this is a 5 room dungeon, and a really good example of one.

  1. Elevator shaft and lasers.
  2. Collapsed tunnel (optional path to complete tertiary objective.)
  3. Air locks
  4. Gas labs
  5. Metallurgy lab/Boss room

Mostly traps and skill challenges. Would people be interested in written conversions of the adventures into dungeons? Would people be interested in dungeons designed for solo characters? Because the chick is totally a Companion, not a PC.

All in all, I had fun, and I want to keep watching the show.

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