New Show Review: Human Target
Posted by Mr. Feeny on February 9, 2010
TV-types talk a lot about creating the next LOST. And they’ve all failed. But another example of execs trying to find where lightning strikes twice is in 24.
The show that could very well end this season (I doubt they’d announce it ahead of time, to keep Jack’s fate in the air) has been the industry standard for action-packed drama. Others have come and gone, but never as successfully.
So, FOX has tried again. Using its new show, Human Target, as a lead-in during 24‘s premiere. I’ve now watched the first two episodes, and here’s what it boils down to. You can look it at it one of two ways. It’s either a more intense Burn Notice, or a less compelling 24. Maybe the male version of Alias (haven’t seen it). Mixed in with pretty much the premise of Profiler. I’ve never seen that show, but like Human Target, I understand it’s about a guy posing as different people every episode, showing off his wide array of skills, and trying to get closer to some end goal. We don’t know what that goal is in Human Target, but we’re slowly learning.
I like what I’ve seen of this show. The big key is the humor. A show that takes itself too seriously really needs to blow you away with the details. 24 does that. Human Target does not. It’s definitely lighter fare, but that’s fine. I enjoy wisecracks and smirks. And with Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) and Jackie Earle Haley (old has-been) trading barbs, there is no shortage of humor.
Each episode is packed with action and intrigue. It’s not a serial, since every episode can stand on its own. But we are learning a bit more about each character each week. Christopher Chance (which is probably not his real name) was formerly a bad guy, but Winston (McBride) gave him a chance to start anew in his own secret agent/body guard agency. They now seem to work only for good. Mark Valley (Fringe) is very believable as a dashing do-gooder spy. Guerrero (Haley) is the do-it-all specialist basically brought in just because they need a third amigo.
The one thing I don’t get is a moment in the first episode (available on Hulu). At the end of the episode, Winston and Chance are talking about their future. That scene is spliced in between a completely unrelated scene, with Chance getting a client out of danger. That client is Danny Glover. We have no idea what’s going on, but it seems like it’s a preview of the next episode. I thought this was a great unique element. Like Quantum Leap, end each episode with a preview of the next. But Episode 2 had no Danny Glover. Nor did Episode 3. It was just a random scene. I wish they had done it my way.
I’ve added Human Target to my DVR list. It’s definitely worth a once-over if you like light-hearted dramas (ala Burn Notice, but with more killing).