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Okay, here's yet another one of my famous nostalgic-experience stories from
I'm writing this in 2002. I was born in 1976, so that means when "MacGyver" premiered in 1985-- I was nine years old. My father and my older brother used to watch it, but it never really kept my interest as I was too young to understand and appreciate the intelligence and physics of everything. MacGyver-- along with "Hill Street Blues"-- was blown off by me when it started... only to be embraced whole-heartedly by me in my teen years.
When I re-discovered "MacGyver", I was in junior high, and had begun watching it on a daily basis in syndication on the USA Network. It came on at a great time-- 5pm. I was out of school by 3:30 every day, and had plenty of time to get home to watch it 5 days a week. True, I saw the same episodes over and over again, but I loved it so much, I didn't care.
One of the best things about this show is that MacGyver was the perfect role model for young guys who grew up watching the show. He didn't smoke, he didn't drink, he gave his rewards to charity, he never swore or got angry, he hated guns, and he used his WITS to get himself or others out of trouble.
--and "MacGyver" used an aspect not seen (to my knowledge) since the days of Sam Spade... the show used "Film Noir"-- basically, you hear the person's thoughts in a voice-over while they're doing what they're describing.
Now, I can appreciate the biggest complaint about this show: some people don't like it because it's unrealistic that a man could make an explosive device with a lightbulb, a paperclip, and some cleaning supplies. Yes, some of the "MacGyverisms" were eye-rollers... especially in the series finale-- when he and his newly-found son escape out of some kind of pit by strapping fire extinguishers to their backs and setting them off. Yes, that's stupid. But come on, people! This is SEVEN YEARS of thinking up MacGyverisms! They can't ALL be gems! But most of them were REALLY clever and REALLY worked!
I know for a fact that this show inspired me to be a better, more-helpful person to others... and to use my mind to remedy situations. I've tried to watch "Stargate SG-1" with Richard Dean Anderson... but it just makes me sad, because I want to see the long hair and the brown leather jacket with the red plaid interior lining.
From what I understand, "MacGyver" is only playing at 10am Monday through Friday on WGN (a Chicago station) nowadays. USA dumped it (jerks) and I haven't seen it since. But I'm dying for another reunion show. I miss Jack Dalton. (Bruce McGill) I miss Pete Thornton. (Dana Elcar-- who's gone blind from Gloucoma, bless him) Both are fine, fine actors who added greatly to the show.
But... sadly, all good things must end. It's been off the air for years, but I still think about the show all the time.
If you've come here for a review to see if the show's worth watching, it absolutely is. Let your kids watch it. It's a wonderful influence, and I think you'll really love the outcome you'll get from letting them watch it. Hey, watch it yourself. You'll probably get hooked too.
As a kid, I was brought up with a couple of TV-heroes that I adored over
all, and that I wanted to be just like. One of these heroes was special
agent/survival-expert Angus MacGyver, a guy that, unlike other
heroes, didn't grab the nearest firearm when things got hot. For him, an
used paper clip, the wrap from a bubblegum, a spring from the bottom of a
rusty old bed and his trusty Swiss army knife (which has become MacGyver's
trademark) would do the job.
The thing with MacGyver is that it's original. Rare to any other series today, it focuses on the brain instead of brute force, which is actually a good thing, considering that television today is heading for a more "brains-off, action-on"-attitude. Angus MacGyver hates weapons and therefore never uses them, but instead, combining limited resources, he finds simple and elegant ways of dealing with the problem at hand. And the best part is, that (atleast in theory) MacGyver's inventions would really work, making it even more fascinating (even though some of them are not to be recommended to try).
Admittably, some of the episodes may not feature the best acting according to modern-day standards, and some of the ideas and solutions may be slightly used up, but seeing as the series aired in the mid-80's, I don't find it in anyway disturbing, rather the opposite, I find MacGyver to be a true treasure among the TV-series of today, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys wit, humor and a good time spent getting surprised by the geniousness of MacGyver's contraptions!
When I think of the 80's, shows like the Dukes of Hazard, Dallas, The A Team and MacGyver bring back memories. They were fun and with the exception of Dallas, the three others all had one thing in common. They all solved things with very little violence. Even though it may seem that there was some, The A Team always made contraptions that would get them out of trouble, but no one died. The Dukes always fought their way out of trouble just long enough for Roscoe to come arrest the bad guys and with Mac, well he would just make a radio receiver out of a paperclip grass and a shoelace or he would make a dart gun out of bubble gum and toothpick. I honeslty believe that this this was the toughest man in the world. Put him up against the Terminator and he would have found a way to dismantle his CPU without ever touching it. He would make something to shut him down. And that's what was so pure about MacGyver. He never really used violence to solve problems, always his head. And he never got carried away either. He never panicked. He just stayed cool and he always managed to save the day. I love this show and I wish they would bring it back, even in sydication where I am, but we don't have it here and that is a shame because it is a great show and one that I miss.
This show was excellently written and cast. Richard Dean Anderson was
by far the best person for this role and he brought the character the
attitude and look that added to his "no drinks, drugs, or guns" outlook
that was inspirational and enjoyable for all ages. It'd be refreshing
to see another show like this come along, but I don't believe it will.
MacGyver focused on the incurable do-gooder who couldn't say no to someone in trouble, and he always had a scientifically sound, absolutely brilliant solution. He was always as optimistic as possible, and he wasn't one to immediately jump in bed as is the norm for most television. His compadres always added to the action/adventure/comedy, and throughout the season you learn new things about the characters that add so much more depth to the story.
Quirky, smart, clean, nostalgic and full of age-less values... (the mullet and leather jacket didn't hurt either) MacGyver will be around forever, and well it should be.
MacGyver has to be my all-time favorite show of all time. Why do you ask?
Because MacGyver actually uses his brain to solve problems instead of using
brute force, a total difference from most action-oriented shows. I used to
watch this on USA everyday at 4:00 after school. I couldn't miss a single
Each episode has MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) from the Phoenix Foundation in very uncomfortable positions. He uses his wits to escape, rescue, or disarm, depending on the situation. MacGyver continued it's greatness until the last season, I believe. Then it was more focused on city/community issues...very boring! One of my favorites is one where MacGyver and an old buddy are sent to a cruise ship that is laden with bombs by an evil character named Viking. "It's a vacuum, Mac!"
Dana Elcar, who played Pete Thorton, one of the bosses of the Phoenix Foundation and MacGyver's best friend, lost his vision so that changed his role on the series greatly.
Murdoc is MacGyver's greatest villain. He has been in more episodes than any other evil character. He is a trained assassin and has always attempted to kill MacGyver. How many times has Murdoc actually been killed?? It's one of the weirdest aspects of the show. The inability of MacGyver to actually kill Murdoc.
Richard Dean Anderson is a great actor and went on to do two MacGyver movies: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and Trail to Doomsday. He also went on to do UPN's Legend and Showtime's Stargate SG-1 (SG-1 Season One available on DVD).
Overall, MacGyver is one action show you can watch with your family and enjoy it to the max as well. Seeing somebody create something out of midair is fantastic. It's very well done and is still on television today. Check your local listings.
MacGyver is synonym for resourceful and creative. If you look those
words from the dictionary, you'll see MacGyvers photo and a text: dude,
who can make anything out of a roll of duct tape, dental floss and some
loose pieces of stone.
That's the whole basic idea for a show. MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) is a secret agent, or something, who uses his brain before his brawn always coming up a clever solution on dispatching the baddies without the need of using a gun. Though he might do explosives now and then. ;) Mac's boss is Pete Thornton (Dana Elcar), boss of Phoenix foundation, that seems to dabble in a bit of everything, just like Mac. Another regular character is Jack Dalton (Bruce McGill), Mac's adventurous pilot friend who is often in trouble or is gonna get in one in order to help his friend.
What astonishes me is, that MacGyver has lasted the test of time reasonably well. Sure, there are lots of episodes, that feel a bit campy these days, but in all the series is still very watchable. And this comes from a person, who saw MacGyver for the first time back in 80's as a little kid (I was little under ten when it started in the TV here) and saw the series again in my mid twenties.
This show had a kind, intelligent, athletic, good-with-his-hands fellow
from Minnesota (bonus: he is good-looking). I cannot ask for much more
than that. The show was funny, good hearted and adventurous all at
once. It should have gotten Emmy nominations but I think it was unique
for the time. Now, shows that are similar are finally getting
The first five seasons were really the best; the last two seasons went for surreal moments of going into Mac's dreams and back in time. But, overall, it was always worth watching.
Once this baby is on DVD, I am doing all that I have to to own it!! Hopefully, someday soon....
This is still one of the greatest shows ever! I remember watching this show when I was a kid, and still try to catch the reruns. There are still classic MacGyver references made about building a bomb with a toothpick, some string, a stick of gum, and a few household chemicals if the right proportions. This was just a good show, not overly complicated, but with good values and likable characters. Richard Dean Anderson is likable as MacGyver with Dana Elcar as his boss and best friend. Always a classic!
All of us at one time or another have enjoyed "MacGyver". The series always had the most drama and excitement around. Richard Dean Anderson played this role to perfection. I recently watched two episodes one in which Teri Hatcher in rescued in the old west. I watched an episode in which Kim Zimmer is held hostage only to be rescued by MacGyver. Catch the reruns on WGN.
From '85 to '92, MacGyver filled a necessary gap on television: that of the action-adventure hero. Basically MacGyver is the Indiana Jones of the 80's, which the show itself acknowledges (MacGyver goes on several archaeological expeditions, including one for the Holy Grail!). Added benefits were the hero's reliance on mechanical improvisations, his aversion to guns, and the large cast of supporting and recurring characters. The episodes tend to get a bit preachy with their "Message of the Week" in the 4-6th seasons, reflecting star Richard Dean Anderson's own personal beliefs.
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