Human Target on FOX
written by: Cory Q
I am treading upon dangerous ground here and most certainly struggling against a classic "double bind" scenario. If I say something, I will alert Forces Beyond My Control of my pleasure, which is a sure way to arouse suspicion and ultimately retribution. If I say nothing, then surely my inaction will mean the death of something I want to continue. You can see my dilemma as plain as day.
What is the crux of my situation? I like a mid-season replacement show on FOX.
If you read that last sentence out loud, everyone around you will fall silent. Their looks will range from pity, to despair on your behalf, to sheer disgust at your perverse television viewing habits. Go ahead. Try it. I'll sit patiently until you recover.
The show that has captured my attention is based on a DC Comic book of the same title: Human Target. I am unfamiliar with the DC work directly, but am familiar with the work of Mark Valley in a similar show he was in called "Keen Eddie".
Human Target is a pretty simple premise. Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) is a sort of bodyguard. He is not bothered by putting himself in harm's way not only to protect his client, but to also draw the bad guys out. Chance is supported by Winston (Chi McBride) whose role seems to be one of business partner and office manager. Someone has to keep the paperwork straight when they get paid, right? The last regular player is Guerrero (played by Jackie Earle Haley). Guerrero's role is IT guy/spook: He is a lurking character that finds things, important things, out to aide Chance in exposing the plotters. Since I have only seen the pilot episode, there is little more to add to their character profiles than that.
What seems to drive Chance to do what he does is still unclear. He gets shot. He gets beat up. He takes a licking, basically. It doesn't seem to be the money. There is no real glory. So, why? Penance. In the pilot, the idea of "getting what you deserve" came up at least three times. He does what he does for reasons as yet unclear but that I am sure will unfold in future episodes*.
Valley is the perfect choice for this role. He is in very good shape, he is charming, comfortable in both a suit and as an action hero. Yes, I might have a bit of a man-crush (a perfectly reasonable man-crush to be clear) on Valley. He plays characters that I want to hang out with. Christopher Chance is no exception.
The show is a bit formulaic (again, it was just the pilot after all) but that doesn't diminish the quality of the production nor does it detract from the intensity of the action sequences or the intrigue that unfolds in the plot. Human Target reminds me of the shows I grew up with: Lots of action, clear cut good guys and bad guys, and twists that kept you with the show for an hour (alright, 43 minutes, but you know what I mean). Human Target is like "The A-Team" meets "Keen Eddie" with a dash of "Magnum P.I." in there as well.
I really enjoyed this first episode and hope for many more. I recommend it for viewing!
*This statement assumes that more episodes will be shown. Not only that, but that enough episodes will unfold that the viewer will have time and space enough to get a feel for the characters in the show and their motivations, back stories, and so forth. Sadly, I am not overly optimistic about the chances of this actually happening. Not only does FOX have a staggeringly aggressive history of canceling shows much too early, they have already cancelled a show similar to this one with the same lead actor. Either FOX is run by a bunch of suits that have the attention spans of mentally debilitated low order primates, or they are crazy like their name sake. On a note of pure conjecture, I also subscribe to the theory that any show I actually like on FOX is targeted for earlier cancellation as if the network has a vendetta to settle with me. For what, I don't know, but the circumstantial evidence does seem to support this "Grudge Cancellation Theory" of mine, hence why I am loathe to mention my enjoyment of Human Target in print, or even out loud at all.
The official Human Target web page.
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