Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary: Human Target

Human Target just made his jump to TV recently and so far the reactions have been interesting.

Johnny from Fan Rants gave the series a positive review:

Human Target

Human Target

Frankly the casting is spot on, all solid actors with their own strengths and they thus far have brought solid performances to the show. The main thing they have changed is the fact that Chance is no longer a master of disguise but rather a bodyguard. A highly skilled and connected bodyguard that is.

They have dropped many hints that he may have been a spy at one time, but nothing concrete. What we do know is, he speaks multiple languages, so far Japanese and Russian, knows martial arts, is a master shot and tactician.

I like the show for its action and humor. So far the writing has been very well done and as I said earlier, the casting is very good. They are actually using some quality comic book writers for the scripting, Carmine Infantino and Len Wein have writing credit on the first two episodes. Also they have had some excellent guest stars so far, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Danny Glover, Alessandro Juliani (BSG), Sean Maher (Firefly), and Emmanuelle Vaugier (CSI NY).

Graeme McMillan feels that the concept suffers in comparison to the comic:

I’ve given up wondering why certain things are adaptations as opposed to original creations, for the most part, but Human Target just confuses me; it’s different enough in concept, characters and tone from the original that, if the names were different, it would be its own thing. It’s not an adaptation, or even a recreation; it’s an appropriation of the name and idea that someone will be protecting clients, and little else. It’s not even as if the comic Human Target would be difficult to do as a television series; it’d be the anti-Dollhouse in some senses – multiple actors playing the same character, instead of one actor portraying multiple characters – but as much about identity and personality… which, come to think of it, may be as much a turn-off to mass audiences as Dollhouse seemed to be. But it’s hard to deny that Human Target the comic – and especially Peter Milligan’s more nuanced take, as demonstrated in Chance Meetings – is much more interesting, individual and worthwhile than the TV version. It’s an ironic shame that the concept’s very identity was sacrificed in order to make it to television.

Finally the blogger at What is Unseen dislikes the writing of the show:

The stories are weak. It seems as though they’re trying too hard and trying to be something they’re not just to ‘blend in’ with television. But they’re falling flat if that is what they’re doing. I say make it your own and then own it. The cast is a pretty decent one, a lot of potential. However, the show doesn’t even keep up with their talent. I gave the show a chance, I went in with an open mind and expecting something mediocre. I kept watching in hopes it would approve…I received nothing back a bad story and boredom in return. Sigh…what is happening to entertainment? I honestly feel insulted that they actually think this kind of tv will entertain us television viewers. We might be overworked and looking for an hour vacation from our stressful days, or something just to wind down to on television but I’d rather watch info commercials on snuggies rather than Human Target. Not to mention why are so many comic characters being taken and ‘inspired’ for stories and than butchered when hitting the television screen or movie screen…? An argument for another day perhaps?

So what do you think?

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Comments

15 Comments

I reviewed the pilot on my blog a couple weeks back. I think the main problem is that it’s Fox. 24 is big for them, and they want more like it. So they turned a nuanced crime comic into a generic action show in an effort to appeal to as much of their viewer base as possible. It probably would’ve had a better chance (no pun intended) at coming off truer to the comic on almost any other network.

like all shows it will take time for human target to either prove to be good in tv or wind up showing why the material should never have been touched including removing the part where chris winds up disquising himself as his clients to the point he winds up going insane and losing his own i.d the viewers and the ratings will determine human target was right to be done as a tv show and on fox of all places.

So, I finally watch the 1st episode last night, and this is the dumbest action show since the A Team. The time line takes ridiculous to a level only Ed Wood has dares to travel. How do his cohorts manage to get to the house where the anti body is hidden ( in the refrigerator, which just happens to have nothing else in it?! ), get back to HQ, wherever that is, and manage to pull up just outside the wall of the Russian embassy at the moment of escape from security forces that can’t aim a sub machine gun? I know there is supposed to be some tongue in cheek here, but this is just stupid. I’ve been watching old Mr. Moto and Sherlock Holmes movies that have more credibility than this show. It’s too bad it’s so poorly written, I do like the cast.

I like it.

We need more fun action adventure shows. To me it’s in the same vein of something like Chuck were it has action and comedy. I can’t really think of too many other shows that have that and pull it off. I mean it’s 2 episodes in, give the show a chance. Otherwise it will be replaced by some terrible reality show starring some D list celebrity.

It’s a television show aimed at 6th grade intelligence, with lots of action. Just the thing for the audience at Fox.

It’s nothing that I would watch every week (probably), but what annoys me the most is the fact that it’s called Human Target and the lead character is Christopher Chance. Since they took away the master-of-disguise element, they may as well changed the name of the show, and change the name of the lead character. If they were looking to recycle a title, it should be called My Bodyguard

Fanboys, fanboys, fanboys.
Just because you still live at home at 35,
don’t take it out on human target!

It’s a good show.
I even understand why they changed the whole
“becoming the target literally” angle.

We wouldn’t see the star of the show for most of it.
Solid acting, good action and smart pacing.
sounds pretty good to me.

But maybe you should ask your mom?

Mark Valley should play Captain America.

Wow, Jason, I guess you really put us in our place with your very clever and original response. And of course not seeing the star of the show would make the whole thing implausible; I’m sure the creative team could never be clever enough to make that work as an advantage, and the audience would be completely confused.

Thanks for setting us straight!

It seems like everyone has forgotten the earlier Human Target series, where Rick Springfield played Christopher Chance.

Mr. M. It can be done, and it would fail. Audiences connect with actors. If they don’t see the actor, they don’t connect, the show fails.

Randall I remember, I liked it, but see my above comment on why it failed.

Chad: Nuanced crime comic? He was a guy who wore mission impossible masks to stop bad guys killing someone. Yes, Milligan has vertigoized him for now, But just like all DC things, he’ll get reset to the standard 70′s era version he was when Johns gets around to it.

I highly enjoy the show. It fits in with Leverage and Burn Notice on my watching schedule.

“It seems like everyone has forgotten the earlier Human Target series, where Rick Springfield played Christopher Chance.”

Some of us had forgotten. Some of us had brain surgery to remove that memory.

I like the show for what it is, an action show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This show would be a good fit with the USA network. I’m sure if I was expecting it to be like the comic (which I haven’t read) I would be hugely disappointed.

I finally sat down and watched the show last week. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good, either. Certainly not something I’m going to go out of my way to watch. Like the actors, and I can get past dropping the master-of-disguise concept, but there is really not a hook for the show much beyond “action show”.

First off, I just want to say that I’m enjoying the show for what it is so far. It doesn’t take itself very seriously, and kind of reminds me of what the Rockford Files would have been like if Rockford had been a secret agent.

Having said that, I do wish they had kept the ‘master of disguise’ hook and kept Mark Valley as a framing sequence, using different actors to portray Christopher Chance for the bulk of the episode. I don’t buy this “viewers need to connect with the main characters” nonsense. A strong story will supersede any need to have recurring characters. The Twilight Zone taught us that. If they had a different actor playing Chance each week, then part of the fun for the audience would be trying to figure out who Chance is this week as we uncover the story.

Just to clear up a misconception: Len Wein & Carmine Infantino have a “based on characters created by” credit on The Human Target. Len has not yet written for the show, but the first issue of his tie-in mini-series will be out in about a week. Carmine is an artist, not a writer, and definitely hasn’t written for the show.

Len is very happy with the show and understands the difference between writing a comic book and writing for other media. Your highly paid lead actor really doesn’t want to be on the sidelines for most of the show and it would not be kosher to use the clever device used in Quantum Leap to get around it the Human Target.

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