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Human Target: Pilot

Tricia Helfer: "You wore a vest? Where's my vest?"
Chance: "I'm your vest."

Except for the fact that I hate heroes with names like "Chance," I really enjoyed the pilot episode of Human Target. It moved like a high-speed train (in more ways than one) and it made me laugh out loud, over and over.

Human Target is an action show with a twist, the twist being that our hero Chance (Mark Valley) takes on clients who are in serious danger of being killed, and puts them in even more danger so that he can catch whomever's doing it. Another of Chance's quirks is that he enjoys unusual forms of payment for his services.

There are explosions and action sequences. There's Chi McBride as his partner (or possibly his boss, it was hard to tell). There's Jackie Earle Haley, whose character Guerrero was remarkably funny and fun to watch. The wonderful Tricia Helfer (Six from Battlestar Galactica) guest starred in the pilot as Chance's latest client, pretty much ensuring that sci-fi geeks would at least give the series a try. (Worked for me.)

Chance got pretty well banged up in the opener as well as the last few minutes, and the subtext seems to be that he's not only reckless, but possibly suicidal. Maybe he's just driven to save people, though. Or he's challenged by nearly impossible, unusually dangerous tasks. Whatever. I understand this one is based on a comic book (what isn't, these days) and I sort of expected Chance to have a superpower. Guess not. Unless they're keeping it a secret for the first season finale.

I certainly liked the pilot enough to tune in next week. This one might just make it. Although I can tell that Chance's chances of surviving mission after mission will eventually seem really improbable.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Nice review, Billie.

    I actually enjoyed this more than the original comic. They’ve wisely ditched the master of disguise angle to Chance’s character, something that works fine on the page but would’ve looked ridiculous on screen.

    Mark Valley makes a credible action hero. Chi McBride was alright but a bit too bland as his boss/partner (but that might just be me missing Emerson Cod too much). Jackie Earle Haley was more fun as Guerrero. And I loved that we got not one but two BSG vets guest-starring, Tricia Helfer and Donnelly Rhodes.

    Although the Lethal Weapon fan in me was disappointed they didn’t end the episode with Danny Glover grumbling about how he was getting too old for this shit.

  2. So I guess that master of disguise thing is the superpower I was missing? :)

  3. Billie,

    not all comic books feature men with superpowers, you know.

    I loved Jackie Earle Haley's character, but I kept wondering if it was really him. I just couldn't believe it. And man, can he be creepy!

    I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm afraid it'll end up being one more case-of-the-week show. If they put an ongoing story aside from the cases (à la Burn Notice or White Collar), I'll certainly tune in every week.


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