MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

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uniquelyjas
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by uniquelyjas » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:30 pm

JackGywer, you said two things I absolutely have to comment on! First, Mac and the women. First off, I do think it was kinda like that in the '80's in general. I was a huge Knight Rider fan and it seemed that almost every episode had a pretty woman Michael ended up kissing. However, with Mac, if you pay attention, most of the kisses are initiated by the women.

Yes! I'm so glad you think the "young" Mac actually looks older. I totally agree! I was watching my DVD's and my mom would come in the room and see the later seasons and when I started re-watching from season one my mom would always say "Oh, he looks so young!" And I'm like "Really!?" Glad to know I'm not alone!!!

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uniquelyjas
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by uniquelyjas » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:04 am

OK. Since we're supposed to be talking about the episode, I guess I'll jump in and get things started though I don't have too much to say. Having seen the entire series a few times through now, I don't particularly like season 1. It feels like Mac was trying to find himself. I think he hit his stride in season 2. Anyway, the pilot didn't impress me much though it was still good. I don't know if I really dislike any episode! Lot's of MacGyverisms, but my brain isn't wired that way so it's cool and all, but I don't totally understand everything! LOL! I liked the fact that he had a "little brother". Wish they had explored that and his living at the planetarium more. Kudos to Barbara Spencer for sticking with him and doing everything he did but in a dress and heels! You go, girl! Speaking of Barbara, did he really have to kiss her so much? Then again, let's live vicariously through her, shall we??

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by bftlovesRDA » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:56 am

Great to see everyone's comments. To Kate - Thanks in advance for the MacGyver Lexicon if that's what you end up working on. It would be great. And thanks for that tidbit about the pilot originally being 90 minutes long. I had read your Lexicon earlier, but I had forgotten that fact. Looking back, I would have loved for the first episode to have been 90 minutes because, the way i feel now, the more the better.

To JK - I agree that the writers put the women in "kissing" form with Mac from right at the beginning = which, actually, for me was just fine! :D :D :D

To uniquelyljas - I agree with you about Season 1 - not my favorite but that's just me.

They started right away with the"mini" episode at the beginning of each regular episode. I thought they were quite ambitious with the Pilot's mini-episode beginning on those beautiful heights and all. Right off the bat, Mac comes up with the heroic solution for the jet pilot's deliverance from the enemy - and even though maybe the solution is a bit far fetched, it set the tone for all the MacGyverisms to come. Mac's fear of heights is mentioned I think in this mini-episode also right from the start. Also, the Swiss Army Knife is involved in the rescue = right from the start. Someone had a brilliant idea about that knife.

Then in the episode I loved the fact that Dana Elcar was there from the beginning even though he was named a different name (Colson)...and he smoked....which is, ha ha funny now but was normal then on TV. I also loved the fact that when Mac was first introduced to "Colson", Dana Elcar's line was "so you're the screwball...." LOL = little did he know what a major role he would play in MacGyver's life and would get to know him and love him as more than just a "screwball."

The use of the candy bars to stop the chemical leak had to be a brilliant plan from Mac but to me it was a little bit hard to believe....but like so many of the MacGyverisms this one was probably stretching the facts a bit.,...but only made the show more entertaining.

Overall, the pilot HAD to hold the interest of the first viewers and it did. I do not remember watching the first episode back when it first aired. But I have re-watched it now several times and am amazed at how gripping the MacGyver adventure was from the very first episode. And, Mac was very good looking right from the start as well = something I definitely noticed when I first watched the series and moreso later on. :D :D :oops: :oops: :D :D
B

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KateR
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by KateR » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:51 pm

JackGywer wrote: But what bothered me, especially in the first season, was the ease with the women they gave him.
You could see in most episodes how he has been kissing women all the time. Whether he knew her or not!
(okay a bit over the top).
Wonder if they wanted to give him a certain image.
Maybe it worked that way in the 80's, no idea.
Ah yes, that was the 80's. At the time, though, I don't know if they were so much trying to give him the image of a ladies' man, or if they knew that a large part of the audience would be women and would happily put themselves in the position of those women. Later, when they tried to give him a steady relationship, those women rebelled, and so MacGyver remained unattached - the better for female fantasies. ;)
uniquelyjas wrote: I don't particularly like season 1. It feels like Mac was trying to find himself. I think he hit his stride in season 2. Anyway, the pilot didn't impress me much though it was still good. I don't know if I really dislike any episode! Lot's of MacGyverisms, but my brain isn't wired that way so it's cool and all, but I don't totally understand everything! LOL! I liked the fact that he had a "little brother". Wish they had explored that and his living at the planetarium more.
I can agree MacGyver was trying to find his way in season 1, or rather the writers were trying to find the character. Some of the dialogue in those early episodes still makes me cringe. But I liked the mystery of the character, and he was something so unique to TV at the time. I remember when the pilot first aired, he was on Sunday night opposite a new Steven Spielberg series, and MacGyver was really struggling in the ratings. I recorded the pilot because I was time-shifting while I watched Spielberg, but once I saw MacGyver I knew I wanted to continue recording and keeping it. Some weeks later, I accidentally recorded over the pilot episode and I was so upset because I knew it would be canceled soon and never rerun and I had lost it for good. Who could have guessed that MacGyver would have more staying power than Spielberg? Who knew that DVDs and the internet would be invented so that none of it would ever be lost?? :lol:

I think that my expectation back then that the show would be short-lived helped me to appreciate each episode a bit more, and so perhaps it's my fond memories of those days, looking forward to each little treasure for as long as it would last, that keep season one as a favorite for me despite some of the dreadful writing. Also, as the character evolved, MacGyver started to "become" Richard Dean Anderson. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but I liked the character in the early days when RDA wasn't really playing himself. The original pilot script did seem to give more of a glimpse into his personal life, his planetarium home, his little brother, his pet frog, his hobbies and interests, but I rather liked keeping the mystery a bit longer and getting to know him gradually.
bftlovesRDA wrote: I also loved the fact that when Mac was first introduced to "Colson", Dana Elcar's line was "so you're the screwball...."
One of my favorite moments in the pilot is the expression on RDA's face after Colson's "You must be the screwball" line. That is some brilliant subtle acting that RDA doesn't get credit for often enough, being known as an action-adventure hero.
bftlovesRDA wrote: The use of the candy bars to stop the chemical leak had to be a brilliant plan from Mac but to me it was a little bit hard to believe....but like so many of the MacGyverisms this one was probably stretching the facts a bit.
My dad was a chemist, and not easy to get into a conversation, so I used to start conversations with him by asking questions like, "what happens when you mix sulfuric acid and chocolate?" or "what happens when you mix adipic acid and hexamethyline diamine with iron particles in a magnetic field?" and he would always answer without any real curiosity until the day I asked, "so, how do you make crystal meth?" and he finally asked "WHERE are you getting these?!" :lol: :lol: He eventually became a fan of MacGyver himself (especially since it aired before Monday Night Football.) But regarding the chocolate, he said that it would thicken and solidify, but you would need a LOT of chocolate. That was true of a lot of the MacGyverisms - they worked, but probably not quite as easily as they did on the show.

Another thing to consider as we are rewatching these, is how the episodes stand up to audiences in the present day age of internet and cell phones. RDA has said that MacGyver wouldn't really work nowadays because almost every problem could be solved with a cell phone, and I agree with him. MacGyver's charm was that it was low-tech. When I was teaching, I would often bring in a few MacGyver episodes for those last days of school when the school year had really ended and the classrooms were being packed up, and I had to explain to the kids that "this was from the 80's before computers and cell phones." (Kids that age, when referring to a time so long ago as to be almost incomprehensibly ancient, will say, "that's from the EIGHTIES.") But it pleased me to see that kids could still appreciate it, and young fans are still growing up with the DVDs. Actually, the pilot stands up pretty well from that perspective. He could have lost a cell phone as easily as a walkie-talkie, and today's modern tech wouldn't necessarily have gotten him out of the predicament any faster. So bravo for a certain timelessness. :)

Kate

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by bftlovesRDA » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:47 pm

KateR wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:51 pm


One of my favorite moments in the pilot is the expression on RDA's face after Colson's "You must be the screwball" line. That is some brilliant subtle acting that RDA doesn't get credit for often enough, being known as an action-adventure hero.
Totally agree, Kate. LOVED Mac's expression after Colson's line = "you must be the screwball..". And, you are sooooo right = RDA's subtle acting is what I have found to be one of the most endearing qualities of all for him as an actor. He does it so naturally you cannot tell he is acting....but each and every expression is perfect for each scene. That is just another reason he needs to be back in front of a camera. No one can do that like he can.
KateR wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:51 pm

So bravo for a certain timelessness. :)
Amen!
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by GregMac » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:12 am

KateR wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:45 pm
There was a time when I had most of the episodes nearly memorized, but I haven't rewatched most of them in years, so I've forgotten a lot. In addition to trying to document the characters and plot lines, I used to enjoy capturing little behind-the-scenes details, like shooting locations, filming notes, and continuity errors. The continuity errors are fun to find, but having been on the set to witness the process of shooting an episode, it is very easy to understand how they manage to slip through.

As I mentioned in the Lexicon, the pilot was originally shot as a 90-minute episode and was then re-edited to an hour. I do have a copy of the original script - MacGyver's first name is Stace, and he has a pet frog named Samuel. I wonder if the original 90-minute version still exists anywhere.

Kate
The shooting locations are a favorite part of the website. I watch both series and usually look up the shooting location on Google Maps! One location however that is missing is where Mama Colton lived in Vancouver, but I guess there's only so much you can do!! :)

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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by Juliette » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:23 pm

The pilot is a great episode, it sets the tone for the whole series, and needed to catch the viewers' interest.
In many tv shows the pilot is shot before all the decisions are made for the series so there are often big differences between the pilot and the rest of the season.
On MacGyver, it looks like they needed a long time to figure out the character they wanted, and they tried different things during season 1 before taking decisions. I think that's why Mac from Season 1 is different from Mac in the following seasons.
I felt the same abut the kissing women thing Haha

I cannot agree more with you, RDA's little mimics are what makes his acting look so realistic, so natural. That's something I use to make my acting skills criteria.. I think all my favorite actors have that faculty (Rick is in the top of my list of course ^^)

If that 90-minute episode still exists somewhere, we need to find it! :lol: I would absolutely love to see it :D
If we can help to build the Lexicon, I would gladly contribute ;)

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KateR
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by KateR » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:36 pm

GregMac wrote: The shooting locations are a favorite part of the website. I watch both series and usually look up the shooting location on Google Maps! One location however that is missing is where Mama Colton lived in Vancouver, but I guess there's only so much you can do!!
There are a lot of locations I'd still love to be able to find. That was a favorite part of my MacGyver and Stargate sections - it was like a huge scavenger hunt. But if there isn't some clue on the screen to help to narrow it down, it's nearly impossible, especially with houses and residential neighborhoods. For example, trying to find the house where Henry Winkler had his office in the beginning of Harry's Will, a friend who lives in Vancouver thought she recognized the neighborhood, and we could make out the house number, so my friend and I walked back and forth along each block of the neighborhood where that house number would be until we finally found the right street. It was like winning a prize when we finally found it!
Juliette wrote: In many tv shows the pilot is shot before all the decisions are made for the series so there are often big differences between the pilot and the rest of the season.
True. I think this pilot was shot well before the show was picked up. At that point they hadn't even finalized the idea that MacGyver doesn't use guns, since this was the only episode where he fired a gun, and they've been trying to come up with an explanation for that ever since. ;) I wonder when they actually made that official decision. Much of the fleshing out of the character later kind of paralleled RDA, (the producers once said, "We like to keep Rick happy"), so we got a MacGyver who likes hockey and car racing and environmental causes, and I liked all of that, but I also have a special fondness for the mysterious Mac before he started to become RDA. Still, I can't imagine another actor in the role. :)
Juliette wrote: If that 90-minute episode still exists somewhere, we need to find it! :lol: I would absolutely love to see it :D
Me too! I wonder if it's in a vault somewhere, or in someone's attic. I can't imagine it being all that "bad" that it had to have a third of it cut out, but I'm happy with the final result too.
Juliette wrote: If we can help to build the Lexicon, I would gladly contribute ;)
Thanks, but it's one of those things that I kind of have to build on my own so I can hold it all in my head as I go from episode to episode. I guess it's an advantage to begin with an empty head. ;) :lol:

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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by JackGywer » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:59 am

The pilot was not the first episode I ever saw and I was a bit confused when I saw the pilot. Of course, it's often the case that the series evolves and that's a good thing. I have to say, MacGyver has done well and has spawned an unusual hero for the time. And I think that's what made the series so successful. A man who acts with savvy instead of weapons and fists. Before I can say anything to the pilot, I'll have to look at it again.
I hope I can do that by Friday. I think a few things have dropped out of my mind. Of course, the chocolate thing was fascinating and I love the MacGyverisms in every single episode. Even if they do not always work the way they are presented.
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Re: MacGyver/Discuss episode of the week

Post by NiLa » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:33 pm

Sorry for the delay....I had to watch the pilot again to comment on it.

I also didn't watch the pilot episode as my first MacGyver episode. In retrospective I think I never watched it on TV. I started watching MacGyver when it was a rerun already and quite not in chronological order.

So I saw the pilot for the first time on my DVD collection as I already knew the "later seasons" MacGyver. But I must say, I like it. I like the opening gambit, although I was astonished, that MacGyver fired a gun (but as we already said, the character had to be evolved, later in a clip show, when the same scene was shown as a flashback that part had been cut out). The famous swiss army knife was established, some MacGyverisms (with the gun and the paper clip for the rocket) and of course the scene with the parachute. Very cool.
When the main story continued I liked the playful character of Mac. Living in an observatory, playing with his "little brother", his way to act in the situation at the lab. I liked the scene when we got to know Colson (Dana Elcar). Funny thing, that Elcar started with this little role and became later Mac's best friend Pete.

Of course the MacGyverism with the choclate and the acid was a bit exaggerated, but that is ok for me, after all we are talking about Entertainment here.... :lol:

And that he and the girl were kissing...ok....spirit of the 80s. It happened in the first episodes quite often. You can see that the producers were trying to find MacGyver's character and voice, but I like the first seasons as much as the later seasons, when RDA and MacGyver were coming closer.

One tiny bit to say: MacGyver must have loved his outfit....because he had to identical shirts, trousers, shoes.....in the beginning, when taking the job at the lab....and in the end when playing basketball with his little friend....altough he had ruined it during his "lab tour" :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry it took so long for my comment, I was much involved in work and life.....

Anja ;)

Oh....and thank you all for the great discussion here. I am glad we have some more traffic here on our forum and with that topic I think we will have much fun....and with 138 more episodes much more fun to come :lol: :lol: :lol:
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....by doing so our world will be better each day...
Anja ;)

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