TV Review: CBS’s “MAGNUM P.I.”

My hopes were not very high for the new Magnum P.I. reboot, and it saddens me to report that CBS didn’t pull out a victory in the last seconds of the game. It was a stinky bag of dog poop, set on fire, and left on your doorstep.

Like the go nowhere voice over narration that drones on and on, the show itself offers NOTHING that comes even remotely close to the original series, as far as story or character. The original series is beloved for a reason. It’s like they didn’t even try.

The casting felt wrong from the day they announced, and I stand by my initial reaction to the casting of Jay Hernandez as Thomas Sullivan Magnum was just a washout. He doesn’t have the looks, the presence or the likability to take on such a fan favorite role. I mean, the kid isn’t a bad actor, he just isn’t Thomas Magnum, much less a viable replacement for Tom Selleck. Then there’s Perdita Weeks as a sexy Joan Higgins. Oh, man, did they EVER mishandle this character. I don’t mind one bit about the gender flipping, but at least make it worth our while. Instead, they played it dumb. Her character, right out of the gate, is showing off her prowess and skills, offering no room for discovery or character growth. I am sorry, but that is just bad writing.

Let’s talk about how they don’t even try to make us like the characters. A writer can use dialogue or narration to tell the audience who are close friends or mortal enemies. But, it is through development of characters and relationships that you CONVINCE a viewer who to care about. A viewer needs to see WHY they care, not just be told they should care. This pilot relied solely on the narration and dialogue to direct the audience, but then offered no substance or through characters given on screen growth time to actually make us care. There was just too much plot and not enough story and character growth.

The one highlight in the casting was of Stephen Hill as TC, and Zachary Knighton as Rick. They are the only cast who feel like they fit their roles and were remotely enjoyable. Hernandez and Weeks, on the other hand, just come off like someone got cast to please a friend with money.

The show has plenty of eye candy; chases, action, fast sexy cars, for the easy-to-please types. Sorry if that pisses anyone off, but, that is the truth. However, not all is a lost, as that may score them the points needed to survive to another season, and there is always a chance of fixing a show in its second season.

Honestly, though, I feel this show sputtered and died before it even started. I could be wrong, because…well…there is never a shortage of crap shows on TV these days.

Magnum P.I. gets only 6 out of 10 Potatoes.
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This show sputtered and died before it even started6
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