I’ll get right to it and answer the main question you probably have about the new MacGyver, which is really the only question that matters when it comes to the new MacGyver: No, Mac no longer has a mullet.
That’s not the only disappointing aspect of CBS’s reboot of the long-running ’80s action-adventure show, though. The new MacGyer is, on the one hand, a perfectly serviceable answer to the old one, often slick and occasionally exciting and certainly at home in a sea of mediocre procedurals; it is very rarely, however, anything more than that.
Mac, this time around, is played by X-Men’s Lucas Till; he nails the nerdy hero’s affable, aw-shucks charm. And while the original MacGyver was largely a loner, the new one operates as part of an ensemble: There’s Jack (George Eads), Mac’s wacky sidekick; and Wilt (Justin Hires), his roommate; and Nikki (Tracy Spiridakos), his girlfriend; and Riley (Tristin Mays), a hacker; and Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt), his M-esque boss. (Her name is a nod to the original Mac’s best friend, Pete Thornton, the only character in the show who appeared regularly with Richard Dean Anderson.)
That it-takes-a-village shift certainly gives the show’s writers more room to play and experiment with Mac and his adventures; it also, however, makes the show read distinctly like … nearly every other procedural in recent memory. CSI? NCIS? Quantico? MacGyver may bring more chemistry—or, more precisely, more vaguely mansplainy discussions of chemistry—into the mix; beyond that, though, it’s hard to tell the new show apart from the many other shows that have, in the decades after the old MacGyver ended, swooped in to fill its void.