Admittedly, I'd missed this teaser for CBS's reboot of Magnum P.I. when it was first released. Call it a blessing. Because that was a week during which I didn't know that such an abomination existed.
Having already done a number on Hawaii Five-O , the reboot of the Jack Lord island crime show from the late '60s and '70s that is as visually entertaining as it is devoid of any real peril (at least for anyone other than its Asian actors ), CBS now sets out to presumably destroy another of my childhood classics, sucking the life out of a show that was as classic as it was campy, at times so perfectly awkward you couldn't help but watch.
The original combination of Tom Selleck and John Hillerman was, of course, a wonderful Odd Couple. While certainly not the first pairing of the sort, and certainly not untelegraphed once the show was in full swing, the dynamic was different in the 1980s. Magnum having served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, and Jonathan Higgins as a former British Army Sergeant Major — a very different war from a very different time. A war that isn't still going on. And from an era that lacked the unabashed, unapologetic patriotism you see today.
You felt like Selleck's Magnum at least somewhat deserved an island paradise — that he needed the escape — even while occasionally (OK, as often as possible) taking advantage of his employer. Jay Hernandez's Magnum is just having fun. A lot of fun. And now that Higgins is a woman (Perdita Weeks), we trade the awkward British Odd-Couplism for obvious sexual tension. (In and of itself not a bad thing, if it's done well.) And we lose another great mustache in the process.
(Higgins, man or woman, still has serious potential, even if it looks like the guard dogs also will lose any subtlety from the 1980s.)
Magnum's ex-military bros? Check. (Loved Zachary Knighton in the short-lived Happy Endings , Stephen Hill has some chops, and it's always fun to see Domenick Lombardozzi play the same character over and over again.) Ferrari(s)? Check. Throwback helicopter paint job? Check. Sung Kang? Check.
Sung Kang. Han from the Fast and Furious franchise. (And a spot on Hawaii Five-O. Hmmmm.) And Justin Lin — one of the better, if not best, *F&F directors — did this Magnum pilot. Interesting. Is this going to tie together the Magnum and Five-O worlds in some sort of CBS wet dream? Or just end up with a whole bunch of exploding cars and bad dialog and questions about mustaches and chest hair and aloha shirts?
And will any of this excuse the McGyver reboot?
We'll find out one way or another on Monday nights this fall.
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