The original premise was that the mysterious Christopher Chance, a James Bond-type, would serve as a bodyguard, not in the conventional way, but using his disguise skills to actually take the place of the intended victim, drawing the assassin out. When I heard that Mark Valley's Human Target would instead use the intended victim as bait and put himself in harm's way, I was already skeptical.
I was also getting quite sick of this guy:
Mark Valley, who you will recognize most recently from the FOX X-Files knockoff Fringe. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with Valley personally, or even with his acting. What I'm really tired of is the blond, square jawed, 40-something, slightly goofy sci-fi/comic book hero, who you can also see in Eureka in the form of Colin Ferugson:
Anyway, so I watched the premiere, all set to give a scathing review about trite reimaginings of great concepts.
Ladies and gentlemen, I LOVED it. First of all, as action-adventure pilots go, I did not find that the plot was particularly predictable or cliched, which was incredibly refreshing. Secondly, I thought Mark Valley did a fine job, and his decision to be close to his target rather than actually become the target actually made sense. Next, and perhaps more importantly, it co-starred this guy:
Whom people my age will remember as the brash Kelly Leak from the original Bad News Bears, and more recent readers will remember from his absolutely brilliant turn as Rorscach in the movie Watchmen. The character Guerrero that Jackie Earle Haley plays in the Human Target is somewhere in between, a guy who doesn't look like much, but you just know could kill you if he wanted to. You're afraid of him and you don't quite know why. This type of character is possibly my favorite in all of fiction, and Haley is perfect for him.
Finally, and equally important, is Mark Valley's Christopher Chance. To my surprise, he was neither a douchebag nor an intolerable goofball. I'm all for a good anti-hero: I love seeing House put it to his hapless team and patients every week. But it was about time for a protagonist who has his shit together (relatively speaking) and is just a good guy. That's who Christopher Chance is. Chance is a callback to old school action heroes like the A-Team's Hannibal Smith and Mission Impossible's Jim Phelps. He's cool without being an asshole, and I dig it.
Anyway, watch The Human Target. If the episodes that follow are anything like the pilot (and you like this sort of thing), it'll definitely be worth your while.