Inside Pulse DVD Review- MacGyver: The Complete 3rd Season


Lee David Zlotoff

The Cast
Richard Dean Anderson…. Angus MacGyver
Dana Elcar…. Pete Thornton
Bruce McGill…. Jack Dalton

The Show

For my last MacGyver review, I gave it a very generous 9 out of 10 for the show. Thinking back, that 9 out of 10 was more because I was having a blast watching a hilariously bad drama with my brother and was amazed that Paramount was selling a 20 odd episode season that ran a hour on TV for under 30 bucks. The charm of MacGyver is still the same, but a bit of the magic was missing this go around.

Episodes from this season are pretty much standard fare minus a two part season opener. MacGyver gets involved with environmental situations (toxic waste is a must), is brought in to test the security of some agency when something goes horribly wrong, or ends up protecting girl of the week from someone that wants to kill her or kidnap her. To say this show is episodic is an understatement.

Despite this, MacGyver still manages to be an incredible rollercoaster ride of entertainment to the max. It speaks to its audience in a lot of different ways. Angus MacGyver was probably the most charismatic every man of the absurd action cop/secret agent/Special Forces genre popular back in the 80s. Also, there is a degree of anticipation to what MacGyver will use every episode to get out of whatever situation he gets into. The sheer ridiculousness of some of Angus’ ideas are overwhelmingly fun in both a “oh my god, he is so the man” way and a “how can anyone have ever taken his seriously” way.

MacGyver is the type of show you can shoot holes in all day though. It is completely and utterly by the book with Angus taking care of business by the end of every episode. Despite variations in setting and plot, MacGyver is way too easy a show to read. It’s the type of program that really needed a likable minor character who shows up every couple of episodes to get gunned down in a season finale to build real drama for the show.

The other problem is that the acting of the non-core cast (MacGyver and Jack Dalton) is often unbearable. It really hinders the show dramatically when someone reacts in a nonchalant about a potential nuclear threat, only to overact a few moments later over whether or not they can get pill X to their daughter before she succumbs to exaggeratedly deadly disease Y. While this might be good for the unintentional comedy of the show, it does little for dramatically developing the show.

All in all, you know what you’re getting into MacGyver for. It is an off the wall action show that offers some of the coolest and most hilarious gadgets this side of Q’s office. MacGyver is not a show for good drama or for really compelling drama. Angus MacGyver is a wonderful, likable character, but a good character alone does not make for a great show. It’s MacGyver’s world in MacGyver. It’s just that his world is made out of paper in terms of plot and other supporting characters.

Score: 7 out of 10

The Video

The video is a bit sloppier then last season. It looks like it was recorded off of whatever master tapes they’ve got playing on TBS these days with little attempts to clean it up. MacGyver Season 3 looks like an old TV show. I don’t know how much of that could have been saved by any amount of clean up, but there’s a bit too much grain for this to be anything but a straight transfer.

The Audio

MacGyver is presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo track. It is much better then the video. It sounds excellent for what it is. The ambience music comes across clear and crisp. All of the explosions are crisp sounding and dialogue is clear and intelligible. The audio couldn’t get any better unless they re-recorded all of the dialogue.

The Extras

I really need to stop giving points for trailers…

Trailers for other Paramount TV releases: Mork and Mindy, Charmed, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, and many other show trailers are on the MacGyver Season 3 set. They’re trailers to make you try and buy other DVDs. Is anything else needed?

Score: 2 out of 10