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Friday, January 15, 2010

"Human Target" Review: A Good Popcorn Flick on TV

Sometimes it’s hard to explain the appeal of a show. But the appeal of “Human Target” can be summed up in two words—Mark Valley.

I have been a fan of his since his “Days of Our Lives” days and I have been hoping that someone would give him a good show after he was completely wasted for all of those years on “Boston Legal.”

Someone has finally heard my pleas. And wouldn’t you know it’s our old friend, McG…

“Target” stars Valley as Christopher Chance, a bodyguard for hire that becomes the target in order to protect his client. It’s a part Valley was honestly born to play. He’s great with the action, the drama and the humor. Not to mention he’s got the chiseled good looks necessary to pull the role off.

And he’s surrounded by a great supporting cast. Chi McBride—who deserves a hit show almost as badly as Valley does—is Winston, the face of the security agency. Jackie Earle Haley (“Watchmen”) is the mysterious Guerrero who helps the duo get each job done. The chemistry between the three of them is outstanding.

In the pilot, Chance protects a woman (Tricia Helfer, “Battlestar Galactica”) who designed a state-of-the-art train. The hour is almost non-stop action and it looks fantastic. But because it’s the pilot, the action has to be balanced with an introduction of the characters and that drags it down a little. It’s the second episode (the series premiere) when the show really starts humming as Chance must protect a computer hacker who has discovered a skeleton key to the Internet. The show messes with time a little to great effect.

It would be easy to compare “Human Target” to “24,” but I think that’s a mistake. I would be much quicker to compare it to “The A-Team” or as Valley has said himself, “The Rockford Files” with a McG (who’s an executive producer) twist. Because “Target” doesn’t have that much of a serial element, you can just be entertained for an hour instead of trying to pick up clues and keep stories straight. For the record, I’m not against doing either one of those things, but sometimes it’s nice to just feel an adrenaline rush. And “Target” definitely provides it.

If you’re looking for a good popcorn flick that’s actually a TV show, then “Target” is definitely for you. I know I’ve already added it to my must-see list…

“Human Target” airs a special preview Sunday, January 17th at 8 p.m. with the series premiere in its regular timeslot Wednesday, January 20th at 9 p.m.

Photo Credit: Justin Stephens/FOX