Plot: What’s it about?
On the heels of the first season of “MacGyver”, we find the second season (how odd). One thing about the show was that it was pretty consistent throughout its seven year run. There was the usual bevy of guest stars (notably Cuba Gooding Jr. and Linda Blair) and an episode that proved MacGyver wasn’t gay when he ran into his ex-fiance. But let’s face it – we tune in for the same reason we watch any television show: we want to see what Mac will build next! This season introduced us to Pete (the recently deceased Dana Elcar) as MacGyver became less of a free agent and an employee of the Phoenix Foundation. Fans, it’s more of the same here as MacGyver stops the bad guys (without the use of a gun, mind you), builds incredible things out of nothing and, on occasion, gets the girl in the end.
The basic plot of the show was pretty consistent throughout the show’s run, MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) whose first name was to be revealed in the final season, was sort of an “independent contractor” who later ended up working for the Phoenix Foundation with Pete (Dana Elcar) as his boss. MacGyver wasn’t really a policeman, FBI agent or anything of that nature, but he always managed to get himself into the middle of things and always ended up cheating death time after time. Part of the allure of the show was that MacGyver was more of a role model. He didn’t drink, smoke or swear and he hated guns. He managed to solve all of the problems by using his mind and if he needed a stick of chewing gum and a paper clip to get out of a jam – well so be it. The first season doesn’t really compare to the rest, MacGyver was later joined by Jack Dalton (Bruce McGill) who always lightened up the mood and in the later days when he was sporting his frosted hair and mullet – well it just didn’t get much better than that (and a Jeep Sahara edition to boot). Hopefully Paramount will end up releasing all of the seasons on DVD, but at the very least we have the first two.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are shown in their original full-frame aspect ratio (as was concurrent with being a TV show in the 80’s) and for the most part look good. There is a fair amount of grain in a few of the episodes and while it’s not distracting – I’ve seen better from earlier television shows on DVD. Fleshtones seem to be warm and natural and while edge enhancement isn’t a factor, I did notice that on some of the scenes there’s a fair amount of dirt on the print. On the whole, it’s better than you’ll find in reruns but not much.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Surround track doesn’t really bring the episodes to life as most of the effects (I think something blows up at least once an episode) are pretty weak. For the most part it’s a dialogue-driven action show that doesn’t really challenge your surround system that much. That said, just like the video presentation it sounds as good as it ever has, but that’s still not that great.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Aside from the slimmer look (the 6 disc set is housed in three slim cases), there’s really nothing – just like the first season. Maybe they can rig an invention out of a little money called supplements?