Friday, May 28, 2010

Fall Show Preview: Nikita (CW)

Nikita is a remake of the USA Network show La Femme Nikita, which was a remake of the films La Femme Nikita and Point of No Return. The common thread with all 4 versions is that 'Nikita' is a street savvy but attractive punk type who is recruited by a top secret government group. Depending on the version she either 
  • was a criminal, 
  • was accused of being a criminal, 
  • was in prison,  or 
  • was actually executed. 

In all versions she is trained to be an assassin and a spy -- well versed in all weapons, computers, explosives, strategic tactics and the act of disguise. 

The previous television version shows us several years of Nikita at work in Division (a super secret group that not even the CIA knows about it would seem) before jumping ship. The CWs version harkens back to the latter film's take with 'Nikita' falling for a guy against Division’s rules. In the film, Nikita (or rather Nina) fakes her own death and leaves her guy behind. This time, Division finds out about the fellow and Alias style has him murdered. Which pisses off Nikita and she runs, vowing to bring them down. 

And that’s all before the show actually starts it seems. Which is my big issue with the show, at least as the trailer presents it. I don’t mind that they cast Maggie Q over a hot blonde like Peta Wilson. I doubt this role is really going to take that much in terms of deep acting skills and Maggie has shown through work like Live Free or Die Hard that she can handle bad ass action with some quippy lines tossed in. I can even get over the utterly white bread supporting cast where even the nerds are actually rather hot. But what really irritates me is shows the crap out a bunch of backstory in some long drawn out talking heads BS. I would actually rather that they show us happy Nikita and her boy for an episode or two (or at least the first bit of an episode) and then off him and let us see her do her thing. Or even go ahead and start it, as they say, in medias res, and show us that back story a la Lost with some flashback action, including some of that slick training stuff and early missions. 

That said, I know that promos aren’t always the best marker of a show and as a fan of the bad ass female character (yeah I have a girl crush on Sydney Bristow and Fiona, sue me), I’m willing to give this show a chance. Despite a strong feeling I will be disappointed in the end and this will be one for the snark.

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