Wednesday, September 8, 2010
TV Recycles Nikita
One must never accuse the CW of overestimating the tastes of its fans.
Last season the weblet tried to reinvent that old series Melrose Place only to fail miserably.
This year CW is back at it with a new interpretation of the much travelled Nikita.
The enigmatic female spy first appeared in the French movie La Femme Nikita, then was reinterpreted by Bridget Fonda in the quickie American remake Point Of No Return.
Then it was Toronto's turn --I journeyed to the west end set to watch some serious butt kicking.
Australian import Peta Wilson was the suddenly blonde spy and Quebec's Roy Dupuis was the mass murderer she loved, Michael. Also in the cast and the sexiest by far was the controller played by Alberta Watson.
The Canadian cast included Matthew Ferguson, Eugene Robert Glazer and Don Francks.
Warners made this one for the USA network but finally jettisoned everything after four violent seasons. Fan reaction brought it back for a brief fifth season.
The new Nikita isn't quite up to the standards of the first series in terms of atmosphere and ambiance. It exists for its cartoonish violence --after a baddie has been despatched we never withess his corpse or even his body. The kids who play all those video games will dig it, older viewers may feel squeamish.
The storyline is strictly formulas but it's a formula that's worked in the past. And compared to CW's other new series, Hellcats, Nikita is almost Chekovian in its plot developments.
I still feel the first Toronto version was the best in terms of style. This one is very gloomy without that note of self mockery that made the first series so much peverse fun.
CW sources are claiming Nikita is right in there with its other shows in appealing to a young, hip and female audience who'll presumably drag their boyfriends into warching, too.
But as a stepping stone to stardom? Forget it!
Whatever happened to Wilson who was once so hot she got to appear on the Letterman show? And Dupuis retreated back to Quebec made projects. Star editors forced me to venture out to an auction of the series artifacts where eager fans purchased Dupuis's clingy leather pants for hundreds of bucks. Go figure that one out.
The stars of the new one are Maggie Q who looks too thin to really kick butt plus Shane West and Lyndsy Fonseca as the newest assassin around.
MY RATING: ** 1./2
NIKITA PREMIERES THURSDAY AT 9 P.M. ON A CHANNEL AND CW.