Monday 18 January 2010

So I'm watching the Human Target pilot as it's now a tv series. Based on the comic book character created in the 1970s but unquestionably popularised of late to the point where a televised adaptation is seen as an option by the work of Peter Milligan for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, the trades are a good first port of call for those pretentious dicks who think they're too good for comics, alongside stuff like Strangers in Paradise, crudely drawn biographies about the holocaust/Middle East, or - I dunno - comics about rape told from the female point of view or something. Jolly stuff, you know?

Anyway, I'm watching Human Target, and about ten minutes in, it's about as good as any other show of its ilk that I watch, like Leverage, for instance - except while I watch and occasionally enjoy Leverage, it's still just a big ol' heap of shit at the end of the day and I'm indulging as much as I am watching it, and that's what human target is. It's a big old pile of shit, and given the pedigree of some of the comic tales, which are not what you'd think of as difficult to adapt, I really had to ask myself "Why is this show so shit?"

It's one of those mysteries that solves itself, really.
There's a bit halfway through where two guys are having a bit of fisticuffs in a runaway train car, and all I could think of was the leaked script adapting Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic that basically opened with Sandman having fisticuffs with his evil brother and he says something like "You won't defeat me, Sandman - I'm the king of bad dreams!" and that's the level of comic book adaptation you're getting with Human Target, especially when Chase speaks to his clients for the first time and I genuinely wondered - based on the words coming out of the mouths of characters - if the writer had ever actually met another human being.
If you can indulge bad television and miss the kind of show that pushed a lone male protagonist against the world in a shooty/runny kind of situation four times an episode, it might hold your attention, but otherwise you might not care for it. If you're diehard fan of the comics, you should avoid it like the plague, unless you like to tear things down for being terrible, in which case you can probably come up with a decent drinking game to play during episodes.
"When someone says Chase is a loose cannon, you drink beer. When the music swells really loudly to tell you what to think or feel, drink beer. When Chase poses and tells the bad guy how he totally pwns the current situation, drink a shot. When Chase makes an amazing deduction that's suspiciously like that bit in last week's Monk, take a shot."
Awful television - naturally, this does not mean I won't be watching next week.

1 comment:

  1. So, wait: the guy in this is called Chase? Have they not even READ the comics?!

    Being a HUGE fan of the Peter Milligan series, I have to admit, I'm REALLY not looking forward to seeing this. Whereas Milligan's stories were often thoughtful and intelligent meditations on the subject of identity, this sounds like they just looked at all the gun fights in it and, well, nothing else.

    And anything with McG involved with it is best just avoided, I think.