MacGyver “Pilot” (part 2 of 4)

So, opening credits. The credit sequence is a big montage of MacGyvery stuff: MacGyver sticking wires into things, MacGyver pulling wires out of things, MacGyver dismantling some electronics, MacGyver jumping into/out of/off the sides of things, a bomb going off, MacGyver eating an ice cream cone, etc. The ice cream clip doesn’t really seem to fit with the other scenes.

After the credits, we’re back at MacGyver’s place. Which is actually an observatory. I’m pretty sure living in an observatory when you’re not actually an astronomer is the dictionary definition of “obnoxiously quirky”. MacGyver’s currently looking through telescopes with a black kid who, we learn from some expository dialogue, is MacGyver’s “Little Brother”, as in the mentoring thing.

For the benefit of younger readers: showing a white character bonding with a black kid was the stock ‘80s TV way of establishing that they’re basically a decent person. The cynicism of this strategy is underlined by the fact that we never see this boy again after this episode.

Caption contributed by Ms. Avery

Token Black Kid, we hardly knew ye.

And then… MacGyver playfully slaps the kid on the ass, and suggests they go get some food. Yeah. Um, so, I think standards were different back then, and MacGyver has this unfortunate tendency to be a bit more friendly towards kids than would be acceptable on TV now. It makes for somewhat uncomfortable viewing sometimes.

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Multi-Part Article: MacGyver "Pilot"

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