TV: Is the CW’s Nikita revival with Maggie Q going to be Garnered?
David KnightView all articles by David Knight
Garnered. I came up with this expression to describe specific circumstances which befall female action-heroines (and the actresses who portray them) as they travel from one media into another form.
People had high hopes for an Elektra movie starring Jennifer Garner. Most thought she was one of the best things about the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie. But, when given her own movie, the film makers diluted anything that made the character worth exploring – that made the character, well, the character. Every hero needs to have a weakness, for viewer sympathy they figured, so let’s make this merciless assassin have a case of OCD cleaning, you know, for all the blood guilt from the targets she has taken out. Her shift from cold-hearted assassin to a squeaky clean motivated heroine was ridiculously and unbelievable swift, even for Hollywood hack work. What they did was essentially alienate all those who had known the character and for years of fan following with their dollars made her popular enough to be a bankable property. They just had to alienate all those people because they wanted to get the younger female crowd into the character – they wanted to get the Alias crowd to follow star Garner, and they wanted girls to put down their Saddle Club chapter books and bug their moms to go see Elektra.
The makers of the Elektra film did a disservice to the Marvel Comics fans, and to Frank Miller et al, a disservice to females of all ages (who really don’t need Hollywood dumbing it down for them, or "cleaning it up" for them), and they did a disservice to Jennifer Garner, it must be said, who was so gung ho about the film during interviews while filming, but for some reason changed her tune when things were in post-production… Maybe she saw it for what it was and felt used?
Of course, I could say, as an expression, Bowmaned, after the director, or name it after someone else involved, but I also think "Garnered" is a suitable expression also for what happens to an actress who has the best of intentions in taking on an action-heroine role and having directorial efforts or post-production interference committee the thing into a mish mash not respectably resembling the source material. Keep in mind, this is Hollywood.
So, is the CW going to Garner up Nikita?
Only five episodes into the series, the CW gives us reruns of Nikita. Not a good sign. A Canadian network that was carrying Nikita, will apparently not be airing the rerun in favour of another (first run) show at that time. Not good: in that case, momentum for the series will be lost in the regions serviced by that channel. Whether the network in question is favouring first run programs only for the timeslot (at least at this point in the season) to appease advertisers for that time slot, or not, is anyone's guess.
Garnered? You better believe it is a possibility, true believer. So far, two indie sites and one reputable mainstream entertainment site are suggesting according to their source(s) that there may be some time off taken in order to (and I kid you not) lighten the mood of the show. Yeah, that’s good: I think a show about an assassin who turns on her employers shouldn’t be dark, but light. Seriously. Where the Demiurge in the space time continuum did these people leave their Tardis at? I guarantee you that such changes will lose them more than they will gain. Don’t they already have an uphill climb trying to appease the fans of the Peta Wilson Nikita series? Are they trying to make that climb even steeper?
But wait… That’s not all! There’s more! With this new lightness in tone you will get… Absolutely free… A love interest…
Seriously. They expect us to believe that a formerly indoctrinated killer, free of her former masters, will sometime during the attempt to take them down against all odds, find the time to indulge some romantic impulse? If these sources pan out, they had better lighten the tone extremely, right into full blown comedy – put a few episodes of Laverne & Shirley and Fantasy Mission Force into a blender, then pour and watch, and call it Nikita. I would like to be wrong. I really would. But, one of three sites so far, I have some confidence in. Enough to quote Steve Gerber's Marvel creation, Howard The Duck, in response: "Waugh!!!"
Hey -- isn't Fringe on right now? Be seeing you.
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