By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Even after weeks of watching the reboot of Magnum P.I, I still think Tom Selleck is the definitive version. He has an adorable charm the new star does not have and it’s not about being another macho man.
When Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson created this crime drama, the first goal was to emphasize the camaraderie between this title character, his irksome landlord (Major Domo), and the soldiers in arms who helped each other out thick and thin. Okay, the series got two out of the three right.
As the original series progressed, parts of Thomas past were shown. He had a wife. During his last tour of duty, they were together, but a raid tore them apart. She was believed to have died. However, other agencies were at work; the later seasons revealed her fate. This story arc was important it came back to taunt him as nightmares. I was sad when the series ended. The tease at the end suggested that should it come back, the story can continue with his daughter following in her father’s footsteps. She might even join the Navy. This continuation would have been perfect since it allows room for Selleck to return.
Instead, a reboot was ordered. Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim developed this new series. Just because the former won an award for the re-imagined Hawaii 5-0 and the latter is showrunning, it does not mean they should handle a beloved classic. This take tries hard to capture the flavor of the original, but does it too much where I kept on asking myself, “Didn’t I see this scene before?”
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