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Featured TV on DVD Review: Macgyver: The Complete Collection

April 6th, 2015

Macgyver: The Complete Collection - Buy from Amazon: DVD

This week, there are a number of TV on DVD Complete Series Megasets coming out from Paramount. This includes Frasier, Matlock, The Brady Bunch, as well as the one I'm reviewing this week, MacGyver.

The Show

TV on DVD Megasets are different from most releases and the reviews are handled differently. Instead of watching every episode, which would take nearly five days in this case, I usually just pick and choose select episodes. I decided against doing this time around and I actually paused the first episode just one minute and eleven seconds into the pilot episode. I did this, because it was at this point when I remembered the plot of the episode. I watched MacGyver as a kid and I really liked it at the time, but I was surprised I remembered the plot of the pilot episode more than two decades after I last watched the show.

Richard Dean Anderson plays Angus MacGyver, a former secret agent who left government work, because he believed they were too militaristic and too quick to use violence to solve problems. Instead, he uses his wits and vast scientific knowledge to create jury-rigged solutions. Granted, a lot of these solutions are not exactly 100% reality based. Mythbusters did a pretty good job of showing you can use the gunpowder in a bullet to create an explosion, but not one powerful enough to destroy a lock, for example. Even so, it was great to watch a show where intelligence and not brute force won the day. Even though I remembered the basic plot, and even some of the specific solutions, I was still engaged in the show. The show isn't perfect and the technical presentation is weak. The show was first put out on DVD ten years ago and they didn't remaster it, so it looks only slightly better than seeing it on syndication.

There is a second issue with this release. It is a double-dip. The show previously came out on a Megaset in 2007. Is there any difference between this edition and the previous one? Let me put it to you this way... they sent me the 2007 edition to review. The packaging is different and the price is different; in fact, the list price for this version is half of the list price of the 2007 release. With Amazon's discounts, the new version is about $25 less.

The Extras

The extras include the two TV movies made after the series ended. The first one co-stars Brian Blessed, who is always a hoot to watch, while the second features Lena Headey.

The Verdict

Macgyver is a series that is worth picking up for fans of the genre. If you like adventure series where the hero is more likely to use a gun as spare parts than as a weapon, then you should own this series. This release of The Complete Collection is a bargain at about $11 a season, plus $11 for the two TV movies. The lack of extras is a disappointment and the show is showing its age when it comes to the video quality, but it is still worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Richard Dean Anderson, Brian Blessed, Lena Headey