• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #9: Angus MacGyver


When it comes down to me against a situation, I don't like the situation to win.

There was a time in my life, around age 11 or so, when the man with the duct tape and the spectacular mullet would have been a contender for number one. I loved me some MacGyver in the mid- to late-80s. I loved his put-upon reluctant heroism, his endless resourcefulness, his penchant for winding up in bizarre situations where something always ended up exploding. He was so different than anything else we'd seen - a mix of Indiana Jones and Magnum, P.I. - sort of a Magnum, Ph.D. Like Indy, he inspired some of my earliest, ham-fisted writing attempts. He made smart not just cool, but heroic, and that was pretty awesome at the height of Rocky and Rambo 1980s machismo.

You know a character has left an indelible mark on society when his name becomes a verb, and one we still use decades after the show left the airwaves. We still pull out our Swiss Army knife and paper clips and announce our intentions to "MacGyver" the problem. The show itself was a product of its time, and I haven't had the heart to torture my nostalgia by trying to go back and watch it again. I'm surprised we haven't seen Hollywood's attempt to mine this nugget for another painful reboot. I think this is one of

those things best left to happy memory.

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