Human Target: The Complete First Season

Human Target: The Complete First Season
Now that Hollywood has figured out that comics aren't just about superheroes anymore and also how to make a product that actually does justice to the source material, there are some really good films and shows appearing. That's why Human Target works this time around, whereas the 1992 version starring Rick Springfield didn't. Instead of going for dumb and goofy fighting, it goes with earnest, almost plausible action, a low-key cast that are incredibly likeable and it isn't afraid to move away from the original comic if it makes for better television. The "Human Target" is actually Christopher Chance (played very convincingly by Boston Legal's Mark Valley), a security expert and bodyguard for hire ― as he points out to a client who asks where his bullet-proof vest is, he literally becomes their vest. He is ably backed up by former police officer Laverne Winston (Pushing Daisies' Chi McBride) and Guerrero (Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley), an ex-assassin and computer hacker. Together, the trio take on a variety of jobs, usually protecting someone, with Chance having to integrate himself into the subject's life, with all kinds of shenanigans ensuing. The tone of the show is remarkably low key, right from the old school orchestral score that accompanies the artistic opening sequence. The focus is on plot and story, punctuated by impressive action sequences when required; it is all beautifully paced and feels more like a classic show from the '60s than something from the network that gave us 24. There are lighter moments as well, usually coming via McBride, who can't help but bring humour to most of his scenes. But, really, this is just some wonderful escapism, executed almost perfectly. And even better, it hasn't been cancelled yet and will return for a second season soon. The 12 episodes are spread over two Blu-Ray discs, and it looks as good as network television can. There is a lone commentary track on the pilot episode featuring Valley, McBride and the show's two executive producers, and it's very entertaining, with lots of insight into the making of the show. The other extras are more inconsequential, most likely due to the short season length, but there are still some deleted scenes and two 15-minute featurettes that delve a little further into how the transition from comic to show happened, and how the impressive stunts were put together. (Warner)