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TV Review: NIKITA

Submitted by on September 12, 2010 – 2:34 am 4 Comments

For months now, giant billboards of Maggie Q in slinky outfits have been decorating the streets of L.A., trumpeting the arrival of a not-quite-new badass. When the latest reboot of La Femme Nikita finally premiered Thursday night, it had about as much depth as its advertising campaign.

Maggie Q stars as the titular character, now a lone wolf seeking revenge on the Division, the shady government agency that plucked her out of jail and trained her to be an assassin. Meanwhile, Lyndsy Fonseca is Nikita Jr., a drug addict named Alex who gets caught during a robbery, charged with a murder she didn’t commit and recruited by the Division. The premiere episode cuts back and forth between Nikita trying to find the organization’s weak spots and Alex adjusting to her new situation as a trainee, with some asskicking and Q in sleek outfits thrown in.

The problem was I didn’t find any of the lead actors convincing. Fonseca has a soft, apple-pie healthiness that doesn’t translate into a Ukrainian meth head. She’d snarl and try to give ‘tude but comes across as posing. Shane West, as the Division recruiter/handler Michael, overacts with his cheesy chewing of every line, none of which held any conviction. He wants to be intimidating but I ain’t buying it.

Q is harder to pin down. She has an iciness befitting a killer but it also makes her inaccessible. In the original Luc Besson movie, Anne Parillaud was allowed to be vulnerable and fierce, sometimes wiping away tears while blowing away bad guys. Q’s Nikita is all glacier. She looks good in Nikita’s costume changes but that only accentuates how mannequin-like she is. And her slight frame, devoid of any muscle tone, is too fragile to be badass or sexy. When a bad guy hits her during a fight, I worried she’d snap right in half. That’s something I was never concerned about while watching Jennifer Garner on Alias.

I have a weak spot for fightin’ ladies, though, so until my favorite shows return and there are other new series to check out, I’ll probably give Nikita another go. But the show had better start making me care about its characters or it’ll be permanently eliminated from my DVR.

Did you watch? How do you think this Nikita compares to the previous incarnations?

Nerd verdict: Nikita misses the mark

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/The CW

4 Comments »

  • EIREGO says:

    I watched the show on my DVR, which, let’s face it, is the only way to view anything these days.

    Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this show could best be utilized as a college drinking game? I’m being serious here. This is what I am proposing: During the show, whoever can keep from cracking up with laughter whenever Fonseca speaks a line, has to take a drink. Anytime Maggie Q wears something revealing and you don’t feel like you are looking at a prepubescent girl, you have to take a drink. For every fight scene that looks like it was choreographed by a toddler (and the all do), you must do one shot.

    This an extremely laughable show with only two standouts: Tiffany Hines as JADEN (this girl should be the star of the show, she pops in every frame!) and Xander Berkeley as PERCY (a great actor who, unfortunately, must really need the money to sign onto this ridiculous show).

    I know every show needs to find their rhythm before it becomes a hit, but I am baffled by the casting, direction and why they revamped this series in the first place. For a really kickass version of this story, see the foreign film La Femme Nikita. That’s the stuff!

  • Reader#9 says:

    I watched. I wasn’t very impressed, but maybe I will give it another try since nothing else is on.

    The French film version with Luc Besson at the helm and Anne Parillaud as Nikita remains the best. Parillaud was so freakin’ feral! Don’t know why they ever remade it with Bridget Fonda as the lead. A very laughable film. To be fair though, I never got to see the TV version

    I’m with you, EIREGO, this show is very silly.

  • Eric Edwards says:

    A silly and ridiculous show, but nothing else is on. Maybe I’ll give it another chance to woo me.

    I agree with Eirego and Reader#9, nothing beats the original French film version and I will punch anyone who says otherwise. Okay, maybe not everyone….but if it was a little old man who moves slowly, walks all hunched over and can’t see well? And maybe if he doesn’t have a cane with him. And if he becomes so worked up about not liking the French film version that he spits on me? Yeah, I’d punch him!

  • Hmm. I think I’ll be better off catching up on all of the Joe Pike I’m so far behind on.

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