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HTF REVIEW: MacGyver: The Complete Second Season

DVD Reviews TV Reviews

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#1 of 6 Scott Kimball

Scott Kimball

    Screenwriter

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Posted June 08 2005 - 07:23 AM

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MacGyver - The Complete Second Season







Studio: Paramount Television

Year: 1986 - 1987

Rated: NR

Length: 1046 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: Dolby Digital English Mono

Closed Captioned

Special Features: None

Estimated Street Price, $30 USD
Release Date: June 7, 2005


The second season of MacGyver on DVD offers up more MacGyver goodness, presented in a way that very much reflects the qualities of the season one set.

I won’t get into individual episode plots (I watched six episodes at random for this review). But, as an overview for the three people out there who may not be familiar with this show...

MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) is an agent of sorts, a spy, a general “fixer” who works for the Phoenix Foundation, a think tank based in California. MacGyver travels the world, doing what he does best... and if he can’t find trouble to set right, it can usually find him.

MacGyver isn’t your typical modern spy. He doesn’t carry a gun or any high-tech gadgetry. He uses his head and materials around him to improvise his way out of a tight spot. That’s the gimmick for the show. Give the man some tape, a fire extinguisher and a bullet (no gun), and watch him create any number of devices to help him in his mission.

Season two reduced its reliance on cold war issues a bit, and found some higher caliber guest stars when compared with season one. These changes make the show seem a bit more contemporary today, and allow for some passable acting.

MacGyver is an enjoyable show... even if an episode isn’t particularly thrilling, it’s always interesting to watch how the writers have devised a way for MacGyver to improvise his way out of a dangerous situation.

The Transfers
The video is still a weak link, as seen on MacGyver season one - although I think it is slightly improved, here.

There appears to be a bit less dirt in the source than season one, except in stock shots, which still appear much the same. The picture is still soft, as on season one - though maybe a touch crisper.

Contrast is much the same as season one, with decent blacks, but with whites that never seem to achieve purity. Colors are a bit more consistent.

Occasional mosquito noise and aliasing can be seen from time to time, artifacts of compression which could most likely be avoided if a bit more care were taken in the process.

So... a minor improvement over season one - but there is still room for more improvement, I think. I can forgive dirt and some contrast problems carried over from the source, but the mild mosquito noise and aliasing is harder to ignore.

The mono audio is pretty solid for a mono track of this vintage, delivering solid frequency response and some decent bass when called for. Dialog and music sound pleasing and natural.

Special Features
There are no special features.

Final Thoughts
A slight improvement in quality from season one still affords a fairly lackluster outing, in terms of video quality. The production values and acting in the episodes themselves are somewhat improved in season two, however. With a great price, this still gets a recommended “buy” for fans of the series.

#2 of 6 RogerH

RogerH

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Posted June 08 2005 - 10:06 AM

Thanks for the review. I plan on getting this on saturday.

#3 of 6 Pete Battista

Pete Battista

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Posted June 08 2005 - 11:05 AM

Thanks Scott...
I am hoping to pick this one up before to long. Posted Image

#4 of 6 KenRen

KenRen

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Posted June 09 2005 - 01:09 AM

Anyone had a problem with the MacGyver disks? My neighbor bought the set from a local retailer and disks 3 and 5 will not play.



Thanks,
KenRen

#5 of 6 RogerH

RogerH

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Posted June 11 2005 - 02:25 AM

KenRen my disc 5 will play but it does have some discoloration on it. Does disc 5 on his copy have the same thing?

#6 of 6 KenRen

KenRen

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Posted June 13 2005 - 01:48 AM

OK, took the set back to the retailer, who had to open 3 boxes to find one a complete set without "stained" disks. New set works fine.

Judging by the responses here, could just be a local problem.

KenRen