Looking Back at Season 1 (IV) – The Promo (Part 1: The Poster Art)

If you’ve read some of my Updates, you probably already know: I’m not a big fan of the Official Poster Promo.

I like the colors. The combination of the colors looks good at night, too. The BtS videos look like they had a lot of fun shooting it. I like that it features only a single character – the character the show was actually named for. It seems they had quite the decent advertizing budget. The poster art looks very modern, I guess. And it looked pretty great being painted onto Hotel Figueroa in LA.

But I just don’t like the poster itself.

Day vs Night (via Twitter)

For one, I think it’s a bit misleading.

The Reboot is clearly more “Team Phoenix” than “MacGyver”. Back when the writers (e.g. Brian Durkin) were still writing scripts and filming hadn’t started yet, there was a lots of talk about Jack Dalton and the Hashtag #MacAndJack was used frequently. Although both Lucas Till and George Eads did the promo tour shortly before the premiere in September, it was only Lucas who was featured in the poster art and the mini clips.

Additionally, they had stated at Comic Con San Diego that MacGyver would still be afraid of heights. Here, he looks like he jumps out of helicopters before breakfast every day.

Pizza and Scripts (via Cornell Willis)

Two, I don’t think the poster fits the character.

Back when the poster art was seen on billboards and on busses, many people uploaded photos of it on social media. Most reactions were negative. People who didn’t know the original show were kinda confused what this should be. They deemed it too cheesy and assumed it was promo for a B-Movie with lots of CGI explosions. Others made fun of it, stating it was a rip-off of other movie posters and game covers.

Pizza Boxes are good for creating stuff (via Twitter)

Many fans of the original show took offense by stating that Lucas Till’s version of MacGyver was too cocky and “smirky” and that the sujet itself was too “patriotic”. I have to agree that it wasn’t necessary to put an American flag on the parachute. This might be a controversial topic, depending where you readers are from.

I’m not American and to me, MacGyver has always been an international show. In some countries, the original show has been airing for years on free TV stations without any hiatus. I don’t remember a single episode where MacGyver put emphasis on his heritage (growing up in Minnesota, yes, but not being American per se).

Sightseeing with Style (via Proper Sightseeing)

Third, I think it’s overly photoshopped.

When the poster art was released in August 2016, I still didn’t know much about Lucas or his work. By now, I’ve seen many pictures of him and several of his movies, and I have to say he has a nice and natural smile. The poster diminishes that and makes him look a bit like a cocky jerk.

I’m aware that this might be exactly what the studio had in mind. Rebooted MacGyver is younger than OT MacGyver, and even in the original show, MacGyver stated that he was a bit cocky and sometimes too self-assured in his younger years.

Wall Painting on Hotel Figueroa, LA (via Mohamad M Ali)

I can’t even imagine what Lucas must have felt like; seeing your own face on huge billboards all around the city you live in. That’s quite an accomplishment if you’re still so young. But I just don’t know why they chose this one as the end result.

I actually like the screenshots of the BtS video and BtS pictures of the photoshoot much better.

BtS picture (via Nick Tortorici)

Looking back, it feels a bit strange that they had all this promo with the “Parachute Scene”, yet cut the scene so short in the Pilot Episode. It’s probably the most interesting MacGyverism in the episode; especially for viewers that don’t know the original show.

Yes, time is essential for the scene. I guess it played out better in the Unaired Pilot, where MacGyver probably “sailed” for a much longer time once he escaped the burning truck that fell down a cliff.

Interestingly, there was a second billboard version out there in LA, but we never got to see it anywhere else in any other form.

Billboard in LA (via Byron Nickleberry)
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