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MacGyver: The Complete First Season (1985) – DVD Review

MacGyver: The Complete First Season DVD cover art


Created by Lee David Zlotoff
Starring Richard Dean Anderson


  • All twenty-two first season episodes

Released by: Paramount Home Video
Rating: NR (suitable for all audiences)
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; episodes appear in their original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Wait for the other seasons and then rent them instead…

Angus MacGyver (Anderson) is a specialist in pretty much everything. He’s an absolute genius who is good at getting out of sticky situations with only only his wits and whatever he happens to have with him at the moment. Oh yeah, he’s the guy who doesn’t need a gun to take care of business, either. Just some chewing gum. And maybe a bit of twine. And a twist-tie. And…

We all know by now how Anderson’s character’s name has become a verb in the late 20th/early 21st century lexicon that means “to fix, repair, rig, solve, build, invent, or otherwise save the day, as MacGyver did” (according to Wikipedia). However, in hindsight, it’s amazing that this ever came to be. The show, at least during this first season, is the epitome of cheese. Anderson is great in the role and he’s easy on the eyes, which is probably why the show lived as long as it did in the first place. I only watched the show sporadically when it originally aired, but I remember it being a bit better than what I watched in this first season.

Another thing jarring is the reminder that, in those days, if bad guys started shooting their fully automatic weapons at our hero, there was no way in hell they were going to hit him. Or much of anything else for that matter. It was just silly and honestly reminded me of the old G.I. Joe cartoon. Or The A-Team for that matter. Ah, how far we’ve come.

The show is also filled with stupid editing mistakes, there are several times I saw a man draw his weapon out of the holster only to have the barrel wiggle giving away the fact that it was made out of rubber. There also countless bits when the canned gunshot sounds wouldn’t occur when the muzzle flashes would be coming out of the gun. I know that sounds picky, but they were too often and too obvious to overlook. Obviously, the show didn’t age well.

The DVD set is exactly what should be expected from a Paramount release. There are no special features on the set whatsoever. Perhaps to celebrate the first season, they could have included a retrospective look back at the show (after all, 2005 marked the 20th anniversary of the show…if that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will). An interview with Anderson could (should) have been included…assuming he was game for it. As it stands, there is absolutely nothing on this set to help you celebrate your love of this show.

If you’ve never seen the show, you might want to wait and get one of the later seasons. There’s nothing to help you enjoy this season at all…not even the season itself.

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