He can fix it.
When I was 8 I wanted to be MacGyver. I wanted to work for him or with him and do all the fancy stuff he did with gadgets.
I used to lie under my Dad’s desk or the coffee table, screwdriver in hand, and pretend to be fixing something really important. It’s a wonder to this day that I didn’t end up becoming a mechanic.
MacGyver was cool. He could do anything with his duct tape and swiss army knife, and he didn’t believe in guns! He looked good with a mullet! He had a nemesis that just didn’t die no matter how many times he blew up! He just ruled. And he used science. I never really cared for science, but MacGyver had the skills to impress me with it.
I once dreamed of being a cop (or secret agent) but that fell over when I reached around 13 and realised that being 5’2 and less than 100lb wouldn’t really make me the right fighting candidate. And besides, what secret agencies are there in New Zealand?
(My childhood was full of shows like these. Quantum Leap was another favourite, because he always helped people, and I always wanted to help people. I wanted to save the world.)
When I got older and discovered La Femme Nikita, I realised that I’d never really get over the secret agent fetish. Nikita cared about everyone, fought against the system, and was such a double-agent at times that I wondered, like everyone else, how she managed to stay alive. I wanted to be able to fight like her, and find my own hot secret agent with a mullet. (Oh wait, is there a theme here? Michael was French, however. That definitely added to the allure). I started to really identify with these shows with strong female characters. I loved (and still love) Scully for her kick-ass attitude and intelligence. She seemed to be the only girl out there kicking butt for us, fighting to save the world and keep her partner in check.
And then came Joss Whedon’s girls. Buffy, Faith, River. Buffy was the hero of her town, saving everyone from vampires and demons, and looking cute/quipping at the same time. Faith had an attitude, but lived life to the full. And River? River was so strong, yet so lost. But she was brilliant, full of power.
We need these shows back. Or we need to create a whole new show, with a new heroine. She can jump through time to save your life. She uses science to save herself and disable the enemy. She has super strength. She can hide on the ceiling, limbs stretched out in support. She wisecracks, yet has vulnerability. And she always saves the day. Yeah, I’d watch that.