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New "Nikita" Series Fails To Engage

Frances Vega |
September 9, 2010 | 11:34 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Nikita (Photo courtesy of The CW Network, LLC)
Nikita (Photo courtesy of The CW Network, LLC)
The CW’s new show "Nikita" made its series debut on Thursday, with a lot to live up to.

Though many of the CW’s target audiences are too young to remember the older versions of “Nikita,” the basic premise of this show has been done a few times before. The first version was the French film “La Femme Nikita” (1990), the next was the American remake ”Point of No Return” (1993), and the third was a TV series called “La Femme Nikita” which ran from 1997-2001.

The problem with this new installment, however, was not that it’s been done before, but that it did nothing to make the audience want to pay attention a fourth time around.

A plot like “Nikita” immediately makes a person want to watch it. A young attractive woman is forced to become an assassin for the government, the agency she works for ends up killing the love of her life, she gets peeved and escapes from the agency with her heart set on revenge. The cast members are also insanely attractive, so that helps.

But it seems that the show’s creators spent a lot more time on casting eye candy than on the writing. Consider the line, “I’m someone who wants to see Division fail…. Peace,” followed by Nikita throwing the peace sign at a UN dignitary and a cut to commercial. It wasn’t witty nor intelligent, just cheesy—so much so that all you could say to it was “wow.”

Bad writing aside, the show also it ended up being quite dull. The show’s star Maggie Q has been great in other action roles, but on this show she is too standoffish and does not have any layers. Even when she is mourning her dead fiancé, one never gets the feeling that she was ever really affected by his death. Without a layered and emotionally driven character to root for, how can the show pull in viewers every week?

The show did have some upsides though. The twist at the end was completely unexpected and the action sequences were entertaining. There hasn’t been a successful female heroine on television in a while so people are probably dying for a new kick-ass star to root for, so if the writing gets better it’s possible that “Nikita” will eventually become a success. It wouldn’t be the first show to come in with a slow start, considering "Gossip Girl" and "Supernatural."

To reach reporter Frances Vega, click here.



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