It’s not very often when you know exactly where you were at any given moment in the past, but at 8:00PM on Monday nights from 1986 to 1992, I knew where I was: glued to my television. I came a tad late to the MacGyver party, like most people. The first season did not do very well in the ratings on Sunday nights, but became a decent hit for ABC as a lead in for Monday Night Football. Once I found it (the second season), I stayed a loyal viewer to the bitter end.
Everyone knows the premise. It is an action/adventure show that follows a “troubleshooter” for the Phoenix Foundation. He is resourceful and intelligent, allowing him to solve complex problems with the simplest of solutions. He detests guns and solves his problems without them. It was a highly moralistic action show (unusual for the time…still is). Was there a more perfect show than MacGyver for eleven year old boys? Bury values and morals in a bunch of action and adventure and let it subliminally sink in. An action hero that didn’t kill anyone, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink and was always willing to help out anyone who needed it.
I stayed with the show, even through the lesser later years. In the later seasons, he seemed to be stuck in one place (Vancouver doubling as Los Angeles?). I missed the globe-trotting adventurer but stuck by his side. I was there for the time-traveling “old west” episodes too (I actually rather liked them…there are two, I believe). I was there for the mullet, which seemed to grow with every passing season…sigh. It still rates highly on my all-time favorite TV show list and I will admit to watching an episode or twenty, every now and then.