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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Less than impressed with Nikita

     What can I say about the CW's Nikita? 'Lots of potential, slow start' sums up the pilot pretty good. Nikita is a character many audiences are familiar with, having been the subject of a movie and a cable series. But now she's back in an updated series, complete with action and espionage. And, surprisingly for the CW, a lack of teenage angst.

     Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) carries the title character in this incarnation, and it's hard to argue that she's not bada**. In the highpoint of the pilot, which was unfortunately spoiled in the trailer, Nikita confronts her enemies in a crowded party, and has an escape plan good enough that she can do so with confidence. What said enemies don't know is that she already has an hook in their organization, besides once being a part of it, but I'll leave that surprise for you.

     Nikita's foes are a government organization that train young people to do their bidding, whatever they decide it is. Nikita was once a member of that organization, but now wants to take them down. Fans of the previous versions already know that. This new series also stars Lyndsy Fonseca as a new recruit in the group named Alex, just beginning her schooling. Lyndsy is a fairly big television star, having had substantial roles already on How I Met Your Mother and Desperate Housewives, as well as appearing in the movies Hot Tub Time Machine and Kick-Ass. Shane West (ER, Once and Again) plays her trainer, Michael, who also has a history with Nikita. The cast also includes Xander Berkeley (24) and Melinda Clarke (The OC). So the new show brings a bit of star power with it.

     I can't put my finger on why I didn't love this pilot. Perhaps when I see it a second time, I will. There's obviously some great driving motivations, and there are a number of twists that surprised me, which I won't spoil for you, just in the first hour. But I will say check it out and make up your own mind.

     Nikita premieres tomorrow night at 9pm on the CW.

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