Jan 09 2011

Human Target

Category: Personal,TVRobert McGovern @ 7:22 pm

Those that know me, know I have a thing for Film & TV scores and I have done since I was a child (in part thanks to the music of Tom & Jerry cartoons, Looney Tunes cartoons and the tapes of Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ghostbusters that I got from my dad).

Of late most of the scores I have been buying have been expanded re-issues of old scores (like Star Trek 2, 3 & 5, Batman, Batman Returns, The Edge & Home Alone) and premiere releases of classic scores (Back to the Future, Amazing Stories, Black Sunday), very little though has been recent stuff (though I have a couple of things in my Amazon basket from this last year).

One exception was the CD set by LaLaLand Records of Bear McCreary’s score to the first season of Human Target. I bought it based on my enjoyment of his Battlestar Galactica scores, I thought what the heck I’d take a chance.

Turns out it was well worth it, there is some great if not fantastic music. For instance Baptiste, Tango Fight (both CD 2), Theme from Human Target (Long version – CD 1), The New Christopher Chance (CD2). You can check out some of Bear’s favourite music from the show over on his blog.

Check out the samples for the score over at Bear’s blog. Its highly recommended and a steal at $24.95 for 3 CD’s.

Now as an aside, I’ve since started watching the show based on the strength of the music. Season 1 was very enjoyable, the interplay between the 3 leads (Chance, Winston, Guerrero) is fun and the action was generally superb.

Unfortunately the second season brought in a number of changes in an attempt to draw in new viewers and appeal to a wider audience (say, I dunno, women) and save money. Gone are many of the fun fight sequences, replaced with more “drama” and interplay with 2 new characters (both women, a young sassy lass [Ames] and a rich business woman who is now Chance’s partner [Ilsa]) who don’t really add much and indeed both are kinda annoying (Ilsa who week in & week out complains about the method’s Chance and his team employ, after 7 episodes this hasn’t improved much with her going to the State Department after someone is kidnapped and then tries to get her private jet turned around in the air) even if I like the actresses. Also gone is some of the magic between the original 3 leads, with Guerrero seeming to became a shadow of his season 1 self. One other change was the main producer (indeed creator) of the show stepping back and someone new coming in in charge.

The most annoying change of the 2nd season was not asking Bear to come back and score the show. In an effort to save money (as having a new orchestral score each episode is expensive) they decide to go with a new composer (Tim Jones) who has done the music for the last 4 years of Chuck.

Now his music there has been quite serviceable and I’d quite like a CD of it, there are some nice themes but his music for Human Target has been lacklustre at best. At times it can best be described as passable, the rest of the time it is just

His new theme for the show is however dreadful. It starts out as a distance relative to Bear’s season 1 theme and then after about 15 seconds it descends into noise. Gone is the unique identity that Bear gave the show and leaves you with a theme that is both very generic and doesn’t make you want to watch the show.

This is the Season 1 theme:

(direct link: Season 1 theme)

and this is the season 2 intro:

(direct link: Season 2 theme)

Oh yeah, one other thing I didn’t like about Season 2’s new direction, dropping the plot point that was setup at the end of season 1 where Winston had been captured and The Old Man was going to help Chance to rescue him. I don’t particularly have a problem with how Winston was saved (if yes a little quickly at the beginning of the ep) but I do feel a little short changed.

[Edit]

Though of a couple of other things that bug me about the second season, for instance the new high tech computer equipment provide by Ilsa like the funky computer table.

Ep 8 of S2 was written by the creator of the show but still doesn’t help (Ilsa “oh my god your stealing from him”), if Ilsa & Chance end up kissing by the end of the episode I’ll be very disappointed.

Btw the shake up of the show means it has both more a Leaverge and a Chuck feel to the show.

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