Ain't It Cool News (

Herc Takes His Shot
At The CW’s NIKITA!!

I am – Hercules!!
I like The CW’s new “Nikita” pilot about as much as I liked what I’ve seen of USA’s 1997 “La Femme Nikita” series. Neither has anything like the precision wit and imagination supplied by 1990 Luc Besson movie on which they are based -- but what does? The new version emerges from the brain of “Standoff” creator Craig Silverstein, who later had a hand in the post-Katrina cop show “K-Ville.” “Standoff” and “K-Ville” were two of the shittiest shows Fox ever broadcast (which is saying something). “Nikita” is better than those, but not better enough to generate surprise. Unlike the old TV show and 1993’s big-screen “Point of No Return,” the new series is more sequel than remake, with Nikita (now played by Maggie Q of “Mission: Impossible III” and “Live Free Or Die Hard” fame) having escaped from her old black-op wetworks job three years earlier. She’s now determined to destroy her old agency, even as that agency is training a new girl named Alex to replace Nikita. Alex is played by the piping hot Lyndsy Fonseca (“Kick-Ass”), one of the best things about the project. The Washington Post says:
… Even with its ample servings of va-va-boom, a lot of edgy potential is wasted … Befitting the McG oeuvre, "Nikita" takes too seriously its own steeliness and, therefore, becomes too laughably slick. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… sort of ideal for young CW audience, but it also makes for a convoluted series pilot that bounces around from one hollow story line to another. …
HitFix says:
… as I watched the new “Nikita” pilot, I decided I had seen enough - even though, on its own merits, it’s one of the better debut episodes of any new show premiering this fall. … I’m just feeling burnt-out on this kind of show - not just “Nikita” remakes themselves, but dark and brooding spy series with complex mythologies and constant double-crosses - and it would take an extraordinary level of execution to make me care again … “Nikita” is good, but it’s not transcendent - a B when I would need an A or A+ to care again. That’s on me more than it’s on “Nikita,” but given its pedigree, and its timeslot (within a few weeks, it’ll compete with new episodes of “The Office,” “CSI,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Fringe”), I suspect the pilot will be the only episode of it I watch for a very long time. Your mileage will obviously vary.
The Boston Herald says:
… There’s a sense of “seen this, spied that” to the action as Nikita tries to halt a Division-sanctioned assassination, but Q brings gravitas to the story. Nikita’s vendetta seems fueled by equal parts revenge and despair (the latter, over the murder of her fiance, seen in flashbacks). … There are some chasm-size plot holes - like why this super-paranoid organization doesn’t bother to change any of its passwords or check its firewalls after Nikita releases their tech guy Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) from her tight grip. But there’s a smart twist at the end that reveals there’s more to this spy than meets the eye. “Nikita” could fill the hole in the prime-time schedule left by “Alias.” …
The Boston Globe says:
… If it’s true that you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry, then I’m missing my water, because this well — the Nikita well — is all but dust. I groaned when I heard that the CW was coming out with yet another version of the Nikita story, after the 1990 Luc Besson movie, the 1993 American remake with Bridget Fonda, the 1997 USA series, and the rest of TV’s recent kick-butt rebel-chick shows including “Dollhouse.’’ And I’m groaning still, after watching tonight’s premiere … As Nikita, Maggie Q is too much of a sad sack. Partly, her depressed demeanor is appropriate, since Nikita is so scarred and bent on revenge. But Q doesn’t seem able to layer any other emotions over her cold resolve. It’s a stilted, one-note, unsympathetic performance, the weight of the world heavy on her face even when she’s in action mode. …
The New York Times says:
… a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation. It’s as sleek as the 1997-2001 television series “La Femme Nikita,” which starred Peta Wilson, but darker and more hard-nosed. … for all its pandering, “Nikita” is actually a well-made thriller for grown-ups: a heroine in a decidedly unheroic line of work. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… Q, a Jackie Chan acolyte who does her own stunts, provides some sizzle, but her emotions run that famous distance from A to B, as do virtually everyone else's. This is the intrinsic problem with shows revolving around characters stripped of all emotion; it's difficult to make cold-blooded and calculating people interesting and empathetic, and yet it must be done. Because fight scenes will take you only so far. …
USA Today says:
… It's a well-woven tale, with the different strings hanging together nicely and leading off in a few directions you might not expect. The direction is crisp, the cast is fine, the loopholes are mostly closed and the secret-agency/new-identity world is generally convincing, making this in some sense a version of Dollhouse that works better than the original. …
Variety says:
… As series centered on female action heroes in shadowy spy organizations go, this promising newcomer more closely resembles "Alias" than its ostensible namesake, and while Q is probably more adept at flaunting her butt-kicking skills than emoting, the pilot is head-turning enough to warrant a second look at the show. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… It's a savvy restructuring, considering that Fonseca might be more appealing to the CW's young-female base than Q, who can convincingly slit a throat clad only in a bikini but is an inert presence in scenes that don't require violence. … The pilot comes across top-heavy with exposition and flashbacks that lay out a dense backstory. While a rich mythology typically is mandatory for an espionage series to attract a cult following, it could prove a barrier to entry when piled too high at the beginning. …
9 p.m. Thursday. The CW.
Follow Herc on Twitter!! Follow Evil Herc on Twitter!!
144 Blu-rays Under $10!!

Back To Brock!!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Spies are the new Forensic Cops

    by Saen

    Seems like they are pushing way too many spy shows. Alias wasnt that long ago. Right now we already have Chuck (which at least is a fun action comedy, with some great pop culture references and music) and Covert Affairs, though that show is quite mediocre. So where does Nikita, and Undercovers fit in. Nikita was tried before and it was a bad show. This new one, on the CW no less, seems like its going to deliver the pg13 action Chuck does, but without the fun, wit, and heart that show has. Undercovers looks like the crappy last 2 seasons of Alias; minus the Rambaldi stuff and with Black leads.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:26 a.m. CST basically the CW won't have shit after SMALLVILLE ends.

    by Mike_D

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:26 a.m. CST

    I bet Maggie Q never...

    by Shermdawg

    ...ate a dead pigeon from a urinal as a kid.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:45 a.m. CST

    If only Fonseca played Nikita

    by centilope

    Then I'd watch. Otherwise not interested. Also the old Nikita show was pretty good.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Why the

    by ScoobySnack

    The old series was smart and sophisticated... and Peta Wilson could actually *act*. Plus, it had a strong pedigree... former producers from Miami Vice who later went on to create 24 (along with many of La Femme Nikita's creative staff). Why no love for the old show... then or now? Sigh.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Vampire Spies

    by paulloch

    You know it's coming

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Are spies allowed to fuck in the line of duty?

    by Tall_Boy66

    I know Bond was doing it a lot but he was always getting into shit with M over it. Isn't that against regs to bone a sworn enemy of the state?

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 3:26 a.m. CST

    I wasn't interested, BUUUUUUT

    by BadMrWonka

    honestly, if no one says it's bad, some say it's great, and the rest say it's passable. isn't it worth a look?<p>especially since Maggie Q is sort of slightly attractive. kind of.<p> SIKE! she's a dream! I'll give it a shot.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Enough already

    by The StarWolf

    Thousand upon thousands of books, novels, short stories are begging to be made to film, specials or tv series and the best the idiots at Hollywood can come up with is a remake ... of a remake ... of a remake?! Merely 'pathetic' would be several steps up from this.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:06 a.m. CST

    'What does she weigh? 60 lbs?'

    by NippleEffect

    she is a little on the petite side to be breaking necks and in hand to hand combat<p> Sometimes she looks thin to the point of sickness<br> When the camera catches her at certain angles

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Because it has someone associated with Kick Ass

    by parissun

    Herc says that's the best thing about the show is Lyndsy Fonseca. He only says that because she was on Kick Ass. Herc you're becoming as idiotic as Harry. Nothing is going to save this show. We don't need a review from you to know this. Are you planning on reviewing Grey's Anatomy and Vampire Dairies next? Find some more info on The Walking Dead you bastard. And Glee rocks!

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    The old series worked

    by The McPoyle Clan

    because of the cast. Wilson was good, Glazer and Watson as well. Even the others, including Rota as Mick, until what they did to the character in the tacked-on "we got a reprieve!" bizarro final season. The only one I didn't care for was the mumble-man Dupuis. Yeah, it looked like a cheap series shot in Canada, which it was, but it was very watchable.<p><p>The big question marks in this one are Q and West. Berkeley and Clarke are usually solid.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Oh baby I'm a

    by dale_cooper

    Oh baby I'm a, oh baby I'm a, oh baby I'm a, hey hey-ayyyyy... I'm a SHITTY-LOOKING SHOW.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    At least...

    by xile1c

    ...she's hotter than Peta Wilson was.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to Nikita tonight!!!

    by codecrackx15

    Sweet... only 5 hours of must see TV for me this year and one will have to be on Hulu (Hells Kitchen). Chuck, Criminal Minds, Nikita, and Brothers & Sisters and that sums it up for the networks :) Can't wait for Nikita tonight, Maggie Q is just HOTT!!!

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    my lesbian fantasy

    by JaredP

    to see nikita get it on with sydney bristow, again played by jennifer garner of course or maybe echo from dollhouse

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    JaredP..dont limit yourself

    by Bouncy X

    Nikita, Sydney AND Echo. :P

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Why is Nikita the old spy in this?

    by lv_426

    The whole point of the Besson film was that she was sort of a child-like woman who was dealing with all the crazy shit she was trained to do for the agency. Why change that?<P>Also, at this rate, a James Bond series would be a better bet than a Nikita series. Call it 007 and give it to HBO or AMC and call it a day.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Looks no better or worse than Dollhouse

    by TrigPalinsBodyDouble

    but since Whedon isn't involved Herc shits on it.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Maggie Q, the daughter of Hoshi and Q

    by TrigPalinsBodyDouble

    from the Q Continuum.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:22 p.m. CST

    La Femme Nikita show was great.

    by CeejayNightwing

    anyone who didn't get through the first season didn't know what they missed. Few shows delivered as dark an diabolical a set of tales as that show, it took the premise of the great movie and worked wonders with it. Best of all was Roy Dupuis as Michael, the cold as ice, emotionless agent with uncanny aim, if he fired his gun, then he hit the target, if he fired 6 shots, then 6 people were dead.. Michael simply was awesome! This new show is a completely different vegetable to the old one, Maggi Q is a stick insect in comparison to Peta Wilson, sure the Hollywood and Supermodel thing is to sell us Skinny chicks as so called "perfection" but I find few things worse than looking at an underfed, curve-less woman! Sorry Maggie but you're in the Angelina Jolie starvation club as far as I'm concerned but I will watch your show and hope it also has something new to bring to the concept like the old show.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by adml_shake

    I don't know what you are talking about CW hasn't had shit for a long long time.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    But Nikita never escaped Section

    by punto

    she became the new Operations, after she found out her father was the head of all the agencies. Michael is the one who escaped. wtf?

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Maggie Q - best nude scene

    by gun_will_travel

    Manhattan Midnight (unrated Asian release). Google it and thank me later.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by HapaPapa72

    Will do. I've got a urge to rent "Naked Weapon" again...her low budget actioner from I dunno how many years ago. She was an assassin in that one, too. Can't recall if she actually got naked.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Haven't Watched Anything on The CW Since "Veronica Mars".

    by arzbest

    But I'll check this one out. If only for Maggie Q.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST

    veronica mars

    by JaredP

    was frakkin great but the cw, that "braintrust" of a network, killed it before it could realize its full potential FUCKWADS!!!!

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:38 p.m. CST

    and i never even watched the show

    by JaredP

    when it was origanally on i discov ered it on dvd and was pretty blown away its right up there with alias and dollhouse in the butt kicking hot chick genre

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    La Femme Nakita

    by cuttr

    Was better than Point of no Return, and better, on balance, than the Besson Movie. Yeah, I went there. Peta Wilson was fantastic. Maggie is too skinny.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    That preview makes the show look terrible.

    by happybunni

    I still love the TV series. Nikita should be a blonde. And most of the conversation there wasn't all that interesting. The action wasn't exciting.

  • Sept. 9, 2010, 9:49 p.m. CST

    I caught the scene of Q in a bikini.

    by Shermdawg


  • Sept. 9, 2010, 10 p.m. CST

    I'll be giving this a few eps

    by NippleEffect

    nice twist at the end<p> Show has potential

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 1:02 a.m. CST


    by blackhole4140

    reminded me a lot of Dollhouse; have never seen the other Nikita TV show. Really dug the moment Nikita encountered the Cleaner guy; he actually seemed like a threat to her and they managed to avoid a direct confrontation, leaving me curious.

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 3 a.m. CST

    Lyndsy Fonseca, one of the best things about the project."

    by Cash907

    Uh, try "the ONLY good thing about the project." This show sucks balls, and I skipped through everything but her scenes after getting tired of Horseface Q trying to act tough. My woman is a 105 pounds dripping wet, and even she could kick this chicks ass. Hell, 12 year old Natalie Portman was a million times more badass then Q could ever hope to be.

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST


    by The McPoyle Clan

    wasn't exactly a high standard to surpass. One of those unnecessary remakes everybody bitches about now. Plus it had one of the Dermot McDermott twins.<p><p>The twist at the end probably sealed the deal in an otherwise unremarkable pilot. Clarke as the sorta Madeline and the cleaner dude were OK, but the Birkhoff guy was annoying, and Berkeley wasn't as badass as Glazer as Operations. Glazer woulda done well in a bigger role on 24, but for some reason, he old friends only put him in a brief guest role in one episode.<p><p>The mole angle, esp. if they put her in the same skimpy outfits as Q, might make this worth continuing.

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Did anyone else have problems with the sound?

    by chimpjnr

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Did anyone else have problems with the sound?

    by chimpjnr

    I could barely hear the dialogue for the roaring background music with overly heavy bass. I thought it was my TV at first but other channels were fine. I almost couldn't watch the show. Anyone else have that problem?

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST

    great start

    by the__natural74

    I'm a big Nikita fan, all the incarnations but especially the stellar LFN show. I was sceptical of a CW take on it but was willing to give it a shot. I was really impressed last night, great first effort.<br><br> I always expect most pilots to be sub-par, but you look for potential. Nikita has that. Was it an epic pilot like Lost? No. But for my kind of action show with a hot female lead, it did the trick.<br><br> I'm also knocked out by Lyndsy and was excited seeing her cast in this, and what they did with her character does not disappoint!<br><br> Maggie had some good sass on a few comedic/attitude lines which will be key, but really...that ass in HD during the bikini scene? Nuff said. Wow.<br><br> Glad this isn't a blatant reboot. And while not a true sequel to LFN's story, there's a genuine attempt to tell a new tale here based on the premise.

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Looks like this show is just Maggie Q in skimpy clothes

    by thelordofhell

    I'm in

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Maggie Q - totally wrong casting choice.

    by V'Shael

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Surprisingly decent

    by orcus

    Orcus never saw the original movie or TV Series so Orcus did not have a frame of reference aside from the basic premise. Orcus would much prefer Mrs Q to lighten up a bit as she subverts her old bosses plans in a "Ho Ho Ho, now I have a gun" kinda way

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    It does seem to be a thematic sequel to

    by V'Shael

    the Peta Wilson series

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    CeejayNightwing & blackhole4140

    by the__natural74

    CeejayNightwing> Great comments about Michael! I agree, one of the best parts about LFN over time was Roy simply did not fuck with him! Also loved that every line he did have, he sold like it annoyed Michael that he had to speak at all. Short, sweet and to the point!<br><br> blackhole4140> The "cleaner guy" with glasses WAS pretty cool! I wish Michael came off a little more like him, but I guess they were purposefully trying to make Michael appear as the dumb, incompetent henchman. Hopefully he'll kick some no-nonsense ass soon. LMAO @ "I was in the middle of talking to him."

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    re: Did anyone else have problems with the sound?

    by NippleEffect

    I always have sound problems with WB / CW<p> tinny sounding and dialogue hard to hear

  • Sept. 10, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST

    The Misfit Genius Show

    by jameskpolk

    Version 42. Sounds to me like yet another cramming of the misfit genius template down our throats. This one is a misfit genius chick spy/assassin. Yawn.

  • Sept. 11, 2010, 2:40 a.m. CST

    I Saw It

    by Media Messiah

    It's okay, not bad. I find it interesting though, that they seemed to take elements from Dollhouse, similar to what I suggested for that show, in an outline that I wrote that reconstructed the series for its second season, a suggested second season, in the form of my alt version, that Joss Whedon and company ignored--but that, I was right on. The new Nikita is what Dollhouse, largely, should have been. I will admit though, the show is missing something? Nikita had several chances to kill her foes, but didn't. That became testy after a while, as it was just too convenient to be believed, and that was annoying. <BR><BR>Also, there was just too much Jason Bourne stuff--I mean, it has been done to death already. Agent falls-out with agency, and wants revenge. Agency seeks to capture or kill rogue agent. That's a nice premise, but it is time to refresh that recipe with something new and inventive. It needs a reboot, a change.

  • Sept. 11, 2010, 3 a.m. CST

    TrigPalinsBodyDouble: Actually, It Is Better Than Dollhouse...

    by Media Messiah

    ...because it has set heroes, and set villains, as well as a clear conflict between both sides. The story is linear, where Dollhouse was not. No, it had none of that until the last 5 to 6 episodes, and then it ended in a futuristic mesh-mash Road Warrior/zombie fest. Even worse, Dollhouse, had no lead. The person who was suppose to be our lead, that being Echo/Caroline, was essentually, a programmable mentally disabled adult with the mentality of a 5 year old, when not on her missions. She had no will, or view point, outside of her missions, and her programmable personalties, were not real--and were never self-aware intelligences, so...again, they had no will, and no perspective on Echo/Caroline, and the riddle that was the Dollhouse? Was Echo/Caroline a prisoner, or a willful employee, pre-contract--as she did sign a contract to work for 5 years doing whatever the Dollhouse wanted her to do? Such is like being a prostitute for hire, willingly. Those facts completely undermined, and detroyed, the premise of the show--that, and Joss Whedon constantly tellng us that Echo/Caroline is a victim, and then reminding us that she signed-up for the Dollhouse, so she isn't really a slave, prisoner, or victim? The constant contradictions were ridiculous!!! Further, the fact that there were no clear heroes, villains, or a definable conflict on the show, until its last several episodes, just was bad writing and plotting.

  • Sept. 11, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    I Just Saw My First Episode Of Covert Affairs...

    by Media Messiah

    ...on Hulu, and it is a great show!!! As with Nikita, both have linear stories with heroes you can get to know, sympathize with, invest in emotionally, and root for, but Dollhouse, had none of that, at least, not until the last handful of episodes. Lastly, these people can act in the two aforementioned new series--all of them, to a person, even the folks in side roles, but in Dollhouse, Eliza Dushku, didn't show-up as an actor--because she didn't have to. She was being lazy, and stopped studying her craft, I suspect...because she was dating some well connected, and powerful, people with the network, including Seth McFarlene--and felt that she could just party and get away with it. Well, so much for that! She is just about the first actor/actress I have seen, well, I'll add Natale Portman, who has gotten worse in acting, since she began, than better. Eliza could have been a superstar, but after Dollhouse, I think her career is pretty much over, unless she really starts to study, and respect, her craft--but her days as the would-be next "IT" Girl...are done.

  • Sept. 11, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    I liked the show

    by DeusExMachina

    But I just have to say this. Whoever did their research on Roselle Park NJ, they really embellished with the city skyline and the huge body of water lol.