It brings the world together, enables global commerce at the speed of thought, facilitates cultural exchange and understanding with a speed and ease unfathomable when I was a child, and gives nerdy social outcasts something to do with their excess of free time and knowledge of Tolkien triviata. But this, my friends — this — is the real reason God invented the internet: watching MacGyver on YouTube. Any episode. Any time. Any way you fucking want it.
Entire episodes, at your dirty little fingertips. No more turning to lame-ass homemade mash-ups set to cheesy 80s songs to get your online MacGyver fix, no! Lame-ass homemade mash-ups set to cheesy 80s songs . . . like this one:
Wait, did I say that was lame? Because that was awesome!
But I digress. Now you can watch entire episodes of the show (and you have been able to for some time; I am not entirely sure why I am treating it like a revolutionary moment in history, other than I just fucking feel like it, okay?). You can see Mac rescue a South American plantation from killer ants, or build an airplane out of bamboo and some garbage bags (an old McAsherson favorite), or — my personal favorite — make a blowtorch out of a fucking bicycle.
Does it get any better than this? Yes, actually, it gets a lot better than this.
But, in a way, no — MacGyver was never great television, but it was one of the most likable shows ever produced. It was funny, it was goofy, it occasionally tried to teach you an important lesson and got really sanctimonious, and goddammit the world was a better place for it. I like having a show like MacGyver in our pop culture to point to, one with a hero who prefers ingenuity to brute force, one with an awareness of environmental and social issues (overbearing and clumsy though it may be), one that fosters an interest in science, even if only to prove how impossible most of the shit MacGyver does really is.
And one that, honestly, did manage to be pretty fucking great sometimes, even if only for a few minutes at a stretch. As Varjak and I have discussed more than once (because we, too — and Var, correct me if I speak out of turn — are huge losers), the premise for the series was so wide open that you could have written a MacGyver episode about anything — anything — from an imminent nuclear meltdown, to a search for the Holy Grail, to making a fucking blowtorch out of a bicycle! Very few shows have that kind of creative leeway, where their hero is versatile enough and their premise is flexible enough to go anywhere.
There you are. God bless you, MacGyver. You deserve every bit of your cultural ubiquity, unlike some other television characters I could name (I am looking at you, Stewie).