I was quite fortunate to have viewed the Nikita pilot as part of the promotion for the show and I’ve taken the liberty to write up a small review for you guys!
Let me start off by saying it’s nothing like the 90’s series La Femme Nikita and it’s a refreshing 180 from the “norm” that is now the CW. It’s sexy, faster paced, it’s new. It’s the CW. While I do love LFN and hold it dear to me, this is something that could blow everything I thought I loved about the other show. Lately it’s gotten a lot of flack and compared to Alias it does have very Alias like tendencies and basic story plots, revenge for a murdered boyfriend, bringing down the company you work for, etc. But what it lacks in total originality, it makes up for in plot twists. Though many of them, they are easy enough to follow without giving the viewer a headache.
Through the shows use of flashbacks and jumps it creates a perfect atmosphere to leave you wanting more, Maggie Q plays Nikita to a T, slick but graceful and Melinda Clarke’s Amanda is a devilish mix of CSI’s Lady Heather and The OC’s Julie Cooper. Filled with secrets that you just can’t help wanting to know. Things felt somewhat stiff with Shane West’s Michael but I’m hoping he loosens up a bit. Aaron Stanford’s extremely cute Birkhoff has grown up from LFN, he’s loud and proud and wants everybody to know it. Lyndsy’s role as Alex, the newest recruit to Division who was busted for robbery is strong and authoritative, two things Lyndsy does best.
While I love Lynds, my only issue with the pilot falls between the unbalanced feeling of who the main character is. The pilot deals with Alex’s struggle to commit to Division and accept her new life, the other half is focused on Nikita showing Division what she’s capable of. Filled in with lots of story overlaps, flashbacks and random recruits and you can get some major confusion. While you know Nikita should be the main subject you almost feel she’s overshadowed by the immediate reveal of Alex’s back story. Sort of a too soon thing, it worked in the 90’s show. Quite well, but to keep the audience around I hope there’s more to Alex then what we saw.
The CW wanted a strong female driven show, and with Nikita you get just that. Every female encountered has a “Take No Crap” confidence that’s admiring and intriguing. The action sequences are pretty good and the darker overtone are a plus. With so many people getting capped in this show it’s hard to tell where any allegiances lie, the first ingredient to a good spy show. Nikita has great potential, it just needs to find it. Luckily the end’s major plot twist that ties two characters together intrigued and cemented the show for me. Brava CW, I eagerly await the rest of the season and what else you’ve got.
It’s definitely on my radar for fall, sitting in it’s THURSDAY at 9 timeslot.
NIKITA for all promotion purposes will be having it’s own panel at this year’s Comic Con. If anybody’s going we’d love to hear about your experience!