MacGyver 1.16 – Every Time She Smiles

I’m always happy to watch Teri Hatcher in just about anything. I think she’s by far the best Lois Lane ever, and I appreciate how she’s made appearances as other characters in later Krypton-style TV like Smallville and Supergirl. And of course, she was Susan in ABC’s long-running hit Desperate Housewives, and the unforgettable Sidra in Seinfeld. One of her earliest screen appearances was as Penny Parker in this 1986 episode of MacGyver. The character, despite her gigantic eighties hair, brings out the suffering in our hero so very well that she came back for four more opportunities to drive him to distraction.

Richard Dean Anderson’s talent for comedy doesn’t get nearly enough appreciation. It’s what kept Stargate SG-1 entertaining when the plots were at their most exasperating, and it makes what could have been a tedious runaround with a deliberately annoying-beyond-belief dingbat of a dancer very entertaining. Hatcher’s role is kind of thankless and one-dimensional, and it’s a little unfair that she feeds our hero all the best lines, but I’m looking forward to her driving him crazy again when we get to her next appearance two or three months from now.

Also notable this time: the producers almost made up for pilfering all that stunt footage earlier in the season with a very impressive car crash in the climax that had our son jumping out of his seat. And because the weird finger of coincidence keeps hovering over my life lately, I have to point out that the location used for the Bulgarian park full of old men playing chess in front of the carousel was actually used in the climax of the last episode of Charlie’s Angels that I watched, a couple of days ago. It’s not that crazy – if you want to start listing TV shows filmed in Griffith Park in the seventies and eighties, we’ll be here all week – but I can’t help but know the place in front of me isn’t actually Bulgaria when I watched Farrah Fawcett skateboard through it just 36 hours earlier.

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