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Nikita

Nikita Series Premiere Review: What Did You Think?

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I was the first recruit to get out, and I’m going to make certain I’m not the last.
- Nikita

After watching the pilot, I’ll start out by saying that Nikita was the perfect choice for The CW to place in the time slot right after The Vampire Diaries. It’s full of action and excellent performances by Maggie Q, Melinda Clarke, Lyndsy Fonseca and Shane West. There is no show that can be compared to this on television right now, which makes for original and unique storylines.

Nikita in a Bathing Suit

In the opening scene, the plot of the show is explained: Nikita was taken out of prison, and forced by a secret unit of the government called “Division” to be an assassin. Years ago she escaped and has been pursued ever since. Her goals: make sure that the other recruits get out and avoid her life, while ensuring the government gets shut down.

The first scene is a masked heist, in which we meet a very young girl, Alex (Fonseca). Someone shows up in a pig mask, killing the civilian that threatens to kill Alex. In the end, you learn that Nikita was the "pig," and saved the heist, leaving right before the police arrive so Alex could be arrested. Nikita is a woman who wants crimes to be committed, only so the government can fail to stop them.

Alex is a real live-wire, with a lot of fire and fight, which catches the eye of the government's recruiter, Michael (West). It's hard not to admit: this girl would make a perfect assassin. She threatens to kill her “military charm” coach Amanda (Clarke), only to be told that there is no way out. She’s in for life.

When the criminals are brought into Division, they are announced dead by suicide or fake execution to the public. To the world, they no longer exist, and this program “gives them a new life, where they will serve their country," and that’s the line they use to seduce these troubled kids. Alex is shocked by the program, which shows kids training for the kill.

I enjoyed Nikita’s antics throughout the episode, along with the cat-and-mouse games she created with the government. She pays visits to her dead civilian fiancé's grave, who was killed by Division; and her formerly abusive adoptive father. Nikita knows Division inside and out, and plays their games twice as good as they do.

During most of the episode, I felt sympathy for Alex. However, my jaw dropped at the end when it was revealed that she is in cahoots with Nikita to bring down the government assassin program.

I am extremely curious as to how exactly Nikita ended up in prison, and eventually in this program, and how Alex will be used to free these kids.

The pilot also hints at some kind of relationship between Nikita and Michael, which I’m hoping they delve deeper into. The flashbacks of Nikita and her civilian fiancé are extremely heartwarming, and I hope to see more of her life before she was recruited.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (75 Votes)
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NIKITA !!!!!! Perfect Wow!

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You guys are unbelievable! You can't judge the show by watching the first episode only! What exactly don't you like? The perfectly written script? Or the amazingly chosen cast?
Please stop hating and bitching about the show. There are worse shows being aired now, and surprisingly, everyone's falling for them. SMH.

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If anything, Alias ripped off Nikita. I'm actually enjoying the reboot even more than LFN and I thoroughly enjoyed the USA series back in the day. I love Maggie and Shane in the roles and their chemistry together. But, to each their own.

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The clip is singularly unimpressive, to the point of boredom. Which bodes ill indeed. "La Femme Nikita" the series didn't need a remake any more than Hitchcock's Psycho did -- but there will always be idiots who will try. Still, if you're going to remake a classic, you'd damned well better do it well. I see no evidence of that here. The first impression is that we can't possibly be looking at the right person: Maggie Q is a beautiful woman, but she looks every bit the suave, self-possessed 31-year-old that she is and way too old to be playing the rapidly schooled, desperate novice Nikita, barely out of her teens at the start of her new 'career' with Section (now rechristened 'Division' -- really, was there any pretense of a good reason for a change that meaningless?). And the scene is very nearly a copy of the same (and equally flat) scene in that awful Bridget Fonda film version, Point Of No Return, which was a similarly misbegotten remake of the French original. Americanized, homogenized, and cheapened; I get the same bad taste in the mouth with this Nikita as I did with the Fonda film. It's clear from the clip that this remake is already off to a bad start: what we see here is a CW trivialization by way of The O.C. meets Chuck meets One Tree Hill (complete with Melinda Clarke; really, isn't she a bit overworked on CW by now? Besides, good as Clarke is on rare occasions, she's no Alberta Watson -- now *there* was a Madeleine who scared you). Seriously: who's supposed to be the audience for this trite rehash -- credulous tweens??? Much of what made Peta Wilson's "Nikita" successful was the way in which its scripts and actors treated the stories -- and the adult target audience -- with intelligence, and the fact that there were so many compelling characters in and out of Section; it also helped quite a bit that the locales looked European rather than U.S. or Canadian, and the casting was excellent. That's not apparent in the new "Nikita." Maggie Q has neither the presence, the principled hostility, nor the vulnerability of Peta Wilson as Nikita. And much as I liked Shane West in ER and Once And Again, he's never been compelling enough in any of his previous roles to manage more than a pale, watered-down imitation of the cool, ruthless, yet occasionally still human Michael Samuelle we've come to know and love. The moment West speaks, I'm ready to stuff a rag in his mouth while I plead and bargain for the return of Roy Dupuis. Another bad sign. There's a reason La Femme Nikita was such a smash and remains a spy-fi cult favorite: everything about it felt credible, challenging, edgy, and fascinating, and we really cared about Nikita and her (very) few friends -- and, in time, about Nikita and Michael. The relationship between them felt all the more real because it took such a long time and many false starts to build, and Nikita wasn't easy to convince. Most of all, Nikita never lost her very healthy sense of skepticism *or* her humanity. Peta Wilson made Nikita very believable indeed and worth rooting for throughout five seasons. Maggie Q already comes across as capable and lovely but bland, and West is the same: they're like singers who can make their voices louder and softer but mistake volume control for color and emotion, the result being loud or soft pablum. I haven't dreaded a series debut this much since I found out that FlashForward would be set at (oh, no -- not again!!) the FBI HQ in Los Angeles instead of at CERN in Geneva. Sheesh. If the fates are merciful, perhaps this remake will suffer a quick death and the original series will be remastered and reissued in BluRay. Now THAT would be worth seeing.
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# Diane [Moderator] 0 minutes ago in reply to webdiva
I've tried, oh so tried, to give this remake a chance. I love Maggie Q, at least in her typical Asian action roles and yes, even as eye candy in the occasional Hollywood blockbuster like Mission Impossible III. HOWEVER. Peta Wilson is Nikita. Done. Roy Dupuis is Michael. No argument. Webdiva, you phrased it beautifully. This new knock-off is so frackin' trite I simply can't force myself through another episode. The parents arguing in front of the kids? Bull*#&@. Would never happen. Madeline and Operations had serious conflict between them, but the trainees had no clue of it. Guaranteed. This "killing the man I love" thing and all the ways they try to create resonance of that in the other character story lines? Nauseating. And what the frack is with the whole trainee private room with no surveillance thing?? I LOVED how our beloved Michael always had a surveillance-deterrent-apparatus up his sleeve. I mean, DUH. Never take unmonitored airways for granted in Section, errrr, Division. Pussy fracks. I mean, remember classic Nikita S1 episode "Escape". 'Nuff said. Seriously. "The New Nikita" is just all so wimpy and predictable and unconvincing with no depth or commitment or investment required of the viewer. It's a waste of time. PERIOD. Go rent the 2002 "Chek law dak gung" if you want to see vintage awesome Maggie Q. Otherwise, buy the frickin' Peta and Roy Nikita DVDs. It's even more the genuine article than Besson's film, which just wasn't long enough to do anything but be cool and inspire a generation of knockoffs, only one of which we are lucky enough to have in existence. Sigh. And what do I really think? I know. Hello soapbox. Hello bandwagon. But I really REALLY tried to give the new Nikita a chance. But it's just plain and simple awful. I mean, TERRIBLE. HORRIBLE. PATHETIC. TRITE TRITE TRITTY TRITE. Okay, I'm done.

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None of the so called elites of Division would measure up against those of Section 1. In fact, I'm sure all of Division's recruits would be canceled after a day in Section 1. Maggie Q can act? Wow really?! Yeah, and pigs can fly. And Birkhoff (of Nikita 2010) or any of Division's security measures can't detect Alex communicating with Nikita? A so called elite hacker like him being out-smarted by some teenage druggie. Division must be so tight budgeted that they have to keep the training room right next to the operations room. Where is Ammunitions? Or Medical? Or the White Room?

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Jules right guys.. it is not another version/copy of alias. In fact, it's the other way around.
This series is a remake from an old series "La femme of Nikita" which inspires the making of "Alias", which i honestly think the storyline (in spy world) is more realistic compared to Alias that has a very-predictable and easy-solution ending.

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I'm watching the second episode, and this just doesn't do it for me at all. Just for the record, the "genealogy" is that first there was a French film, "La Femme Nikita," followed by the US version with Bridget Fonda (Point of No Return), followed by the series with Pita Wilson also called "La Femme Nikita." My personal favorite is the latter, which I enjoyed thoroughly. The problems I have with this series is that I don't think Maggie Q can act (pretty though she is) and the sound quality sucks--music overshadows the dialog, or it sounds as though they are speaking underwater. Or something, but it isn't good.

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I thought the show was great, because it's managed off the bat to head in directions different than both the original series/movie, as well as Alias which I see people are already connecting it to (reality check: Alias ripped off Nikita, not the other way around). The only thing that bugged me was the fact Nikita is revealed as the killer of the innocent bystander in the first scene. While the show makes clear that the stakes are high, that sort of thing isn't what you're supposed to do with a sympathetic lead character (even Dexter leaves innocents alone). Hopefully the show won't just sweep this under the rug ... unless of course we have even more twists in store regarding who the real Nikita actually is...

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Very good first show, I like the fact they continue the story, not repeat the old show ! Bravo!

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For some reason this reminds me a little of Dark Angel. Wich isn't a bad thing..

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