From the Couch: “Nikita”

Originally published in the November 19, 2010 issue

Many people would say that the whole crime-scene, CIA drama is a little played out. And I would tend to agree. But the CW has insisted upon trying yet another attempt at making this work.

“Nikita” (with Maggie Q. as the title character), although not quite on the same level as Jessica Alba in her role for “Dark Angel,” still packs a pretty credible badass punch, especially when she’s wearing leather.

This show is based on the French film “La Femme Nikita,” and although I have never seen it, I would assume the film features many of the same sultry themes you would expect from a French production about a woman in leather.

The storyline features the classic conflict of two top-secret government organizations and their quest for power. Nikita was once part of and controlled by the Division, and Michael, played by Shane West, is on team Division, which makes his relationship with his former trainee Nikita a bit strained considering she is attempting to bring down the whole operation.

Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca), Nikita’s eyes on the inside, helps Nikita in her quest to find justice and bring down the system that once controlled her. Alex was hired by Division to be an assassin, but we later find out she was actually planted there by Nikita.

Initially, it is implied that Division is representative of our own government, dealing with black-ops and the War on Terror. However, it later becomes clear this is an operation the U.S. government lost control of, acting as a rogue agency followed by a rogue agent.

Despite the somewhat corny and predictable plotline, the show actually features some pretty decent action sequences, and it is clear Maggie Q. knows how to get the job done even in those silly outfits. However, seeing Shane West in “A Walk to Remember” ruined any hope he had of presenting a bad boy image to me. His forced make-me-sound-manly scruffy voice reminds me more of Rachael Ray than an assassin recruiter.

The dialogue of the show also leaves a bit to be desired, with several corny lines that just play into the predictability of the genre. The actors do a good job with the material they have been given, but if a show like this is to be attempted, the dialogue needs to be spicier and far more interesting than it is.

Overall, the action sequences make up for most of the dialogue and character issues, but one can only watch this jumpsuit-wearing maven shank a group of men so many times before something more substantial is desired.