Nikita returns Friday with new episodes, and odds are you have heard of this show but never watched an episode. You are not alone. The low ratings (low even for The CW) indicate that few are watching the sophomore spy drama. Why? Well, your television schedule is most likely full, you think a CW show is not for you, or you refuse to watch another remake of Luc Besson's 1990 film, Le Femme Nikita. Yes, Nikita is based off of the film and television series which premiered in 1997, but it marches to the beat of its own drum. It has paved its own path and deserves a chance to be on your television watch list. Here are four reasons why you should watch Nikita:
Impressive fight sequences. Television does not have the luxury film does to spend days choreographing elaborate fight sequences, however the crew on Nikita manages to produce cinematic shootouts and close combat scenes each week in a fraction of the time. No action show presents hand-to-hand combat scenes like Nikita because no show has an actor like Maggie Q. She is the real deal. Maggie Q has trained with Jackie Chan's team of martial arts experts in Hong Kong, and starred in several action films prior to entering television. She is the perfect choice to play the rogue spy agent and some of her maneuvers are so impressive that you have to allot a second viewing. Maggie Q is America's Michelle Yeoh.
Strong female characters. The girls call the shots this season. Amanda, Division's resident interrogator, moved up the ranks to serve as director of Division while Percy continues to be locked in his glass cell, and new character Madeline Pierce is a powerful senator and member of the organization that oversees Division. The show's female characters are commanding, intelligent and mission driven. They are leaders and the men around them recognize that power and support it. Nikita's team is comprised entirely of men who help her each episode to get one step closer to taking down Division.
The heroine has a new look. The CW gave Nikita a fresh makeover when it cast Maggie Q, an Asian American, as the iconic character traditionally portrayed as Caucasian, first by Anne Parillaud, then by Peta Wilson. The series breaks the mold, allowing a minority to play the female protagonist.
A search for home. Underneath the layers of deceptions and spy operations lies the basic search for a home and family that many can relate to. Nikita formed a small family with Alex, her protégé, in season one but the bond disintegrated when Alex learned the truth about her family's demise. Now, Nikita is desperately holding onto the family she has formed with her team of rogue Division agents, which includes her love interest, Michael. She wants more than anything to establish roots but she cannot move forward until she completes her mission and finds the family she was born into. Finding home is a theme present in other characters as well, such as Michael, who is torn between living with his son or with Nikita, Percy, who wants to regain his home from Amanda, and Alex, who returns to her family's estate in Russia. The series is founded on this human quest for the place where one belongs.
Have I convinced you? Will you watch Nikita's return on Friday, January 6? No one enjoys seeing his or her television show get cancelled so help the fans improve the ratings. Do not be the viewer who lets a series perish without ever having watched an episode. Have you ever had that experience where you discover a short-lived show on DVD and wish you saw it on television? Perhaps Firefly, Joan of Arcadia, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies and Veronica Mars come to mind. Do not let that happen with Nikita. Give it a chance before it is too late.