Human Target (2010 TV series)
|Creator:||Based on the DC Comics character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino|
|Date(s):||January 2010 – May 2011|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
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Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) is a former assassin turned private security specialist who blends in to the background of his clients' lives, making them appear vulnerable in order to draw out the threat against them and neutralise it. His change of identity from bad guy assassin, Junior, to good guy bodyguard, Christopher Chance, came about after he refused to kill an innocent witness to a crime, Katherine Walters, and his subsequent (ultimately doomed) attempts to protect her which brought him in to contact with the previous Christopher Chance (played by Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man himself!). The Katherine Walters incident also brought him in to contact with Laverne Winston (Chi McBride), a San Francisco police detective who subsequently retires and becomes Chance's business partner. Chance is also assisted by fellow former assassin/hacker/all-round badass Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), who soon becomes a permanent member of the team.
There is no 'official' term for fans of the show but the term HTers (pronounced 'hitters') has been put forward as a suggestion on the main Human Target forum on Fanfiction.net. A term for Guerrero fans was also suggested, Guerrerophiles.
Jackie Earle Haley and the Chi McBride were delighted that at least one person attended Comic-Con dressed as Guerrero  although at first the fan in question was mistaken for a Harry Potter fan due to Guerrero's trademark round glasses!
The second season of Human Target brought a lot of changes, most of which were unpopular with fans of the first series. The classicaly scored theme tune, written by Bear McCreary (composer of the music for Battlestar Galactica (2003)), was overlaid with unharmonious grinding guitar riffs and the score for the episodes, which had featured character themes, was replaced by 'needle drops' (songs by contemporary artists and bands).
Fans of season one were left feeling cheated by the opening of season two as the cliffhanger from the end of the first season was dealt with hastily and left many questions unanswered. (See debate on Livejournal Well? What'd you think?)
The biggest change, however, was the introduction of two new female characters to the show: Ilsa Pucci (Indira Varma), their ultra rich former client and benefactor and Ames (Janet Montgomery), a cocky young thief who sticks around after she helps out on Ilsa Pucci's case (despite having initially been hired by the bad guys).
Despite Chance's character being the obvious hero of the show, the character of Guerrero stands out as the favourite for Human Target fans. Jackie Earle Haley, who plays Guerrero, already had a substantial fan following due to his breathtaking performance as Rorschach in the 2009 film adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen. His portrayal of the amoral hacker with a lack of loyalty to anyone but himself and his old comrade Chance has won Rorschach fans over as well as drawing in a huge number of fans unfamiliar with his previous roles. One of the most active fan communities that covers Human Target is WPTJEH on Livejournal WPTJEH('World Peace Though Jackie Earle Haley').
Little to nothing is known about Guerrero's history or personal life, other than he worked along side Chance when he worked as an assassin for Joubert (more commonly referred to as "the Old Man"). In episode 8 of season one we learn that Guerrero is a "family man" from Baptiste, another former colleague from Chance's old life as 'Junior'. Speculation about Guerrero's child as well as the nature of Baptiste's relationship with Guerrero and Junior are popular themes in Human Target fan fiction.
The new girls
The main concern for Human Target fans was the introduction of Ilsa Pucci and Ames. It has not gone unnoticed that Ilsa Pucci's surname is pronounced 'Poochie'. (This was the name of a character introduced to the Itchy and Scratchy cartoon within the Simpsons by cynical network executives to try to widen the appeal of the cartoon. In the episode the Poochie character is rejected as a try-hard failure and is unceremoniously killed off.) As a character Ilsa seems to be grudgingly accepted although her interference with the running of the team is inevitably resented. There is an expectation amongst fans that she will be shipped with Chance at some point, although her chemistry with Winston is arguably stronger.
Ames has not fared so well with the fans. The consensus after her first appearance was that she was annoying and no one could see why she deserved a place on the team. In the second episode of season two she was assigned the role of Guerrero's helper because he had damaged his glasses and was unable to drive. This lead to scenes where Ames was constantly butting in whenever it seemed there was going to be an exciting bit centred around Guerrero doing his thing (most notably in the interrogation scene). This alone was responsible for a lot of anti-Ames feeling but coupled with a perceived threat of her being shipped with Guerrero it has pretty much guarenteed that Ames character will have to develop in to something useful very quickly in order to escape the Human Target Fandom's wrath. The hope is that she will become Guerrero's apprentice rather than love interest.
Human Target Fanfiction
The most popular place to post Human Target fanfiction seems to be Fanfiction.net where the total number of fics currently stands at 77 (as of 16/12/10) not including crossover fics. A challenge was issued via the Human Target forum to reach a total of 100 Human Target fics posted on Fanfiction.net by the end of the year and this goal looks as though it will be achieved.
Fics range from drabbles and one-shots ( standalone )of varying lengths to multi-chapter stories of 25,000 words or more. Fics with original characters as clients for the team or love interests for the main characters are popular, as are fics revolving around Guerrero's child, who is more often depicted as a girl. Comedy, angst, smut, action and slash are all represented in the fics on Fanfiction and some fics are cross-posted to LiveJournal which has two main Human Target fanic communities humantarget_fic and h_t_slash as well as a kink meme humantargetkink.
Human Target Fan Art
Guerrero is a popular choice of subject for fan art and there are some excellent portraits on WPTJEH
The Fox Curse
Fans of Human Target are well aware of the Fox Curse (the Fox network's tendancy to cancel popular and promising shows in their first or second season - Firefly is the perfect example of an excellent show that was only given one season) and the future of the show is almost always referred to with an air of pessimism.
A 'call to arms' was issued on the Human Target forum on FanFiction.net encouraging fans of Human Target to show their support for the show by submitting online reviews, promoting the show on social networking sites and generally increasing the presence of the show and its fandom online.