Blog-readers all over the world have been blown away after the premiere of MacGyver and Magnum, p.i. on Rhoades to Madness. It has been hailed as not only “something on the Internet,” but also “something to read.” But the success of this massively ambitious project was never a certainty. For the next fourteen hours, we’re going to take you behind the scenes, interview the cast and crew, and step into the mind of the brilliant creator of this already-legendary achievement, Alex Ryan Rhoades.
BTS: When MacGyver went off the air twenty years ago in 1992, it was the end of an era. Magnum, p.i. had concluded four years earlier and together the two shows had kept the “tough, street-smart” lone male protagonist genre alive.
Richard Dean Anderson: “There was the very real sense that television would never be the same. I have often been blamed for the death of entertainment when I hung up my mullet and Swiss Army Knife, and it’s been a heavy burden to carry. But like most sane people, I blame Selleck, because he pussied out WAY before I did.”
Tom Selleck: “Richard…Dean…Anderson. Richard Dean Anderson. He can eat my shit.”
BTS: No love lost between two giants of 1980s television. So how did this team-up ever get off the ground? Who was the driving force behind one of the most epic team-ups in history?
Alex Ryan Rhoades: “I grew up watching and rewatching reruns of MacGyver and Magnum, p.i. They were amazing shows that shaped my soul. The idea that they should join forces was a seed planted long, long ago. In my mind, it was a foregone conclusion. Like Michelangelo, I knew that within the block of marble lay a gorgeous work of art. All I needed to do was chisel away the ugly bits.”
BTS: Born in Joplin, Missouri in 1982, Rhoades was more than familiar with chiseling away ugly bits.
Rhoades: “My parents put me to work in the lead mines when I was eight months old. It wasn’t until I was five that they finally told me that the mines had actually been closed for more than 40 years. It really put things into perspective, you know? I mean, what does being exposed to that much futility…not to mention lead…do to such a young person? I’m still finding that out.”
BTS: On his way out of the mines and towards undeniable internet super-stardom, Rhoades found himself in Kansas City.
Rhoades: “It’s a wonderful place. It really is. There are a wealth of scenic destinations, perfect for THIS PORTION OF BEHIND THE SCENES: MACGYVER AND MAGNUM, P.I. IS SPONSORED BY THE KANSAS CITY CONVENTION AND VISITORS ASSOCIATION! COME SEE THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ALL-STAR GAME THIS JULY AND PLEASE BE KIND ENOUGH TO IGNORE THE RASH OF WATER MAIN BREAKS DUE TO OUR “HISTORIC” PIPES!
BTS: But it soon became clear to Rhoades that something was missing in his life. A destiny remained to be filled.
Rhoades: “That dream I had as a kid, watching those shows and mining lead that didn’t exist, the dream was still there. And one day, as I was writing a stupidly long post about how blouses are a vast, international conspiracy perpetrated by Macy’s…it hit me. I needed to do more. I was born to do more. I flew to Los Angeles that day. Then I hunted down Anderson and Selleck.”
Selleck: “Yeah, that week is pretty murky. I don’t remember a lot. There was a guy screaming something about a blog, and there was a sharp pain in the back of my head, and then when I woke up…I was handcuffed to Dick Hands over there.”
Anderson: “You infantile little bastard. People stopped calling me Dick Hands in the fourth grade! Grow the fuck up and stick to the story for a change.”
Selleck: “You peaked in the fourth grade! Being called Dick Hands was your finest fucking achievement!”
Anderson: “I AM GOING TO MURDER YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY!!!”
BTS: Somehow, Rhoades navigated a minefield of clashing personalities, egos, and internet politics to see his dream through to the end.
Rhoades: “Rhoades to Madness was reluctant to fund the project. This was shocking because it wasn’t going to cost any money, and I am the founder, owner, and the sole contributor to Rhoades to Madness. At first, the frustration of being stonewalled by…me…was overwhelming.”
Rhoades: “In my defense, I was completely unconvinced that I could pull off such an ambitious blog post. And then when I said I was going to make three blog posts, I really started to doubt whether this could work. I mean, I’m glad I was wrong, but I can’t be blamed for questioning my ability to blog on such an epic scale.”
Rhoades: “I was a controlling, nihilistic ass who did everything I could to torpedo this project. Despite that, I managed it. I overcame. But, the wounds are still raw. Right now, I can’t see myself working with me again. I’m not closing that door entirely, but for right now…no.”
Rhoades: “That’s my prerogative, you know? I did what I felt was in the best interests of Rhoades to Madness. I can’t change the past. And if I don’t collaborate with myself on any future endeavors, so be it. The blog comes first.”
BTS: I don’t really understand what’s happening right now. But another angered participant in MacGyver and Magnum, p.i. was veteran actor and director, LeVar Burton, who reprised his role as Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Geordi LaForge.
Burton: “When I read the script, I was the hero. I got all the babes, I saved MacGyver and Magnum from the Tooth Fairy, and then I brought all the Star Trek casts together and made a timelines-spanning crossover that actually made sense and was accurate in any canon. It was like a movie within a blog post within a TV show within a blog post within a script. But when the writing started, things started to turn.”
A SCENE FROM MACGYVER AND MAGNUM:
LaForge: Durrr, I am dumb as stupid! I eat visor now and poo out stuff!
Magnum: God, that guy is an idiot.
MacGyver: Such an idiot. We should euthanize him and protect the gene pool.
LaForge: I LOVE GUYS YOU! WE ARE FAMILY TOGETHER! HUG ME NOW!
Burton: “The original ending actually left me alive, but as a severed head that Magnum would wear as a codpiece. I begged [Rhoades] to kill off my character.”
Rhoades: “I killed off Geordi because I was beginning to suspect that LeVar Burton wasn’t related to Tim Burton at all.”
Burton: “After Dark Shadows, I’m glad I’m not.”
BTS: That such a discordant cast and crew could create such a flawless spectacle is testament to Alex Ryan Rhoades’s leadership and vision.
Rhoades: “You’re damn right it is. I am an unparalleled genius, an unrivaled creative mind. And I’m not half bad in the sack, isn’t that right, Emma and Olivia?”
Emma Stone: “I know what life means now…”
Olivia Wilde: “I’ll never be able to walk properly again, and it was worth it.”
Rhoades: “End of interview.”
BTS: Um, right. So that is the complete story of how MacGyver and Magnum, p.i. – The Most Awesome Team-Up In All of Human History was conceived, created, and became an overnight smash sensation, garnering an unheard-of 20 pageviews. Wow. 20 pageviews! That’s a lot, right?
Statistics Expert: “No. Not at all.”