Hello, and welcome to another installment of Snap Judgments, where I take sketchy information about an upcoming project and try to make a wild ass guess about what it will be like.
Today we are looking at the now-rolling Wonder Woman
TV series. As far as I'm aware, they are just shooting the pilot, they haven't green lit any episode commitments yet.
There was lots of talk about the new WW costume. A concept art piece with latexy pants went around (given the creator of Wonder Woman was heavily into kink alternate sex practices and incorporated them into things when he could [come on, guys getting tied up by a strong woman and being at their mercy? Check his biography, you'll see I'm not reading too much into things], what's one more nod to a fetish subculture?). We know that David E. Kelley of Boston Legal
and Ally McBeal
fame (and Lake Placid
infamy) is producing. We know Elizabeth Hurley is WW's arch nemesis. And now, we have some leaked images and video of one of the set pieces being filmed.
My first reaction: Jeggings? Wonder Woman wears jeggings?
I'm not going to talk about changes in the costume. Yes, I remember the star-spangled swimsuit Lynda Carter wore. I also remember the cut around the legs was unlike any swimsuit I'd ever seen. It's obvious why -- they wanted to deny that part of the show thrived on the sex appeal of Carter. I think I speak for every male who saw that while hitting puberty when I say, it didn't work. That said, the change in the costume is, at the very least, curious. Everyone knows Wonder Woman wears the star-spangled swimsuit (in fact, the first time I saw her original costume, I thought it was a knockoff character and not the real WW). So going with a sort of remix of the JMS costume is a little throwing. Don't get me wrong -- aside from one part, it looks like an action heroine costume. The boots have low heels, the pants are form fitting but not showing everything, it works from an Action Hero standpoint. Just not from a Wonder Woman standpoint.
(The one part is the red bustier. Glue. Gotta be glue.)
I'm not sure I'm buying Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman. She looks a little too "Maxim girl". Like my complaint about Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, she just looks too young for what is supposed to be a fully mature woman.
I already have suspicions about how the series is going to go based on leaked news reports that Hurley's character, besides being WW's nemesis, may also have lesbian feelings for her. That just smells rather "This'll bring the fanboys in" instead of being actual character development. Once again, WW is a one-stop shop of alternate sex. John Byrne, in fact, already postulated that the Amazons were lesbians because even without men around, they still have sexual needs and only each other to turn to. But that was logical extrapolation. This just feels like a ratings stunt.
David E. Kelley is the biggest problem, though. He was praised for Ally McBeal
being so empowering of women because it give viewers a "look into the female mind". It was actually the complete opposite, reducing the character to a gag, from wearing outfits no lawyer would dare wear to court to goofy plots twists and hamhanded examinations of lesbianism. Uh oh. Here's lesbianism apparently being baked in right from the beginning. This does not look good.
I have a suspicion that the Wonder Woman
pilot (and subsequent TV show) is going to be a lot like the costume. It's flashy, it's got some intelligence to the design, but ultimately it's not going to be all that interesting. I'm not even sure the generalities of plot that are intended to just prolong the life of the series instead of providing genuine intrigue and plot twists (see also the recent attempt to revive The Bionic Woman
) will keep this rolling. Just these bits seem to say the series wants to be its own entity and not exist in Lynda Carter's shadow, but at the same time, is too scared to really step that far from it. I think it's going to be mediocre at best and will live on in slash fiction, not on TV.