Wonder Woman 2011: What Were They Thinking?

I recently sat down to watch the failed pilot for the remade Wonder Woman and, honestly, I’m glad it failed.  No matter how the acting was, it just wasn’t Wonder Woman.  What, exactly, were they thinking?

Now granted, I’ve never been one to insist on extreme accuracy in comic book adaptations and, since I no longer read comics, I haven’t got a clue what’s gone on in the Wonder Woman comic in the past couple of decades, nor do I care.  What I do know, however, is that the American TV-viewing public isn’t going to identify modern comic stories with a TV series about Wonder Woman.  They’re going to remember the campy 70s Lynda Carter series with the invisible plane and the short shorts.

To do otherwise isn’t to make the Wonder Woman anyone cares about, it’s to make a different series.  That’s exactly what the new pilot attempted to do and I suspect that’s one of the major reasons it failed.  Of course, the bad writing, bad acting and lack of actual effects in the version I saw (they hadn’t been digitally added yet) probably had a lot to do with it as well.

Adrianne Palicki starred as Wonder Woman, CEO of Themyscira Industries, and apparently her own secretary, a persona she retreats into to get out of the limelight.  That’s stupid, but you have to remember, this is DC we’re talking about and apparently, putting on a pair of glasses makes you impossible to recognize.  It worked for Superman, why not?  Anyhow, Diana Themyscira nightly puts on the costume of Wonder Woman and fights crime, she pays for this venture with her company, which makes money marketing the Wonder Woman brand.  She’s not happy that her action figure tits are huge, but seriously, have you seen a comic book lately?  Oh brother.  For someone who doesn’t want to be objectified, running around with bouncing boobs all over the place seems absurd.

There are some massive problems with the character though.  She’s far, far too dark.  She makes Batman look light and cheery.  I don’t think Batman, even at his Frank Miller darkest, would go around torturing prisoners for information, but Wonder Woman does just that and seems damn happy to do it.  Now wait a minute, isn’t her lasso supposed to compel people to tell the truth?  Nah, she’d rather beat the shit out of them.  She violates the law, in fact, she acts like she’s above the law and can get away with anything and apparently she can.  The character in this show is not Wonder Woman.  It’s just not.

The rest of the cast isn’t impressive either.  Cary Elwes plays her business partner/manager and she spends all her time abusing him.  Why he doesn’t tell her what to go do with herself, I don’t know, maybe the fact that she could snap him like a twig and apparently, has no problems doing so.  There is no positive relationship between the two.  She’s a bitch, he’s a wimp.  Bad combination.  Then there’s Justin Bruening, who plays Steve Trevor.  Apparently, Diana and Steve broke up before the start of the series, something to do with her wanting to pursue a superhero lifestyle and afraid he’ll get hurt if he tags along for the ride.  Now, years later, he comes back into her life and he’s married and she regrets throwing him out.  Angst.  Yuck.

Some of the trademark Wonder Woman gimmicks are around.  She has a plane.  It’s not invisible.  It’s tiny.  She has three of them actually, housed on her company’s roof.  It reminded me of a Volkswagon.  Stupid.  And her lasso.  Either it no longer has the powers it used to or she’s just having more fun kicking ass, but all I can say is that watching her use it made me think of Scorpion in Mortal Kombat.  “GET OVER HERE!”

Even though I wasn’t expecting much from this, I was really disappointed at how little there was.  It was all flash, no substance, horrible characters, idiotic situations, no relationships, lots of angst, I can’t find anything really good to say about it.

So farewell, Wonder Woman.  I’m glad you died.  I just wish you had died before this disaster got committed to digital media.


2 thoughts on “Wonder Woman 2011: What Were They Thinking?”

  1. I'm not one of those sticklers on comic book accuracy; if I wanted to read the comic book, I would. But at least get the damn character right!

    1. Yup, and if you're shooting for mainstream popularity, use the classic characters, not whatever nonsense is going on in the comic book that nobody but comic geeks will know about. If you're not willing to do that, call it something else. Otherwise you're just guaranteeing failure.

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