Wonder Woman is back, in the form of Adrianne Palicki (of Friday Night Lights fame) in a new TV show produced by David E. Kelley (of Ally McBeal fame). Here’s a great shot of Palicki in her new work duds.
What’s not clear is why they’re bringing back Wonder Woman at all. The old TV show was just plain nuts. Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman was the least interesting of the women presented to me by networks as a fascinating dame during my prime teenaged years. She was game, I’ll give her that, but she did nothing for me either as a beauty or as a crime-busting hero.
I felt the same way about third-wheel Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith (and sometimes got the two of them confused). The difference is that now I look back at Charlie’s Angels with a certain awe at its crazy audacity and overt sexism, but look back at Wonder Woman with no emotion at all.
Lynda Carter wasn’t helped by the sheer kraziness of the Wonder Woman persona, which really isn’t a superhero persona at all. It lacks a hook. She can’t spin webs, “Flame on!”, erupt into a green monster, stretch to 100 feet long, leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc, etc. She’s just kind of “enhanced everything.” Except, oh, she has a pair of bracelets that deflect bullets. If that’s not the most sadly defensive superhero trait ever, I don’t know what is. “I can’t DO much, but if you shoot at me, I will wave my arms frantically and deflect the bullets.” Whee.
I suppose they felt it wouldn’t be proper to have the bullets bounce off Wonder Woman’s chest, a la Superman. Good thing — with Palicki’s new push-up bra outfit, the ricochets would spray straight up into her face.
And that outfit! The best you could say about the old outfit was that it was just as absurd and impractical as Batman‘s cape. Except Batman at least had a nutty *reason* to have a cape — instilling the fear of the bat in the enemy, etc. Wonder Woman’s outfit just looked like the wearer would perspire and chafe a whole lot.
Wonder Woman producers always *think* their costumes are heavy on sex appeal, but they’re not. The proof of that is that this new 2011 edition looks just as sweaty and dumb as past ones, if 20% improved by the miracle of modern fabrics (and modern decolletage). With full respect for Ms. Palicki’s physique and hard work, it’s just not doing it for me.
Hold on: I stand corrected on Wonder Woman’s powers. Per Wikipedia:
“Her powers include superhuman strength, flight, super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses an animal-like cunning and a natural rapport with animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and an invisible airplane.”
A tiara which serves as a projectile… hey, that’s the same purpose it serves backstage at the Miss America pageant!
But yes, Wonder Woman has an *invisible airplane.* I truly stand corrected.
I still say Wonder Woman needs to trade any six of those minor traits for one terrific major signature trait. (And someone make sure she doesn’t trade for more bracelets!)