Wonder Woman Comes Back To Prime Time Television
As most readers that follow me know, I usually do film reviews and analysis on previews of upcoming movies. However, with "Wonder Woman", I've decided to take to do a TV preview of the new upcoming series on NBC. The pilot for a planned Wonder Woman live action TV series was recently picked up by NBC, and it's scheduled to be released in the fall later this year. As of right now, there's very little if any information confirmed about the premise of the show; outside of rumors and speculation. However, the series is set to be penned by David E. Kelley, who many may remember was the writer for such shows like "Boston Legal", "Chicago Hope", and "Ally McBeal."
For those cringing that David might try to make Wonder Woman more like Ally, then you should know that the series' pilot is allegedly rumored to be directed by McG, the same man behind the popular "Chuck" and "Nikita" series. Granted, I know more than likely he'll probably only direct the pilot, and let some other director take over; once the show takes off like he did with "Chuck." After all, you have to remember the guy is pretty busy Executive Producing other shows like "Nikita", "Human Target", "Chuck", "Supernatural" and many others. Therefore, I doubt he'll find that much time to exclusively direct Wonder Woman, as he still plans on directing movies as well, but I'm sure whoever does take over for him after the pilot will be sure to carry on the same theme of it.
That's not to necessarily say that the pilot will be successful, as there's still a possibility it could bomb. And if it does, then you can bet there won't be a Wonder Woman series, or anything relating to Wonder Woman outside of comic books for a very long time. Plus, there's really no guarantee that McG will be directing the pilot or anything to do with the show, as it's just rumored at this point. No, the only thing that's confirmed is that David E. Kelley is penning the story with a complete revision of Wonder Woman that could work or not.
During this hub, I plan to go over some of the pros and cons of this new TV series. Giving you my take on how it could work potentially to revitalize Wonder Woman, while giving you some reasons why it might not do so well; along with some of the brief plot scenarios that's rumored about the pilot. Once, we establish the pros and cons, then I will conclude this with my final thoughts on the subject.
Wonder Woman Pros and Cons
Throughout the years, Wonder Woman has endured many incarnations throughout her history. Often prone to be the subjects of rewrites, and rebooting various times in either comic books or television; with each new origin story giving Wonder Woman a new outlook in terms of how she's been portrayed. However, regardless of her various rewrites and origin changes throughout her history, she's always been used by DC and our society as somewhat of a modern symbolism for feminism. Displaying a woman that's not only as strong as the likes of Superman, but she's still sensual enough to draw a lot of sex appeal; even among men that might be intimidated by strong women. If that wasn't enough, she's also been portrayed as a politician, a warrior, a princess, amazonian, lover, and caring individual that stands up for what's right. As some can probably tell, she's a bit of everything that a girl could possibly be in terms of personality.
However, would that work in a live action TV show today? Sure, it worked for Linda Carter, but that was a different era in TV, where the character was still relatively unknown to the majority of America outside of the comic book world. Therefore, there wasn't as much expectations to the character, as there is today. Then again, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
According to various sources, Wonder Woman will have three identities in this new series. One of them obviously is Wonder Woman, who many know as the crime fighting heroine that beats up the bad guys. Then there's her not so well known alter ego, Diana Themyscira, who is a highly successful businesswoman and CEO of her own company; which uses the profits off her Wonder Woman merchandising to fund her crime fighting exploits. To make matters more interesting, everyone knows that Diana Themyscira and Wonder Woman are one and the same publicly. Think Tony Stark from the "Iron Man" movies.
Of course, for those that remember her original alter ego was Diana Prince, then have no fear...as that's who her third identity is. As Diana Prince, she puts on contacts and wears glasses (similar to Superman), to live a normal mundane life whenever she's not busy running her business or being a superhero.
Then there's word that Wonder Woman's original love interest from the comics, Steve Trevor, will have a prominent role as well. According to various sources, Steve and Wonder Woman have somewhat of an on again off again relationship throughout the series. Reminiscent of Cary from "Sex and the City" with Big.
As far as her costume goes, there's been no official word on it yet, as it was originally speculated that the new Wonder Woman costume, from the comics, would be used for the TV series. However, due to the poor reception it got from many fans, it seems Warner Bros. is backing off that perception a bit. Rumored right now to be allegedly a one piece suit that still features quite a bit of the original look of Wonder Woman. However, all this is rumors at this point. Lets go over the pros and cons of the show, with some of the analysis based on the rumors I just said as well as the character's history.
Pros: On the one hand, I think this show might be able to work if it 's handled correctly. Based on what I could gather from reading the various plot tidbits of the pilot, it seems the show will feature elements of romantic comedy tensions ala "Sex and City"; while trying to incorporate elements of action and suspense that one would expect of a superhero show. Basically, it allegedly implies that it's going to have a little something for everyone, while offering a fresh new take on Wonder Woman that stays fairly close to the source material, but not necessarily retreading the old TV series either.
Plus, the idea of Wonder Woman having three identities that feature different personalities sounds interesting, as this could also work for the shows favor. Diana Prince is depicted as the girl next door. The shy, innocent but mousy type. You know, the cute office girls you see that aren't necessarily the hottest dressed women out there, but you know they're attractive from looking at them. This could work, as I'm sure there's a lot of girls out there that are shy can relate to a girl who goes from being a shy wallflower to a strong and independent woman in society. And, given the fact that Diana Prince can turn into Wonder Woman, at a moment's notice, this makes her highly accessible to most women to aspire to. Not necessarily to be a superhero per say, but to be more confident and outspoken. Think "Ugly Betty", as that show caters to women on how to deal with their own insecurities to make it through social forms of society.
Then there's Diana Themyscira, a highly successful business woman. As this alter ego, she's strong, fiercely independent, successful, and making it financially in a man's world. No pun intended. This is something that I'm sure many women that work on a business level could relate to as well, as it's hard to make it up the corporate ladder in business; especially if your a woman. I apologize if that sounds sexist, as I mean no ill offense by that remark. However, I'm merely stating an observation that many women have a tough time garnering respect within the business world, and those that do often have trouble maintaining a steady relationship due to scheduling. Think "Sex and the City", where it shows Carry and her friends struggling to balance a career and relationships in their lives, as I'm sure many single women can relate.
Then last, but certainly not least...there's Wonder Woman. She's basically a Amazon Warrior Princess kicking a** in a scantly clad suit, so I'm sure many fan boys will be drooling over that image. Think "Nikita" and "Charlie's Angels", where it showed various hot girls kicking a** and taking names. As I said before, the show seems to promise a little something for everybody. However, as promising as all this sounds, there's quite a bit that concerns me.
Cons: Unlike most superhero shows that often have to incorporate some degree of plausibility to make the character relatable on some level, Wonder Woman isn't necessarily plausible when you look at her history, as her personality was originally deemed too much of a rip off of Superman during her earlier illustrations. It wasn't until around the Silver Age of Comic books that her character was given more of a fleshed out personality of her own.
Sadly, in today's modern comic book era, Wonder Woman sales are mediocre at best. Believe it or not, part of the reason why Warner Bros. is hesitant about releasing a Wonder Woman film is because of the low comic book sales of the character. Hell, even a lame character like Aquaman is beating her consistently in comic sales. AQUAMAN! If that wasn't bad enough, her straight to DVD animated film didn't exactly make as much profit, as WB was hoping for. Don't get me wrong, it still made a lot of money, but it wasn't enough for Warner Bros. expectations. Hence, they're announcement of no longer making animated films starring female characters.
Add in the fact that many Hollywood films have bombed that featured many super heroines in the past like "Elektra", "Catwoman", and "Supergirl", to name a few, then it's easy to see why WB isn't exactly confident about Wonder Woman as a movie. However, on a TV show, she's perfect. If the pilot does poorly, or the show in general, then WB and NBC won't lose too much on their investment, and people will likely forget about it if it does a lot sooner than they would if it failed on the big screen.
However, this brings me to my biggest concern about Wonder Woman's prospects as a TV series. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flak for saying this, but this is something I have to say, as I make it a point to never ignore the obvious. The thing that bothers me about Wonder Woman is that she may not be as relevant as she used to be, due to today's modern era. Don't get me wrong, I think part of the reason why Linda Carter's series did so well was largely due to the fact that it took place in an era where equal rights among the sexes were still a big issue in this country. Therefore, having a character like Wonder Woman representing the symbolic embodiment of womanhood striving in a man's world (also how Wonder Woman describes our world too. hinty hint hint), then it's fairly easy to see her appeal back then.
Now? I just don't see it working out. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that sexism and feminist rights aren't a big issue in today's era. However, it's just not as prominent of a topic as it used to be back in the seventies; which was one of the main strengths of the original show. Sure, we can debate all day and bring up the sexist treatment of how women are treated in other countries, to where Wonder Woman can be used as a symbolism for their rights. Which is a fine argument, but there's one small problem with it. In those other countries, women that choose to speak up for equal rights face much harsher consequences than those that did during the Civil Rights movement, in this country. Here, the worst they'd get is jail time. Over in other places like Africa and most of the Middle East,....lets just say that it's best not to mention it. I apologize again if what I said offends someone, but I make it a point to never overlook the obvious.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure how well this pilot will do, but I hope it works out for the best. On the one hand, the ex comic book nerd inside me wishes this could have been a live action film instead, as that would be a epic treat to see. However, the film analyst in me says that a TV show is the wiser choice. Go figure. Having said all this, I would like to point out that WB may not do anything with Wonder Woman again outside of the comic books IF this pilot bombs. Seriously, WB has already stated they're not going to do any solo female character animated direct to DVD films anymore, due to the average sales of Wonder Woman. Therefore, if you fans want to continue seeing Wonder Woman in some live action format, then you'd better pray that this new show works out. If not, then I guess Wonder Woman's relevance in society will continue to diminish.
In recent news, it seems the show never made it past it's initial pilot. The pilot was originally supposed to be aired on NBC, but it never saw the light of day. As of right now, there's no current plans for a Wonder Woman TV show at this time. Although there are rumors that CW might be interested in doing a show on her younger years being aptly dubbed "Amazon", but there's been no official confirmation on that thus far.
Wonder Woman/Diana Themyscira/ Diana Prince: Adrianne Palicki
Veronice Cale: Elizabeth Hurley
Henry Demeter: Cary Elwes
Etta Candy: Tracie Thoms
Ed Indelicato: Pedro Pascal
Steve Trevor: Brett Tucker
Wonder Woman Update
In recent news, the pilot was rejected by NBC, as it received mixed reviews from test audiences; thus the entire project has been scrapped. David E. Kelley is actively shopping the pilot to other potential networks, but the possibility of this pilot seeing the light of day is looking slim at best...