Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bionic Woman Series Premiere

By far my most anticipated new show...

And I'm far from disappointed!


Great shocking beginning, to start with a bang, then several minutes of relationship goo until the Crash that Changes Everything.

The Stakes are set early. They can "terminate her later, if need be." Lots of mysteries to unwrap, which is a good thing. Her relationship with her younger sister is a great area to explore, especially as we're not sure what kind of delinquent her sister is. I don't think Jaime will be able to keep her in the dark for long.

The science is of course ridiculous, though I like the possibilities inherent in the quick-healing capabilities. Will tries to explain it to Jaime: "Technology is at the point where science fiction isn't fiction anymore." Me: "Are you kidding, they had all this technology back in 1976!"

I like that she's got an equally strong female to combat (Sarah, the updated fembot!). I was going to call her a villain, but she's just a messed-up version of Jamie. I think their relationship could be interesting, but I'm guessing they'll kill off Sarah.

Some questions:
1. The original Jaime Sommers was a tennis pro. Why does this one have to be a bartender? I know smart people (they establish that she has a high IQ) are found in all professions, but this seems to demean her, putting her in a position where she has to ask Will, who is a professor/scientist, why he's with her. In the original, she would go undercover a lot - maybe we'll get to see her stretch her wings a bit...

2. Why did she need to be pregnant? They didn't think losing two legs, an arm, an ear and an eye were enough for us to feel sympathy for her? In fact, doesn't mentioning her pregnancy actually decrease our view of her as someone smart... enough to use reliable birth control?

3. Why doesn't Sarah shoot Jae when she has the chance? This is the man who has already shot her to kill her. They apparently were lovers, so maybe that's supposed to explain it all...

Things I thought could have been done in a more unique way:
- The mandatory cry in the shower/tub scene
- The mandatory stop-the-mugger/rapist in the alley scene
- Some cliched dialogue, but it could have been worse, given that it's an action show.

Best Line:
Sarah - "I'm cutting away all the parts of me that are weak."
THIS is a great metaphor for our plastic surgery culture, as well as cutting off our emotions, connections with others, or other perceived weaknesses. And this is of course the subjective part of this blog: what I view as weak and strong.

How do we know Jaime's all SFL?
Her parting shot to Jonas, the man running the secret lab: "I know what I'm capable of now. So you send whoever you send. And I'll bury one guy after the next."

I for one will be here next week to see who they send, how Jaime adjusts to her new strength, and what Sarah gets up to.


Anonymous said...

Sigh... I missed it, and I'm having a hard enough time tracking down the Heroes premiere on the web. I found out one interesting thing - another company has the rights to the Six Million Dollar Man, which is 1) why there's no Oscar Goldman and 2) means that there might be either *another* series or even a movie with Steve Austin. I know that's not part of the SFL mandate, just thought you might find it interesting.

Polly said...

I'll do a "and other series" wrapup tomorrow, but you didn't miss much in the Heroes prem.

Sabine said...

I haven't caught Bionic Woman yet, and as a woman who loved the original as a little girl (and as someone who adores Katee Sackhoff), I'm very excited about this show.

But I have to say, reading over your comments reminded me of some of the important changes there were made, for example, in the recent Charlie's Angels movies. There is something about the time period in which shows like BW and CA were made that feminism was still very much in a nascent stage and television was grappling with it in a variety of ways.

Hence Jamie's original job was as a tennis pro (hello, the battle of the sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs?)--a job that demonstrated her physical prowess (yet still retained her femininity). Or her being pregnant now, something which has pretty well become a fad these days, whereas in the 1970s, women were exploring life beyond motherhood.

Thanks for the post--it's got my mind turning before I've even caught my first episode!

Polly said...

And thanks for your comments - definitely some fodder here for decade comparison-making...

Shannon said...

I've seen the first two episodes and I'm not overly impressed yet with this one but I will keep watching.

I thought it was completely bizarre that they chose to make her pregnant, especially considering she's already taking care of her teen sister so she already is a 'caretaker' of sorts.

It will be interesting to see how it progresses. I do admit I love that the actor who plays Starbuck is in it, even if she isn't a nice character.

I totally agree that the 'cutting away the parts of me that are weak' is fascinating metaphor for plastic surgury. It's interesting because I think now the idea of this happening people would believe a lot more now than they did during the original.