Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cybored: The New "Bionic Woman"

OK, so after three episodes, I think I've finally reached my fill of the new Bionic Woman. The first episode was fairly good, so I gave it chance. The second episode, however, was like having a root canal while listening to an infomercial...while being shot through the head. If it'd been a bear trap, I would've gnawed off my own leg to escape (and then would've needed bionics of my own...oh, the irony, Alanis).

So before last night's episode, I told myself I'd give it one more chance, and I have to say it blew it, big time. No, it wasn't quite as bad as episode #2, but it wasn't anything I'd want to endure on a weekly basis, either. As I see it, here are the show's main problems:

(1) Most of the characters are dreadfully dull. It's not a good sign when the show's titular (look it up, you perve) character doesn't have enough charisma to keep the viewer interested, but it's true in this case. Jaime Sommers is not someone with whom I'd want to get stuck in an elevator (I'm not even sure she'd be on the ball enough to get us out). I want to like Miguel Ferrer (since I've liked him in pretty much everything he's ever done), but they sabotage him with bad dialog (on last night's show, he referred to a character as going "scorched earth"; who the @#$% talks like that?). The only semi-interesting character is Sarah, the "evil" bionic woman; Lea suggested they should spin her off into her own show, and that might be the only way of salvaging anything from this mess.

(2) The action. Hey, folks, it's an ACTION show, so that might be somewhat important, j'think? The first episode's action was pretty good. The second was crappy and nearly non-existent. Last night's show had a big fight scene in a manicure salon (!), and it made me want to ram my head into the TV set. Not only was it contrived, not only was the "fight dialog" stupid and pointless, but Jaime Sommers was UNABLE to take out three normal thugs without Sarah's help. I think they're going for some kind of a "grrrrrl" persona for Jaime, but if that's the best she can do, she's more Blanche Dubois than Emma Peel.

(3) The emo. Oh, sweet sassy molassey, does every show these days have to be Smallville? Look, the single best bet for saving this show would be to drop the continuing soap opera aspects, and do what the original Bionic Woman did: feature self-contained episodes. I really don't give a rat's rosy red ass about Jaime's relationship with her sister. I want to see her dish out some hard justice to bad guys with her bionic bag o' tricks. Remember the X-Files? Sure you do. Well, do you remember that the best episodes of the X-Files were the ones that featured self-contained stories and had nothing to do with the overall "alien abduction" megaplot? Remember how you prayed that each new episode would feature Tooms or the Flukeman or Jose Chung's "From Outer Space", rather than Mulder's never-ending search for "the truth"?

Well, maybe you didn't, but I sure as hell did. And that's what this show needs to do.


(4). Three episodes in, and no Bigfoot. I'm just saying...


I seriously doubt I'll watch the show from this point on. It just seems like the waste of an hour, during which I could be doing something more productive...like writing a blog entry about how craptastic the show is...

10 comments:

Erin Palette said...

Dammit, Troy, get out of my head! You TOTALLY poached my idea for Friday's blog!

Good points, all 'round.

NuclearToast said...

Awesome. One less show to watch, more time for gaming. Thanks, Troy.

Slickriptide said...

Y'ever seen one of those comedy skits where someone pitches a really good idea for a TV Show or a movie and by the time the studio bigwigs are done with it, it's turned into something entirely sucktastic?

This seems like one of those shows. I actually like Michelle Ryan as Jaime Sommers. It's the writing that's utterly horrendous. It's like they get a couple of good ideas, and then just make up the rest as they go.

I had told myself I'd give it one more episode but it turned out that I didn't even tune in to see the next appearance of the "evil-but-possibly-just-malfunctioning-or-misunderstood" bionic woman.

I'm right there with the camp that wishes that her sister would move in with Daddy already. This whole "I've got to be home by 7:00" routine was good for a laugh but it's a pretty dumb limitation to put on an action show.

Slickriptide said...

Oh, and the X-files comment is spot-on. The best episodes were the ones that were self-contained and focussed on the spooky or just-plain bizarre. Gary Toomes had to have been one of the creepiest villains to grace the small screen.

X-Files was at its most creative when it just said "here's a bizarre idea or bit of folklore; let's see how far we can go with it." The episode with the UFO book author who interviews Scully as, through flashbacks, we see an "alien abduction" from a half-dozen different viewpoints; each more bizarre than the previous and yet still managing to make a nod towards the overall mythos of the Conspiracy. Similarly, the episode featuring the Lone Gunment reciting the history they've dug up on Cancer Man as he appears to be setting up to assasinate them for their knowledge.

Was there honestly a scarier/freakier TV monster than Flukeman? THAT was X-Files at its best.

Troy Hickman said...

The X-Files was at its best when it was closest in form to its source material: The Night Stalker.

(And no, not that awful "updating" of the Night Stalker, which was even more of a tragedy than the new Bionic Woman)

Richard Pulfer said...

Darn you, Troy Hickman, for bringing up Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Now I'll be comparing Michelle Ryan to Darren McGavin, and the equally sad thing is - as hot as Michelle Ryan is - she'll still lose out to a balding, middle-aged reporter. Kolchak kicks ass!

Troy Hickman said...

There's nothing sexier than a porkpie hat...

Allura-Mike said...

There was a Bigfoot in the original Bionic Woman? I remember it in The Six Million Dollar man, but not in the Bionic Woman.

While I can't refute any of your statements about the current show, I'm still holding out some (unrealistic?) hope that the show will actually improve and I'll probably watch at least two or three more episodes.

Troy Hickman said...

Bigfoot never appeared on the Bionic Woman, but Jaime Sommers did appear in the "Return of Bigfoot" two-parter on the Six Million Dollar Man, so the characters did meet.

And regarding "giving it a chance," EVERY SINGLE PERSON I've heard say they're still watching the show has added the caveat "in the hopes that it might get better."

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