Friday, October 05, 2007

Bionic Woman
I watched the second episode of Bionic Woman this week and have to admit that I wasn't blown away. There's potential there, but I think it's getting ladeled on a bit thick.

The first episode was generic in some ways. We had to have the accident scene where Jaime was injured so badly that bionics were the only way to save her.

But the hospital scene really smacked too much of the old Six Million Dollar Man show with the eye patch and the tubes. It almost felt like I was watching a rerun to a degree.

The fact that the actress, Michelle Ryan, is stunning helps. And she can act. But, again, too much of the resistance to authority and feeling creepy over her bionics is too familiar. She's even got a plus because -- unlike Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers of the old series -- her skin doesn't peel back so she can see the mechanical parts.

The decision to have fan fave Katee Sackhoff return as a recurring villainess seems to be a good one. However, from what I hear she was kind of pulled in at the last-minute, which is why there are no scenes of her confronting Jaime. Possibly. The plot thread introduced in this episode tends to be a little soap opera-ish in my opinion.

The new bionic abilities are, of course, amped up by the special effects possible these days, which is good. But we seldom get to see them in action. That's a lot like the old series as well, because I can remember each episode waiting for Steve or Jaime to use their strength or speed or jumping ability. In the old days, they jumped down off buildings and over fences, but the new, improved Jaime is nothing short of incredible.

The tech effects are great too, but nothing mind-blowing.

The show, at least at this point, is moving through all the familiar plot points of both earlier series. That's not bad. There's a whole generation out there waiting to be introduced to the concept. But bionics just aren't as cool now as they were back in the 1970s. In a way, they're old hat.

Cybernetic limb replacement been used in more books (which is how they got their start, in Martin Caidin's novel Cyborg), comic books (Deathlok by Marvel Comics, which is in Hollywood limbo, I believe), other science fiction movies (Star Wars The Empire Stikes Back! and Star Wars Return of the Jedi, Luke's hand), television, and video games.

We're just comfortable with what used to be an innovative idea (like Pocket PCs, iPhones, and other electronic marvels folks just seem to take for granted these days).

But the original Jaime Sommers won hearts by being the girl next door -- who just happened to have the scientific equivalent of super powers.

I still remember the merchandise. The lunch box.

And the beauty salon (not that I ever had one!).

This second episode even felt a little too much like the first episode of the original Six Million Dollar Man television series. The first hour-long show was called "Population Zero" and was about a town that was overcome by a biological weapon. But, in those days, a high bodycount on television wasn't possible. So those "victims" were only put to sleep.

I'm going to hang around the show for a while, but I'd be interested to know what other people think of it and its potential.

And I'm looking forward to Moonlight and Numb3rs tonight.


Angela/SciFiChick said...

Bionic Woman.. meh. I could take it or leave it. I'm hoping they'll delve more into the characters.
But unfortunately, I can't stand Katee Sackhoff, so I usually fast forward any cheesy interaction between her and the Jamie character.

Katie said...

I haven't watched this one. All that TV time cuts into my reading. :)

Wes said...

hah, how cool is it that we've both done Bionic Woman posts.
Yours seems a little more in depth than mine. I had to reach to evil Michael Knight and Evil Spock to wrap it up.

No hopes for an award here :)