Sunday, August 26, 2007

Better? Stronger? Faster?

Say hello to the new Jamie Sommers

One of the cool things about having one time been in the newspaper biz is the occasional inside tip after you leave. A friend of mine from those days where I was pounding the pavement asked kind of nonchalantly if I was interested in seeing the pilot for NBC's re-imagined take on The Bionic Woman (premiering next month). I don't think a second even passed before he received an enthusiastic "YES!!!!".

Growing up in the 1980s, I was exposed to a lot of sci-fi TV icons from the 70s thanks to the wonderful world of syndication. And thankfully, the 70s were full of them: Battlestar Galactica, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and of course The Six Million Dollar Man and its awesome spin-off, The Bionic Woman. For some odd reason, I remembered watching Lee Majors doing his bionic thing only sporadically while growing up whereas Lindsay Wagner was pretty much always there every Saturday afternoon.

Sure, some of the episodes were beyond cheesy (the Bigfoot episodes immediately come to mind) but somehow this stuff was portrayed in a way that was charming, not silly. My parents even liked watching with me, which normally wasn't the case when it came to sci-fi stuff (oh how they hated Space:1999). In fact, we got our first VCR around the time the first reunion movie aired and I remember my mom asking if I had figured out how to program it so she could see the movie the following weekend.

So how is the new show? In a word: okay. Without giving anything away, it's certainly a darker show so don't expect to find Jamie infiltrating beauty pageants or disguising herself as a gaudy Vegas showgirl. Lots of plot threads are started with many left dangling by the end of the one-hour episode. In this day and age, you can't have a spy show without some sort of conspiracy and the new Bionic Woman is no different. While there were some things to like, I have to say that the pilot didn't really engage me too much. Everything happened so fast, yet it was like not much happened at all. I'll give the show a season but I honestly don't think it will last that long if this is the level of quality we can expect in future episodes.

After some time on the internets, I understand that the screener I just watched is not what you'll be seeing next month. The character of Jamie's sister, Becca, has already undergone an actor replacement (not to mention a major character adjustment) and who knows what other things have been tweaked. Next month's premiere may make the above paragraph moot so it's time once again to adopt that"wait and see" approach.


smacky said...

Ok, I've read this post 10 times and finally thought of a response:

"I wonder what HER sleep number is!"

Thank you!!!

muse said...

You remember Space:1999! I thought I was the only one! LOL

Didn't that spaceship look like an egg box (those cardboard things that kids use for arts and crafts)?

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