Wonder Woman is getting her own television show. Again. Am I happy about this? Mostly. I hate to say it but it’s better than getting nothing at all.
When the original news broke that David E. Kelley was putting together a show featuring Princess Diana, I was happily surprised. When network after network decided to pass, I gritted my teeth. We had already been denied a big-screen Wonder Woman when the studio disagreed with...whatever Joss Whedon’s plan was. Of course he picked up the superhero pieces and is now the director of The Avengers film but we’ll probably never know what his vision would have looked like.
When it was announced last week NBC was picking up Kelley’s Wonder Woman series I was glad someone was giving it a chance. And more recently we have the news that Charlie’s Angels director McG will most likely be handling directorial duties for the pilot episode of the TV show. This does not particularly instill hope in me as it’s more of a publicity stunt than anything else. NBC says, “LOOK WHO WE’VE GOT DIRECTING WONDER WOMAN! THAT SUPER COOL DUDE NAMED MCG!! WE REALLY WANT THIS TO DO WELL!” But that being said, I doubt it will hurt.
Obviously NBC will do all they can to sell this to us. They don’t want to be the ones responsible for screwing up Wonder Woman after it’s taken over 30 years to get her back on screen. There’s some precedent between NBC and McG, he directed the pilot episode of Chuck, which had a very action movie feel to it. Is that what they’re going for with Wonder Woman? By the sound of the description Deadline gave us, I don’t think so.
“A reinvention of the iconic DC comic in which Wonder Woman -- aka Diana Prince -- is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.”
What in the what?
Corporate executive? This is where the Ally McBeal comparisons come into play, not to mention eerie similarities to recent Power Girl story arcs. People have varying opinions on what a live-action Wonder Woman adaptation should actually be but do we really want her working in a regular office and simply taking down local thugs or do we want to see her beheading mythical creatures?
My opinion lands squarely on the mythical creatures side of things but perhaps that’s not the best scenario for a weekly TV program. I guess I could settle for something in-between just to see this thing be the success we so sorely need it to be. Still, I see no reason why her basic concepts should be neutered for primetime. It just sounds incredibly boring the way they describe it and nothing like a Wonder Woman show I’d want to watch. And people keep asking why more female superhero films don’t get made. This is why.
Wonder Woman is just as much, if not more ferocious than Superman and Batman yet they won’t let her act that way in live-action. I understand having to have a balance between her feminine side or a secret identity but I can all-but-guarantee you she is going to spend way too much time in the “office” on this show. NBC and Kelley would do themselves a big favor by following what the Wonder Woman animated film by Lauren Montgomery, Michael Jelenic and Gail Simone presented to audiences as far as tone. My other hope is this series doesn’t feel the need to tell us Diana’s origin and start her off as a newcomer to the hero scene. Showing her origins in flashbacks here and there would be sufficient to fill the general public in on what they need to know. I want a Wonder Woman who knows what she’s doing already.
I’m not going to even bother talking about who should play Diana because that’s a column for a different day, but let’s not forget Kelley has pretty much ZERO experience working with superheroes or any type of genre programming besides that of legal dramas. Let’s hope NBC pads its writer’s room with people who do know a thing or two about comics. For Wonder Woman to have any chance lasting past the pilot or other female superheroes getting a shot at the big or small screen, there needs to be some serious thought put into Kelley’s “reinvention.”
But I do have one casting note for Kelley and NBC: for the love of god, please let Lynda Carter play Hippolyta. You know, unless Wonder Woman’s mom is going to be a Supreme Court Judge or some other nonsense.