Bionic Woman is a Bionic Mess

by Paul William Tenny

bionic-woman.jpgWhen an executive producer that was intimately involved with the creation of a show is pushed out in one way or another after the pilot, and that EP has the resume of Glen Morgan, it doesn't take a genius to figure that things are only going to go downhill from that point forward. Things are made much, much worse when you factor in how uninspiring the pilot was to begin with, and at least for a few seconds of pure delusional insanity, I can actually understand why NBC wanted changes made.

Unfortunately for NBC, it panicked and went for the reset button rather than just chilling out for a few episodes to let the show and its people find their way on their own. The result was pure, unadulterated garbage.
I enjoy David Eick's work but I have news for the man: paying homage to somebody else's work within your own is not the same thing as pimping one of your shows on another. Seeing a scene from Battlestar Galactica playing on a television in 1x02 of Bionic Woman was at the same time both lame and also painful, because in that instant, I very much wished I was actually watching BSG instead.

The pilot was not a memorable one and I kept thinking to myself that despite never having seen the original show, I knew what was going on, what was about to happen, and pretty much a lot of what was going to follow, and as the first half hour dragged on, I desperately wished it would get past everything we already know about and show us why NBC sunk $5 million into this pilot to bring an old show back on the air.

This is where Ron Moore and David Rick's BSG sets itself apart from Bionic Woman in a big way - BSG is different from its roots while Bionic Woman doesn't even qualify as a remake. It was so bad in fact that what happened in the second episode is best explained by Lee Goldberg. Lee has his head stuffed up his rear when it comes to fanfic, but the man has a point about this that is unavoidably lame.

In "Population Zero," the first regular episode of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, Steve Austin has to go into a town where everybody has been killed by a strange virus.

In "Paradise Lost," the first regular episode of the "re-imagined" BIONIC WOMAN, Jaime Sommers has to go into a town where everybody has been killed by a strange virus.

I love how Lee put "re-imagined" in quotes, because that's not what this series is. This is the literal remake with less creative flair than I've ever seen - and it was a terrible episode to boot. Jamie, who up until this point has been less than thrilled with what has been done to her body (and ridiculously ungrateful for those things saving her from being a triple-limb cripple, or quite likely a corpse) to enthusiastically joining the team, ready to kick ass and save the world.

You can actually do that, but you have to have a path to it. Someone has to have a real good reason to from A to B when they are worlds apart from each other. People don't change their mind about significant live-changing events over the course of a commercial break in real life. It's just not believable.

What this boils down is a by-the-book episode from before I was born, trite dialog, predictable outcomes, and an audience that is not coming back to find out what happens in next weeks exciting remake of an episode from 25 years ago. And what people are saying about Katie Sackhoff stealing the spotlight from Michelle Ryan is absolutely right. Good people tend to have less depth than bad guys, and we're definitely living in the age of the bad guy more so now than at any point.

I like to ask people to give a show a chance to find its way, which means a season at least as far as I'm concerned, yet I'm not inclined to do so if the quality keeps dropping this dramatically, especially when it wasn't all that great to begin with.

Your mileage may vary.
in Television


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