Sunday, September 30, 2007


Yup, I was a semi-fan of the original BIONIC WOMAN. It's not as cheesy-campy as people make it out to be. The most memorable episodes for me were the excellent Fembots/Dr. Franklin/Weather Control 3-parter AND any of the episodes with Jaime's evil double, Lisa, who used a drug to mimic bionics. And, Lindsay Wagner was charming as Jaime.

With one episode to judge, the new BIONIC WOMAN gets a cautious thumbs up for me. They certainly laid a lot of groundwork in the first episode. I like how each character has a specific role and I can't see any 'useless' characters that appear so often in pilots.

I'm a little unsure if the lead actress plays "tough" convincingly. Her line at the end of the episode and during the fight scenes... didn't quite sell it. She's pretty good overall (and easy on the eyes)... but can she carry the whole darn show? Linsday Wagner had a certain charm, a certain charisma... you instantly related to her. I do also think things were rushed, as far as Jaime's development. She goes from Sarah Conner (in TERMINATOR) to Sarah Conner (in TERNIMATOR II) in 14 minutes. Sarah Corvus should have handed Jaime her non-bionic ass on that rainy rooftop. And Jaime should have then gone to the government seeking help and reluctantly agreeing to "work" with them. Then the whole first season could have been her development into bionic ass-kickery extreme. The tough Jaime didn't work in the last 15 minutes; It didn't ring true.

The show took some hits for writing out the deaf sister and replacing her with a computer hacker sister... but honestly, the change will only ultimately help the show. The angry deaf sister, I believe, would ultimately be marginalized; less a 'character' and more a symbol of Jaime's good heart. The computer hacking aspect will undoubtedly get sis involved in plots. (Of course, deaf sis could have been a computer hacker too-- but she wasn't in the original pilot...)

Miguel Ferrer is a casting coup and lends suitable gravitas as "Oscar Goldman 2.0." I liked the backstory with his wife. The boyfriend serves dual role as scientist who gave Jaime bionics as well as love interest. Good call. Also, his dad on the evil side gives plenty for the character to do. The asian guy has intertwined backstory with Sarah Corvus, good move. The blond agent seems like a weak link for now, but it's way too early to tell. The actress seems capable and her scenes were good.

Katee Sackoff as Sarah Corvus lifted the whole pilot from "competent" to "above average." She's totally convincing as the complicated bionic psycho and gave a jolt to every scene she was in. "Without getting too dramatic... I'm the first Bionic Woman... tada." Sackoff takes that line and makes it her bitch. She was just great to watch.

Here's the thing tho. This show is brought to us by the same people that gave us BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. That's both good and bad. I'm a fan of BG and they've done some great episodes and some complex characters. They can tell a great story. That's the good. BUT, I feel BG got enveloped by its own story; It's become this convoluted space-soap where not even the Cylons know what their plan is anymore (and, apparently, the writers never truly did). I would hate to see BIONIC WOMAN fall into the same trap, of everything revolving around Sarah Corvus and Evil Science Dad's consortium. ALIAS fell into a similar trap with Sloan.

It's got potential. I like it so far. I'm probably sticking with this one for the season unless the wheels fall off the bionic cart.

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