Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where we’re super excited that Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice will bring some DC heroes to the silver screen for the first time. We’re celebrating that by examining the most recent attempt to bring one of those debuting heroes, Wonder Woman, to the small screen – 2011’s Wonder Woman TV pilot!
What’s The Plot?
Wonder Woman, internationally beloved super-heroine and business mogul, does battle with corrupt pharmaceutical CEO Veronica Cale, who is using dangerous experimental steroids to create an army of super soldiers.
Who Made This Garbage?
TV producer extraordinaire David E. Kelly! The man’s resume is impressive – L.A. Law, Doogie Howser, M.D., Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal – but he’s had a spot of bother getting anything off the ground in the 2010’s. NBC ordered this pilot buoyed by early ratings on Kelley’s then-newest show Harry’s Law and, naturally, by the surging popularity of super heroes. The results were…not great.
Five Reasons to See It
- Adrianne Palicki, who played Lady Jaye in the surprisingly good G. I. Joe: Retaliation and currently stars as Mockingbird on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (soon to get her own spin-off), plays Wonder Woman. She’s a good action star and a fine actress, but what she had to work with was subpar.
- Wonder Woman tortures a helpless suspect, who’s in the hospital under police guard and represented by a lawyer, for information.
- Wonder Woman’s gold lasso lacks its traditional honesty-compelling abilities and is instead mostly used to choke out suspects.
- Wonder Woman invades Cale Pharmaceuticals, grievously injuring and even killing some security employees, without any concrete evidence of wrongdoing. Boy, would her face have been red…
- “I never said to merchandise my tits!” – Wonder Woman, angry about the proportions on her action figure. Where can i sell my action figures?
To put it nicely: David E. Kelley doesn’t “get” Wonder Woman, and it’s good this show did not get picked up.
Less nicely: David E. Kelley’s familiarity with Wonder Woman seems to begin and end at reading the first paragraph of her Wikipedia page. Diana’s compassion and role as an ambassador of peace have been important to her characterization for decades and Kelly misses them completely, turning her into an unlikeable fascist who happily uses sadistic brutality to achieve her goals. He should never be allowed near a comic book character ever again, not even the costumed panhandlers on Sunset Boulevard. If you watch this before going to see Batman V. Superman next week, you can rest easy knowing that Zack Snyder would have to work overtime to get Wonder Woman wronger than this.
NEXT WEEK: We look in on the last attempt to “Unite the Seven” in live action, the 1997 Justice League of America pilot movie.