EDITORIAL: Getting The Wonder Woman TV Show Right
Why is it so damn hard to make the Amazon Princess work on screen?
How can Woman Woman work on the small screen? The answer to this question continues to elude hollywood's best!
Wonder Woman is a warrior Princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created by Marston, an American, as a "distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men."  Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight (even though the original Wonder Woman did not have this ability), super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses animal-like cunning skills and a natural rapport with animals, which has been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.
After watching the horrible unaired pilot I really took the time to investigate why we can't seem to do DC's lead lady justice on screen.
1. The Plot
The plot to me is basically what the show's about. Smallville was a show about the boy that would become Superman. A good plot must be captivating not just believable but above all it must be simple! The pilot is a sample of that plot. This one failed partly because the plot was boring! There's no suspense whatsoever, no mystery, nothing to draws us in. The idea of a CEO making dolls of herself was horrible! Booster Gold might attempt something like that but even then, the show should not be about that!
2. The Tone/Audience
This is often predetermined by the network producing the show! All large networks have their specific style. Look at AMC or Starz, so we kinda knew what to expect. Regardless of this, the tone of the show will affect it's success! The tone isn't just how mature it is but also what values and messages the show shares... It's what challenges our beliefs and what makes us think. The Walking Dead is a great example of that... the creative team managed to bring Zombies to the small screen! Many people assume it's a horror show but that's not the tone at all! Sure there's scary moments but 75% of the show is about the characters, their relationships and their difficulty adapting to a world that has changed!
3. The Characters/Relationships
A story is only as good as it's characters! Interesting characters make for interesting relationships and interactions. You can always tell when a show or movie has good characters because people talk about them. we care about what the good guy is going through and we hate the bad guy for being so evil. Take Game Of Thrones (GOT) for example... Everyone hates King Joffrey but we love Jon Snow and Tyrion. These are memorable characters that make the show worthwhile!
4. The Actors
I shouldn't need to emphasize how important a good cast is. Adrianne Palicki is just about the last actress I would have chosen for the role and rightfully so because she wasn't a convincing amazon at all. She doesn't have the screen presence and doesn't even look the part...
5. The Writing
Good writing is the last and most important point. If you have all the other points but lack good writing you are doomed and can only last for so long! A great example of that is Heroes... It started off so strong! Simple plot (what happens when normal people get super powers?), great tone (There were no hardcore sex scenes like in GOT or Spartacus but it was mature enough), amazing characters (Silar & Hiro... nuff said!), sensational actors (Adrian Pasdar & Ali Larter). So with all that right, how come it's ratings dropped season after season? The writing just wasn't up to par! After the writing strike everything went downhill. It was good but not good enough.
These five points are exactly what every recent Wonder Woman adaptation attempt got wrong!
So that being said, I think it's safe to say the unaired pilot had none of these! Here's my 2 hour long interpretation that would captivate WW fans and non-fans alike...
The episode begins as Themyscira falls under attack by an unknown foe. The Amazons are being massacred. Knowing that this is the end of her people, Queen Hippolyta takes Diana her 14 year old daughter and flees to the temple. When they get inside Hippolyta takes her into a secret chamber underground and activates a portal. She instructs Diana to go through the portal with a mysterious box she had been holding on to until now. Diana turns to see her mother one last time as she enters the portal only to see her lying on the floor unconscious with a dark shilouette standing above her.
The other side of the portal opens with a blast of light and Diana finds herself in 1996, in the middle of the pacific ocean. A yatch owned by Eliane Prince a very rich widowed woman witnesses the anomaly from a distances and decides to have a closer look. Ms. Prince finds the young girl and brings her aboard. We first see Diana exibiting her super powers once she gets on the boat. She's unconcious when she gets picked up but wakes up hovering over the bed. The moment she see's the people around her she drops. Scared out of her wits by the man standing above her she runs towards the door at a superhuman speed only to bump in another man. the first guy shows up behind and tries to calm her down but she grabs his wrisk and squeezes it until he begs her to let him go. And that's when Ms. Prince makes her first appearance by coming into the room. Seeing that Diana seems to have forgotten where she comes from, Ms. Prince takes her in as her daughter and has the identity of Diana Prince made for her.
Diana is taught to master her powers while being homeschooled until she begins her studies in international relations at Boston University. During her time there she develops a very strong attachment to Julia Kapatelis, one of her teachers and her daugther Vanessa. Just before she gradutes with a masters degree she does an intership with the US military. That's where she meets and falls in love with the pilot and undercover Blackhawks operative Steve Trevor. Diana will soon after get a job working for the Central Bureau of Intelligence. At night She sneeks out and uses her unique abilities to solve cases that the CBI have abandoned and slowly begins to build up a reputation as a vigilante that people call Wonder Woman. As a vigilante she dresses all in black, wears a bulletproof vest and caries a range of prototype gadgets unknowingly similar to her iconic lasso and tiara.
Skip to the present day, Eliane dies and leaves Diana her fortune. During the funeral, Diana is approached by Sarge Steel, Eliane's old boss. After revealing that he knows about her secret activities, he offers Wonder Woman a job in which she wouldn't have to sneek around. She would be working with the new Department of Metahuman Affairs and have a liason agent (Nemesis). When she visits the DMA and where her adoptive mother used to work, she spots her long forgotten box. Diana opens it and finds her iconic armor alonside several amazonian artifacts. These artifacts trigger flash backs and she begins to remember her old life so she takes them with her on her first assignment to catch a metahuman gone wild. Wonder Woman takes down the criminal in public and instantly becomes famous.
The pilot ends with a mysterious shadowy figure making a phone call and saying... "Yes I'm watching it. We found her!"
The show would be kinda like CSI/Heroes meets Spartacus (flashbacks)... It would follow Diana Prince at the beginning of her career as Wonder Woman. Desperate to uncover the truth of who she is, what happened to Themyscira and the Gods all while trying to live a normal life.
Please share your thoughts... Would you watch this?
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