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NBC has green lit a Wonder Woman show to air sometime in the next year, but was this the right decision? Can Wonder Woman really impact the small screen again? Let’s look at the following points and see if she can:
1. The Original Show
Yes, there was a Wonder Woman show back in the 70’s. It was well before my time and there hasn’t been a big push for a DVD release in Australia, so I haven’t actually seen the show for myself. Going off of the minutes of research I have done as to how the show was received and executed, it would appear that while the show didn’t tie to heavily into the comic book canon, it was still able to retain an audience with well written characters and a great female lead, Lynda Carter. Now I think it’s safe to say that she won’t be reprising her role, although she could cameo as Hippolyta, so they’ll have to find a new Dianna. I won’t do a section about casting or what characters should be featured, but I’ll just say they need a strong female lead compassion and full of love, but at the same is imposing and could kick the living snot out of you then proceed to tie you up… bondage anyone?
2. The Stories
Now-a-days, comic book fans have completely won the culture war (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this). This means that comic book fans can dictate how a comic book adaption should be done, and most of the time, it can be summed up as “keep it true to the source material”. The original show didn’t stick to the comics as it could have because geeks were still outcasts back then. But this is 2011, the geeks have taken over with The Dark Knight, fans want the comics turned into a show, that’s what NBC has to deliver. That shouldn’t be a problem except for one thing: Wonder Woman has never had a really great run of comics. There have been okay runs and she’s been well written in other stories, but apart from Gail Simone (who seems to be the only one who can write good female characters), no one has ever written a Diana Prince story that makes you want to recommend it to your friends and learn more about the Wonder Woman mythology. The reason I bring this up is because fans will want to see stories from the comics, the problem is that the comics didn’t meet expectations, so how could the show?
This is where things get interesting: A matter of months ago, Wonder Woman’s entire existence was completely retconned. They changed her costume, her history, and the changes are still being established today
3. The Look
Starting with the costume: The iconic American Flag themed bikini has been replaced with Jeans, a red top with the W logo, and blue biker jacket (she kept the tiara). This is a much more modern look and is a lot more dignified. So the costume is done, what about the overall look of the show? Wonder Woman stories take place between one of two locations: Her home of Paradise Island and her city of operations, Washington D.C. It’s great for a show with a tight budget. since they can use cheap city sets but also pull off some cool Greek architecture when needed. They can go for a real cool, Boston Legal meets Spartacus look and do something that could make your jaw drop. That’s another tick for the show.
4. The Audience
NBC’S biggest concern at this point should be nailing down their audience. Going by how networks make these sorts of decisions, they will try to be all things to all people. Worst case scenario: They’ll try to appeal to the young female demographic with a female ass kicker, but over time will lose focus of the ass kicking part of this. Best case scenario: They’ll aim for the comic book fans and the female demographic will jump onto it when they see how cool Diana can be. I know I’m hoping for too much, but the network has to remember that she is a superhero. This is actually something that is very easy for the crew to forget when it’s time to boost ratings. Smallville appealed to the comic fans over other demographics and that worked for 10 years. This point will be put on hold until we start seeing footage.
When you look at all the points we’ve covered above, it would appear that Wonder Woman has everything going for it to make another great television run… except the stories. The original show took a stand alone approach back in the 70’s and it worked like gangbusters. This is where the show could reach complications, do you stick to the material and get an audience of millions to tune in at the beginning then drop off due to mediocre stories or do you break away from the geek crowd and hope for the best? To be honest, no one can really say for certain if the show will work until we get a glimpse at footage, or at least find out what writers will be attached to the series.
Let’s just hope that Diana gets what she deserves and can make a great return to live action television. Now that we have that covered, should we talk about the upcoming live action Hulk show? Sound off in the comments!