Wonder Woman on TV.
I don’t know if this is enough for a thousand words, but dammit, I’ll try my hardest. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t entirely invested in Wonder Woman being back on television–I’m with her as much as I’m with DC Comics, I’m okay with David E. Kelley–but I was at least looking forward to a fun, breezy series starring a woman who ran around in a hard plastic corset. But thanks to focus group members at NBC, I am now no longer looking forward to a fun, light series about a woman who has bondage gear/fem-dom related superpowers, and am instead awaiting the next season of Hawaii Five-0. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some snarky Scott Caan as much as the next fella, but you know what I would’ve liked more? A series about crime, punishment, superpowers, tight pants, “little shorts” and breasts heaving in high definition. I’m talking 1080p televised heaving as she chased down criminals. And apparently, I’m going to be the only person commenting on this specific missed opportunity. For shame.
I have no real knowledge of Adrianne Palicki, having never watched Friday Night Lights. I suffer this ailment that the significant majority of people in North America suffer in that I couldn’t give two damns about high school football if you paid me. Or university football, or whatever. Wherever the hell those kids were playing, I didn’t care, cos I don’t care about football. Newsflash: I still don’t care about football. Wanna know some other things I don’t care about? What Diana is wearing when she’s passing herself off as Wonder Woman. I really could not care enough to wish a show canceled over whether her boots are red or blue or how bright her blue tights/leggings/whatever-fashion-term-I’m-misusing are. Couldn’t care less when it came to the scope of a series, cos–let’s face it here–that can be changed by the time the show reaches production and if you’re changing it just to satisfy fans, you need to re-evaluate your relationship with the existing comics fandom.
I’ll put this bluntly: there is no money to be made in satisfying the kind of people that read comics if you make anything that is not a comic. If you make movies, make good movies that have nothing to do with the comics and they will love you. For instance, Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. He’s stopped putting the word Batman into the title, and you all still flock to the cineplex cos you wanna see a good Batman movie, not Batman on the page on the screen. Batman: Arkham Asylum is based not around a specific plotline and specific details, but around using the characters in a new setting and staying true to their natures in a new medium. And again, comics fans were satisfied, because they weren’t given a video game version of The Dark Knight Returns–they were given a good video game using Batman and his rogues gallery.
I don’t care what Wonder Woman is wearing today because I don’t read comics for the costumes. Nor do I read comics for the eighty years of bewilderingly dense and contradictory continuity. I read comics on rare occasions when I have 30 minutes to spare and five dollars to throw away. I read Scott Pilgrim cos it was set in Toronto and kept reading because of its unique take on the protagonist’s journey. And when that was dumbed down for the film in favour of transliterating the comics visually to the screen, I checked out.
I read Kick-Ass because I saw the poster for the movie and wanted to know what I was getting into. I fell in love with that poster, and I fell in love with the comics, but when the movie was an entirely different beast, I rolled with it. It stayed true to the idea at the heart of Kick-Ass–the small, outnumbered hero fighting against incredible odds and surviving by the skin of his teeth–instead of the details of the page. And many fans are dissatisfied with the movie because it didn’t feature the “tunk” gag. If you want comics fans to tune in to your television series or watch your movie, it’s a real easy process: make a comic. Make a comic instead, cos let’s face it–no person who reads comics over any other medium wants to do anything but read a comic. And the more your movie/series looks like a comic, the more they’ll love it. See, for instance, the kind of people who like the filmed version of Watchmen and what they have to say about it. “It got the look exactly right!” And missed the soul.
That’s why it’s a damn shame that Wonder Woman was passed up on by NBC. Cos here we finally had a chance to get a superhero with a name and a reputation on television. A superhero who had already been on television, no less, so if you wanted to check off that “remake” box, then you have that there. Here we had a chance for a fun, light, female centric with slight BDSM undertones series to air in prime time. And starring a woman as lovely as Adrianne Palicki and created by a mind as skilled as David E. Kelley? Why did this project get shelved and not any of the other dozens of low-budget reality series I’m sure NBC is in the process of greenlighting as I type? Why?
Because a loud minority of comics fans and fashionistas complained about her pants. Because the kind of people who wouldn’t have watched the show anyway complained day and night about the fact that it looked cheesy. And you know what, I said this at the release of Avatar and I’ll say it again now–when did approaching science fiction or superhero fiction without a commitment to dark and gritty everything become taboo? When did it become unrealistic to say that people might just have a good time watching Adrianne Palicki run around city streets fighting crime with a lasso, bright blue pants and a plastic corset? For shame, you dicks.