I liked it well enough. I've heard plenty of other people poo poo it already, but I also still watch Smallville so maybe I'm not the right person to listen to on this type of show. Heh.
For what it's worth, it beat Private Practice in the ratings head-to-head (5.5 versus 5.1), despite the fact that Private Practice had a stronger lead-in. In fact, it's been the highest rated pilot so far this season and the highest rated NBC pilot since The West Wing eight years ago. So maybe I'm not alone?
Two episodes into Bionic Woman, I haven't been blown away by any means but I find it's generally quality work. The show looks great, the writing, which has several dialogue clunkers, has been mainly solid but by no means spectacular, Michelle Ryan is very fetching as Jaime Sommers, and hell, it's just great to see Miguel Ferrar on a weekly series. What a cool geek ode that the man who created Robocop is in charge of the Bionic Woman.
So far, I find I'm much more interested in the "bionic" aspect of Jaime Sommers than I am in the "woman" aspect. They're rightfully spending a lot of time and energy establishing Jaime's world, her relationship problems with her sister, and how she copes with all the recent death and changes in her life. But I'm less invested in Jaime's day to day troubles than I am in her learning how to be a superhero and all the cool new shit she can do.
The moments I really perk up are when the parameters of her bionic abilities are explained. My favorite moments so far are:
1) During the rooftop fight scenes in the pilot, Sarah Corvus determined that Jaime only has one bionic arm and explained both her arms and legs, ear, eye, and part of her chest are bionic. Automatically, it establishes Jaime is a technically inferior product to Sarah and Jaime is immediately at a disadvantage to her in battle. It's a geek moment for those who like to compare powers and abilities to have the heroine already set up as physically weaker than the villain.
2) Jaime's training in episode 2, doing the Rocky Balboa-esque one armed pull ups, Jae Kim's duplicating every move Sarah Corvus used on her and explaining how Jaime's reactions were the result of the sole battle scenario implanted in her. Even better was Jae Kim breaking down Jaime's current abilities further, noting that Jaime can improve with training:
* She can run 60 MPH or faster. Cheetah speed. * Her bionic right arm's grip can crush a brick. * Her hearing has a range of 2 miles and can triangulate and enhance sounds as if what she's hearing is right beside her. * She has 2000/20 vision and can clearly see at 2000 feet what the average person can see 20 feet in front of him.
I think that's all cool shit. Bionic Woman as a whole is very reminiscent of Dark Angel, which was about genetically engineered Jessica Alba, who also had superstrength, enhanced speed, and visual acuity, and fought the good fight to "save the world". Bionic Woman simply lacks Dark Angel's post-apocalyptic future setting. A couple of episodes from now Jaime is reportedly going to discover her bionics have an expiration date, a similar dilemma Jessica Alba's Max Guevara dealt with on Dark Angel. The paramilitary aspects of Bionic Woman and how the show, set in San Francisco, is clearly shot in Vancouver also brings back fond memories of Dark Angel.
I saw the original pilot over the summer which had Mae Whitman from Arrested Development as Jaime's hearing impaired sister. That version of Becca Sommers was properly replaced. Lucy Hale, who is much cuter and has remarkably clear skin in high definition, actually does resemble Michelle Ryan so she's more believable as her sister. Their love/hate relationship is a little by the numbers. Also, Becca was set up as some sort of dangerous hacker but that plot point has yet to come into play in any fashion.
Bionic Woman's Battlestar Galactica pedigree has been a nice bonus for BSG fans who can spot Aaron (Chief Tyrol) Douglas as a prison guard or Mark (Romo Lampkin) Sheppard as the creator of the bionics technology and seemingly the big bad of the series. Katie Sackoff however has been a jarring distraction. As much as I love her portrayal of Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, everything about her performance so far as Sarah Corvus ("The first Bionic Woman" - I liked that line a lot) has been very over the top. I also don't buy her relationship with Jae Kim. Sarah Corvus seems to be a riff on Number Six from Galactica and nothing about it so far has clicked with me.
The other thing that has stuck me as odd was that it hasn't been made clear yet why exactly the secret organization that created Jaime Sommers and Sarah Corvus needs Bionic Women. Why women and not bionic men? Jaime's first mission of sorts was to fight her predecessor, and in the next episode, she investigates a biological outbreak in a small town. What about bio-warfare requires the presence of a hot woman with robot arms and legs?
It seems like the producers are taking a slow burn approach with Bionic Woman and playing only a few cards per episode. If they can find a better balance between the "bionic" and the "woman" in Jaime Sommers and make the latter as interesting as the former, the show will be better off.
** By the way, mods, can we get a Bionic Woman thread icon at some point? Also, the subject needs fixing. The show is just Bionic Woman. "The" Bionic Woman was the 70's show.
Originally posted by John Orquiola** By the way, mods, can we get a Bionic Woman thread icon at some point? Also, the subject needs fixing. The show is just Bionic Woman. "The" Bionic Woman was the 70's show.
It's on the to-do list (along with a few other ones). Once I get it done, I'll probably split this post into a new thread since I'm big on the ratio of one thread:one episode AND it'll look better when you click on the "Bionic Woman" icon to see more than one thread.
Upon further thought (and I do think about Bionic Woman so I clearly like the show), when Sarah Corvus complained to Jae Kim that she was hacked in the pilot, it sets up the possibility that she was hacked by Jaime's sister. This way Becca Summers' "dangerous" hacking skills that were fleetingly mentioned actually has some bearing in the main storyline. Becca controlling Sarah Corvus against her sister Jaime, intentionally or not, is one direction the writers could take. The clues are there.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaAlso, the subject needs fixing. The show is just Bionic Woman. "The" Bionic Woman was the 70's show.
When I started the thread I originally had it as "Bionic Woman" but before I posted I checked tvguide.com and it had it listed as "The Bionic Woman." A quick glance at nbc.com and tvsquad.com shows me that you're right though. My bad!
It seems that they're trying to portray Michael as either amazingly competent or horrifically inept - but with no middle ground. That's not too far from how most of my bosses have been during my life - their antics just didn't result in hilarity.