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Review, "The Bionic Woman" - Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus
fallenpegasus
Review, "The Bionic Woman"
I have watched the pilot to the remade "The Bionic Woman".

It wasn't great, but occationally it was good, and there is the potential to some good stuff.

It was better than the pilot episode to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the pilot episode of "Smallville". (Damning with faint praise.)

The pacing and cinemetography was just full of "pilot episode" problems, eg, as each character is introduced there is a big slow "camera spins around the character as they look off at the horizon". There is a lot of time fat there, and a lot of other moments, a second here, a half second there, that a rigourous edit would have served well.

The motivations are muddy. The characters lack much depth, and barely have promise of depth. We've got some cookie cutter "he slept with her", "angry teenager", "your skin reminds me of her", "tell me you love me", and such. But there needs to be some more energy and complexity.

Even our viewpoint character, Jamie, doesnt have much to her. We're told she is smart and stable, but not really shown it. Her sudden psychological toughening at the end isnt quite believable. That she won her first fight was also not so believable, given that her opponent was a lot less meat and a lot more violent than she was. At least give us some nod about her implants being a newer generation or something.

Her boyfriend is, well, boring, even despite being "a so called genius", "not entirely uncharming", and "the tortured son of a madman". Even Jamie's big reveal to him early on, where he got to demonstrate his caringness, came off more as him being a stock character in female pornography (by Harliquine Romance (the ones with the stork on the spine)).

The writers are at least somewhat aware of the issues of tech singularity, technology curve takeoff, and transhumanism. At least enough to have a scene in a bioethics course, and some nods toward just how much ubertech the "Bionic" program entails, and why its not out making wheelchairs and white canes obsolete. There is a rough suggestion of a shadowy inclination by Black Budget orgs keeping bits and pieces of ubertech under tight wraps, lest "the wrong people" have it, or it get out "too fast" (shades of the "The Future Doesnt Need Us", "Relenquishment", and "The Science Council Bureau for Appropriate Technological Deployment").

Back to the craft of storytelling. There is entirely too much "tell", and not enough "show". Especially about motivations, inner lives, and how the world works.


I will give it half a season.

It may be utter crap.

It could be good.

It might even be great. (Tho, most likely, it will be "almost great with fatal flaws", which will just hurt my heart.)


Maybe it will actaully make "ordinary" people start thinking more and talking more about the truely insane gonzo tech about human modification and upgrading that's going to be happening faster and faster in the real world.



(And I just noticed that Jamie's little sister is pierced and tattooed, much to her older sister's annoyance. Such simple body mods, compared to her own very nearly total rebuild and transformation, the comparison cannot have escaped the notice of the writers.)

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Current Location: Home, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

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Comments
mauser From: mauser Date: September 5th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like it'll kick Flash Gordon's ass.
amythis From: amythis Date: September 5th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I was 9 or 10 the highlight of a visit to Universal Studios was when we got to see Jamie Sommers's living room! Well, the highlight until a few minutes later, when I got picked out of the audience to try the cutting edge special effects for bionic jumping!! Sadly the videotape of this does not exist.
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