…but does anyone care?
Even though NBC is declaring that Bionic Woman is the “most-watched” new show of the season, most reviewers seem to think it isn’t long for this world. I hope they’re wrong. It’s entertainment, pure and simple.
I’m sure a lot of the backlash comes from fans of the old show–it was the same thing that happened when Battlestar Galactica was remade, and that turned out okay (ironically, Battlestar producer, David Eick, is also the man behind the Bionic Woman reboot). But, I’m going to say this once: You can not use the sensibilities of the 1970s in 2007. It would just be silly.
So, what’s the deal with the new girl? Jaime Sommers, played by British actress Michelle Ryan (we’ll forgive her for being British because she’s a gorgeous brunette…and could probably rip our arms out of their sockets), is a 24-year-old gal, who had to drop out of college to support her rebelious kid sister, Becca (Lucy Hale, last seen as Robin’s little sis on How I Met Your Mother). When she and her fiance are in a car accident, Jaime wakes up to find out that (a) her man was a scientist working for a shadowy, clandestine organization, and (b) she was so effed up in the accident that both of her legs, right arm, right eye and right ear have all been replaced with…wait for it…bionic implants. Long story short: Jaime’s fiance gets iced and she ends up working for his old boss, the delightfully smarmy Miguel Ferrer.
A large portion of the first few episodes dealt with Jaime kind of whining about her situation, her little sister being a punk, and Miguel Ferrer glowering (which is usually worth the price of admission, in my opinion). There’s also a story arc involving the first bionic woman, who’s gone a tad bit mental (played by Battlestar’s Katee Sackhoff), and who keeps trying to seduce Jaime to the dark side. Does that ever work? Most reviews I’ve read seem to prefer the episodes where Sackhoff’s Sarah Corvis pops up to be all evil and pouty-lipped. Personally, I’ve really liked the last two episodes where Jaime actually got to go out on missions and do the bionic thing, Alias-style. But hey, that’s just me. I think I’m over the whole serialized, season-long story arc thing…it can go south too quickly for my taste.
I think, early on, most NBC execs were all hopped-up on the idea that this might be the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It isn’t. It won’t ever be. It can’t. What it can be is a fun, escapist, action-adventure, spy show where the main character just happens to have superpowers.