Friday, November 30, 2012

What I want from a Wonder Woman TV Show

Yep. I’m finally talking about it.

So, Arrow is on TV. And... frankly, it's okay. Oh, its full of faults and plot holes, the main character is a damaged, insane, sociopath at times, and is nothing like Oliver Queen what so ever. But I’m slowly seeing the show improve (veeeery slooooowly), and I honestly like the idea of having a vigilante that is truly a hypocritical, unstable killer (not sarcasm). I just wish it wasn’t trying to be Green Arrow.

But with Arrow’s... somewhat success, and the continued poor level of DC movies, more heroes are being looked at for Television shows, including Wonder Woman. Again.

Okay, I’ve said my piece on that pile of crud already. By which, I mean, I posted a link to someone elses review, since his thoughts pretty much summed up everthing wrong with the pilot, while thanking the heavens that I didn’t have to talk about it. Good times...

But with another pilot in the works, all of us Wondy fans are afraid that it will be another flop. Or worse, a terrible flop that actually makes it to air. *insert Jersey Shore joke here*. What makes it even worse is that this very morning, news on the pilot was announced and it has not instilled confidence.

But lets ignore that for now. With all of these things going on, I wanted to give my opinion on what I think should be in a WW TV show. It’s a little short and sweet, but I’ve already talk about the majority of this stuff in my Ways to Help Wonder Woman post, anyway. This however, is more focused on a TV show. Not a comic or a movie.

So here is the Top Ten Things (in no particular order) that I want to see from a Wonder Woman TV show:

#1: No big budget required

Wonder Woman’s stories have involved aliens, mad scientists, sorceresses and frightful mythical creatures. And Nazis. Lots and lots of Nazis. This means a special effects budget. But I don't think it needs to be a big one. I’m not expecting Doctor Who level effects here. Maybe Sanctuary or Grimm.

See, In my opinion, if a show is competent everywhere else— actors, writing, sets, etc— then iffy CG monsters or costume work every now and again is okay. (That does not give you permission to be lazy with the effects!)

#2: Choose an outfit, not a halloween costume.

Do I even need to talk about this? The original design of the pilot costume looked like a terrible halloween costume I designed once, with bright neon that no one in their right mind would wear, and the bright make-up. The second version looked much better, with the darkened pants off setting the bright red bustier and unnecessary the makeup now gone. The armour though...

This goes back to the budget I mentioned. Armour should look like armour. Not paper mache. And trust me, if there is one thing that you can do to get on the good sides of the fans, its to make the costume really good (you have no idea how obsessive some fans get about those hot-pants).

#3: Look to the comics

There are a large set of cast and powers and stories from the comics. The invisible jet, magic mirrors. At one time, taking off Wonder Woman’s bracelets made her go berserk (and wow, they brought it back in the New 52. That’s kinda awesome.) I've mentioned before that her first sidekicks back when WW was created was a group of sorority sisters that went under cover for her! In the modern age, she learned about our society with help of an expert on greek mythology, whose daughter eventually became one of Wondy’s super villains.

Sure, there is a lot of silly in there, but honestly, don’t be afraid of following some of this stuff.

And yes, there is sci-fi and fantasy in her stories. If you don’t want to write sci-fi or fantasy stories, don’t try to write a story about a greek amazon that has magic powers. And speaking of which...

#4: It’s magic, stupid

Magic has become a taboo word in live action comic adaptations. Most characters are either gritty and realistic, or have science based origins. But since Wonder Woman’s powers and stories are almost always magic based, that’s gonna be something extremely new for some viewers. Heck, there are gods in these stories. Greek gods. Do you know how rare it is to have a god of any sort in a live action portrayal without it being about religion?

But things are different today. Shows about Fairytales and myths are everywhere now, all of which use the supernatural and magical as a theme! This could be the perfect time to introduce a Wonder Woman with magical origins.

And if the writers actually start the show off with a magic and mythological background from the beginning, then the audience might feel more comfortable with the idea.

5 Learning from the 70s

I haven’t seen much of the original wonder woman series. In fact, I’ve probably only seen a few episodes. But from those first episodes, I can see two things. One: It’s very 70s. There’s a lot of camp and silliness at times that just wouldn’t work on a show today. And two: That doesn’t matter, because the show was still incredibly good and was a big hit with fans. Looking at the first episode alone, I was honestly surprised. I had expected it to be just as campy and silly as the few episodes I had seen. But instead, we got an incredibly well done set up, good action scenes, a well written story, and a small touch of humor every now and again (and one of my favourite bullets and bracelets scenes. Old women gangsters are officially awesome.)

I’m not saying to copy the original tv show. There are things that would need to be changed, of course. The campyness wouldn’t work as well today. But learning how it succeeded, how ANY comic live action show succeeded back then, when so few do today, might be the thing ya need.

(And as a side note, one thing I’d really like to see is a new theme song. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a modern version of the Wonder Woman television theme song. Just something I want to throw out there.)

6 The girl made from Clay?

So aparently, the original series with Linda Carter... didn’t have this origin or it was never brought up. And... I can't believe I'm saying this but... that isn't a bad thing. It was the early days of Comic TV shows, and might have been the “jump the shark” moment for audiences. Something a little too weird to take in. LIke I already said, "magic" tends to be the danger word in this buisness. Even Thor was chocked up to being an alien with advanced tech in his movie.

But Wonder Woman’s stories almost always involve magic, it’s an iconic origin that belongs to Wonder Woman alone, it’s a touching story about a mother’s need for a child, the story of a child that grew up without needing a male influence, and did not have any daddy issues (I'm so sick of this trope), and was literally raised by a village that had no biological connection to her.

Honestly, I’d be... okay... if they didn’t bring it up on the new TV show, as long as it’s done well. Heck, as long as they don’t make her the daughter of Zeus (harming the symbolism of her character, and giving her an unoriginal, and very lame backstory), then I’ll be sleeping okay.

7 Family matters

Surprisingly, I got this idea from my mom. She's’ a fan of the TV show and I asked her what she would want to see in a new tv show. She told me that she would like Diana to visit home more often. And thats.... a great idea! She has this long relationship with her mother and sisters. And that should be explored.

8 Start with a small cast, and then expand upon it.

Don’t think I need to get into this a lot either. Start with a small main cast, and grow upon it slowly. One of the problems in the previous pilot that didn’t get much criticism (probably because everyone was focusing on the scene where she stabs a guy through the chest with a pipe) is that we were introduced to everything and everyone too fast, without understanding why they were there. Who is Etta Candy? Why is Steve Trevor besides the obvious love interest? Why the heck does all her money come from a TOY COMPANY!? ...Okay, I’m going to stop talking about the pilot before it gives me an ulcer.

9 Don’t you DARE turn this into a bondage fest.

That should go without saying...

And perhaps the most important reason of them all...

10 Stop making her a killer!

What is it with most writers trying to turn Wonder Woman into a hardened killer? Every version of Wonder Woman like this has only been meet with anger and criticism from fans of all eras. Forget the clay origin, forget the lasso, forget the invisible Jet. Heck. Forget the fact that she’s an amazon with super powers! Diana’s compassion is probably the ONE thing that has survived EVERY SUCCESSFUL incarnation of Wonder Woman since her beginning. Wonder Woman is not a cold blooded killer. She’s not psychotic or blood thirsty, or angry or tortures or “always looking for a fight”. The only exceptions is when she has killed ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Which isn't often. She will always look for the peaceful solution first and has only resorted to killing on rare occasions, if every other solution has be exausted. She's a soldier. She's very similar to Captain America in that respect.

I repeat: Wonder Woman’s greatest, most remembered and most respected ideal, is that she is COMPASSIONATE.

And for the last time, other then being amazons, Wonder Woman is NOT Xena, Warrior Princess.


There. I finally did it. Now, hopefully someone will actually listen (since DC doesn’t seem to listen to other one other then DC)

So whats up next? Well, similar to last year, The site will be on hiatus until the new year. Sorry, christmas hours at work and all that. But after the Art Month Challenge over at Art Slug, and the little bit of writing and side projects I got to work on this month, I've got alot planned for the new year including the start of my webcomic and a few... other projects on the way...

Until next time: WOO WOO!

Tegan Dumpleton aka SlugLady28

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