The Bionic Woman: So much going wrong

Posted by Dan October 16th, 2007 at 12:13pm In The Bionic Woman

Here’s a can of worms: what exactly is going on with The Bionic Woman that has made the show so uneven? And I’m afraid that using the word “uneven” might be a bit generous.

bion.jpgFor some reason, during my weekend TV catch-up, I made getting up-to-date on The Bionic Woman a priority even though it wasn’t all that compelling. I’m left thinking that there’s a lot that could be improved about the show — so much, in fact, that it’d probably just be better if they scrapped the whole thing and started over. Which, from what I gather, is kind of what they did.

I’m surprised at just how “blah” it is. The main character isn’t engaging due to both casting and storyline mistakes. At times, the show’s pacing makes it seem like a dry procedural. And the crime fighter-slash-head of household angle makes it seem like The Commish. Well, maybe not The Commish, but it’s definitely been done. It’s all very “No, you can’t have those $170 jeans! Do you think money grows on — LOOK OUT FOR THAT ROBOT”

So, if they end up going for “third time’s the charm” and completely overhauling the series, here’s my advice to the powers that be on how to improve the show.

  1. Probably re-cast the title role. Michelle Ryan seems like a softer carbon copy of Neve Campbell. You know, Neve Campbell without that killer Party of Five edge. I don’t really buy Ryan’s anger. She’s so girl-next-door that I doubt the character’s ballsiness and I’d prefer somebody a bit more severe.
  2. Go darker. I think Jaime should be infinitely more messed up psychologically. I like the revenge angle (she’s pissed about the first Bionic Woman killing the boyfriend), but I think she’s easing into this role of super heroine too easily.
  3. More Katee Sackhoff. I don’t watch Battlestar Galactica (I know, I know), so I can’t be accused of wanting them to turn the show into a Starbuck spin-off. But the First Bionic Woman Gone Wrong aspect of the show is easily the most interesting plotline. Sackhoff is engaging and scary and the character is complicated but doesn’t seem forced like the protagonist.
  4. Isaiah Washington? Really? Can’t we just let him fade into obscurity?
  5. Scrap the little sister angle. The family angle of the show is the least compelling part of the show and is actually more of an annoyance. I probably liked the pilot’s version of the sister better where they had Mae Whitman (aka Anne from Arrested Development) as the badass, slightly punk rock and deaf little sister. The new sister is cute and button-nosed (presumably, they just found her begging for spare change and mascara wands outside the headquarters of the CW), but also a liability from a story perspective. She adds conflict, but not necessarily interesting conflict.

Anybody else have any ideas?

4 Comments

  • 1. sara  |  October 16th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I didn’t watch last week’s episode, but I definitely agree that #3 is the way to go. The opening minute of the pilot was the interesting part, man. Come on, she installed her own bionic eye. And Katee Sackhoff is awesome, even in Lifetime movies.

    The actress playing the little sister also guest-starred as Robin’s little sister on How I Met Your Mother last year, and she was equally obnoxious and useless, although it was the great episode where everyone coughed up their losing-the-virginity stories.

  • 2. Megan  |  October 16th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I’m a litle afraid that the show is about to go all “Alias” on us. That we will find out that the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys, etc. That’s fine, but its kinda been done.

  • 3. Vance  |  October 16th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Nope. your ideas seem pretty good. I just rejigged my fall preview listing and Bionic Woman fell to the bottom of the list… BELOW CAVEMEN.

    I knew this show was in trouble when they got rid of the only interesting thing in the original pilot, Mae Whitman as the sister and it’s just gotten tedious ever since.

  • 4. Sue  |  October 16th, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Im gonna give this one a few more episodes to find its feet…atm this one is one of my guilty little pleasures that im not quiet ready to give up on….but there was something bugging me about the show I couldnt put my finger on, blame it on lack of really trying to figure it out, the new sister lol…I wondered why Iliked her in the first episode and then suddenly wanted to strangle her….and I must agree the casting is not the greatest…im gonna give Michelle a chance thou to pull it together, but my fav part of the show is Katee Sackhoff and gasp I dont watch battlestar either lol


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