Why the "Wonder Woman" pilot failed: It didn't understand superheroes

16 views
Skip to first unread message

TMC

unread,
Jul 28, 2011, 5:07:33 AM7/28/11
to
http://io9.com/5824976/weve-seen-the-unaired-wonder-woman-pilot

"It's really very jarring," notes the i09 blog. "David E. Kelley boils
down superheroes to a shriveled core of violence, arrogance and
meanness, like the worst of early 1990s Image Comics heroes."

Martin Phipps

unread,
Jul 29, 2011, 9:19:22 AM7/29/11
to

Actually, David E. Kelley probably could have made this work.
Unfortunately, Warner Bros seem to have given him too much leeway.
David E. Kelley should have checked his ego at the door and followed
the advice of his bosses at Warner Bros, people who were more familiar
with the character. "Wonder Woman isn't vulgar," Diana's personal
assistant tells her. "No, she's perfect," Diana says. "She's so
perfect that she can't be human." Well, David, that's the character.
She's not like Clark who grew up in Kansas. She's not even like Bruce
who grew up in Gotham City. She's from an island where all the people
were women, an island with no TV or internet or cell phones or I-
pads. Okay, granted, she had been living in man's world for a long
time by this point but whereas you can take the woman out of Paradise
Island you can't take Paradise Island out of the woman. David E.
Kelly forgot that and instead gave us a super-powered bitchy Ally
McBeal.

Martin

Anim8rFSK

unread,
Jul 29, 2011, 11:08:46 AM7/29/11
to
In article
<f66f2ffc-8216-4fc3...@r28g2000prb.googlegroups.com>,
Martin Phipps <martin...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Well, maybe. They never actually tell us who or what this Wonder Woman
is, except that she's not genetically human, and everybody knows about
it.

Even if they'd gotten the character right, the script for this was just
pathetic. It really plays likek people on both sides had contracts to
fulfill, knowing full well they'd never amount to anything, and were
just going through the motions.

--
"Please, I can't die, I've never kissed an Asian woman!"
Shego on "Shat My Dad Says"

Windowwasher

unread,
Jul 29, 2011, 11:37:03 AM7/29/11
to
"Anim8rFSK" <ANIM...@cox.net> wrote in message
news:ANIM8Rfsk-A1FA4...@news.easynews.com...

I got around to watching this late yesterday PM at the airport while
waiting. For as long as he had to write and develop the script, this was a
piss poor effort. Are there no people off which to bounce his ideas? He
needs some. When you make the main WW character an unlikeable bitch from the
getgo, you need intervention. It's almost like he tanked the thing on
purpose.

M.O.R

unread,
Jul 31, 2011, 10:08:36 PM7/31/11
to

*****Spoilers******


The pilot is as shizophrenic as one PA calls her triple identities.
It feels far too much like a female Moon Knight rather than Wonder
Woman. We have the hero, the multi-milliionaire, and the secretary
identity. Why? And what does it matter when people know two of them,
and that they are the one person, how will they not know the third so
easily? Yet we then get elements of Batman/ Iron Man (although in
this case she has made her fortune from selling merchandise and dolls)
her costume was designed to sell action figures, so there we get a bit
of Booster Gold (hero for profit) so that undermines the character
somewhat, and elements of Superman/ Iron Man in the form of a
millionaire nemesis.

And from someone like David E. Kelley, who does legal shows all the
time, the whole 'Veronica Cale sells drugs to kids, but I don't have
proof' thing just seems idiotic. What would stop Cale from suing her
for billions of dollars for defamation of her company and damage to
her assets? Girl needs proof. Yes, in the end, we get that proof,
but what was to stop her contacting her lawyers before then? Lazy
writing, twould seem.

There is some serious story problems too. For example, she condemns
the two wars thing, yet the violence, including the killing, she uses
is justified? She's a vigilante, and a blinkered one too. She
interrogated a witness, in a full hospital, and breaks his arm to
force information out of him, yet David Kelley is trying to make her
the hero here, while also condemning the actions of the US government
later. Why is she allowed to kill and torture, and yet it is evil when
the government do it? I am all for condemning torture, but not for a
'It's justified when I do it' kind of approach. Similar to his
approach when killing henchman, one of whom is stabbed through the
throat with a baton, the other two that we see, are crushed between
two crates. Funny how much of an impact the Willis kid's death
provided a few minutes before huh? How sacred life was seen as....
Yet the brutal methods she uses are somehow okay.
Mixed messages here again.

She condemns the action figure with the big breasts, in a rather un-
Wonder Woman tirade, I may add. Yet in later on, she tries to seduce
a guard to allow her question a suspect, using her costume and the
aforementioned assets. It would be funny if it weren't almost sad.

There are just so many things wrong with the show. A villain who is
not threatening at all (didn't anyone see Hurley try and play the
devil years ago?), whose actions are actually far less dangerous than
the so-called heroine. Diana operating above the law is way beyond
what Wonder Woman is all about. Yes, she does not stick to earth
rules like Superman does, but she doesn't flagrantly ignore them and
go about actions that would have NATO involved.

And in the end, we get the 'she's a loner' message. Then she sets up
a Facebook account. A poignant moment is meant to be her facebook
page? Where she inputs her friend as 'Sylvester' her cat. Yeah, the
loner message feels very forced here, as she chose to be alone. She
dumps Steve Trevor to go fight crime, while making millions by
producing action figures based on her likeness.
(By the way, did it annoy anyone else that they use the 'sad' music
from Lost when she and Steve meet at the end?)

We get a a version of her costume based on the classic look, but the
problem there is that there is no real reason or explanation for it.
From the beginning, we see the suit with the trousers. Fine, I think
we have all adjusted to it by then, but in the final fight of the
episode, we get the classic star spangled costume, with the hot pants
and stars. But there really is no reason why she would wear it by
then, because she is going in to what is essentially a battle zone,
and the pants would provide better protection.

Regarding certain opinions and regarding politics, it just seemed like
David Kelley was trying to use US politics with a character who
doesn't just question the US, she questions humanity and it's
society. The entire world. Yet Kelley was trying to force his own
views of America onto the character. That would be alright for his
own character, but it absolutely does not work with Wonder Woman
unless condemning the entire world.

dA.b0mB

unread,
Jul 31, 2011, 10:41:13 PM7/31/11
to
On 31/07/2011 10:08 PM, M.O.R wrote:
> And from someone like David E. Kelley, who does legal shows all the
> time, the whole 'Veronica Cale sells drugs to kids, but I don't have
> proof' thing just seems idiotic. What would stop Cale from suing her
> for billions of dollars for defamation of her company and damage to
> her assets?

If the allegations were true, fear that the discovery process in such a
lawsuit would expose Veronica, leading to a lot worse consequences than
a lost lawsuit.

> There is some serious story problems too.

It's a superhero adaptation to video, so that pretty much goes without
saying.

> She interrogated a witness, in a full hospital, and breaks his arm to
> force information out of him,

That's just plain wonky for WW. What happened, the battery in her Lasso
of Truth ran dry?

> yet David Kelley is trying to make her
> the hero here, while also condemning the actions of the US government
> later. Why is she allowed to kill and torture, and yet it is evil when
> the government do it? I am all for condemning torture, but not for a
> 'It's justified when I do it' kind of approach.

Imagine that WW in this thing was really a proxy for Sarah Palin, and
the US government is specifically the Obama administration, then think
of a rightard's POV. Then it may make a weird kind of sense.

Lilith

unread,
Aug 1, 2011, 12:28:52 AM8/1/11
to
On Sun, 31 Jul 2011 22:41:13 -0400, "dA.b0mB" <dab...@gmai1.c0m>
wrote:

>> She interrogated a witness, in a full hospital, and breaks his arm to
>> force information out of him,
>
>That's just plain wonky for WW. What happened, the battery in her Lasso
>of Truth ran dry?

She just chose another form of battery.

--
Lilith

Thanatos

unread,
Aug 1, 2011, 12:39:04 AM8/1/11
to
In article
<bf3cba62-814a-44f0...@m22g2000yqh.googlegroups.com>,
"M.O.R" <sean.ca...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Regarding certain opinions and regarding politics, it just seemed like
> David Kelley was trying to use US politics with a character who
> doesn't just question the US, she questions humanity and it's
> society. The entire world. Yet Kelley was trying to force his own
> views of America onto the character. That would be alright for his
> own character, but it absolutely does not work with Wonder Woman
> unless condemning the entire world.

Yeah, it was like James Spader from 'Boston Legal' kept coming out every
time she opened her mouth.

Apparently this Kelley guy can't stop himself from using every project
he's given as his personal political pulpit, regardless of whether it's
remotely appropriate for the story or not.

dA.b0mB

unread,
Aug 1, 2011, 12:38:55 AM8/1/11
to

We get signal!

Somebody set up us dA.pUn!


M.O.R

unread,
Aug 3, 2011, 8:02:43 PM8/3/11
to

That's another really weird thing about the pilot. She calls it the
Lassoo of truth, and even throws it on a suspects lap and says
something like 'this is the lassoo of truth, and you know what that
means' but the lassoo does not do anything that a rope would not do,
no powers, no nothing, and she breaks his arm to interrogate him. In
a full hospital, and gets away with it again, especially after it is
so well known that a cop allowed her easy access to his hospital room
to question him.

The main plot of the series is that the villain is testing out these
drugs on teenagers. So far, 5 of 6 have died, and one kid, Willis,
winds up in hospital after finding out he just got accepted to college
on an athletics scholarship (at least the athletics thing is what we
gather from the other 5 kids too). Willis ends up in hospital, and it
looks like he will live.

What prompts the final fight of the show is that her PA gets the phone
call telling them that Willis has died. So Diana breaks into the
facility, fights a bunch of henchmen (who know she is coming,
strangely) and then has a fight with the henchmen, leading to 2 guys
getting crushed between two crates which she kicked together, and one
nervous looking security guard who is killed when Wonder Woman, or
WINO, throws a baton right through his Adams apple, killing him.
As I said, it is highly strange that the death of the kid makes such
an impact, yet when she kills 3 or 4 henchmen, why are their deaths
less significant than this Willis kid?

(And I know everyone is thinking about it, so I'll just say it
"Whatchoo Talkin' bout Willis?" As soon as I heard the kid's name,
while watching the pilot, I instantly thought of that.)

Ubiquitous

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 9:00:10 AMJan 10
to
I have no memory of this show!

--
Let's go Brandon!

A Friend

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 9:05:06 AMJan 10
to
In article <srhe57$fj$1...@dont-email.me>, Ubiquitous <web...@polaris.net>
wrote:
I do. They wanted WW to be James Bond.

anim8rfsk

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 9:33:31 AMJan 10
to
It was just a Pilot. I don’t think it ever aired. I saw it on the gray.

A lot of it got leaked. There was screaming early on about how they screwed
up the costume and they actually went in and corrected it.


>
> --
> Let's go Brandon!
>
>



--
“The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.”

anim8rfsk

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 9:33:33 AMJan 10
to
Like Cathy Lee Crosby

shawn

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 10:24:31 AMJan 10
to
I never saw the pilot episode. I do remember talk about the show but
all I can recall was some talk about her outfit.

anim8rfsk

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 11:09:42 AMJan 10
to
That’s pretty much all that the talk amounted to.

Ubiquitous

unread,
Jan 10, 2022, 1:05:39 PMJan 10
to
anim...@cox.net wrote:
> Ubiquitous <web...@polaris.net> wrote:
>> tmc...@gmail.com wrote:

>>> http://io9.com/5824976/weve-seen-the-unaired-wonder-woman-pilot
>>>
>>> "It's really very jarring," notes the i09 blog. "David E. Kelley boils
>>> down superheroes to a shriveled core of violence, arrogance and
>>> meanness, like the worst of early 1990s Image Comics heroes."
>>
>> I have no memory of this show!
>
>It was just a Pilot. I don't think it ever aired. I saw it on the gray.
>
>A lot of it got leaked. There was screaming early on about how they screwed
>up the costume and they actually went in and corrected it.

No wonder (heh) I didn't remember. I just noticed I was replying to an
article from 2011 that appeared on my reader! Hmm, there are a bunch
of old postings appearing today...

Rhino

unread,
Jan 11, 2022, 7:44:24 AMJan 11
to
Maybe that's because this thread is 11 years old.


--
Rhino

James Fabiano

unread,
Mar 28, 2022, 4:45:20 PMMar 28
to
Because Ida Mufferbids should have played Wonder Woman. And Bob Barker Steve Trevor.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages