With all the latest news and castings from the upcoming CBS Supergirl TV show, I thought I should check out another high profile superhero TV show from a few of years ago, the Wonder Woman Pilot, which never made it to air, for obvious reasons. I’m a big fan of both Supergirl and Wonder Woman, and I gotta say I’m a little concerned that the upcoming Supergirl show will do the same crap that the Wonder Woman Pilot did.
First lets get into what was wrong with the Wonder Woman Pilot from 2011. NBC had made this Wonder Woman Pilot (which you can find online if you want) but it never aired. Now I wouldn’t say the Pilot was horrible, there were some good thoughts in the Pilot. The Pilot aimed to humanise Wonder Woman a little by showing a bit of her home life which was interesting, and the last action piece was actually quite good, but I can’t say it was really a Wonder Woman show, because the Pilot basically missed the entire premise of her character.
First of all they made Wonder Woman a branded image, a CEO of Themyscira Enterprises, which uses the Wonder Woman brand to sell action figures and such to fund her crime fighting. They show Wonder Woman in meetings talking about her action figure. It’s just ridiculous. When you think Wonder Woman, you don’t think of a CEO.
However within the context of the show, this worked, because they didn’t position Wonder Woman as a Greek Warrior (in fact there was barely any recognition to her Greek origins except some bits and pieces here and there), they positioned her as an American hero. Wahhh? A guy even says to Wonder Woman “Truth, justice and the American way right?”. Look, yes Wonder Woman is supposed to be a diplomat, bridging together the worlds of Themyscira and humans, however she’s not Superman.
If you’re making a Wonder Woman property, why would you ignore the greatest part of her mythology, her Greek Warrior background? Now granted they could have explored this later in the show, but they were really pushing for the American hero aspect, which I don’t think is really Wonder Woman’s thing, at all.
The Pilot also didn’t explore the full extent of her powers. Sure she could make tall leaps and had a bit of strength, but that was basically it. Her Lasso of Truth couldn’t actually compel people to tell the truth, she couldn’t fly, and definitely didn’t have the strength of an Amazon.
They also made the show a crime procedural. Wonder Woman, Wonder freaking Woman, spent her time in the episode taking down a woman who is making a drug. Forget about the the evil Greek Gods, lets spend our time in LA doing down to earth crime procedural stuff. Eurgh. If this was another hero, then that’s fine, but this is Wonder Woman.
Okay now lets talk about the Supergirl show, and why I fear the Supergirl TV will most likely not be good. What we know is just like how the Wonder Woman origin was changed in her show, the Supergirl origin has changed in her show as well. Yes she witnesses Krypton get destroyed and escapes, however in the show this will happen when she’s 12, whereas usually this happens when she is in her later teens. We also know she reaches Earth and ends up being taken in by a loving foster family and grows up on Earth. This inherently changes the nature of the character. The biggest feature of Supergirl is the fact that she didn’t grow up on Earth and doesn’t really have anyone on Earth except her cousin who she doesn’t really like at first, and it takes a while for her to understand Superman’s loyal love to Earth. Supergirl is an often angry character, who finds it difficult to understand the social norms and customs of humanity.
I don’t think they will go down that route at all now, which is a shame because it’s what makes her character interesting to me, and different to Superman. The actress they cast, Melissa Benoist, has such a sweet face and a cutesy voice (don’t get me wrong though I think she’s a good actress), so I feel like they are going down the path of Supergirl being this nice young girl that loveeees Earth (dammit I want angry Red Lantern Kara!) and just wants to fit in and blah blah blah.
We also know CBS is making Supergirl a crime procedural. Yeppp, just like the failed Wonder Woman Pilot. This makes me believe that just like the Wonder Woman Pilot, Supergirl’s powers will be down played, so that instead of fighting aliens she’s fighting drug lords with her kinda super strength and giant leaps. However we know that Superman exists in this universe, so maybe that won’t be the case and she will have the full extent of her powers.
I just don’t think characters like Wonder Woman and Supergirl are suited for the small screen. They are such big characters, with big mythologies, that creating crime procedurals out of these characters just seem like a disservice. I can’t say I have much faith in the Supergirl show right now except that it’s being produced by Greg Berlanti who does Arrow and The Flash, but I do hope I’m proven wrong about the Supergirl show being bad.
Oh and on a side note, what’s up with making Jimmy Olsen the cool attractive guy who’s being played by Mehcad Brooks? Huhh??
Categories: Comic book tv shows