Executive producer David Eick confirmed today that the reboot of Bionic Woman is powering down. While I admire his frankness in saying that the show just didn’t gel and there comes a time to move on, it’s never a vote of confidence when your boss says, “Some of the writing was good.” I’d love to know which parts he thought were good and which he didn’t.
Assuming the outcome of today’s WGA vote is positive, we’re only hours away from an end to the strike. So, in the immortal words of President Josiah Bartlet, “What’s next?”
A number of showrunners have already gone back work, making plans for the remainder of the season and scrambling to figure out how many episodes they can throw together. The networks, meanwhile, are making their own lists, deciding which shows will go on the block and which ones will live to fight another day. ABC got the ball rolling today, announcing nine pickups for next season, and the other networks are expected to follow suit in the coming days.
To try and help you make sense of all of this, I’ve scoured the trades and entertainment sites and come up with a (mostly) comprehensive list of what’s coming, what’s going, and what’s gotten stuck in limbo. Of course, a lot of this is still just speculation right now, and all of it is subject to change. But I’ll keep updating as new information becomes available, so check back for the latest–shows with new or updated information will be marked with an asterisk (*).
24 (FOX) – Jack Bauer’s seventh season has been completely torpedoed by the strike and will most likely be postponed until January 2009. Yeah, you read that right–2009.
* 30 ROCK (NBC) – Look for Liz Lemon and crew to return in on April 10. NBC is hoping to produce five additional episodes this season, depending on the availability of Alec Baldwin, who’s scheduled to start work on a feature film.
ALIENS IN AMERICA (CW) – Eight pre-strike episodes (bringing the season total to a respectable 18) will air starting March 2, but no more will be produced this season. The show is still considered to be in contention for renewal next season, though.
* ARMY WIVES (LIFETIME) – A mini-season is planned to air in June, with a full second season premiering in December.
* BACK TO YOU (FOX) – Will return Feb. 26 with three pre-strike episodes followed by eight additional episodes.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SCI FI) – Season four will debut April 2, with the first 11 of the show’s final 20 episodes already in the can. Production on the second half of the season may resume in March, but it’s unknown exactly when they’ll air.
* THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) – Will return on March 17 for the first of nine new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
BIG LOVE (HBO) – Production on season three begins in March, and the premiere date will most likely be pushed back to the end of the year.
BIG SHOTS (ABC) – It’s unlikely we’ll be subjected to any more episodes of this testosterone-laden flop. Hurrah!
BIONIC WOMAN (NBC) – Say goodbye to this expensive disappointment, which won’t resume production and won’t be back next year. RIP Jaime Sommers.
* BONES (FOX) – Will return with four pre-strike episodes on April 14, and may produce 2-6 additional episodes, although the airdate for those is still undetermined.
* BOSTON LEGAL (ABC) – Two pre-strike episodes remain and eight more are already slated for production. The series is expected be one of the first dramas to resume shooting post-strike and given Kelley’s notoriously quick turnaround time it looks like they might actually complete their entire 22-episode order. But the legal drama wasn’t included on ABC’s list of pickups for 2008-09, so this season may be the last.
BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC) – One pre-strike episode remains and 4-5 more episodes are expected to be produced for airing in April and May. The series has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
BURN NOTICE (USA) – Production on season two is expected to start in late April, with new episodes airing this summer.
* CANE (CBS) – No new episodes will be produced this season and it wasn’t included on a recent list of pickups for 2008-09, so the future is looking dim for this stinky soap.
CANTERBURY’S LAW (FOX) – This Julianna Margulies vehicle from the producers of Rescue Me will premiere April 14 for a six-episode run.
* CHUCK (NBC) – The bad news is that the good folks at the Buy More won’t be back this season. The good news is that they will be back–NBC has ordered 13 episodes for 2008-09.
THE CLOSER (TNT) – Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson should return for her fourth season in June, about three weeks later than originally planned.
* COLD CASE (CBS) – Will return on March 30 with five new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) – Will return on April 2 with seven new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* CSI (CBS) – Will return on April 3 with six new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* CSI: MIAMI (CBS) – Will return on March 24 with eight new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* CSI: NEW YORK (CBS) – Will return on April 2 with seven new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) – Expected to return in April with 4-7 new episodes. The ladies of Wisteria Lane have also been picked up for a fifth season.
DIRT (FX) – Returns for a seven-episode sophomore season on March 2.
DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) – Three pre-strike episodes have yet to air, but don’t expect to see them until the Darling family returns to ABC’s schedule next fall.
ENTOURAGE (HBO) – The new season has been pushed back to fall, rather than the summer return originally planned.
* E.R. (NBC) – Yes, this fossil will actually be coming back on April 10 with six new episodes. And the network is reportedly in negotiations to bring the dang thing back for yet another season. Will it ever die?
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (CW) – Will return March 2 with 12 pre-strike episodes to bring the season total to 22. Still in contention for renewal next season.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC) – Last week’s episode may very well be the last we’ll see of the mighty Dillon Panthers, as the forecast is grim for this critical darling (which has been on Ben Silverman’s hit list all season). Apparently clear eyes and full hearts can lose. No less than three different fan ventures have been launched in an attempt to save the show–one involves sending mini footballs to NBC, another is sending light bulbs, and a third group is sending Clear Eyes eye drops. So clever, those fans.
* THE GAME (CW) – Will return on March 23 with nine new episodes.
GIRLFRIENDS (CW) – This long-running series was expected to end after this season and it’s unlikely any new episodes will be produced, but the CW is reportedly working with the show’s producers to bring some closure with a retrospective or clip show of some kind.
* GHOST WHISPERER (CBS) – Will return on April 4 with six new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* GOSSIP GIRL (CW) – Will return on April 21 with five new episodes. It’s also rumored the network may expand its order and bring the series back over the summer.
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC) – Expected to return in April with 4-7 new episodes. And yes, the docs at Seattle Grace will be back for a fifth season.
HEROES (NBC) – Won’t be back until the series returns with 22+ episodes next season.
* HOUSE (FOX) – Our favorite cranky doc won’t be back until late April or early May, but Fox may extend the current season into summer. David Shore says the storyline originally planned for the second half of the season will most likely be thrown out altogether.
* HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) – Will return on March 17 with nine new episodes. The comedy wasn’t included on a recent list of pickups for 2008-09, but sources say it still has a good chance of renewal.
JERICHO (CBS) – Returns tonight with the first of seven new episodes (and in case you’re looking to jump in, EW has a handy cheat sheet to catch you up). No more episodes are expected to be produced this season, and as for next season… well, I guess it depends on the ratings tonight.
LAS VEGAS (NBC) – Two pre-strike episodes remain, but no more are expected this season. The show’s fate next season is uncertain.
* LAW & ORDER (NBC) – Will be back on April 23 with seven pre-strike episodes. It’s unclear how many additional episodes will be produced this season.
* LAW & ORDER: SVU (NBC) – Will return on April 15 with 4-6 new episodes.
LIFE (NBC) – Won’t be back this season, NBC has ordered 13 episodes for 2008-09 and plans to give the struggling show a proper relaunch. Let’s hope people actually start watching.
LIFE IS WILD (CW) – I’ve never even heard of this show, but apparently it’s a moot point now, as it’s not expected to return. Ever.
* LOST (ABC) – Six pre-strike episodes remain and five more will be produced in order to finish out the fourth season properly. That’ll make for a 13-episode season–three short of the 16 originally planned. Carlton Cuse says he hopes to incorporate the three “missing” episodes further down the line somehow. He also predicts there will be a four-week gap between the airdate of the last pre-strike episode and the first post-strike episode, rather than the uninterrupted season they were hoping for.
* MEDIUM (NBC) – Six pre-strike episodes remain in its current run and seven more are expected to be produced this season.
MEN IN TREES (ABC) – Will return Feb. 27 with 11 pre-strike episodes, but the series was not among ABC’s pickups for next season.
* MOONLIGHT (CBS) – Will return on April 11 with four new episodes. The vampire drama wasn’t included on a recent list of pickups for 2008-09 so its future is still up in the air.
* MY NAME IS EARL (NBC) – Earl Hickey will be back on April 3 with an hour-long episode, the first of 8-9 new episodes to be produced.
* NCIS (CBS) – Will return on April 7 with seven new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE (CBS) – Six pre-strike episodes remain, but CBS is reportedly waiting to see how it performs before deciding whether to produce any more. The comedy also was left off a recent list of pickups for 2008-09, casting more doubt on its future.
NEW AMSTERDAM (NBC) – This mid-season drama will premiere March 4 for an 8-episode run.
NIP/TUCK (FX) – Will complete its fifth season on Feb. 19. Production is expected to resume on season six this summer.
* NUMB3RS (CBS) – Will return on April 4 with six new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
OCTOBER ROAD (ABC) – Four pre-strike episodes remain, but the series was not among ABC’s pickups for next season.
* THE OFFICE (NBC) – Expect to see our favorite Dunder Mifflin employees back at work on April 10. Greg Daniels has confirmed that they’ll be producing six new episodes, though they “might be able to squeeze in seven if NBC asks for them.” The first episode will be “The Dinner Party,” a script that was about to start shooting when the strike interrupted production. Another pre-strike script, this one for the annual Christmas episode, will likely be tossed. The writing team is meeting this week to decide how to advance the show’s storylines, but Daniels says he’s “tempted to just leap ahead to where we would have been.” What I want to know is how they’re going to deal with Angela Kinsey’s baby belly.
* ONE TREE HILL (CW) – Six pre-strike episodes remain and six more will be produced this season.
PRISON BREAK (FOX) – About to complete its scheduled 13-episode season. The future of the series beyond that is unknown.
* PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) – Won’t be back this season, but has been given a 13-episode order for 2008-09.
PUSHING DAISIES (ABC) – Won’t return until the fall. But we can rest easy in the knowledge that our favorite piemaker will definitely be back.
QUARTERLIFE (NBC) – Will premiere Feb. 26 for a 6-episode run.
* REAPER (CW) – Will return March 13 with three pre-strike episodes, and five more have been ordered for this season.
* THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (FOX) – Instead of the previously planned post-Idol preview on March 12, the mid-season comedy will debut with a one-hour premiere on March 14.
THE RICHES (FX) – Season two, which has been downsized from 13 to seven episodes, will premiere March 18.
* THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (CBS) – Expected to return on April 14 with six new episodes. The comedy wasn’t included on a recent list of pickups for 2008-09 so its future is still up in the air.
SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC) – Three pre-strike episodes remain and are expected to air in the spring, along with several new episodes, in the post-Dancing with the Stars time slot. The series has also been picked up for 2008-09.
* SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC) – Will be back on the air Feb. 23 with host Tina Fey. SNL plans to push out four straight weeks of shows (Juno‘s Ellen Page has committed to host on March 1), a tall order for the live series, which rarely goes more than three weeks in row without a break. NBC is keen to catch up on all the ripe political fodder that’s gone un-lampooned during the strike. Maybe now we’ll all finally be able to stop watching that Sarah Silverman/Matt Damon video.
* SAVING GRACE (TNT) – The series is expected to return in June, about three weeks later than originally planned.
* SCRUBS (NBC) – The docs at Sacred Heart will be back on April 10 with four pre-strike episodes. The real question is whether NBC will let Bill Lawrence make the 3-5 additional episodes he needs to give the series a proper send off in its last season. If not, there’s a chance that ABC/Disney will let him produce them for the DVDs. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
* SHARK (CBS) – Things are looking up for this series–CBS has ordered four more episodes this season, which may bode well for its chances for renewal.
* SMALLVILLE (CW) – Four pre-strike episodes remain and five more have been ordered for this season.
* SUPERNATURAL (CW) – Two pre-strike episodes remain and four more have been ordered for this season.
SWINGTOWN (CBS) – Only a couple of episodes of this mid-season drama have been produced and CBS is still deciding what to do with it.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (FOX) – Four pre-strike episodes remain. What happens after that is still up in the air.
* TWO AND A HALF MEN (CBS) – Will return on March 17 with nine new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
UGLY BETTY (ABC) – Expected to return in April with 4-7 new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
* THE UNIT (CBS) – No new episodes are slated to be produced this season and it wasn’t included on a recent list of pickups for 2008-09, so its future chances are looking thin.
* WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS) – Will return on April 3 with six new episodes. Has also been picked up for the 2008-09 season.
WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB (ABC) – It’s looking like it may be the axe for this newcomer.
I’m not sure how I feel about Seth Green’s neck exploding. (If you haven’t been keeping up with Grey’s Anatomy, I can hardly blame you, but just to catch you up: Seth Green’s neck exploded at the end of the last episode. Tune in tonight to see if that kills him. I’m going with no.)
Part of my indecisiveness is because I’m very fond of Seth Green, and his neck exploding worries me. The bigger issue, however, is that it is ridiculous to have a storyline where (buckle in!) someone’s neck explodes in the same episode where a paramedic has a seizure because she has a brain tumor and this causes her to crash into another ambulance which causes serious injury to both the paramedics in the other ambulance and to her partner, who just happens to be a white supremacist, not to mention their patient, who has come down with an infection that will cause his sternum to be removed but who must now also have a giant hunk of ambulance–you know it’s from the ambulance because there’s a big “A” on the giant hunk–taken out of his leg, too.
After I catch my breath from the exertion of saying that all in one lungful, I’ll assure you I am not kidding.
This Exclamation Pointitis drags down several otherwise fine programs. Grey’s was once better than watchable but has slid into new lows of ridiculousness. Friday Night Lights is another prime offender: one miracle win would be not just acceptable, but stirring. But multiple miracle wins, including a story where (deep breath) the Panthers are way behind in a game where the starting quarterback and running back have been benched, so a third-stringer delivers the stirring halftime speech that rallies the team so they’re within striking distance when the good guys throw an interception, but the third-stringer causes a fumble that the Panthers run in for a touchdown–mind you, the last couple are all on the same play–leading the suspended QB and RB to make up in the middle of the game to get back on the field, where they call a play specifically designed for the third-stringer who has never played before tonight, but that’s okay because he doesn’t catch the ball and the game is over, but that’s also okay because the flag flies on the latest pass interference penalty ever called, and since the game can’t end on a defensive penalty the Panthers get another shot and the recently liberated RB scores the winning touchdown, and everyone in the stadium chants the third-stringer’s name for drawing a pass interference penalty and are you kidding me?!? (pant, pant)
Some television is well-suited to piling up the improbabilities; speculative fiction, for example, is all about putting characters in extraordinary situations, just to see what will happen. Ever wonder whether the best or the worst of humanity would win out if all civilization fell simultaneously? Fire up the Battlestar Galactica, where sexy robots kill 99% of the human population and octogonal blood can cure diseases. Shows like The West Wing and House, while wildly compressing the number of people who would work on their puzzles, have settings that loan themselves to multiple dramatic moments. We really do believe White House staffers might face several crises every day. The only reason House’s department exists is to be funneled the crazy cases no one else can solve.
But several shows with more earth-bound settings are stretching their stories well beyond plausible deniability. I’ve no doubt someone’s neck exploded in a hospital at some point in the history of mankind. I believe paramedics have lost consciousness while driving. I’m even sure someone somewhere in the world was once wheeled into an emergency room with a hunk of ambulance in his leg. What I can’t believe is that these things all happened in the same hospital on the same day. I understand that these shows have to go beyond reality to tell dramatic stories–and even sympathize with that pressure–but sandwiching every freaky medical case or every thrilling football miracle into a single episode not only creates eyerolling scenarios, it chews through story at the kind of breakneck pace that explains why many shows can’t excel past the first season or two. If these kinds of shows keep it up, audiences will have to decide if it’s harder to suspend disbelief over the plots, or over the fact that the shows are still on the air at all.
NBC has finally started handing out back-nine orders, granting both Chuck and Life a full season. Lately, Chuck has been the highest rated of all of NBC’s new shows. Life, on the other hand, has been pulling in lukewarm numbers, but the critically acclaimed show is tops in its timeslot with the all-important 18-34 demographic.
“Both shows are hitting their stride creatively, have developed loyal audiences and offer unlimited potential to grow throughout the season,” said NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chair Ben Silverman. The pick-ups came unusually late in the season this year because, Silverman claims, NBC was waiting to get a better idea of which shows might develop a loyal following, although it seems likely the long-anticipated WGA strike had a lot more to do with it.
No word yet on the fate of NBC’s other freshman shows, Journeyman and Bionic Woman, but given their poor performance, it doesn’t look good.
Journeyman creator Kevin Falls told website Premium Hollywood last week that it seems likely the show’s 12th episode will be its last. “Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Falls. “It’s a long shot that we would get a back nine, given the strike and our questionable numbers.” Falls added that Episode 12 is written in such a way that it could constitute an end to the series should it be canceled. “It wouldn’t answer every question, but it would give you a lot to chew on,” he said. “We would give you some answers, and we’d withhold others.”
- Sci Fi Channel has ordered a two-hour pilot of Warehouse 13, a comedy-drama described as part X-Files, part Raiders of the Lost Ark and part Moonlighting, written by Farscape creator Rockne O’Bannon, Battlestar Galactica co-executive producer Jane Espenson and D. Brent Mote. (Yahoo!)
- The CW’s Reaper and ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money have both received three-script extensions. (The Futon Critic)
- A new poll suggests Stephen Colbert could be the presidential frontrunner within a month. Seriously? Seriously. (Editor & Publisher)
- Yet another new showrunner for Bionic Woman. (SyFy Portal)
- Battlestar Galactica‘s fourth season won’t start until April 2008. Let the wailing and tearing of hair commence. (L.A. Times)
If you’re a girl, that is. Unless you’re Asian. Asian girls are good at science! So are girls who wear glasses, and that’s double-plus-true if they are Asian girls who wear glasses. Girls whose bodies are full of science still find science scary.
Although the above was the primary lesson I gleaned from last night’s episode, “The Education of Jaime Sommers,” it is possible I finally cracked the code to understanding this show. Jaime Sommers is being educated, but not in our universe. She actually exists in some parallel universe, and her reality is not our reality. Her sister? Is actually Schrodinger’s Cat, as she does not in fact exist in a single state anywhere in the story unless we are looking right at her. She’s a quantum cat, people! Alternate universe TAs can slip answers to attractive new students and then slip her, um, other things later, because such behavior is totally appropriate here at Parallel Universe U. In this other reality, it would make sense for a super secret agency to ask their spy to assume a British identity and accent just because. Perhaps most important, alternate universe bionic women have no emotional reaction to seeing brain implants acting out the Imperius Curse, because people in alternate universes are not interested in character growth or emotional arcs. If we watch the show as Bizarro Bionic, maybe it will be more entertaining.
The blessing and the curse of series television is the ability to salt in little tidbits that allow a story arc to slam together in a powerful way down the road. The curse arises when creators are unable to make good on the investment viewers have made across a season (Lost? Heroes? I’m looking at you). But when it works, when all details great and small come together to elevate the whole to something greater than its parts, television is the best storytelling medium on the planet, paying off our patience in a way that I suspect literally changes our brain chemistry. (It is possible I actually screamed out loud recently when a late-season episode of Doctor Who managed the triple gainer in such a fashion that I have yet to recover.)
Accomplishing this is hard, however, and it’s hard to know whom you can trust to pull off the feat. In our review of the pilot episode of Bionic Woman, I mentioned being a little put off by a lack of engagement with the fundamental political questions embedded in the very premise of the show. Whose body is it anyway? If you’ve become a $50 million weapon, does the group that fronted the $50 million have jurisdiction over your body? What if you didn’t consent to becoming a $50 million weapon in the first place? Recent episodes, including last night’s “Face Off,” have seen Jaime raising these issues more forcefully while at the same time showing her handlers talking about her like property. If they’re salting in these little references to lead us to a major showdown over the issue, that could be really, really interesting television.
But how do I know if they have a master philosophical plan or if they just can’t keep track of what the show’s position is? Bionic Woman’s overall execution is still shaky enough that I’m having a hard time trusting they’ll take me someplace greater than the sum of the parts. How can a giant fan Jaime disables just start whipping around dangerously again because she…bends a blade back into place? Perhaps we are due for a Bionic Woman/Pushing Daisies crossover—Ned resurrects organic matter; Jaime has dominion over dead machines!
Or take the example of trust—“Face Off” is, to a great extent, about the characters not trusting each other and about how the web of lies they’re creating erodes that trust. That’s Big Picture TV, and I want to go down that road with them. But this is a show that has Isaiah Washington’s character (hit him again, Jaime!) hatch a plan to get into a heavily guarded area by being captured…without telling his mission partner that his plan is for them to be captured. He then gets to indignantly demand that she trust him. Why should she trust him? He just got her captured without telling her that’s part of the plan! Despite repeated (and repeated, and repeated) claims to the contrary, the characters shouldn’t trust each other, and I’m not yet sure I should trust the show.
I find myself, therefore, still wishing we were watching The Sarah Corvus Show. Now there’s a woman with an opinion about ownership of her bionic body. Imagine a Bionic Woman reboot where Sarah’s capture by the Berkut Group, realization that they are lying about a “patch” that will save her, and escape was the pilot episode. Oh, the angst! Oh, the trauma! Oh, the opportunity for flashback episodes! Because when you play Tori Amos lyrics over Sarah’s scenes, you’re just going to make me wonder what could have been.
My memories of childhood are extremely fuzzy, but I remember one thing—I wanted a Bionic Woman doll, and I wanted it badly. You could actually roll up her skin and take out her bionic components! Her bionic ear made bionic noises! Her feathered hair was possibly bionic in its bounciness and ability to hold a style! Waiting for Christmas or a birthday was clearly unreasonable. A deal was struck—I would receive a Bionic Woman doll in return for learning to tie my shoes by myself.
The pilot of NBC’s new remake of Bionic Woman makes me worried that we are creating an entire generation doomed to wear nothing but Velcro-closure sneakers.
It’s not entirely fair to compare a remake to the original source material, and it’s perhaps even less fair to compare the show on the screen to the show I was expecting in my head (Aaron Sorkin and I once broke up for a whole week over what he put on the screen about Title IX versus what I expected him to do). Still, it’s disheartening to the doll-loving little girl inside me to remember the old-school Jaime Sommers, college-educated skydiver and tennis pro, and then to be confronted with new-school Jaime, a bartender who petulantly reminds us that she was accepted to Ivy League schools (not that she went). And it may be asking too much to expect a pilot to engage glaring political questions, but the idea of who owns Jaime’s body now that there are bionics in it—or even the question of who gets to decide to put bionics in her in the first place—remains largely sidelined. That executive producer David Eick also shepherds the far superior Battlestar Galactica, a bristling bastion of strong female characters, makes the sting that much more pronounced. You’ve got a long way to go, baby.
It doesn’t help that Michelle Ryan’s portrayal of Jaime slides off the screen like worn-out nanobots in the presence of her bionic predecessor, Katee Sackhoff’s Sarah Corvus. Despite the fact that Corvus has lost her marbles and chewed through multiple nameless good guys in response to bad bionics—as one does—her drive, menace, and charisma wipe our putative heroine off the screen in their shared scenes. The imbalance is made worse by the fact that Sackhoff, riveting in pretty much everything she’s done, appears to be having a rip-roaring time squeezing every drop of pulpy goodness out of her role.
In addition, recent shifts in the television landscape create demands Bionic Woman may not be in a position to fulfill. Given the lack of originality in the concept—not necessarily a fatal flaw; again, Eick’s Battlestar proves an old idea in new clothes can shine when well-executed—the show needs something to help it stand out, perhaps scintillating dialogue, gorgeous cinematography, or intricately plotted mysteries. Bionic Woman’s execution in such matters is merely adequate, insufficient to raise an otherwise tepid game. With the glorious color schemes of Pushing Daisies or Damages, or the twisty, textured corridors explored by Lost, The Wire or Dexter, the bar has been raised in television—good enough just isn’t, well, good enough anymore. While interesting tidbits from supporting players in the Super Secret Bionic Society such as Molly Price (Third Watch) and Will Yun Lee (Thief) hold promise, it’s frustrating to see that promise drowned under pedestrian lines such as “the machine is nothing without the woman.” I don’t want to believe that bionic ears are made of tin.
Still, it’s early, and the doll-loving little girl in me who hasn’t yet learned to be disappointed by TV would be delighted to see the show improve. Increased focus on the Corvus character would help (perhaps Bionic Woman Flashback!: The Sarah Corvus Years?). Or perhaps they could dump the post-postmodern tendency for superheroes to be morose about being awesome and camp this sucker up—clue pseudo-rebellious-teen-sister-computer-hacker into the bionic revolution and let her use Jaime like a puppet. Tardy slips signed with extreme prejudice, please.