Why David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman Must Succeed

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Why David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman Must Succeed

So much more is riding on this upcoming series than the success of the series itself.

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Is he doing this as a television series because i think it would suck on tv although I kinda enjoyed the Linda Carter it didn't really do the character justice

First Step to a Better Wonderwoman: USE THE NEW COSTUME.

I rather agree. I admit, I'm not really a superhero comic fan, but the concepts behind Wonder Woman are things I actually find very interesting...and having more exposure for the developed and respectable superheroines is a good thing in any case.

'Course, everything I know about her I learned from one particular source, so that's probably another factor in my interest.

just as long as they do not get a skeleton with skin to play wonder woman i could tolerate whoever :P.

wonder woman is a pretty cool character thought handeled best in the modern justice league cartoon, but then again i think so the best comic character writing i have seen in the modern age belongs to that show since they seemed to nail all the characters strengths and personalties to a t.

one thing that disappoints me about the whole DC big three is the fact in tv and movies they are so stingy in letting their main guys cross over and interact, some of the best dc animated movies involve batman superman and wonder woman and their friendships and tensions as they work together and argue their viewpoints.

know part of that is nolan does not want his version of batman dilluted etc, and him moving onto superman that will move to that character. but really with marvel doing the whole mega crossover thing and working DC should take a step back and look at their best animated movies and see that it can work in the real thing if they have good writing.

Elizabeth Grunewald:

So much more is riding on this upcoming series than the success of the series itself.

There is the point that Wonder Woman was originally created by a guy living with his wife and her lesbian lover - and there's a LOT of scripts that push the whole sub-dom thing.

And yeah...
image

Really...
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Now if there was an Emo Wonderwoman, sort of like Raven...

And interesting fact occurred to me while reading this article.

A Wonder Woman television series is not a comic book. It will never be a comic book.

that...was basically all I knew about Wonder Woman
costum...whip...invisible jet

Well, nothing can be worse then Amazons Attack, one of the worse terrorism analogies I've ever seen in comics.

I like the Carter TV series more then the original comics (can anyone say bondage comic). The 60s and 70s comics were OK but the original TV series was superb. I have them all on DVD.

I am Gilhelmi, and I am a major Wonder Woman fan.

The problem with Wonder Woman is that nobody has really figured out what she is.

Batman and Superman haven't had much character changes through the decade. Batman was campy in the 60's, but abandoned that for the darker tone he had at the very beginning. Superman has always been the center of truth and justice, he hasn't changed a bit through all the books, movies, cartoons, and the like besides how many other krytonians are alive at any time and if he is married or not.

Wonder Woman has been everything from well...

The_root_of_all_evil:

image

image

...To ambassador to Earth to a "fish out of water" (I.E. idiot that couldn't use a gas pump) to what ever she is now with her jean suit.

Not G. Ivingname:
Batman and Superman haven't had much character changes through the decade. Batman was campy in the 60's, but abandoned that for the darker tone he had at the very beginning. Superman has always been the center of truth and justice, he hasn't changed a bit through all the books, movies, cartoons...

I thought I read that in the really early days Superman was champion of "the little guy" against the powerful. Very Great Depression. He doesn't really do that any more, does he? More of a general, abstract "truth and justice" thing.

Good piece.

The unfortunate trouble with Wonder Woman is that she's only ever really been written consistently well (in her own books) TWICE - when William Moulton-Marston (her creator, an... "interesting" fellow) was writing the first ones and when George Perez revamped it in the 80s. Beyond that, DC pretty much just relegates her to a "token diversity hire" - i.e. everyone knows she's THE female superhero, so they keep the books in print and make sure she's on the Justice League because she's pretty much the only big character they can use to pitch merchandise to "the girl market."

If you REALLY want to get depressed about how she's (mis)used lately, apply this variation on the Bechdel Test: Try and name a widely-read/seen/known "great Wonder Woman moment" of the last decade or so from the comics, the animated shows, whatever that actually belonged to her, as opposed to her being a (however well-utilized) "female foil" to a male hero, usually Batman or Superman. Remember the "widely-read/seen/known" part. It's kinda barren. That's pretty-much her "job" in the DC Universe right now - to stand in the huddle with Bruce, Clark, Hal and Barry so that DC looks "diversified."

My great worry about another TV series is that all the things that make her interesting as a superhero - the connection to Greek mythology, the notion of being a warrior as opposed to a do-gooder (Superman) or a vigilante (Batman), the outright magical (rather than scifi) background, the very specific elements of rarely-explored female wish-fulfillment (DC's Amazons have babies without pregnancy or birth, for example) are all things that are probably too "odd" or expensive for network TV. I hope I'm wrong.

I do not get it. Why should we want this show to succeed? So that Wonder woman can become a big name character again? Why would I want that? I want her to fuck off and die in a fire. Same with Superman and 90% of DCs list.
Some characters are just plain old boring. Perhaps instead of trying to rehash characters that just do not work, maybe we should be pushing for new character types. Hell the reason Batman is the biggest hero in DC is because he is not as over the top "super" as the rest. He is a normal dude and one who kicks the shit out of bad guys instead of just tying them up.
Do not even get me started on Smallville or any of the characters in that.
Let Wonder Woman die and give some interesting characters a chance.

Oh and uhh, you really want a Wonder Woman Ally McBeal...

MovieBob:

My great worry about another TV series is that all the things that make her interesting as a superhero - the connection to Greek mythology, the notion of being a warrior as opposed to a do-gooder (Superman) or a vigilante (Batman), the outright magical (rather than scifi) background, the very specific elements of rarely-explored female wish-fulfillment (DC's Amazons have babies without pregnancy or birth, for example) are all things that are probably too "odd" or expensive for network TV. I hope I'm wrong.

The agree with you here. I was pretty much under the impression that being able to have babies without a man's...*ahem*...input was every "real" feminist's wet dream. Maybe I'm misinformed...

The_root_of_all_evil:

Elizabeth Grunewald:

So much more is riding on this upcoming series than the success of the series itself.

Now if there was an Emo Wonderwoman, sort of like Raven...

But then it wouldn't be Wonder Woman, it'd be Raven. It'd be too much of a character shift. Did you see how upset people got when that "Teenage Superman" art was posted several weeks ago? Probably end up being the same thing here.

I had no idea Wonder Woman could talk to animals, but I do know other stuff about her. I loved the animated movie they put out on her. It does seem like she's been relegated to the side lines though. Changing her costume didn't seem to help either (please leave in alone. I like it). This show could go either way. It'd be nice if it was good...

Can we PLEASE make a Teen Titans animated movie now? In the same vein and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, Wonder Woman, and all the rest?

Fronzel:

Not G. Ivingname:
Batman and Superman haven't had much character changes through the decade. Batman was campy in the 60's, but abandoned that for the darker tone he had at the very beginning. Superman has always been the center of truth and justice, he hasn't changed a bit through all the books, movies, cartoons...

I thought I read that in the really early days Superman was champion of "the little guy" against the powerful. Very Great Depression. He doesn't really do that any more, does he? More of a general, abstract "truth and justice" thing.

American comic book heroes change, either to meet the times or because of the artist/comic writer who gets their hands on the rights to make a comic out of them.

Batman use to be light and camp, now he's more known as dark and fearsome.

Eh, I won't be watching this. Never was interested in Wonder Woman and I rarely bother with TV anymore.

matrix3509:
[quote="MovieBob" post="6.244434.8909511"]
The agree with you here. I was pretty much under the impression that being able to have babies without a man's...*ahem*...input was every "real" feminist's wet dream. Maybe I'm misinformed...

I don't know that it's quite as... "edgy" a thing as all that. You have to keep in mind that most superheroes, especially "golden age" ones like Superman or Wonder Woman, were thought up almost-exclusively as children's characters initially. The DC Universe Amazons' variation on "pregnancy" - essentially you make a baby-doll out of clay, wish really hard and then POOF! you're a mommy - reads very much like something a fanciful six year-old would concieve of as a more ideal way of getting to that point. It's the maternal-instinct version of little Billy Batson shouting "SHAZAM!" and morphing all-at-once into full-grown man Captain Marvel.

My point is more that in ANY other creative industry, stuff with an obvious "demographic appeal" like that would be hyped like crazy... but in the comics world DC is always actively fleeing from the more fanciful, fairytale-esque aspects of this character because they have no idea how to sell comics to anyone other than 30 year-old men who've already been reading comics their whole lives.

Asuka Soryu:
Batman use to be light and camp, now he's more known as dark and fearsome.

That only was only the silver age, before then in the golden age he was actually more violent then nowadays, he snapped villain's neck and often carried a gun. He seems to fluctuate between extremes everynow and then. Even recently he seems to be becoming less serious (but hopefully not camp) with his son as Robin and forming a team of Batmen.

Grilled Cheesus:
I do not get it. Why should we want this show to succeed? So that Wonder woman can become a big name character again? Why would I want that? I want her to fuck off and die in a fire. Same with Superman and 90% of DCs list.
Some characters are just plain old boring. Perhaps instead of trying to rehash characters that just do not work, maybe we should be pushing for new character types. Hell the reason Batman is the biggest hero in DC is because he is not as over the top "super" as the rest. He is a normal dude and one who kicks the shit out of bad guys instead of just tying them up.
Do not even get me started on Smallville or any of the characters in that.
Let Wonder Woman die and give some interesting characters a chance.

Oh and uhh, you really want a Wonder Woman Ally McBeal...

Yeah okay. I can spot a marvel fanboy a mile away. Character's that don't work? Please. They basically made the genre

Jiraiya72:
Yeah okay. I can spot a marvel fanboy a mile away. Character's that don't work? Please. They basically made the genre

Now that is a incredibly stupid thing to say. Marvel fanboy? Marvel can fuck right off too.

And perhaps yes, perhaps the characters made the genre. Does that mean they still work? No. No it does not. The genres themselves suck and the characters are outdated.
JRPG stereotypes were awesome back in the mid 90s, does that mean their character types are still as popular today? Fuck no.
As moviebob pointed out, James Bond was the figurehead of his own genre, does that mean the original James Bond would work today?

Shit gets out dated and no matter how cool it may have been 50 years ago it may be absolute shit today.
Wonder Woman is one of those characters.

Most of the points you make are salient and correct; unfortunately, it'll still probably be terrible, and on the off chance it isn't, it still probably won't "do well".

What I think a lot of people don't realize is that at this point, Wonder Woman may be beyond redemption - not because she's been written poorly, but because too few people actually care about resurrecting her. I can count the number of "Actual Girls" I know who even vaguely care about WW on one finger, and since we comic nerd ladies need to stick together to survive, that's pulling from a pretty large pool. (By the way, that one is not me.)

Personally, I don't even understand how this project got greenlit. If anything, it's evidence of how out-of-touch studios are with the actual sentiment of their target markets. I simply don't believe people care anymore. Wonder Woman is done. She's an aging relic of the Golden and Silver Ages and (however she's written) a painful reminder that militant feminists exist. The worst part is this laughable idea that a character with a past as checkered as Diana's is going to somehow draw in that fiscally-lusted-after teenage/young adult female demographic. Good luck, boys, and when you figure out that coherently opened and ended stories with accessible timeline data are superior to 700-issue monsters and a Crisis every so often to sort out the loopholes, you'll have finally solved the problem.

I'm a female comic book reader aged 18-25, and I won't be watching Wonder Woman.

On an unrelated note, please learn the difference between a hyphen and a dash and punctuate accordingly. If it was something that your word processor did and the editor didn't catch, disregard this, but seriously.

Sniper Team 4:

Can we PLEASE make a Teen Titans animated movie now? In the same vein and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, Wonder Woman, and all the rest?

Uhm, you mean Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo?

MovieBob:

I don't know that it's quite as... "edgy" a thing as all that. You have to keep in mind that most superheroes, especially "golden age" ones like Superman or Wonder Woman, were thought up almost-exclusively as children's characters initially. The DC Universe Amazons' variation on "pregnancy" - essentially you make a baby-doll out of clay, wish really hard and then POOF! you're a mommy - reads very much like something a fanciful six year-old would concieve of as a more ideal way of getting to that point. It's the maternal-instinct version of little Billy Batson shouting "SHAZAM!" and morphing all-at-once into full-grown man Captain Marvel.

My point is more that in ANY other creative industry, stuff with an obvious "demographic appeal" like that would be hyped like crazy... but in the comics world DC is always actively fleeing from the more fanciful, fairytale-esque aspects of this character because they have no idea how to sell comics to anyone other than 30 year-old men who've already been reading comics their whole lives.

One could argue that, what with Warner Bros. in control of basically all of DC's characters, they don't really know how to market to even the 30-year-old-comic-reading demographic *cough*Smallville*cough*.
Contrast with Marvel's basically reveling in their characters' sillyness/fanciful-ness.

Step one- Cast Lucy Lawless.
Step two-???
Step three- Profit.

Pretty cool. that she actually did the voice of Wonder Woman in a Justice League cartoon movie.

Lawless might be too old for the role today though.

Off topic- Anyway, how was the Wonder Woman DCAU movie? I haven't seen that one...

MovieBob:
they have no idea how to sell comics to anyone other than 30 year-old men who've already been reading comics their whole lives.

Oh my God, I can now say MovieBob agrees with me every time I bring this up in a discussion. :3!!!

I'd rather David Kelly made a She-Hulk/Doc Samson tv show, the idea of a Superhero lawyer and a Superhero pyschiatrist working in NYC would be funny and awesome. Plus we know he can do it, he made Boston Legal.

On a special effects note, it would be easier as neither can fly and super strength is easier to show than say shooting lightening, all you need is good costuming/makeup for her skin and his hair and you're done.

thenamelessloser:
Off topic- Anyway, how was the Wonder Woman DCAU movie? I haven't seen that one...

I thought it was excellent. I haven't seen any of the DC Animated Original Movies after Superman/Batman Public Enemies (i intend to see the rest) but I thought Wonder Woman was the best one. The film has a great sense of humor, the action scenes are awesome (and surprisingly brutal) and the voice cast is great. I thought Diana's character was handled really well, I hope the TV series can achieve something similar. Yeah, the animated original Wonder Woman is definitely something to check out if you get a chance.

The biggest problem I have with Wonder Woman is the costume, I cant stand the costume.
For a character that, as far as I know, has little to do with america, other than living there, she is wearign a freaking american flag costume...

Mind you if she was some fermale Captain America I would not mind... but he way she is portraied, in forinstance this article, nothing about her screems american patriot...

PS: I guess as a mainly Marvel fan, I am a bit biased :P

This series tickles my interest more than anything happening on tv or about to happen on tv currently and I have the same hopes and fears.

MovieBob:
If you REALLY want to get depressed about how she's (mis)used lately, apply this variation on the Bechdel Test: Try and name a widely-read/seen/known "great Wonder Woman moment" of the last decade or so

I have no idea how well known it is but the only Wonder Woman book I own is the League of One, where she basically takes the rest of the JLA out of the picture because a prophecy foretold that if they were to fight as a team they'd all die. I thought it was rather well constructed and pretty cool overall. (Apart from the whole concept of the JLA fighting a dragon of course...)

Another depressing one, try and list the female superheroes with their own book that are not from a team or the female version of a male hero. Then look back at that list and scrap all the obvious sex-objects like Vampirella and Lady Death (if you even thought of them in the first place). Heck, ask this of random person you know. you'll see a lot of stumped people.

Since this is a David E. Kelley show, we'll probably see quite a few lawyers here and there, hell, Diana might be one...

To really do super heroes correctly I think a network needs to get the liscences for several shows, put all on for simultaneous broadcast, and then cross characters over. One of the big problems with comics is that part of the appeal is not just the characters, but the overall universe, and how interwoven things are. While Smallville had some success in the way it handled other DC characters, and illustrated to some extent when you need other super characters, but also demonstrated at the same time why you need to be able to focus more on those characters on their own to really capture the essence of what is supposed to make the shared universe cool.

-

When it comes to Wonder Woman, I think a lot of people don't understand the character. In part I blame the fact that they keep re-launching and re-defining her, making the specifics of her origin unusually hard to pin down compared to a lot of other characters. What's more there seems to be an attempt to "modernize" her into a current feminist Icon when that was hardly the point of the character.

As I understand things from a bit of reading on the subject, Wonder Woman was created at a time when bondage was a big thing in adult entertainment. Stanton, Klaw, and Betty Page were all pretty big for example. What's more at the time you were dealing with a situation where part of female empowerment was the display of sexuality, contrary to what you see now. As Moviebob pointed out when he talked about "Bond Girls", and even things like "Playboy" decades ago that kind of thing was not seen as being exploitive in quite the same way. If you've read about modern feminism (which I have had to do, especially back in school) you'd know that for the last couple of decades there have been big battles within that philosophy over concepts like that, and when feminism becomes restrictive, and fear of exploitation or the preception of other women, has the end result of socially chaining women into roles just as effectively as when you saw it done legally.

The point of the character was that Wonder Woman was a strong woman, who could appeal to a dual demographic of both young men/teens, and women. Being something of a bondage queen (she's going to beat you down, tie you up, punish you, and make you tell the truth!) aspects of that subculture could let them downplay the actual sex, for purposes of ratings and the like.

A point about Wonder Woman also is that she's supposed to be an outsider, and unlike many other heroes frequently wrong in her approach to problems. Conceptually she's supposed to be an Ambassador from a highly advanced, hidden isle of Amazons. A society that believes it's utopian, and superior to the outside world, and by sending envoys it's condescending to do the rest of the world a great service. While advanced and powerful, it's hardly everything it believes it is (there are organizations all over the DC world that possess equal or superior technology/magic). This is an aspect of the character that seems to be eclectic in how well people remember it. A good example of this would be during say the "Kingdom Come" alternate future here Wonder Woman is one of the "classic" heroes break from the code of ethics and agree that one needs to resort to killing to solve problems. I don't disagree with her in principle actually, but by doing what she did WHEN she did it, she ultimatly created the entire problem at the conclusion of the storyline. Wonder Woman is not supposed to be bumbling, or flat out wrong, but she's supposed to represent a counterpoint to conventional morality when appropriate, and whether she's right, or wrong, gets her way or not, it's supposed to represent something of a statement about society. On some levels Wonder Woman is about... enlightened barbarism.

I think this series is doomed to fail because if I was reading the right thing, the idea seems to be to have Wonder Woman raised in the human world, among other things. What's more I think there is going to be too much of a focus on making Wonder Woman a "strong, modern woman" and trying to have her embody what a lot of people think modern principles should be that they are going to TOTALLY miss the entire point of the character.

See, Wonder Woman is supposed to be an fairly icy sex bomb adventuress. She's just as much an outsider or "alien" as Superman is in her own way. While she deigns to follow society's rules on a lot of levels, she had her own code of ethics which has been known to trump them, sometimes with catastrophic results. What's more she's so arrogant that her Kryptonite is having a gauntlet of challenge thrown down (and this does not have to be gender based). In fact during the "Tower Of Babel" storyline, this was a key element of Batman's plan to disable her (without killing) that was stolen/implemented by Ra's Al Ghul.

I think the old TV show, despite having an actress that looked the part, is a bad example to use. It shows it's age, and at the time that came out simply having a show about a super hero (and with some kind of a female lead... I believe this was also around the same time as "Charlie's Angels") was a big deal. Today we have not only *quality* movies n the theaters, but TV shows like "Smallville" for them to compete with that have demonstrated short comings that should be overcome (above and beyond what I've mentioned).

I also think that banking on the audience's ignorance of a given character is a bad move. Wonder Woman has been around for decades now, and no character endures that long (relaunches aside) without having a pretty substantial fan base. What's more the core audience of people reading comics is older than before, and despite some very mixed reports about modern comic sales, I think more people have been reading comics than ever before due to the Internet and the easy availibility of back issues and the like (without getting into any discussions about piracy, torrents, or legality. That's not the point of the debate, I'm just stating this because it affects the audience).

The biggest problem with Wonder Woman and an audience is that while "Superman" and "Batman' have remained pretty consistant in their origins and what abillities they have, Wonder Woman has not. Is she an empowered mortal? A Demi-God? A mortal who became a god, and then returned to being mortal? Is she a princess, or merely a champion and envoy? All of these are valid questions and do present some grounds for a relaunch, though her origins on an advanced island are consistant. I think her personality has been scitzophrenic at times due to politics and people trying to make the character "mean something" for women when it should stand on it's own. The most consistant personality traits and backround do not seem to be in keeping with what I think I've heard about this show (the whole growing up human thing).

Ah well, apologies for the length. I'm sure many people are going to disagree with me (for a variety of reasons) but that's my thoughts on the subject.

TsunamiWombat:
First Step to a Better Wonderwoman: USE THE NEW COSTUME.

I never knew about her costume. I actually VERY much approve of it. It is VERY sexy without her looking.....well "easy".

Now the new timeline, that is a whole different discussion and to be honest I don't like it too much.

This is going to sound flash-in-the-pan, but as a closet macrophile, the only reason I'm holding onto the hope that this will be good, is because I want Giganta to show up, in all her gigantic giantess-rage-induced glory, and wreck shit up. Call me shallow, call me a deviant, but that's what Wonder Woman has become for me. Giganta. A giant woman in a yellow jumpsuit knocking over buildings and threatening to eat protagonists.

How's that for an outsider's view eh?

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