Last week, an alleged draft script of David E. Kelley's take on a small screen version of Wonder Woman fell into the hands of a few notable Web-based critics. The prognosis?
From the sound of it, just plain awful. If this is, in fact, an accurate representation of Kelley's idea of who Wonder Woman is and the way she should be portrayed in today's world, then it leaves me, um, wondering what in the world Kelley has been smoking over the last two decades.
It may seem premature to start pitching a fit over, but this is the first glimmer we've had of a live action Wonder Woman in years, so I can't help but voice my feelings on the matter. My hope is that this is someone's idea of a cruel joke, but it does sound like typical Kelley.
I won't go into many script specifics, as I have not personally laid eyes on the atrocity. Should you desire a detailed breakdown, Jace Lacob, aka The Televisionary, has all the horrifying particulars, if you have the stomach. I'm just here to air my grievances regarding what I consider to be a middle finger affront to superhero fans everywhere.
I laugh at the fact that it is referred to as a "modern" take on the superheroine, given the context of the world created around her.The way Kelley seems to have approached this makes it clear he has not, and likely cannot, step outside his 1990's comfort zone. Despite the egregious license taken by comics writers with the character over the years, Diana's true legacy is that of a hard-core Amazon warrior, with abilities that rival those of Superman and intelligence that would make even Batman raise a brow.
She is a champion of truth and justice, and does not shy away from the more brutal aspects of crime fighting. She does not look to others for validation, and certainly doesn't succumb to some internalized pressure to fit in to a group yuppies. She is not some weepy, neurotic, overly self-conscious woman who flops on the bed to have sundae sleepovers and talk about boys with gal pals.
She may have romantic feelings for Steve Trevor, but she doesn't wallow in her bed, crying in self-pity about unrequited feelings or "scream like a schoolgirl" over some ridiculous MTV music video.
The fact that anyone would treat this beloved character with so much disrespect literally turns my stomach. In a modern society that has seen the rise of strong, yet vulnerable, heroines such as Sydney Bristow, Buffy Summers and Olivia Dunham I just can't fathom anyone turning Diana Prince of all people into this decade's Ally McBeal.
It floors me that Warner Bros would allow such a flippant disregard for one of their most precious commodities. After nearly allowing their flagship franchises to die harrowing deaths at the hands of Joel Schumacher and Bryan Singer, not to even mention the absolute trainwreck of cheese that was Catwoman, you'd think they'd be more protective of the third most recognizable face in their arsenal of heroes and attempt to bring in someone much more adept at creating formidable, believable leading ladies akin to Joss Whedon or J.J. Abrams. After all, there's a potential goldmine at stake.
Even the iconic, yet campy, Lynda Carter incarnation did more justice to the character than this.
In 2009, Warner Bros. released an animated film version of the warrior princess, and it was surprisingly dark, yet completely honest to the true Wonder Woman legacy. I suggest you check it out. That is much more along the lines of how Wonder Woman should appear in a live action interpretation. Anything less than that is just unacceptable.
As for NBC, I have to ask: someone actually read this and thought it was a great idea?!? I don't think your reputation can take another black eye, so are you really prepared for this to backfire? Do yourself, and all of us die hard fans, a favor: step away from the bulletproof bracelets. Let this be one of those embarrassing mistakes you almost made. You already ruined Bionic Woman and Knight Rider. Please, don't screw us again.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.