WONDER WOMAN’s TV costume revealed

This is the first photo of Adrianne Palicki in costume for David E. Kelley’s WONDER WOMAN pilot. On the plus side, the costume doesn’t look like the terrible togs WW currently sports in her comic book incarnation, but on the other hand, it looks like it’s made of plastic or vinyl. Weird.

It’s not as bad as it could have been, but it certainly is not nearly as good as it could have been. The brightly colored, shiny costume appears to have been designed to look good in still photos, almost as if the intention were to bring individual panels of a comic book to life with static shots of live-action models. It’s difficult to imagine the costume in motion – if only because Palicki looks so very stiff and uncomfortable in this pose. It makes me think the uniform is very constrictive (She certainly appears to be…er, tightly packed into the bustier…)

To me, it looks calculated to appeal to non-comics fans who have certain expectations of what a “superhero costume” should look like in the 21st century – in other words, not as campy as the old ‘60s BATMAN or 1977’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series, but still a little on the silly side. I don’t know who designed this, but judging by the uniform alone, I don’t think he/she is a comics fan. The hair is right – and it reportedly is not a wig; Palicki dyed and cut her own follicles. The costume appeals to the part of me that likes bright colors and shiny things, but it does not work for the comics fan in me.
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Soap Opera Weekly: 1/29/10

Don’t forget to watch the new episode of CAPRICA tonight at 9 o’clock on SyFy!

In a sense, this prequel to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA picks up where the parent series left off — in terms of quality, at least. The premiere of CAPRICA plunged viewers into a fully realized world — both visually and emotionally. The series pivots on viewer familiarity with the general universe, and thus doesn’t bother detailing things like the organization of the 12 Colonies; it hits the ground running, plunging viewers into a society afflicted with religious strife. Religion is not a common subject in dramas — especially not faith-based violence. A terror bombing by a religious fanatic sets the main plot in motion by killing one of the central characters in the opening 15 minutes. (That’s right, Zoe Graystone is dead.) Her father, the brilliant inventor Daniel Graystone, teams ups with lawyer Joseph Adama (who lost his wife and daughter in the blast) to “bring back” their slain family members using an experimental blend of virtual reality and robotics. Zoe’s consciousness is downloaded into a mechanical body, and the first cylon is born.

The show’s tone may sound a bit cold and clinical, but I assure you that CAPRICA is all about character; the scientific aspects (and the subdued special effects) are subservient to stories about dysfunctional families and men driven by a variety of inner demons. The science-fiction elements are very well-done, and the series’ technology is not too far ahead of ours; it fact, it is just beyond the bleeding-edge of our own. It is easy to relate to devices like paper-thin, touch-sensitive computer consoles. Hell, the iPad was just launched here on Earth this week! Yet the good citizens of Caprica City travel via cars and trains viewers have no trouble recognizing.

The cast is, of course, terrific, led by Eric Stoltz (Daniel), Esai Morales (Joseph), Paula Malcomson (Amanda) and Alessandra Torresani as the late, lamented Zoe. Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have promised that CAPRICA will be an unabashed soap opera, and so far it is full of potential. Get in on the ground floor!

CAPRICA arrives just in time to replace Fox’s DOLLHOUSE in the TV landscape. Joss Whedon‘s DOLLHOUSE comes to a close tonight with nothing less than the fate of the entire world on line. DOLLHOUSE had a little trouble finding its tone early, and by the time it found its stride, it was too late. But any Whedon series is worth a look. Goodbye, DOLLHOUSE.

Originally published on SoapOperaWeekly.com

NBC buys Wonder Woman TV pilot

Could this be the real reason that Wonder Woman was redesigned last year to wear the leather jacket and black tights I don’t like? Deadline reports that NBC has picked up David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot. At this point, this does not mean that an actual series will be on the air this fall, just that NBC has agreed to pay for a pilot and has the option to go to series.

No one (except Kelley, of course) knows what WW will wear yet, but the description of the show argues against her wearing the traditional star-spangled bathing suit, since this is a reimagined version of the character. Her current costume certainly is more realistic, and would be far more forgiving for any real actress to wear and perform stunts in. (Then again, Lynda Carter managed just fine on ABC’s THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN from 1975-’79.) Also, there is no mention made of Diana originating on Paradise Island. The synopsis given goes like this:

“A reinvention of the iconic DC comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.”

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HAWAII FIVE-O 1.1: Pilot

grace and some guysThe reboot of HAWAII FIVE-O was a triumph of form over substance. Which is not necessarily a bad think; I don’t mind a TV show set in Hawaii that looks really great. And who needs another procedural that gets bogged down in the intricacies of police procedure?

By now, I have seen so many procedurals I feel like I could not only investigate a murder, but follow it to court and prosecute it to conviction. So I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing an iconic 1970s series reworked for the meticulous modern age. And, luckily, that’s not what we got. In fact, HAWAII FIVE-O seemed remarkably uninterested in the nitty-gritty details of Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) investigation into a terrorist family human-smuggling ring guy who killed his father. Or something like that.
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LONE STAR 1.1: Pilot

The premise of LONE STAR seems interesting yet limiting at the same time. Interesting because of how it amplifies the idea of a con man running a long con and escalates it all the way to faking his entire life. Twice over. And limiting because…where does one go with this high-concept in the future?

When I first heard about this concept, it sounded to me like an extended version of that horrible sitcom cliché, the dummy who accidentally makes two dates for Saturday night and decides to take both women to the same restaurant and try to juggle them. Hilarity is sure to ensue.

Well… not so much.
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CHASE 1.1: Pilot

If you’re going to call your TV show CHASE, it’s probably a requirement that it contain an actual chase sequence. NBC’s new CHASE gets that out of the way early by hitting the ground literally running, continuing the theme throughout the hour, and wrapping up with a chase by land, air and sea (well, river, at least).

The episode hits the ground literally running, with U.S. Marshal Annie Frost (Kelli Giddish) chasing a fugitive on foot through Fort Worth, Texas. She is joined in this pursuit by her partner, Jimmy Godfrey (Cole Hauser). Eventually Annie runs down the fugitive and after a vigorous bout of hand-to-hand combat, she subdues him.
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NIKITA 1.1: Pilot

If the third time’s the charm, what does that make the fourth time around – old hat? The latest iteration of Nikita (a.k.a. La Femme Nikita) takes the form of NIKITA on The CW. And while it is one heckuva sleek and sexy form, we’ve seen all before – and some of it (much) better.

The basic skeleton of the story remains the same as French writer/director Luc Besson created for the silver screen in 1990’s Nikita: A drug-addicted street kid (Anne Parillaud) is arrested for killing a police officer and sentenced to death. But a secret government agency sees something in the amoral girl, fakes her death and spirits her to a secret facility where she is instructed in everything from how to kill with her bare hands to which fork to use at a dinner party. Then she sent out on missions as a covert assassin codenamed Nikita. She falls in love with her cover and the man is executed by her government handlers, causing Nikita to rebel and escape. With a few variations, those events play out in the 1993 American remake Point of No Return (which inexplicably designated Bridget Fonda’s assassin “Nina”) and the TV series LA FEMME NIKITA, which ran for five seasons on USA and posited that Peta Wilson’s Nikita was wrongly accused of killing the cop.
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HELLCATS 1.1: A World Full of Strangers

For a world full of strangers, there was an awful lot about HELLCATS that was familiar. It would be easy to compare The CW’s new cheerleader drama to ABC Family’s MAKE IT OR BREAK IT — so I will. Provided I can also point out the similarities to Fox’s GLEE.

HELLCATS follows Marti Perkins (Alyson Michalka, of the pop group 78violet) a hard-working law student on scholarship at Lancer University who is so poor that she has to ride her bike everywhere (What, you thought she was just being green?) Marti’s opening narration tells us that she depends her scholarship for tuition and housing, so when it is canceled (for reasons that were never quite clear to me) she’s in a bad way. Directed by the campus to look into “unconventional scholarships” from “odd little groups,” Marti discovers that a cheerleading scholarship is available — and the Lancers coincidentally just lost Alice (Heather Hemmens), one of their flyers.
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