Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bionic Woman: Black tie

Spoilers for "Bionic Woman" coming right up...

And so the show presents week two of its reinvention as a cheeky spy drama, ala "chuck" or the lighter episodes of "Alias." On the one hand, it plays to Michelle Ryan's strengths more than all the brooding did -- though shame on the writers for not contriving another excuse for the British accent, which easily triples her appeal -- and gives the very funny Kevin Rankin more to do as Nathan the IT guy.

On the other, it leaves the rest of the supporting cast completely adrift -- there's no way I buy the Miguel Ferrer character from the pilot going on a middle of the night errand to bail out Jamie's kid sister, and sending Jae into the field for tactical support illustrates how completely superfluous Isaiah Washington is -- and I'd sacrifice some of the banter if it meant Sarah Corvus would be coming back anytime soon. (Her absence was especially glaring for the "Galactica" fans this week, since the bad guy was played by Callum Keith Rennie, aka Starbuck's nemesis Leoben.)

Basically, "Bionic Woman" is a show still in search of an identity (the showrunner revolving door hasn't helped here), and considering that ratings for last night's episode were roughly on par with "Life" -- a show that would, like "Journeyman," have been canceled by now if it wasn't for the strike -- it doesn't seem like the audience is interested in whatever identity the show's assuming in any given week.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Hard to think about anything when every week the show tries a new approach and continually fails at finding anything reusable.
That and Sackhoff's absence is just overwhelmingly glaring when she's not on...

Bobman said...

I have no idea why, but I desperately want this show to find its rhythm and make something of itself. I guess, as a geek at heart, I just want a show with this premise to succeed.

I had no idea their ratings were as bad as they are, though. Ah well.

RandomRanter said...

I keep watching but this week - in between some nice bantery bits - was just tragic. The fact that they mentioned they were being cliched did not help enough, IMO. Here's hoping they find their rhythm.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if Chuck's got the tongue-in-cheek spy thing covered, why do we need Bionic Woman to take the same path.

Broody's okay,just make it smart.

Alan, have you heard anything about the show being completely re-booted after the strike, as in back to zero? There seem to be rumors afloat.

If they do that, I wonder if they'll give Michelle Ryan the heave-ho in favor of Katee Sackhoff.

Eric said...

I'd like to see it limp through this season and reboot next year starring Katie Sackhoff.

Perhaps Michelle Ryan could reprise her role (and keep her accent) in an Americanized Jekyll. Kevin Spacey's probably only one more movie flop away from being willing to star in a series.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I thought when it was over was, "Wait didn't I see Chuck two nights ago?"

It's too bad -- it's only slightly better and they've thrown out the core of the show in favor of something much less interesting. I completely agree with Kensington. Also, I vote that Kevin Rankin be moved to Chuck where he'd fit in a lot better.

At least it was cool to see Leoben again. Even if he was playing a much more stock villain...still very menacing!

Anonymous said...

This show is just plain horrible. I've given it 6 episodes, each time trying to convince myself that its pedigree (BSG Producer) justified continued watching. But it really is such a shotgun approach to storytelling, themes, and tone that it deserves to die immediately.

For god's sake, get rid of the teenybopper jealousy crap involving the younger sister. Who thought that was a good thing to include in a supposed sci-fi series? The sister has been dead weight since forever - do we really need her so Jaime can give her 'family is everything to me' speech at the end of every episode? Or another lie Jamie has to tell to cover her globetrotting, leaving her underage sister completely alone in danger? They are stuck with this albatross that goes nowhere and repeats itself to the point that I was hoping the sister would have a fatal accident backing up that car.

For god's sake, get rid of that teenybopper romance crap with the OLDER sister. She comes off as a complete bimbo - like she is too dumb to feel hurt about the fiance, too dumb to realize that being a bionic agent and saving lives should be occupying her mind instead of "which new cute guy can I kiss today?", too dumb to realize that she should be questioning the relationship between the CIA and her group instead of "how can I raise 8 million to save my new boyfriend?".

And because it can never be said enough as the reason the show fails - MICHELLE RYAN IS THE MOST WOODEN ACTRESS EVER. Dwight and Angela have more chemistry than Jamie Sommers and Doogie Houser's best friend secret agent man. I can't count how many times I cringed at her delivery of the worst dialog and her all-over-the-place tone (comedy? seriousness? playful? hurt? WHO KNOWS IT'S MICHELLE ROBOT RYAN SPEAKING, SO GUESS!).

NBC should be ashamed of itself, with Studio 60 and now Bionic Woman being put on the air seemingly based on a 5 minute pitch meeting and nothing else. If not for 30 Rock, it hasn't come up with a good idea since Friends, and even that was just a mediocre one. They can't even get Heroes (a genre that has been written for them for 60 years) and FNL right.

I'm done with this show, and hope it fails miserably because it will help make a shakeup occur faster at NBC and hopefully television in general. I don't wish any of the writers or actors any continued success, they have butchered this concept so badly.

Unknown said...

Definitely the worst episode so far. Jamie is apparently an airheaded, Rules-following (and what 20-something reads The Rules in 2007?) idiot and, as played by the wooden Michelle Ryan, nearly completely devoid of charm. And her CIA paramour is apparently pretty stupid too, hence the ease with which he and Jamie were lured into the wine vault. Come on!

Columbus said...

I really want this show to succeed but wow, this episode was the worst to date. Jaime needs to regain her British accent ASAP. The love banter on the job with the CIA dude was horrible. I'm in the minority because the sister storyline doesn't bother me. However, the rest of the show really sucks. This episode, Jaime came off as a serious ditz, which is unacceptable in my book and a reason I would immediately stop watching. The only good thing was that there was no Pope (Isaiah W.). The promised re-tooling cannot come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, gotta also back the "dump the younger sister" thing. Not working at all and doesn't fit this show whatsoever.

Yes, Michelle Ryan was slightly better with the Brit accent, but still a bad actress with bad writing.

What's worse is that with the new tone, it's like a bad "Chuck" episode (and "Chuck" is a good show) so yeah, we get to see the "good Chuck" on Mondays & then the "bad Chuck" on Wednesdays.

Not good news either way.

Jon88 said...

Roger Ebert is right: Every TV/movie hotel room in Paris has a view of the Eiffel Tower.

K J Gillenwater said...

I, too, want a 'do-over' of this whole show.

I could see a use for the sister eventually, in that, she needs to find out her sister is bionic. But I think they have stretched it on way too long. She should be accidentally overusing her bionics at home all the time and almost having the sister catch her at it. That kind of thing. Use it for some suspense, please!

Otherwise, the sister is just dead weight.

I don't get why they aren't doing more with the overall storyline for the season...why was the dead fiance keep tabs on Jamie for years before they started dating? What happened in Jamie's past with her father? Where did fiance's dad go and why did he bring Sarah Corvus 'back to life'? What about the 5-years-and-you're-dead thing they brought up a couple of weeks ago?

If they aren't going to inject at least one of these mysteries into the episodes every week, then why even bring them up? They were the only intriguing things about the show, and they never use them.

I just want this show to be so much better than it is!

Or go back to my suggestion from a couple of weeks ago...blow up the whole Berkut Group place and have Jamie and the techie guy be the only ones left standing. Have her struggle a bit with keep her parts working, look a 'cure' for the 5-years-and-you're-dead plan, try to stay anonymous so that nobody has any inkling you are carrying around all this technology, etc.