Friday, October 26, 2007

Like a fish needs a bicycle

So, despite my better judgment, I’ve been sticking with “Bionic Woman.” Yes, Michelle Ryan is no Katee Sackhoff. Yes, the writing can on occasion make your ear-bleed. Yes, some of the storylines seem to come straight out of “Espionage for Dummies.” Yet, still, I stay. I stay because I like shows about strong women and I really like shows about strong women who kick ass.

But this week’s episode highlighted a lot of what is wrong with the series. First of all, there was no Sarah Corvus. Not even a glimpse. Heck, she is 99 percent of why I’m still watching, if not more. But even more distressing than Sarah’s absence was the episode’s over-arching premise. Namely, that a woman needs a man. Clearly, I have issues with this on nearly ever level.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, let’s review the episode. It opened with Jamie and friends chatting in her living room. The subject comes to dating and our independent heroine says:
“I don’t need a man in my life right now…I don’t need a man to make me happy.”
To which her friends reply:
“That is really sad.”
“Pathetic.”
“Yeah, ditto.”

Wow, great message to send to women everywhere. Even if you’re a (super) strong woman, you’re pathetic if you don’t want a man in your life. And, oh, it gets worse. The plot (just as goofy as ever) has Jamie going undercover to college as a British exchange student (those sneaky writers, slipping in her real accent…but more on that later). There she meets a T.A. who turns out to be C.I.A. and they almost get horizontal. By the way, where do they find all these bland dullards to be Jamie’s love interest? First her negatively charismatic doctor boyfriend and now this slightly buffer version of Fred Savage?

So, what are we left with at the end of this episode that opened with Jamie’s supposedly empowering statement that she didn’t need a man to be happy? Her happily getting all kissy face with her new man. Ugh. Not that I’m against happiness or coupleness or kissiness. But, please, don’t insult us with your pseudo empowerment only to take us down the same old boy meets girl road. This is not why I tune into shows about strong women.
That said, the episode did have two very good things going for it. 1) Michelle’s English accent. To quote the geeky lab tech dude: “It’s literally the hottest thing ever!” Is it just me, or does she act better with the accent, too? and 2) The Ani DiFranco song “Recoil” playing at the end. Ani anywhere makes me smile. Ani with a Bionic Woman, well, that makes me really smile.

6 comments:

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I find it difficult to believe after all that she's been through in the last four weeks that she would be: 1. Ready to be sent out in the field as an agent. 2. Ready to trust someone enough to date them. 3. Ready to do a British accent that is better than her supposedly natural American one.
From the beginning this show was assumed way too much with her character...and given us much too little of Sarah Corvus. Which is why Corvus is compelling. We hardly know anything about her and we want more, and we know everything about Sommers and want her to get off the screen.
Just my malcontented two cents ;)

Anonymous said...

I thought this weeks episode was better because Sarah Corvus was not in it. For one, she's in the show too much and she's becoming a joke and two, her storyline drags down the show. This weeks episode was a step in the right direction and i hope they keep i that way.

sam991 said...

It's been strongly hinted that Sarah's storyline will be the main story arc for this season at least. And since a show like this is going to have some pretty weak episodes from time to time, it will be the story arc that will keep people coming back to it.

As a man, i too was mildly insulted by the opening scene. If they were just trying to inject some friendly banter in and introduce some of Jamie's friends, they could have picked a better way by far.

Bad episode, good show.

Suffering Sappho said...

Zoe from Eastenders was never really going to be the perfect Bionic Woman... :(

Bring back Lindsay Wagner I say!

link said...

yeah and how come Xena never gets smoochy with Gabrielle, pass me that scriptwriter, i'm gonna shakram his/her ass!

WordNerd said...

I've kept watching it too; I can't help myself. But this week's episode was weak. Did you see that the doofus is going to be back in the next episode? Blech. If she simply must have a boyfriend, he should at least be in her league.

I missed a few minutes in the beginning -- are flawless accents part of her bionic abilities, or what? Because why would Jamie be able to speak like that on cue? That confused me (hot though it was). It just seemed as if the writers were like, "Wouldn't it be wacky for a Brit to play an American playing a Brit?"