The Bionic Woman pre-air pilot
The counter cultural imperialism continues apace. British actors abound in America’s top TV shows – Hugh Laurie, Idris Elba, Dominic West and now Michelle Ryan takes the lead role of Jamie Sommers in the re-imagining of The Bionic Woman. If Bertie Wooster playing a grizzled diagnostic genius was a surprise then Zoe Slater playing a 70s superhero icon was a serious what-the-fuck moment. But, you know, she does a pretty good job. Her accent is excellent and with those broad shoulders and long legs she really does look the part of a super athlete. She’s an interesting piece of pie with superb eyes, weird mouth and impressive puppies. Her acting career so far has consisted of playing the only attractive Slater sister yet the only one who couldn’t get any cock. The producers obviously saw something in Ryan and now they’re knee-deep in limey pie. Marvellous.
"Michelle Ryan’s acting career so far has consisted of playing the only attractive Slater sister yet the only one who couldn’t get any cock."
Jamie is working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true. But even then she knew she’d find a much better place, either with or without you. She acts as a surrogate mother to her deaf younger sister Becca. This is where casting gets interesting. Mae Whitman who plays deaf sister Becca has been replaced in the role by Lucy Hale. And they’ve got rid of the deaf angle as well as an NBC executive reportedly asked them to drop the wanky hearing-impaired stuff. NBC announced "The decision was purely creatively driven. It is very common to change storylines, characters, actors after the initial pilot is shot". Yeah, right – you deaf hating bastards. I will say that Mae Whitman is fucking annoying in this pilot but what about Shoshana Stern in Jericho? She’s a lovely little piece of deaf pie and quite an engaging character. Screw you, NBC and your roolz.
"I don’t see the show lasting long with Jamie looking after her non-deaf sister and mixing the world’s fastest banana daiquiri."
Having been nearly killed in a horrific car crash with her surgeon borefriend Will, Jamie is saved by a black ops military intelligence surgical team (who Will leads as a sideline to his hugely successful academic career) who pack her full of cybernetic shit that turn her into the woman who is bionic. The military "people" appear to expect a big return for their investment, and seem set on sending Jamie on all kinds of adventurous missions. Which is a good fucking job because I don’t see the show lasting long with Jamie looking after her non-deaf sister and mixing the world’s fastest banana daiquiri. Also in the mix is Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) playing Sarah Corvus, the "original bionic woman" who went all mental and shit and now bats for the other side, whoever they are. I imagine there will be a Buffy-Faith type relationship here with Sarah telling Jamie "You’re just like me – evil!" and Jamie will be all "No! And yet I can’t help feeling that if things had been different then I would turn out like you and there is therefore this sneaking sympathy and I somehow can’t… bring myself… to kill you…." and Sarah will be all "You talk like a fag…"
"It’s not one of those shows that was demanding to be remade so it’s going to need a pretty strong overriding philosophy like Battlestar Galactica if it’s going to have any long-term artistic credibility."
I don’t know, man. This doesn’t look bad. It’s watchable without being unmissable. Ryan does a nice job and is sympathetic as Sommers. I don’t see myself watching the entire series but I might look in from time to time. It’s not one of those shows that was demanding to be remade so it’s going to need a pretty strong overriding philosophy like Battlestar Galactica if it’s going to have any long-term artistic credibility. Likely it will just be another half-decent action show. There will be worse ways to waste an hour.
The best thing about it: Michelle Ryan – taking a special part of Walford to Hollywood
The worst thing about it: Annoying deaf sister
The verdict on The Bionic Woman pre-air pilot: Can we expect Fat Kat to turn up?
Marks out of 10: 7