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Sunday, February 06, 2011 

The Daily Beast got a copy of David Kelley's WW script, and it looks worrisome

The Daily Beast reports that they got hold of the teleplay for TV producer David E. Kelley's planned Wonder Woman series, and here's the parts that startle me:
The Daily Beast has obtained a copy of Kelley’s draft of the Wonder Woman pilot script, dated December 16, 2010—and it’s laughably bizarre. In Kelley’s vision, Wonder Woman is presented as a weepy career woman-slash-superheroine with three identities (Wonder Woman; Diana Themyscira, the chairman of Themyscira Industries; and mousy assistant Diana Price) to juggle.

The pilot episode, which Kelley notes is designed to run “without commercial interruption,” revolves around Los Angeles-based mega-billionaire Diana—who collects planes and a multitude of transforming aircraft called “Ultimates” (no invisible plane in sight here)—as she attempts to take down an evil pharmaceutical company run by morally corrupt scientist Veronica Cale, who is mass-producing a human-growth hormone that is causing its users, mostly black inner city youth, to die. Along the way, she tackles criminals, a Senate subcommittee, and a broken heart, the latter courtesy of lost love Steve Trevor.
First, the idea of depicting WW in civilian guise as "weepy", does not sound like a particularly good idea for how to depict your leading lady (in the early 70s, this was considered what made the Supergirl series of the time misfire). It definitely wouldn't work with Clark Kent, but even Diana Prince wouldn't come off well if she were depicted as a pathetic wreck. If she's got three different IDs to maintain, that sounds rather awkward too, probably done all for the sake of being outlandish.

But aside from that, if there's one more thing I find dismaying here, it's their use of Greg Rucka's short lived business adversary, Veronica Cale, in what amounts to a plot depicting a white criminal exploiting minorities. This is an idea that's getting tiresome already. It didn't work with 2003's The Truth: Red, White and Black from Marvel, and I don't think it's going to impress here either. Also because, is it not possible for whites to be exploited for these kind of bizarre experiments too?

And what if that Senate subcommittee really does turn out to be a bunch of conservatives?
Managing to be both cloying and tragically un-hip, Kelley’s Wonder Woman script seems an about-face for this 70-year-old iconic character. Merchandise meetings and legal jargon jostle uncomfortably with superheroics, pajama parties with saving the world.

The result is a Wonder Woman who is more like Kelley’s Ally McBeal than the feminist superhero who stands side-by-side with her fellow DC icons Superman and Batman. This is a woman whose feelings are hurt by people commenting on her breast size, who is looking for love in all the wrong places, and who wants to have it all! (No sign of a unisex bathroom yet but other Kelley tropes seem liberally scattered throughout the script. Fortunately, there’s no dancing baby.) But the stilted dialogue and bizarre narrative conceits pale in comparison with some of the sacrilege being committed here.
And just what do they expect to gain by depicting anybody as rude by blabbering about her cup size? I'd think that would only make it flavorless, and drown all sex appeal. Add to this that, if they didn't come up with the idea of at least offering WW a variation on the Kapatelis mother/daughter duo as mentors and mentorees whom she could take under her wing, or even trying out a story in which she tries to help drug addicts overcome it - always worth trying in storytelling - then I think they really have gone for too much of the same, borrowing far too often from Kelley's older productions.

There's more at the link (the article is formatted in 2 pages), including descriptions of several parts in the script pages that leave me feeling frustrated already, and if this does go into production, I don't forsee it having much life.

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Ally McBeal was some kind of low point for TV in so many ways- the media repeating the propaganda that Callista Flockheart was attractive, the awful sexism of the show, the vile values on display, the awful writing...

And now Warner think this is how WW should be handled?

Beyond bizarre.

Oh, David Kelley. Haven't been paying attention to the project, so I never realized he was involved. To hell with it then.

Well, I called it, and I was right. Wish I wasn't.

It isn't bizarre, it's just part of Leftism and the whitewashing of Diana as an American-based character.

I knew it would be God-awful, but geez, I didn't think he'd do white racism, though. Sighs.

oh, hell! its the 1967 unaired pilot all over again...

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