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Monday, April 25, 2011 

Current rewrites for WW television series are insufficient improvement

This article on IO9 tells that in the past 4-5 months since the last Wonder Woman teleplay was revealed, David E. Kelley's done some rewrites. But after scanning what's described, I'm still not sure this'll pass muster. On the plus side, they may have responded to criticisms of Diana being too self-pitying. However, in the following:
There seem to be a bunch of these, that were added just so we could see Diana throwing her weight (so to speak) around. At one point, she confronts a pair of security guards, whom the script calls Frick and Frack. They tell her she can't go up to the roof of a hospital, and she says, "I'm Wonder Woman. How do you think this ends?" And then she lifts one of them into the air by the throat and the other one by the chest, until they admit they're goons working for her nemesis, Veronica Cale.

There's also a hilarious scene where Diana is driving, and a male driver cuts her off in traffic and makes an obscene gesture. She gives him the finger, and he pulls in front of her, blocking her. They both get out of their cars, and he says his obscene gesture was "implying something that might be good for her." He grabs her arm and says, "Maybe I should teach you some manners."

Diana keeps saying things like, "Let go of me, sir" and "I'll ask you again to remove your hand." But he responds that he'll let go of her arm when he feels like it, and calls her a "Prada bitch." So she lifts him into the air by his throat.

As far as I can tell neither of these scenes advances the plot, they just let us see Wonder Woman lifting guys by their throats.
I'm not sure these are even suitable by TV standards. If she's going to grab villains by the neck, that's questionable enough already. But equally so are the b-word and definitely the obscene finger slangs. What's so hilarious about that?

In the following description of a fight scene:
And the actual fight scene is a lot longer and more detailed — at one point, the December 2010 draft just says "A SERIES OF FAST CLOSE UP CUTS — LEGS, ARMS... DIFFICULT TO TELL WHO'S WINNING AND WHO'S LOSING." But the revised version dispenses with that ambiguity and gets down and dirty. A whole new sequence is added where one bad guy gets a knife to Wonder Woman's throat, and she jams her thumb into his eye. Another guy, she deals with by getting on her back and using both legs to kick him into the air. The final bad guy chooses to surrender, so she knocks him out.
It's getting pretty lurid now, and sounds like it's aimed for 10:00 PM broadcasting, where the more adult programs usually end up.

And what of the plot involving Veronica Cale?
The original pilot script starts with a young African American man, Willis, finding out he's been accepted to college — and then keeling over with blood coming out of all his openings on his face because he was given some harmful experimental steroids. I'm pretty sure we never see Willis again in the December 2010 draft. But in the revised version, Wonder Woman goes to visit him in the hospital, and spends a lot of time with him — even promising to give him a ride in her plane if he gets better. And she convinces Willis' mother not to seek vengeance on the people who did this to her son, because the mom has other kids who need her. Getting vengeance is Wonder Woman's job, instead.
The good news is the guy wasn't killed from the poison. The bad news is that the politically correct cliche is still intact.

To make matters worse, they seem to have insulted WW's creator:
And in the revised version, we meet Diana's neighbor, William Marston — yes, named after her creator — who finds her cat, Robin, which has bitten him. So to make it up to William Marston, Diana goes out on a date with him — which ends badly, after William tells Diana he thinks Wonder Woman is a fascist. Ouch. Diana says, "This woman spends her whole life fighting for justice, and the idea that people think of her as a Fascist..." She is now glad that her cat bit this guy.
If it hadn't been for what reeks of an insult to Marston, that part might've worked. But they sabotage even that by giving a slap in the face to the guy who created Princess of Power back in 1941, and probably don't consider that, it it hadn't been for him, WW might never have come to be. Just what are they thinking?

They're going to have to do much better than that if they want the audience to embrace their take on the classic superheroine. The current rendition still doesn't give much reason to be upbeat.

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I'll do another Crow quote: "This movie just hates us, doesn't it?" That's what I'm getting from this.

The Cape makes this stuff look like Shakespeare.

hmm, rather 'the Cape is like Shakespeare compared to this.'

Getting my insults backwards again.

Don't worry, degu, I am can be bass-ackwards in my quips, too. Heh.

Crow is a great movie.


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