Bionic Woman Premiere: Typical Network Sci Fi Crap

Published 8 years ago by , Updated February 9th, 2012 at 9:42 pm,

bionic woman Bionic Woman Premiere: Typical Network Sci Fi CrapIt’s funny… just yesterday I wrote that I might be in danger of being accused of writing nothing but good reviews about the season premieres on TV this week. Just in time to save me, the Bionic Woman series premiere aired tonight.

The episode opens with a bunch of dead and bloodied bodies strewn about the corrider of some apparently underground research facility. There is an assault/SWAT team that comes across the bodies and finds a woman hunched over in a hospital gown huddled at the end of a room. She has killed everyone but says that it’s out of her control. The leader promptly tells her he loves her… and puts a bullet in her. Ah, young love.

The show cuts to three years later, and we then meet our pre-bionic heroine Jamie Sommers (Michelle Ryan) tending bar. She comes home to a teenage girl that it’s obvious she cares about (her sister, who is in her care) but who has a rebellious streak a mile wide. Jamie tends bar by night and goes to college by day, where we meet one of her professors who teaches some sort of bio-tech class at the school and is also her boyfriend.

They get together for a romantic dinner at a restaurant where she’s distracted and he proposes, after which they are driving home, only to be hit full-on by a Mac truck at an intersection, driven by the woman we saw earlier. Her boyfriend Will Anthros (such a cool name for such a pencil-necked fellow) then has her whisked off to the Wolf Creek Super Duper Secret Presumably Government Facility where she is at death’s door and he decides to have her implanted with life-saving and extra cool bionic stuff.

As a twist from the original series, she also has some bionic microscopic something or others taking up 1/8 of her blood cells so she can heal really fast. She wakes up and screams hysterically when she discovers what’s been done to her. For a college student/bartender I have to say she adjusts rather quickly to being a cyborg imprisoned in a underground bunker. She’s spunky, even.

Anyway, Anthros helps her escape and it takes literally one sentence for the leader of this operation to be convinced that it’s ok to let her go, when 30 seconds earlier he had the entire facility on lockdown and scads of soldiers out to get her.

It turns out that the woman from the beginning of the show, who smashed the car Jamie was riding in, was the first bionic woman (Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica earning some extra coin), and was hired to murder the Anthros due to his position at the facility. Later bionic 1 and bionic 2 end up running into each other and having a showdown in the rain on a rooftop, and despite the fact that the first bionic chick has more bionic-ness to her and has three years of experience living with the enhancements, the fight ends up being a draw.

Literally within the first 60 seconds of the episode I could tell it was going to be awful and the only reason I forced myself to sit through the entire thing is because I know that some readers would have taken me to task for reviewing a show I hadn’t seen all the way through.

Well, I hope you’re happy.

Bionic Woman was fully what I’ve come to expect from primetime, sci-fi/action network television: bad acting, stereotypical characters, laughable dialog riddled with cliches (“Why should I trust you?” “Because you don’t have a choice.”) and a fully predictable story. Fifteen minutes in I started hitting the “Play” button on my Tivo to see how much of the show was left. By that time it already felt like it had been on for an hour.

The acting was over the top dramatic and the dialog cheesy. I can’t blame the actors as I’ve seen some of them do much better work in other things. Another BSG member, Aaron Douglas (he plays the deck chief on the other show) also made a brief appearance. After that I thought maybe there might be some “Easter Eggs” with other actors from Battlestar Galactica popping up here and there.

After watching the quite well done Journeyman, this was quite the counterpoint. It’s hard to believe these two shows are on the same network… I cannot imagine that the same person who gave the green light to Journeyman also signed off on Bionic Woman.

It’s dreck, folks – don’t bother. I’m sure it will be off the air shortly anyway.

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  1. Hi Vic,

    My threshold for this type of show is a little different. (I just finished watching it in my time zone!)

    True, it took only 15 minutes to get Jamie Sommers from normal to bionic, 30 minutes to field test her new equipment and start to accept things and 45 minutes to go toe to toe with her series nemesis, but despite jumping quickly through some story hoops, it seemed to be at the right pace .. for this type of show. Being a fan from the early bionic shows, it fulfilled my expectations.. for now.

    For the record, I think Katee Sackhoff was hired to kill her boyfriend, the doctor.

    There have been some issues with the creative team – the show went through major script changes before this first episode and the departure of executive producer Glen Morgan due to creative differences might have messed up the final product that we saw tonight, or not.

    But for now, I enjoyed it. A babe in heels, kicking bad guys butts. Yea, my standards are lower than most, but this is still a notch above the usual Sci-Fi Channel stuff. (So where’s Oscar Goldman??)

    We can hope Bionic Woman might pan out.. but time, as always, will be the telling factor.


  2. Gah! I’m glad I got to the review before you did. You’re going to have to raise your standards for the site, my man! Seriously.


  3. I’m with Vic all the way, this show sucked! Like Vic, I got a sinking feeling as soon as it began. Here’s my thoughts.

    By the way, I like the new design.

  4. Link got parsed out:

  5. Good God,this show sucked! Great review Vic,that’s all I can say.

    Just when I could ALMOST stand sitting through the episode showed up the most annoying parts when they decide it’s ok to use the little girl saying “mommy,mommy! there’s a man outside running REALLY,REALLY,fast!” joke from Superman 1 and the Peter Parker “strong focus on what I want” and leaps off the roof thing from Spider-Man 2. I practicly gagged when I saw that.

    Well said,Vic.

  6. Yeah, there was so much wrong with the show that I couldn’t fit it all in unless I just turned the post into a long list of bullet points.

    Kel, yeah… I couldn’t believe they did the jump between two buildings gag. I don’t know about you, but if I was going to test my long distance jumping ability, I’d do it on the GROUND.


  7. I’m gonna agree that Katie was trying to kill the Doctor with the big rig crash, not his girlfriend. That’s why she shot the doctor later on. In fact, I believe it’s even said in the show to Katie Sackoff’s character that she was supposed to kill the doctor.

  8. LOL – Sorry Vic, didn’t mean to scare you!

    I didn’t say it was great, just that it went as expected. I tend not to expect much from most sci fi these days and you guys all make great points that weigh in disfavor of the show. And there are many fopars that just seemed to push the show in the wrong direction. IE: Many rushed plot angles, missing details like how the doctor survived the same car wreck she was in, etc..

    It will do for now, but it does need to improve for me to stick around.

    This actually felt like how the new Flash Gordon series started.. they threw everything into the first episode with very little story line development.

  9. Hey guys, thanks for pointing out the auto accident thing. I’ve corrected the post to reflect that. :-)


  10. Glad I missed it, though I’m sad my DVR screwed up and didn’t get Journey Man. And too bad NBC isn’t with iTunes anymore. :-(


  11. I saw the tv show and it was pathetic she kept waining about being bionic, and the bad girl kept twisting her lips like she was all that but she wasen’t even hot. that’s what I thin about the show. now the ather tv show life was nice, the guy looked like hanibal lecter.

  12. It beat PRIVATE PRACTICE in the ratings:


  13. Yeah, I saw that. I’m curious to see what the numbers will be over the next couple of weeks.


  14. I wasn’t going to watch–not enough science fiction. But I forgot to delete my “Last Comic Standing” time slot. And came up with these thoughts:

    * Interesting that the story lingered longer on a lovemaking scene than Jayme’s rehabilitation. After all, it’s called Romantic Woman, right?

    * When the kid in the car said to her mom, “It’s good to see that a woman can do that,” I wanted to vomit. Feminist claptrap from the mouth of a near toddler?

    * The mugger in the alley was under-the-top. I was hoping Hiro would come and transport me back in time to real drama, like The Nine or Third Watch.

    * Molly Price (Ruth Treadwell, formerly Third Watch) is looking good!

    * I remember the original bionic running tended to look goofy; stiffand cartoony. Some of the running effects worked, but were inconsistent. Hell, in the originals the theme song score would usually play when they ran.

    *But about the bionic eye and ear effects, were they low tech and random?

    * Am I relieved that the overused “nanobots” term was not used, or upset that a whole new word was invented (for the same thing) rather than sticking with convention?

    * You could say that Katee Sackoff (Battlestar Galactica) has a cylon-like conviction. She’s replacing her own weak (human) parts! How often will she be in the show–if it survives?

  15. I’m with you. This show was pretty bad. I wrote more of my thoughts on my blog (linked from my name), but to sum up:

    1) No comedy
    2) No drama
    3) Not enough sci-fi

    It was too much action with not enough plot.

    Makes me sad. :(

  16. Well, I’m glad that you at least watched the whole thing. Battlestar Galactica had a pretty corny beginning, and look how great it turned out to be.

  17. can anyone help me i think i saw sandra bullock play the bionic girl in a movie years ago when i was younger or was that just wish fullfillment on my part . any help cheers