It’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.