I watched Wonder Women back when it originally aired though I don’t remember too much about it. I do remember my father singing the theme song to me, but I think that that is about it. Racking my brain, I also remember that the FX were highly advanced. The invisible plane, Wonder Women’s powers all seemed amazing to me.
Well, it’s 2005 and lets just say that things don’t look that amazing anymore. That however does nothing to detract from the show. While I hate using this expression, I have to in this case. The Wonder Women: The Complete Second Season boxset is just plain fun. I don’t think you watch it for the acting, the FX or any of that stuff. I think this is just something that’s good for your DVD collection. It keeps you in check because while the people doing the show took this very seriously(and by all accounts they should have), this is the type of boxset you purchase and then invite a bunch of your friends over to watch and enjoy. You reminisce about how things looked, how things were and how the show made you feel. In that regard, Wonder Women: The Complete Second Season serves it’s purpose in spades.
I mean lets be honest, by today’s standards seeing the invisible plane, watching Wonder Women battle Hitler, fight numerous “mad scientists”, terrorists and others who would do harm to the world is almost laughable. In fact, it is doubtful that a show like this could even play today. Not that I think science project movies like Lord of the Rings look that much better, but lets just say that there is a world of difference between the FX of 2005 and the 1977. I also think in today's super ironic society, the show would either be laughed at, or played as camp which thankfully the people involved never do.
This boxset flash forwards from Season One where Wonder Women was defending America in World War II, to the 1970s so she can combat evil there. Now she is dealing with things like nuclear power and computers. Taking on the name Diana Prince, she fights bad people of all shapes and sizes while working for America’s Inter-Agency Defense Command.
Lets cut this show a little bit of slack. So it looks dated. Wonder Women spinning around and becoming Wonder Women does get old after awhile. The colored stars that transition from each shot leave something to be desired and the acting is not that hot. But, and this is a very big BUT, we need TV on DVD because shows like this are a time capsule of our lives. I mean, just hearing the familiar Wonder Women song was enough for me to get that warm feeling. Seeing Wonder Women hang from a flying helicopter(when you know that it’s a stunt double) all makes for great TV. I guess what I like about this as that the early shows all did their best. They seemed to take the plots and stories seriously, while having a great time doing it.
Nowadays TV all seems stilted. It’s like the characters have to be rigid because they have to hit their marks, because all the shows are lit for the image and not for the actor. Whereas some might call the look of Wonder Women simple and flat, I like that it gives the actors freedom. The older shows don’t seem as calculated. I am probably wrong, I am sure that they are, I know that there were certainly marks to hit, but these older shows just seem to be more free in some ways. TV is still such a relatively new medium that while watching it, one can see that it’s still developing. Every so often you get someone who tries to push those conventions and I think that was the case with Wonder Women.
The topics and subject matter(nuclear devices, world destruction, the Nazis) while seemingly more safe topics back when the show was created, are much more relevant today it seems. It is odd how these shows might be dated in how they look, but they really aren’t dated in subject matter. It seems that as nations we always have the same problems to deal with because we don’t seem to get it right. Wonder Women provides a window into that time. A way to look back and remember what it was like to not have to worry, and at the same time remember what it is that scares us.
Maybe I am reading way too much into this, but Wonder Women obviously represents America. Or more to the point, an idealized America. People always wax about what our country would be like if women ran it, Wonder Women sort of provided a window into that. We were able to see what would happen if a women was in charge and dealing with things that were usually relegated to men. By all accounts Lynda Carter does a fine job of protecting us, and should the world really go to hell in a hand basket, I want Wonder Women, or someone like her, to restore order.
This is a very good boxset. Throughout the review, I am going to get more specific, but let me just say that it may not be a collector’s dream(as most comic book related DVDs are packed with extras) but I rather enjoyed the simplicity here. It’s just the shows and a documentary about turning the Wonder Women comic into a TV show and how they both effected one another. Sometimes, that is all you need.
Revolutionizing A Classic: From Comic Book to Television
This is a really companion piece as we get to see how the TV show and the comic played off of each other. We find out that in many ways the TV show actually influenced the comic, so that the two mediums could keep up with each other. Also, we hear from people who drew or draw Wonder Women and I think it’s very interesting how much reverence these people have for Lynda Carter. In fact, one of them said that other then Christopher Reeve, no other human being embodies a comic book character so completely. I also liked how one of the cartoonists talks about the FX because he makes me point so much better then I make it here. Back when I watched the show, I didn’t notice or even think about how “fake” a lot of these FX looked. In fact, seeing Wonder Women in the invisible plane doesn’t even begin to look real, but at that time in my life that wasn’t the point. The cartoonist expands on this saying, that for the viewer, you just wanted to see the action and FX dealt with no matter how they looked, just so you could stay within the context of the story. It was also neat to hear from Wonder Women herself, Lynda Carter. She talked about her motivation for the character and what she brought from herself to the role. Then other cartoonists go on to say how much she influenced their drawings and continues to influence how Wonder Women is rendered.
Standard Version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it’s original television exhibition. I love the look of this show. It reminded me a great deal of the way that Get Smart looks, and that’s surprising mainly because Get Smart was around from 1965-1970 and Wonder Women, the TV show, didn’t start until about the mid 1970s. I am big fan of movies and shows that are simply shot and not too overdone. Image to me isn’t as important as content. This show is simply lit, simply shot and it is the look (that also carried over into a lot of the 80s TV shows) that is my favorite. I also like how the clothes of this time look. This was before the advent of video, and while I am a big fan of video, seeing things shot on film just adds something. It makes things seem more legitimate. By that, I mean I am not sure how much Wonder Women’s creators could have pulled off if this show had it been shot on tape. You sort of need of need film for life to be reflected in this manner. It is a hyper realized. We watch Wonder Women obviously aware that what we are seeing isn’t reality. It’s a comic book world that has been preserved and has held up quite well over the years.
Dolby Digital. English Mono. As anyone whose read my reviews know, I have very poor hearing so it’s not like some amazing sound setup within the DVD is really going to make a whole heck of a lot of difference. Everything sounded fine, although I did notice myself having to adjust the volume when I first started watching the boxset. I had to turn it up but other then that, there was no other modification of the sound that seemed necessary. I was able to watch the show and make out everything everyone was saying fine. I don’t know that sound for every DVD has to be this amazing experience. I think as long as things are audible and you can hear what you need to hear, I think that is all that’s needed. I mean, this show isn’t Nashville. The sound hasn’t been impeccably layered so that people will have to pay close attention. Everything is quite straight forward, so the fact that the sound isn’t “crazy”, and the end user can’t really play around with it, isn’t something to detract from the viewing experience of this DVD.
Who doesn’t love Lynda Carter? The packaging is quite simple and keeping in line with the tone of the 1970s. She is emblazoned on the front cover with her arms outstretched, holding her cape and wearing her trademark outfit. Turning the box over, we get a comic book-like font and a few pictures about what we can expect when we watch the DVDs. Agian, this is all very simple, but it plays very much into the timeframe that the disks are covering. Inside, the 4 disk set is layed out telling us what shows are on each disk, a brief description of those shows and a mix of pictures of Lynda Carter and a comic book version of her likeness. It’s all very in your face, but not done in such a way is distracting or daunting. Maybe I am just scarred from my Highlander experience, as I found that boxset to be quite unwieldily. Behind the discs, covering the length of the layout is a cartoon version of Wonder Women that is is very well drawn, but not out of step with the whole 1970s vibe that this show personified.
I am not the biggest comic book fan in the world but I would suggest very heavily buying the Wonder Women boxset. It’s just a nice time piece. It’s nostalgic. It’s fun. I know that a lot people are very strict with their DVD collections. They only buy certain titles that the intelligista has deemed worthy of owning. I don’t subscribe to that. I like to own an eclectic DVD collection. I like that I have Wonder Women and The Deer Hunter side by side. I think it’s good. It mixes things up. I am also a TV on DVD enthusiast, but I don’t think that really plays into this.
I look forward to exploring the Wonder Women: The Complete Second Season boxset even further. To examine the shows more critically, because I think that there is a lot to be said for the character, the time show was made, the time period in the show, etc. I think it is rare when elements like a comic book and the medium of TV blend together so seamlessly but this certainly appears to be the case here.
I highly recommend the Wonder Women: The Complete Second Season boxset and I think that should you, the reader, purchase it you will be quite satisfied.
Wonder Woman was released .