I’ll admit it. I was prepared to hate the new Bionic Woman series. I couldn’t believe that NBC would be so stupid to cancel a great show like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in order to remake a classic show.
I will also admit to loving the classic Bionic Woman show. It took a boring night of television and the opportunity to preview the new series on Comcast On Demand to change my mind.
I’ll have to say I was surprised. First, there are only three things that are “taken” from the classic series. The character’s name, Jamie Sommers, the title of the series (although they did drop the “The” from it), and the fact that the Jamie has a bionic ear, right arm, and two legs (but they also gave her a bionic eye). Okay, there are a few plot remnants that linger from the old series, but they are so well surrounded by new ones that you’ll hardly notice them.
Nothing else resembles the old series, which in my opinion is a good thing. However, fans of the old series may not be pleased.
The new series is much darker than the original. It resembles the movie Point of No Return more than it does the classic series. The understanding, lovable boss Oscar has been replaced a much darker Jonas Bledsoe (perfectly portrayed by Miguel Ferrer from Crossing Jordan) who has no qualms of informing people that should Jamie not fall into line, she’ll be terminated–permanently.
Death is another new addition to the series. The new version is much more violent and doesn’t shy around death. True, there were deaths on the old series (including the death of Jamie herself–well, that was actually on The Six Million Dollar Man), but nothing quite like on the new series. It should only take you about five minutes of watching the pilot to see that for yourself. NBC smartly placed it later (8:00 ET / 9:00 CT on Wednesdays). The SCI-FI channel, which is also broadcasting the show, has placed it an hour earlier on Fridays. Although I do not have kids, this is not a show I would allow younger children to watch. I would definitely consider it rated PG-13.
Comparing the two Jamie Sommers characters would be like comparing apples and oranges. Sure, they are both fruit; but other than that they are not the same. The new Jamie is a bartender who falls in love with a scientist. She is also struggling to raise her younger sister on her own after her father abandons them.
There are also several twists in the episode I won’t discuss here as they are spoilers.
Taking the series on its own, it seems to hold a lot of promise. While some fans of The Bionic Woman might find the new series as an unwelcome mutation of their beloved series, I urge any science fiction and action lovers to ignore the similarities to the old show and consider this a new show. Comparing the two would be like comparing Sarah, Duchess of York and Stacy Ann Ferguson from Black Eyed Peas. True, they are both called Duchess and Fergie, but they are otherwise two totally different individuals.
And it is possible to like them both without being disloyal to one or the other.