Wonder Woman

Helen & I overdosed on episodes of Wonder Woman, Season 1 this week. Brian was watching the umpteenth football game of the week, and I couldn't take it anymore. So I said, "Helen, you want to watch Wonder Woman?" And she said, "Yeah! I don't wanna watch Cinderella, Mommy."

By the time the opening credits finished, she was HOOKED. Speaking of which, did anyone else remember the line from the theme song: "In your satin tights, fighting for your rights"? Yeah, me neither.

We made it through two episodes. Whenever Lynda Carter wasn't in her costume, she would ask me, "Where's Wonder Woman?" And I would say, "She'll be right back!"

I was 4 years old when this show first aired. Who were your heroes at the tender age of 4? I was addicted to the idea of being Wonder Woman. Of course, I was mesmerized by the dizzying magic of spinning into a new superhero outfit. God knows I used up all of the aluminum foil in the house making my own bracelets, spinning out on the front lawn. I even rode home on the school bus with paper bracelets taped on my wrists, and tiny stars drawn on them.

If only the awful acting and fake German accents weren't so painful to watch, I would have sat through the whole season. I have to say THANK YOU to my parents for enduring that. Back when that show was on the air, you guys must have been cringing the entire hour, and dreading the next week.

Either that, or Mom cringed while Dad said, "Where's Wonder Woman?"

But it suddenly clicked with me last night - even worse than all the bad acting was the horrifying message. Sample scene - an average of 3 times per episode - Wonder Woman rushes in to rescue Major Steve Trevor, who's under fire from the enemy, and as she races in, he smiles and asks, "Can you cook, too?" And she smiles back at him!

What a patronizing load of horse crap! I can't believe an Amazonian woman let him get away with that, and kept rescuing his sorry butt over & over again, even if the 1940's war-era "let the men do all the hard work" propaganda machine was in full swing. It was 1976 in Hollywood, for cry-eye! I realize Wonder Woman is all about woman power, and I'm only on episode 3, but good grief. Weren't ERA and NOW all the rage? Of course, it didn't help to have a former beauty queen running around in a bathing suit on national television as a symbol of all-feminine power, but it's such a missed opportunity to do something better.

Maybe I need to read the comic book and see where all of this came from, and do some research on how it translated to 1970's television. I realize I went on a bit of a rant here, but what I really meant to do was thank my family for putting up with this terrible excuse for an hour-long show. Really. Even if it was 1976, and the alternative was Fantasy Island or Love Boat. You guys, my parents deserve medals.


tracicle said...

Two (non)points:

1) I adored the show and wanted to be her too. I remember spinning around and pretending to turn into her, and rescuing all the boys in my group of friends.

2. Ugh, "Can you cook too?" WTF? I don't remember Steve Trevor but I think I'd punch him in the nose. Look up Wonder Woman on Wikipedia sometime; there's a huge page on the various incarnations and I'm pretty sure the show caused a sort of schism in the WW universe, because she was meant to be a feminist figure and the show screwed with that. There have been so many Wonder Women, and I think only now is she starting to return to something respectable and non-boobtacular.

(I am a comic book geek and becoming more interested in feminism lately. I think it comes from having a daughter.)

Jennie said...

Thank you for the wiki lead - that page is massive! I had no idea there were so many changes to the character.

UPDATE: Dad confirmed today that he didn't even *remember* Major Steve Trevor, because he "probably" wasn't paying attention to the plot.

"boob-tacular" - my new word of the week. (Don't say it at work, don't say it at work, don't say it at work ...)

Dad said...

I can only get in trouble here. Suffice it to say that I did manage to "suffer" through the episodes with you.

jennie's husband said...

So, could she cook?