Fan's Expectations & The Problem of Knowing Too Much [Opinion Post]

Prior to the news about a potential Wonder Woman series, I thought my fandom life was over. Heroes was no more, Flash Forward and V were canceled and Smallville recently announced that season 10 would be its last.  I felt disillusioned with TV. What was the point in getting attached to a new series when it was going to be canceled?
Then I started reading rumors of a potential Wonder Woman series.  I thought, 'Ok. I grew up watching the series with Lynda Carter' I was excited about the possibility but I also knew that there had been a lot failed attempts to bring back the Amazon princess to the big and small screen. Then David E. Kelley of Ally McBeal fame was tapped to be the series writer and NBC decided to pick up after after initially passing on the project.

After NBC led on fans for months about the fate of Heroes, I was skeptical about Wonder Woman having a spot on the peacock network. Plus, David E. Kelley isn't known for writing strong female characters. But maybe this time he'd surprise me.

Then, it seemed days after the pick-up, the leaked script portrayed Wonder Woman as more of an 'Ally McBeal' character, eating ice cream and dancing to 'All the Single Ladies' by Beyonce.  Clearly, this was not the script I was expecting for a Wonder Woman pilot. I remember there were parts of it that were interesting to me, like how Wonder Woman struggles to fit into man's world. But there were also parts that made me go, 'This is crap." 

From the moment that script was leaked, intentional or otherwise, it set a tone. Not only that, there were a lot of expectations for the pilot.  Fans really wanted to see the origin story because you can't make a pilot for a potential hero series without an origin story. It is a must. We thought that we might get a flashback to Themyscira but that was ultimately scrapped from the pilot altogether. 

In addition to the lack of Wonder Woman's origin story in the pilot, there was also the issue of her costume. 

I'll be the first to admit when DC Comics unveiled the Wonder Woman's costume last year. I wasn't thrilled about it.  Then I read in an interview that someone said she looked like a high-class hooker -- that was probably the most accurate description of the new costume I had ever seen. But despite fans' outrage about 'that' costume, we still got that promotional photo of Adrianne Palicki wearing a very shiny version of said costume and looking like she was posing for a Halloween magazine ad.  

News dropped that people were able to see the Wonder Woman pilot because of test screenings.  I must have listened to the Geek Show's review of the pilot more than a hundred times now. If you haven't listened to the podcast, you should download it. But if you have, feel free to keep reading. 

The gist of what I got from the podcast was that David E. Kelley was a bad choice for head writer.  Warner Brothers was probably hoping that Kelley would turn Wonder Woman into a serious drama like Christopher Nolan had done with the Batman movie franchise. 

Again, there's that thing about expectations. 

Kelley knew this was going to be a hot project and even considered walking away from it because he didn't want to screw up but decided not to. He took Wonder Woman and basically wrote her like she was Ally McBeal minus the court room drama and a dancing baby.  

As for the other actors in the pilot, Steve Trevor is a spineless, weeping, not a man's man character.  I felt after Justin Bruening was cast as Trevor, it was a miscast.  He looked too young and not at all what I pictured the Steve Trevor character to be.  There were some other things in the episode I won't discuss here. But mostly negative reaction to the pilot screening left a bad taste in NBC's mouth and decided not to pick up Wonder Woman to series. 

The internet, in my opinion helped doom the pilot before it aired.  

People working on Wonder Woman wanted to please the hard core fans but they also wanted to get some new ones as well.  Every day, I checked on the Wonder Woman thread on kryptonsite to see what fans' were saying about the latest Wonder Woman development.  None of it was positive.  Then, there are the fans who like to bitch about anything.  

I have to think someone on the Wonder Woman crew was tasked with checking the forums and blog posts daily, writing down notes about fan's reactions and then bringing it back to production.  Because look! The much hated Halloween costume apparently, didn't even make it into the pilot episode. 

My point in all of this though,  fans had (and still do) have high expectations for a Wonder Woman series. I would still like to see her back on TV in my lifetime (and not my grandchildren's lifetime when Meg and I are too old to be doing a podcast. That would not be fun.) But if it can't be on TV, maybe as a web series.  Then maybe if it gained enough popularity as an online series, it could transition to TV and perhaps later, a movie.

The 2009 animated movie did it right.  Granted, I was disappointed Wonder Woman was going to be animated but it had a solid plot, the characters were right and it actually delivered an origin story that was seriously lacking from Kelley's pilot. 

Most of all, I think fans need to calm down.  The next time there's a Wonder Woman show, production needs to be so tight-lipped about everything related to it.  It's okay to let fans know who's going to be in it but aside from that, I want to be surprised.  I don't want to know all the details.  That's the best way I think Wonder Woman could have a fighting chance making it back to the big or small screen.

The less fans know, the better. 

That's my two cents.