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Monty's Marathon Diary: You're A Wonder, Wonder Woman

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Come for the World War II Nazi fighting, stay for the 1970's skateboard whiz. The show really has everything.

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This is happening? This is happening! Yay.

I bought the series DVD box when it was dirt cheap on Amazon one year, having never seen the series. I tried to watch it all, but I got bogged down somewhere in the middle of the first season. I'd never really seen an action show from the 1970s before, and I really ended up missing the wit and comic booky stuff of the DCAU and the CW DCU. I did love Carter, though.

Of the episodes I saw, I liked the pilot movie the most. Much of it is a direct translation of the Golden Age comic strip (up to and including the "Wonder Woman goes theatrical" plot twist), which surprised me. The rest of the series is... less faithful. Not that fidelity to the source is a must. I just think it gets kind of bland.

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I never understood why Carter wasn't a bigger star or this wasn't a longer running series in its day. She's absolutely the most gorgeous actress and before all the available upgrades of today in both plastic surgery computer screen filters. Lyle sucked. He looked and portrayed it as if he were her creepy uncle.

in both plastic surgery AND screen filters

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After the first season, ABC pulled the plug and CBS picked it up.  The jump to the 70's was to save money (no need to source all the vintage cars), and the Steve Trevor Jr. presence (he was the original's son, not grandson) brought a reasonable side-effect: Diana had been attracted to the original WWII version, but that angle was dropped entirely so she wouldn't be going after her old boyfriend's kid.  To me, S1 and the first part of S2 hold up the best; it really starts sliding after Jessica Lansbury's brother Bruce takes over as supervising producer and the formula becomes more pronounced (and they get rid of the animated opening titles).

 

I still hope that Lynda gets a role in the Wonder Woman movie, and that the closing credits roll over a remake of the original theme.

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As a guy who actually grew up watching the show, I can say for me that the first season was the highlight. After that it does go downhill. But you do get to see Diana fight aliens and there were some fabulous guest stars including an episode that seemed to revolve around the hottest teen idol of the time, Leif Garrett who was one of my first clues about my sexual preference (the fact that he always wore shirts that were only buttoned only to just barely above his navel might've also helped...)

 

oh and MarkHB from what I've been hearing it's looking like Lynda will have a cameo role in the movie playing Diana's mother the queen of the Amazons.

Edited by madhacker
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MeTV (check your local listings) shows Wonder Woman every saturday as part of their sci-fi block (along with Superman, Batman, Star Trek, Svengoolie, and Lost in Space).

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I'm a little scared to watch, because I loved Wonder Woman SO MUCH as a little kid. But I will try!

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Thank you, Monty! 

 

I have all three seasons too, but because I watch MeTV, I haven't really sat down for a binge or binge-lets.  Now I have an excuse. ;)

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The montage of Wonder Woman's transformation spins (featured a while ago in the King of Disparate TV Things competition) remains one of my most favorite clips to watch when I'm feeling down. I loved this show, even though I only saw it in re-runs during the late 70's/early 80's (I was born in '75.). And I still sing the theme song to myself from time to time - "Wonder WO-maaaaan!"

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Yaaaaassss! I am excited about this coverage. I recently watched a few episodes after LOOOOOVING this show as a kid, and... I can't tell if it holds up, but I still love it.

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I watch this on Saturdays on MeTV, waiting for Star Trek to come on, and I can't get over how chipmunk cheeked adorable Lynda Carter is. I tend to picture WW as frowny, since she's fighting so much evil all the time, but Carter positively beams through her scenes; she really only gets sour faced when she's scolding a thug or superintelligent gorilla, or lecturing female Nazis on how Der Fhurer doesn't respect them because they're women.

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In season 1 Lynda plays WW as a bit naive and awestruck which fits with the character of xperiencining the real world for the first time. In the 70s era she has more confidence, which also fits but especially as the show goes she loses a lot of the "outsider" quality and comes off ad more of a generic 70s cop. Still both portrayals are better than the slightly bitchy, borderline man hating later characterizations.

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