The 70s TV series starring Lynda Carter as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman; Diana is in the Navy but works for Military Intelligence as the secretary to Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner). This was one of my favorite shows when I was little, and I know it’s dangerous to watch things that were once loved because they often do not hold up well, but I rented it anyway. I realize that its major function was to show off a scantily-clad Lynda Carter, but a little thought in the scriptwriting would have been nice; it takes a lot for mindless action to break my suspension of disbelief, but this consistently succeeded. Broken suspension of disbelief leads to nitpicking everything instead of just watching and enjoying, unfortunately (though nitpicking can be fun). It’s weird what is acceptable (maybe with eye-rolling) and what made me go “that’s not right” and want to rant. Some of this was noticed while watching, but thinking about it is making me notice more random details.
I did like this well enough and will eventually rent more. I think my biggest problems overall are the stupidity of the Nazis and the complete lack of security anywhere; it seemed anyone could get into any sort of military installation or secret base or hideout or safe house without any problems. Implausible plots and the issues with the superhero/secret identity can be attributed to the comic book origins and can be accepted as long as they are somewhat internally consistent, but the lack of common sense and basic security precautions on both sides is what is most likely to break my suspension of disbelief. I am very glad they didn’t really have the characters using some approximation of the appropriate accents, though there did occasionally seem to be traces of accents; I’d rather have the Germans speaking normal American English than bad attempts at German accents.
There are three episodes on this disc (6-8); I think the discs in the original set had content on both sides (the menu says turn the disc over for episodes 8-10), so this is probably the first side of the second disc, but it’s the third in Netflix’s version. It is subtitled in English, French, and Spanish; the English subtitles are true subtitles (not closed-captioning converted into subtitles) occasionally have people’s titles instead of their full names (i.e., someone says Major Trevor, and the subtitles only have Major) and occasionally drop names completely. There are no extras on this particular disc; the extras menu says check other discs for extras.
“The Feminine Mystique, Part II” — and I don’t remember part one at all; it’s been months and I’m not entirely sure that I watched all of it then. The main plot involves an experimental aircraft that the Nazis want, with a subplot of Diana’s younger sister Drusilla (Debra Winger) trying to convince Diana that she needs to go home. Of course, Drusilla also has the ability to spin around (and clearly got dizzy while spinning) and change into a patriotic costume, and of course, the Nazis can’t tell the difference, so of course she gets kidnapped and accidentally reveals the location of Paradise Island to the Nazis. They are interested in the bracelets and want the raw material (Feminum); they manage to take over the island and force the girls (none of them look over 20) to mine the Feminum by threatening the queen. The queen only had one guard most of the time; it seems if she was superpowered like the rest that she could have rescued herself, but it would have been a much shorter show. Diana and Drusilla eventually save the day there and identify the double agent in the army.
This episode mostly caused eyerolling: if one assumes the Nazis are incredibly stupid, everything else follows more-or-less logically. I do wonder where the inhabitants of Paradise Island are getting their polyester/spandex/rayon from, though.
“Wonder Woman vs. Gargantua” — A Nazi deserter is being interrogated; the Nazis want him back and have a plan involving a trained gorilla (who is also trained to hate Wonder Woman and attack her on sight). I don’t know what it says about me that the trained gorilla didn’t cause me to do anything but roll my eyes (even when they broke his programming and retrained him in a matter of hours), but the hotel/safe house that might as well have had a flashing neon sign saying “Deserter Here” hurt my brain. It was implied that the hotel’s location was a secret, but there were big “Keep Out” signs and army men and razor wire everywhere. Also, he was apparently the only person there; a shot of the outside at night revealed one lit room. I found it very hard to believe that the extremely paranoid deserter would have been in the room at night with the curtains open, the light on, and his back to the window while reading; he was on the fourth floor, but I would think he might be worried about snipers. Wonder Woman and Diana Prince also gave almost the exact same speech about cruelty to animals in front of the exact same people, and no one noticed. Despite her desire to be kind to the gorilla, she dropped the raised-in-captivity Gargantua off in the middle of Africa without a second thought; from the way she was talking earlier, I thought she would take him to Paradise Island, where they live in harmony with animals, but no.
- “The Pluto File” — a professor has discovered how to create and prevent earthquakes; a mercenary (The Falcon) wants that information and plans to use it. He is also carrying and spreading the bubonic plague, but is not yet showing symptoms himself. I watched this a couple of days after the last, so I wasn’t quite as nitpicky while watching. There was one scene that should have been extremely awkward for Diana: Diana visits the professor in the hospital after the file was stolen; she notices the Falcon aiming a gun at the professor, changes (in front of the window!), blocks the bullets, leaps out the window (completely breaking it), and chases the Falcon, but he had a getaway car waiting. There was a guard outside; he ought to have heard some of that and come into the room to see what was happening and noticed Wonder Woman and the lack of Diana (or at least the broken window and lack of anyone else in the room), but apparently did not. The Falcon’s goal was apparently to cause an earthquake at an experimental nuclear reactor and cause it to blow up, taking Washington with it. Wonder Woman apparently knows physics.