REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – SEASON 3

Starring

Lynda Carter (Supergirl)
Lyle Waggoner (The Carol Burnett Show)

Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michael Lerner (Elf)
Leif Garrett (The Outsiders)
Lance LeGault (Stripes)
Craig T. Nelson (Poltergeist)
Ed Begley Jr. (Better Call Saul)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Gavin MacLeod (The Love Boat)
Michael DeLano (Commando)
Wolfman Jack (Motel Hell)
Joan Van Ark (Knots Landing)
Eric Braeden (Titanic)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th 8)
Mako (TMNT)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
George Cheung (Rush Hour)
Tim O’Connor (Buck rogers)
Sheryl Lee Ralph (Fam)
Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop)
Rick Springfield (Ricki and The Flash)
Barry Miller (Fame)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Marc Alaimo (Star Trek: DS9)

Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)Wonder Woman still remains an icon to this day, thanks in many ways to the TV series and the performance of Lynda Carter in the lead role. As I stated in my Season 2 review, not many actresses could have pulled it off. But Lynda, however, had it, and still does. Between Seasons 1 and 2 of Wonder Woman things became a bit more modern. With Season 3 things seemed to change a bit more, and in my mind, for the better. Gone were the comic book-style captions. Although the comic book opening sequence and theme song were fun, it was nice to get something a little more serious for the third year. Diana Prince’s huge glasses also disappeared over time.Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)The Season 3 DVD set maintains a really nice packaging design that maintains the comic book roots of the original series while at the same time not looking cheesy. And, like I said, it’s nice to have all three sets side by side.Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)The set features commentary on the episode “My Teenage Idol Is Missing” with Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter. In the commentary, Ms. Carter talks about where she hoped the show would have ended, about the fads and feminism at the time of the show, and, of course, she talked about that episode’s guest star, then-teenage heartthrob Leif Garrett. (Leif did the rounds on late 70’s television during his pop star years… look for him also on other series such as CHiPs) Although it seemed that Carter had a list of things or a script she may have been referring to, it was really nice to hear her talking about it and even better considering it’s 25 years after the fact and she’s still willing to discuss it. The third season also features some of Wonder Woman’s alternative costumes, like the groovy motorcycle outfit, and she sometimes wears a cape.Wonder Woman (1975)Anyway, for comic book fans, or for fans of the Wonder Woman character, Wonder Woman is a great package, and a great series to own all the way through. I’ve only been able to watch a few of the episodes thus far, but the ones I’ve seen so far – particularly in this third season – I have liked a lot. Episodes that I haven’t watched yet, with titles like “The Boy Who Knew Her Secret,” sound very intriguing and I can’t wait to see more. Bonus! Look for guest stars like Craig T. Nelson, Ed Begley Jr., Joe E. Tata (“Nat” from 90210!), Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing!), Wolfman Jack, Knots Landing couple Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark, Rene Auberjonois, and Rick Springfield – all in the third season

 

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – SEASON 2

Starring

Lynda Carter (Supergirl)
Lyle Waggoner (The Carol Burnett Show)
Norman Burton (Planet of The Apes)

Lynda Carter and Beatrice Straight in Wonder Woman (1975)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Beatrice Straight (Poltergeist)
Fritz Weaver (Creepshow)
Jessica Walter (Archer)
Barry Dennen (The Dark Crystal)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
J. Kenneth Campbell (The Abyss)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Denny Miller (Tarzan The Ape Man)
Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Juliet Mills (Avanati)
John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Anne Ramsey (Scrooged)
John Rubinstein (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
Bubba Smith (Police Academy)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
Rick Springfield (True Detective)
Vaughn Armstrong (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Dick Gautier (Transformers)
Ed Begley Jr.(Veronica Mars)
Jennifer Darling (The Six Million Dollar Man)
John Fujioka (American Ninja)
Chuck Hicks (Dick Tracy)

Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)I was not  born in 1977, so obviously I didn’t catch Wonder Woman when it was first on the air. I remember seeing parts of it on the weekend when my Dad would watch repeats on Saturdays between The Incredible Hulk and In Search Of.Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)Lynda Carter’s image as the character is the one that stuck with me the most. The character has endured over the years with fantastic artists doing her comic – folks like George Perez, Phil Jiminez, and Adam Hughes. But to me, Lynda Carter was and is always going to be the definitive look of Wonder Woman in my mind. Christopher Reeve as Superman is one of the only other times there has been such a perfect transition from comics to film. Carter’s Wonder Woman jumps off the comic book page – literally, if you check out the opening credits.Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)The first, and most impressive, thing I noticed about Lynda Carter’s portrayal of the character on this DVD set is that she really became the character, and believed in it. Not every actress could pull this off. Some might take it the way of feeling ridiculous in the skimpy costume, or laugh at the concept of this Amazonian princess from Paradise Island who goes to the Man’s world and helps rescue doofus Steve Trevor every week. The DVD bonus interviews, which include new material with Lynda Carter, talk about this approach and it made me all the more impressed. Season Two takes Wonder Woman to the 1970’s and makes things more modern. Diana Prince (WW’s alter ego) gets a better fashion sense and we are introduced to new technologies like IRA the computer. Sure, ghosts from the World War II past do spring up, but the episodes seem a bit less silly and more down to Earth this time.Eve Plumb and Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)Lyle Waggoner in Season Two plays Steve Trevor Jr., son of the original Steve Trevor, who he played during the show’s first season. This plot device is very soap opera-like, but it works, in this case. In addition to the second season’s 22 episodes which include a feature-length season premiere, the DVD includes a bonus feature that includes interviews with Ms. Carter and comic book professionals Phil Jiminez (who may be Wonder Woman’s biggest fan, though we know his heart belongs to Donna Troy), Andy Mangels, and Adam Hughes.

 

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – SEASON 1

Starring

Lynda Carter (Supergirl)
Lyle Waggoner (The Carol Burnett Show)
Richard Eastham (Battle For The POTA)
Beatrice Colen (High Anxiety)

Lynda Carter in The New Original Wonder Woman (1975)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John Randolph (Serpico)
Red Buttons (The Poseidon Adventure)
Stella Stevens (Say One For me)
Eric Braeden (Titantic)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)
Kenneth Mars (Fletch)
Cloris Leachman (Spanglish)
Christine Belford (Christine)
Keene Curtis (Stargate SG.1)
Lynda Day George (Mission: Impossible)
Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
John Saxon (Black Chirstmas)
Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family)
Debra Winger (The Ranch)
Pamela Susan Shoop (Halloween II)
Robert Loggia (Big)
Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch)
Tim O’Connor (Buck Rogers)
Scott Hylands (Earthquake)
Harris Yulin (Ghostbusters II)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)

Lynda Carter, Christine Belford, and Lyle Waggoner in Wonder Woman (1975)Season 1 of Wonder Woman is set in 1942 to the backdrop of the second world war. Following the comics Major Steve Trevor crash lands his plane of the secretive Paradise Island and the all-female residents take part in olympic style games to decide which of their warriors shall be the one to escort him back to man’s world. As we all know it is Diana, daughter of the Queen who wins the coveted role and along with her invisible jet she returns with Steve to America.Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner in Wonder Woman (1975)Before leaving her homeland Diana is presented with her costume features a golden belt, the source of her strength, bullet proof bracelets and the golden lasso of truth. Choosing to stay and fight the evil Nazi’s Diana takes up the guise of Diana Prince a yeoman for the US Navy. For much of the first season the show follows the formula of the Nazi’s attacking the US either on home soil or on rare occasions the show would require Diana to travel to Germany in order to resolve conflicts.Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman (1975)Many fans would testify that after season one the shift to stories told in the present day would see a downturn in the creativity of the show and eventually lead to its cancellation. So why does a WW2 Wonder Woman work so well? Much of it has to do with the feelings that WW2 evokes with viewers, so at the time in the 70s and with the young target audience there was a very black and white, good vs evil appearance to the show that barely exists in modern media. The time period of the shows setting and also the period of its production allow for a simplistic nature that also capitalises on the 1966 Batman series. They’re very similar in tone and ‘Wonder Woman’ would use the same extreme caricaturisation to portray its villains.Lynda Carter and Hayden Rorke in Wonder Woman (1975)There series is by no means complex, far fetched yes but in no way complex. For a modern audience it’s a great example of how superheroes were portrayed in the age before Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’. There’s an incredibly well defined moral compass which could teach the young audience of today many lessons. For the uninitiated ‘Wonder Woman’ would come across as looking cheap and cheesy but to those of us who grew up with this kind of show it has a great place in our hearts.Lynda Carter and James Olson in Wonder Woman (1975)The writing is strong for its age, it might not hold up against the scripted drama of today but as a nostalgia show it is one of the greats. There are plot hole abound but they come from a need for a great story rather than a tightly woven average story. At the time audiences were taken aback by the scale of the show and that’s what you must remember when watching it back. Lynda Carter will forever be the fans ultimate Wonder Woman and there is little that anybody can say to argue with it. Her presence on screen is excellent and the passion that she throws in to the role is commendable. She continues to ride the coat tales of ‘Wonder Woman’ to the present day and her legacy will run on long after she is no longer with us. If you’ve never watched this show before I highly recommend you check out the first season on DVD. If you have seen the show and yet don’t own it… well I don’t know but you better have a good excuse!

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 11

Starring

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch)
Jon Cryer (Supergirl)
Amber Tamblyn (Girlfriend’s Day)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)

Jon Cryer and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)
Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Shanti Lowry (Code Black)
Nicole Travolta (Anger Management)
D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Mimi Rogers (Ginger Snaps)
Madison Dylan (Femme Fatales)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Brian Stepanek (Young Sheldon)
Paula Marshall (Cupid)
Kate Miner (Fifty Shades of Black)
Diane Farr (Roswell)
Aly Michalka (Izombie)
Odette Annable (Supergirl)
Clark Duke (Kick-Ass)
Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls)
Marion Ross (Happy Days)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Tim Conway (Coach)
Steve Lawrence (The Blues Brothers)
Garry Marshall (Murphy Brown)
Marin Hinkle (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (The Flash)
Brooke D’Orsay (The Skulls 3)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, and Amber Tamblyn in Two and a Half Men (2003)The creators decided to spice things up and give Charlie’s daughter Jennifer a prominent role in the series. Yes, apparently one time, Charlie wasn’t careful enough when he was dating a certain woman and so along came ‘Jenny’ (Amber Tamblyn). The minute she appears on the show, you can clearly see why the makers of Two and a Half Men decided to bring her along for the ride. She’s just another Charlie, but in the form of a lesbian girl. And she’s just as hilarious as her late father.Conchata Ferrell, Ashton Kutcher, and Carl Reiner in Two and a Half Men (2003)Besides Jenny, there’s another new recurring character who’s called Barry Foster (Clark Duke). Barry is a typical geek: very naïve, not that good with the ladies and a bit socially awkward. The newcomers are a much needed fresh wind in the series and they add a lot to the creation of hilarious moments. Besides those newcomers, you’ll see a lot more from Alan and Charlie’s mother Evelyn (Holland Taylor) as she has found a new lover (not coincidentally a very old man with lots and lots of money). Although Evelyn herself isn’t such a caricature like, for example, Alan or Jenny; she always succeeds in waiting for the right moment to drop sarcastic and ironic one-liners. As her screen time is mostly quite brief, it’s fantastic to notice how much of an impression she leaves behind every single time she crosses paths with the main actors. The same can be said of the-always-napping-housekeeper Berta (Conchata Ferrel) for that matter.Two and a Half MenStory wise, season 11 offers a lot of variety which keeps the viewer from getting bored with the plot. Acting performances are pretty good. Especially newcomer Amber Tamblyn knows how to put down a very likeable character without getting annoying. It’s great to see how Charlie’s role has been transferred to his daughter and it really fits the show perfectly. Kutcher too does a fantastic job with his Walden personage and of course, Two and a Half Men wouldn’t be the same without Jon Cryer.

REVIEW: SMALLVILLE – SEASON 6

Starring

Tom Welling (Lucifer)
Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and The Beast)
Michael Rosenbaum (Impastor)
Allison Mack (Wilfred)
Erica Durance (Supergirl)
Annette O’Toole (The Punisher)
John Glover (Shazam)

Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling in Smallville (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Aaron Ashmore (Veronica Mars)
Leonard Roberts (Heroes)
Pascale Hutton (Sanctuary)
Terence Stamp (Superman II)
Justin Hartley (A Bad Moms Christmas)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)
Brendan Penny (The Wedding Chapel)
Amber McDonald (Without a Paddle 2)
Bill Mondy (Blade: The Series)
Lucas Grabeel (Family Guy)
Bryce Hodgson (Izombie)
Sebastian Gacki (The Thaw)
Bow Wow (Like Mike)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Julian Christopher (Elysium)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Carmen Moore (Flash Gordon)
Tyler Posey (Truth Or Dare)
John Novak (Dr. Dolittle 3)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Kyle Gallner (Veronica Mars)
Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Lee Thompson Young (Flashforward)
Phil Morris (Doom Patrol)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Jordan Belfi (Entourage)
Peter Flemming (Stargate SG.1)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Adrian Hough (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (V)
Benjamin Ayres (The Vampire Diaries)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Barclay Hope (Stargate SG.1)
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
A.C. Peterson (Mutant X)
Peter Kelamis (Stargate Universe)

Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)They say timing is everything, and for me the timing of watching season 6 of Smallville for the first time was perfect. Why is that? Because this was the season that introduced their take on Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, and I got hooked on the new show about him this last season on TV.Tom Welling and Justin Hartley in Smallville (2001)Of course, before we can get to new characters, we have a few cliffhangers to resolve. While all kinds of chaos is reigning down on the citizens of Earth thanks to the evil force that has taken over Lex Luther’s body (Michael Rosenbaum), Clark Kent (Tom Welling) can’t do much about it since he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. While he does escape and manage to save the day, he unwittingly releases the evil prisoners from the Phantom Zone and must spend some time tracking them down this season. As things return to normal, characters explore new options. Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) become roommates and Lois starts a new career as a reporter for a tabloid. They also both get new boyfriends in the two new characters that are introduced.Lee Thompson Young, Kyle Gallner, Justin Hartley, and Alan Ritchson in Smallville (2001)Lois starts dating the previously mentioned Olive Queen (Justin Hartley) while Chloe falls for Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore), a young photographer at The Daily Planet. Lana Lang (Kistin Kreuk), meanwhile, has moved in with Lex and their relationship becomes more serious when she finds out she is pregnant. Chloe learns a very surprising secret and is reunited with her mom as played by TV’s Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter.Tori Spelling in Smallville (2001)Other storylines of the season involve Clark and Oliver’s clashes over how to use their powers for good. Lex is collecting and hiding people with abilities. Those storylines clash when we see the first glimpse of the Justice League Smallville style. This season is really about the young adults. No one is in college any more (did they all drop out after one season or did they all graduate at lightning speed?) While Lionel Luther (John Glover) is still around being unclear in his intensions, Martha Kent (Annette O’Toole) is given very little to do. And before the season is over, one character makes an exit from the show.