March 20th, 2008

Me

R.I.P. Bionic Woman

NBC canceled Bionic Woman. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted, but I can totally see why it didn't take off.

Here's the main difference between this season's two girl-power sf shows based on pre-existing properties, Bionic Woman, which failed, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which succeeded and will most likely be back next year:

Every episode of Bionic Woman was essentially the same as the previous one. Jamie is sent on assignment, butts heads with her boss, succeeds, bonds with her boss, then gets yelled at by her little sister for being away too much. Tune in next week to watch the same thing happen again.

Every episode of Connor, on the other hand, pushed the story forward in true serial fashion. Each episode had its own self-contained goal, yet also moved the overall plot to a new level. It helps when your characters have a clear and long-term mission, of course, and also when your characters are being relentlessly pursued, but the Connor team kept an eye on the big picture. The Bionic team never even gave the impression they knew what the big picture was.

So let this be a lesson to you out there in TV land. Be sure you know what you're doing and where you'd like your series to go before you start filming!