or Jack Bauer
Maggie Van Ostrand
Bionic Woman to mattress salesgirl, Lindsay Wagner has run the gamut
from Nielsen numbers to Sleep Numbers. It must be hard for her to
accept that her old 70s show, The Bionic Woman, is having a makeover
by NBC/Universal Studios with David Eick, the writer-producer who
changed Battlestar Galactica from a rather nothing sci-fi show into
a pretty good space drama.
This time around, The Bionic Woman will be dealing with a rebellious
teenage sister who lives with her and, according to the producers,
there will be other changes from the old show. In this version, they
say, she will be thoroughly modern, and manage to do it all.
Bionic's lead role of Jamie Sommers, onetime gal pal of the Six Million
Dollar Man, has not yet been cast, but never fear. Any Beverly Hills
woman could try out for the role, and the producers wouldn't have
to supply prosthetics. Today's women come well supplied with body
hardware as functional as that of any cyborg.
Many of the women in Beverly Hills are already equipped with spare
parts: chin implants, breast implants, calf implants, butt implants,
cheekbone implants, tooth implants and new noses. Ribs are removed
for smaller waists, and hair removed for higher foreheads. Hair is
added for fullness and hair extensions for greater length. There is
no length to which some women would not go, for three reasons: emulating
celebrities, landing a man, and having fifteen minutes of media fame.
Why should we watch a bionic woman on TV when we can see the same
thing on Rodeo Drive?
TV producers would do well to remember the history of the Stepford
Wives, about robot-like women, which was a huge hit when it originally
came out in 1975, and a flop remake in 2004. The times, they've been
Women are no longer captivated by such role models as The Bionic Woman,
Charlie's Angels or Wonder Woman. They're not powerful enough. We
have our own heroes who can outdo everything they did.
Look at Rosie O'Donnell, who can outlast, outpunch, and outshriek
any other man foolish enough to take her on.
Or Ellen DeGeneres, who can charm the pants off other women with just
a little dance and some clever patter.
And the most revered of today's women, Oprah Winfrey, who seems to
sense our innermost thoughts and knows how to make our lives better.
She has the Golden Touch in every area: Hollywood movies, Broadway
shows, television production, successful publishing, and has made
celebs of experts who have touched her in some way on the Oprah show.
Whether from Sappho or Chicago, these women are today's heavyweight
Progress is a strange thing. Unlike yesterday, the average woman no
longer wants to stand in the shadow of a man. Today, she wants to
stand in the shadow of a woman.
Speaking for myself, if I want a butt-kicking, chops-busting, in-your-face
tough guy, I don't want a woman, bionic or bisexual. I'll stick with
Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"
23, 2007 column