Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dear Jane Espenson

For all of you out there who are not painfully geeky uber-geeks, Jane Espenson was one of the head writers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer--the most excellent TV series, not the one starring the stocky, violent, husband-stealing skater girl.

My brother Troy and I geeked out so completely over that wonderful, fabulous, hilarious, never-to-be-equaled series, we not only knew the names of its writers but could often identify who wrote a given episode without looking at the credits. And we lurrrrrrved our Jane Espenson episodes.

So lately, spurred on by my sci-fi loving husband, I've been trying to fill the Buffy void, that gaping, Joss Whedon-shaped hole in my heart, with the Bionic Woman. Centered around a young woman who kicks booty--check. Based on beloved series from childhood (unlike Buffy, but it was a point in its favor)--check. Subject of considerable network marketing muscle, so it stands a very good chance of not being canceled in its first season (Unlike the late, much-lamented Firefly.)--checkeroo.

The only reason I'm still watching is because Jose refuses to give up on it, but I'm about ready to strangle the Bionic Woman writers with a string of their own cliches. Lately, while Jose watches, I have resorted to entertaining myself by pondering whether my seven-year-old self could have come up with better dialogue while playing with my circa-1976 Jamie Sommers doll (complete with roll-back latex skin and tiny bionics beneath the little trapdoors in her legs and right arm). "You're a stupid dummyhead. No, YOU'RE a stupid dummyhead. Let's go beat up Barbie, 'cause she's blonde."

But I digress....

The mess that is the new Bionic Woman saddens me. But I still love the IDEA of the Bionic Woman, and my daughters need strong female superhero role models, dammit! So I have come up with a plan to save the show: I am asking the divine and supremely talented Jane Espenson to come on board and save this series. (After checking on IMDB.com, I've discovered that she's working on Battlestar Galactica right now. But it's my blog, so I'm still asking. Perhaps the divine and supremely talented Jane Espenson could multitask....)

Here are my top five reasons that Jane Espenson should become Bionic Woman's head writer:

1) So picture this. You get into a horrible, horrible car accident, lose two legs, one arm, an eardrum, and an eye, and to save you, your secret agent doctor boyfriend installs some nifty bionics, thereby giving you shiny new legs, an arm, an eardrum, and an eye that look EXACTLY like your old ones, except they're better, stronger, faster than the ones you had before. And, as a bonus, you are not dead. What is your reaction?

Is it:

A) You're PISSED. You rip off your hospital monitors and throw your boyfriend across the room.

Or is it:

B) You tell your boyfriend, "Gee, thanks so much for saving my life and preventing me from living the rest of my life as Stumpy the One-Armed Wonder!"

The Bionic Woman writers went for A. Why, I cannot say, as it makes zero sense. Because WHO THE HELL WANTS TO BE STUMPY THE ONE-ARMED WONDER?

I certainly do not, and would have been plenty grateful to have working parts that looked like my old ones, instead of a nifty wheelchair for my stumpy, one-eyed, one-armed self. And I know Jane E. would have given Jamie a reaction that actually made sense, so confident am I in her writing powers.

2) Jane E. would NEVER have let a line like, "I'm not looking for Mr. Right. I'm looking for Mr. Right Now" be uttered by a main character ... at least not without a healthy dose of irony. :::mental forehead smack::::

3) Picture this: A young woman with newly installed super powers goes walking in a dark alley.

Watching from her perch on the couch, Tracy addresses her television thusly: "Ugh, if someone tries to mug her and she kicks his ass, I'm going to throw up."

Back on the TV screen, someone tries to mug the young woman, and she kicks his ass.

Jane E. would NEVER have allowed that cliche into my living room on any episode, much less the freaking PREMIERE.

4) Since Jane E's writing was a huge part behind Buffy's underlying "peace, love, non-bigotry" philosophy, I am confident that she would not have been pleased with the casting of Isaiah Washington and his bigmouthed, f-word blurting self. (The gay slur f-word, of course, not the other f-word.)

Why is this guy still getting work on anything, much less a very popular prime-time drama? From now on, I think the guy should only be cast on after-school specials about tolerance, if at all.

5) Jane E. rocks. That is all.


Jennifer McKenzie said...

I have to agree with you here. I haven't been impressed with the new one AT ALL.
I'm glad you're back as always.

Tracy Montoya said...

Are you still watching, Jen, or did you give up?

Thanks for visiting, as always! : )

Cathy in AK said...

I, too, had high hopes for the series and am sorely disappointed. I'll keep watching, though, because I'm optimistic and enjoy snarking at the cheesiness.

I wasn't sorry to see Washington's character go. What was his purpose, anyway?

Yes, having Jane Espenson write some episodes would totally bring the series around. Man, she kicks ass. She's the bionic screenwriter.

Tracy Montoya said...

She's TOTALLY the bionic screenwriter. I still haven't watched the episode where Washington goes--but I'm glad to hear he does. Tool.

I an enjoying the CIA agent guy, though. Mmmmmmmm, cute CIA agent guy.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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