A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series is much darker and more intense than the 1970s version. The violence here is more graphic (including fights, car accidents, and more), the tone is bleaker, and the characters are more fully developed -- all of which makes the show more interesting for adults, but also more questionable for younger viewers. The main character's job as a bartender means that alcohol makes frequent appearances on screen.
What's the story?
In this version of Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan) is a San Francisco bartender who's near death after a terrible car accident. Her boyfriend, Will (Chris Bowers), a surgeon who works for a mysterious government agency, makes the rash decision to repair her broken body with bionic implants -- both legs, one arm, an eye, and an ear. Though Jaime just wants to return to her everyday life, her new body parts -- and the amazing powers they give her -- make that impossible. Instead, Will's boss, Jonas (Miguel Ferrer) insists that she become a secret agent, a job that she reluctantly accepts.
Is it any good?
The updated Bionic Woman is certainly an improvement over the 1970s original, which suffered from poor writing, awful costumes, and, worst of all, a heroine who sometimes needed saving herself. The characters are more fully developed, especially Jaime, who's conflicted about having to hide her new role as a superspy from her friends and family. The special effects are also a vast improvement.
But the show is still a bit of a disappointment. Jaime's new employers' darkly mysterious headquarters would look at home on a spaceship, but it's out of place on Earth. The dialogue is often flat, and some supporting characters seem clichéd. Worst of all, some of the situations just don't make much sense, even for a sci-fi show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about female TV characters today, versus when the original Bionic Woman aired. Do you think that female characters can now take on more dangerous assignments than they could in shows from the 1970s? Why or why not? Are women tougher today, either on TV or in real life? How does TV reflect our popular culture? Families can also talk about the media's fascination with spies and espionage. Why are they such popular topics?