Cheesy, Campy, Occasionally Scary, Often Dull, but Overall Empowering Fun for Girls (So Long as You Watch and Talk With Them)
To begin with, the plots will go over most children's heads. Honestly, I sometimes get bored and lose track myself. It's just bad writing on some episodes. So what do kids see? They see an intelligent, dignified woman who does her job well and is generally respected by all of the men in the shows except the clearly-defined baddies. Sometimes these baddies make passes at her, try to objectify her, etc, but it is shown as a definite bad guy action and she doesn't stand for it. We talk about things like that with our little girl as needed and I think it gives us some good talking points. Then kids will get to see her transform into her true self, do some seriously funny high jumps (some of which they have actually played backwards to get the right effect, so it's really funny for adults), stop bullets with her bracelets, capture bad guys and get them to spill the beans with her lasso, and turning them over to the police, never killing or seriously hurting anyone. She returns good for bad and seeks justice, not revenge. The episodes with hints of others behaving in sexually immoral ways are subtle enough that your kid will probably not get it until at least age 10 if you aren't letting them watch lots of stuff like that anyway or something. Likewise, they probably will not notice the occasional "fanservice,"i.e. sudden random shots of Diana's costumed bum. What they will probably notice is that it is incredibly silly that no one can tell that Diana Prince is the same person as Wonder Woman, but that seems to be the norm for superheroes in disguise. (Just a pair of glasses, Clark? Really?) The one thing I do feel I should caution about is that a few of the episodes are unusually scary. A few weeks ago we made our daughter stop watching quickly as what looked to be a human began to melt face-first into a puddle of goo, fake hair and electronics. Obviously, it was an android, but they used a real human actor for the first stages so it was pretty freaky. There is another where someone tries to bring Hitler back to life and it is a little creepy as well. And oh yes, the Nazis are a big deal in the WWII-era first season. Later it tends to be the Russians or aliens, who may or may not be clad in Christmas tree tinsel! The violence tends to be the type where all the bad guys shoot guns and may even blow things up but no one is hurt. Yes, Wonder Woman does get captured a lot, especially during the first season, but she always finds a way out and turns the tables. It seems to me that they do that in every superhero show. There are some storylines about displaced orphans, runaway kids, and even kidnapped children, but most of it is pretty tame. To me the most interesting story involved Wonder Woman's WWII past and the Japanese-American internment. It was a bold move for them to make that episode and it is a great opportunity to talk about our history and the sins of our nation's past, but only at the level your kid is ready for. Swearing...I don't think there's a single word anywhere unless it is in German, and if it is, it is not one of the more major German curse words. And now for the girl-power part. My little girl fell in love with Wonder Woman immediately and started spinning around to transform everywhere she goes. She finally became motivated to save her money when she saw a Wonder Woman doll (yes, there are tons of merchandise for Wonder Woman right now!) and was so proud when she finally saved enough. She is wanting to make her doll a cape so she may finally let me teach her to sew--a life skill I consider essential to everyone. Watching Wonder Woman and wanting to be Wonder Woman led to her taking taekwando classes, where she is learning self-discipline, respect, and self-confidence along with self-defense. It gives us a chance to talk about things like truth, justice, etc. It has helped her to understand that there are good and evil in this world and that she can choose to make a difference for good. I like the way Diana is portrayed overall, though I would really love it if she would occasionally make a mistake and not be quite so perfect, but at least she is known to be something other than human. Steve Trevor was supposed to be more of a partner to her, but the actress playing Diana objected so we usually don't see much of him after the first season. I do think that is a shame, but at the same time like the way that the show rests firmly on a woman's shoulders. I like that while there is some violence, Wonder Woman is for peace and always takes the high ground. And really, considering all of the commercials on TV today, is her outfit that revealing? My daughter was more concerned with the way her waist pinched in so unnaturally, so I had to explain about corsets. I would definitely be more worried about girls wanting to look like Wonder Woman in her corset than probably anything else in the show. Except for that melting android. That even creeped me out.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness