I am probably never, ever going to watch a full minute of NBC’s new “Wonder Woman,” but I can at least respect (a) great casting and (b) the terrific casting of someone who deserves to be much more famous.
Adrianne Palicki, perhaps best known as Tyra from “Friday Night Lights,” is ideal casting for the role of Wonder Woman. She’s tall (so, so tall), beautiful, has charisma and can actually act. She’s one of those actors where people who know about her wonder why she isn’t more famous. Like several of her “Friday Night Lights” contemporaries — most notably Taylor Kitsch — she started out as a one-note character and one-note actor when the series began, but quickly showed surprising depth and gravitas as the show progressed. There’s a reason Palicki’s Tyra was given such a major storyline late in the first season and through the second season. It’s not because it was a natural road for a football series to follow; it’s because she and Jesse Plemmons’s Landry were so unexpectedly good in their scenes together. Sure, the show briefly took a turn for the bizarre at that point, but that was because of the plotting, not anything they did.
Palicki went on to make some movies (“Legion” and the remake of “Red Dawn” that is supposedly coming out this year) and tried another TV series in Fox’s “Lone Star,” which famously flamed out quickly. So she was out there, waiting for someone to realize her star potential, and this is a damn big role (even if it is on NBC).
But, as Alan Sepinwall points out, the “Wonder Woman” series has a major problem: David E. Kelley. He seems as incapable of writing believable storylines as he is unable to write realistic women. (I’m not even talking about the “Ally McBeal Set Feminism Back By Three Decades” stuff. I’m talking about a basic inability to write for female characters as if they were human beings, rather than neuroses manufacturing plants. But at least he can write great courtroom scenes!) If almost anybody else was overseeing this show, I would actually be vaguely interested, if only to see how the character is updated and the series modernized. With David E. Kelley, does someone say “You go, girl!” on the show? Someone says “You go, girl!” on the show.
Anyway, at least a few more people will learn about Palicki, which is nice.