MindFood: ‘Wonder Woman’ Fanboys Need to Calm Down

Wonder WomanI get what it’s like to be a fanboy, to be so intensely interested in something – film, TV show, comic book; doesn’t matter – that it borders on fever. To be so invested in a property that if the slightest thing rubs you the wrong way, you just have to get it out of your system. Back in the day this meant bitching about it with your fellow geek friends on a Friday night for five minutes while stalking the isles of a video store. In 2011 it means taking to the Internet and expelling thousands of words about why you prematurely hate said something and that it’s basically just ruined the entire Universe. Forever.

The most recent vitriol came when Entertainment Weekley posted the first look at the costume for David E. Kelley’s TV reboot of Wonder Woman. And I get the complaining– it looks like a store bought Halloween costume, and not even an expensive one at that. But does that mean the show is going to be a complete turd just because Adrianne Palicki looks like she’s out of the pages of a Target catalog? No, it doesn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect Kelley’s new Wonder Woman to be a turd, but it’s not because of Wonder Woman’s costume (which has already been changed for the actual pilot). It’s because we’re talking about a revival show on NBC, the same network that gave us the Bionic Woman and Knight Rider. It’s because David E. Kelley makes exceedingly generic background noise for television. It’s because I’m more attracted to the show’s villain (Elizabeth Hurley) than I am the show’s star. It’s because Wonder Woman is a boring hero. Basically, it’s for a dozen reasons other than the costume looks squeaky.

But this is just the state we’re in. It’s much easier to latch onto a negligible issue and blow it out of proportion than it is to form a full attack on or defense of anything in popular culture. Who cares if Optimus Prime has flames on him? Who cares if 12-year old girls fall in love with an auto-tuned song about the days of the week? Who cares if the Karate Kid is black and in China? Who cares if one of the Gods in Thor is black? Things change, deal with it.

Wonder WomanIt’s that inability to accept change that drives me crazy about fanboys. So a costume doesn’t look exactly like it did in the comic books, so a character’s back story is changed a bit for the movie version– until you see the final product, don’t judge it. Yet time and time again the Internet is turned into a toilet bowl where people are eager to shit on a property before they’ve actually seen it. And I’m certain I’ve been guilty of it in the past myself, but that doesn’t make rushing to the bathroom stall so you can be the first person to unload acceptable behavior.

And it’s not that I’m mellowing in my old age. I’m 25 for crying out loud. I’m just exhausted when I see my RSS feed, my Twitter feed and the comments on Reddit clogged with premature verdicts about things. Sure, say the changes to your favorite franchise look like crap, that’s perfectly acceptable, but just because it looks like crap doesn’t mean it is crap. With that kind of attitude the new Battlestar Galactica would never have had a chance. Or Bryan Singer’s pair of X-Men movies (“Leather costumes? It stinks!”). Or The A-Team. Or any number of other films and TV shows that come across as goofy when you’re not looking at the big picture.