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YMMV / Wonder Woman (2011 pilot)

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For the YMMV page for the Wonder Woman franchise at large see YMMV/Wonder Woman.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The fact that Wonder Woman is essentially a psychopath that is above the law with 100% Adoration Rating just could not be stomached.
  • Bile Fascination: As a pilot episode that got canned owing to its re-imagining of Wonder Woman as a violent vigilante, it definitely warrants this.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Either root for the smug, self pitying, and psychopathicly violent "Hero" or the Narmful, drug-dealing/human-experimenting Villains.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Wonder Woman, who brutally strangles people in her pursuit of them, stabs them in the neck for illegal searches, is indignant about due process, publicly slanders people without evidence, tortures people in hospital beds (ones which she put them in), breaks and enters, assaults and kills people while trespassing, and yet completely looks the other way when kids cheat to get scholarships for college. Our heroine, ladies and gentlemen. What makes this infinitely more galling is the fact that the media and public all worship her and applaud her various crimes, excusing her every violation of law, morality, and sanity with a handwave that "criminals don't deserve rights" and inexplicably comparing her to the infamous Abu Ghraib guards as if it was a good thing when discussing her nearly strangling someone to death with her lasso.
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    • Willis is portrayed as an innocent victim. However, he was using performance-enhancing drugs and got a college scholarship out of it. To the kid who did not get that scholarship, despite making the sacrifices, hitting the gym everyday, and never turning in any illegal tricks, Willis would look like the villain.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Very little is done to make the villainess or her henchmen all that villainous, and they actually come off as less evil and more law-abiding than Wonder Woman herself! It's not until the end of the episode that we see the victims smuggled in via human trafficking being experimented on, almost tacked on as an afterthought.
    • Particularly the drug dealer who Wonder Woman captures in her introduction. We don't see him doing anything before his capture, and later she tortures him for information, when given her own status, you're still wondering if he's even involved with the plot at all or she went after him on wrong information. Made worse with how the illegal blood test, which Wonder Woman uses, to test for the Drugs in his system, came back negative! So, like her slander of the antagonist, she likely went after this "Dealer" without any evidence that he was doing anything wrong!
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    • The senator that has a discussion with Wonder Woman about the nature of her activities is meant by the show to be a sleazy strawman politician but instead comes across as the only sane person in the entire show.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • People tend to understate the villainy of the antagonists, despite the fact that they are doing illegal human experiments on people smuggled in via human trafficking and distributing illegal drugs with potentially lethal side-effects.
    • Security dude gets this, too. While his fate isn't pretty, a lot of reviewers just assume he's an innocent security guard with no knowledge of the upper level machinations. This comes even though he's working at a secret research facility and knew Veronica Cale personally ("I always liked that one"), so he's not necessarily innocent.
  • Epileptic Trees: Wonder Woman's downright brutal acts in the episode led to a theory that everything mentioned on this page was actually an Intended Audience Reaction, and if the show had made it to air, within a few episodes it would turn out this wasn't the real Wonder Woman but a psychopath villain who'd stolen her identity.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • Vigilantism is the way when the arm of the law is too short! Okay, that's the unavoidable message in a lot of superhero stories, but this one goes the extra mile by depicting excessive force, torture, slander, threats, and casual murder as good ways to deal with thugs and civilians!
    • Remember how some people accused The Dark Knight Trilogy of having a pro-fascist subtext? That complaint would only be inaccurate when directed at this pilot because it suggests it's merely subtext. Among its genuinely fascist Family-Unfriendly Aesops are "Human rights exist solely to protect criminals from justice" and "unfettered corporate power is good so long as it is turned toward the public interest."
    • Courtesy of Nancy Grace, the Constitution doesn't matter, because it only protects criminals, which means Wonder Woman cannot be questioned. (And anyway, W.W. isn't even an American, so why should she adhere to the laws of the land?)
    • It is bad to sell drugs, but it's fine to take them to steal a scholarship.
  • Fetish Retardant: Wonder Woman's use of I Have Boobs, You Must Obey! on a guard to get him to move sounds more like a death threat.
  • Genius Bonus: A very, very, very dark one. When Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth to grab the guy around his neck, the media refers it to in a very easy-to-miss quote "Abu Ghraib's her quarry." The Abu Ghraib case (some images NSFW) was one of the worst torture scandals in USA history. She makes this comment because how Wonder Woman captured the man as stated above is very similar to the infamous picture of Lynndie England holding a rope around a man's throat. What makes this statement worse is the fact how the news reporter makes this comment it sounds like it is supposed to be a good thing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Adrianne Palicki would find far more success when she jumped ship to Marvel with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Her introduction there also features an invisible jet. Funnily enough, even though her character in S.H.I.E.L.D. is a cold-blooded killer (she guns down a guy while arguing with an ex and doesn't bat an eyelash), Bobbi only kills when she absolutely has to or is under orders to, never tortures anyone, and comes across as far more likeable than Wonder Woman.
    • Related to the above point, Willis is played by BJ Britt, who would go on to play Agent Triplett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Palicki.
    • Cary Elwes plays a subordinate to Diana in this version, running her company's day-to-day operation. His Princess Bride co-star Robin Wright would go on to portray Diana's mentor Antiope in the much better-received 2017 film.
    • In what may be a Casting Gag (and something of a Remake Cameo), Pedro Pascal was cast in Wonder Woman 1984 as Maxwell Lord.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Pants To Be Darkened" appears on the screen at one point as an instruction to the special effects group regarding Diana's Painted-On Pants. But to the viewers, it could instead take on a different meaning... It also serves as the Fan Nickname for the episode's title.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Wonder Woman. Well, memetic in that she doesn't revel in it quite as much as she probably would in, say, a fanfic where this version turns out to be an Ax-Crazy alternate Wondy. However, there's no exaggeration about the many horrible things she does.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Wonder Woman crosses this when she broke a hospitalized man's arm and then proceeds to torture him for information. Wonder Woman makes a point of dramatically resting her lasso on the guy. If you're familiar with the comics, you'd know that this is the Lasso of Truth, and it even gets called that in the pilot. Granted, they never established that it has that magical power in this universe, but it does make people familiar with other incarnations immediately think WW has decided to purposely ignore the Lasso in favor of torture (or even worse, that it's meant to be a metaphor about how torture is the real "Lasso of Truth"). What makes it even darker is that WW torturing him in the Hospital bed SHE put him in!
    • The villains of course are revealed to have crossed it by using live human beings as lab rats for their life-threatening drugs.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Willis bleeding from the eyes.
    • Everything Wonder Woman does in the direct pursuit of justice, from lassoing a suspect around the neck, to torturing a hospitalized suspect. And the fact that we're supposed to consider her the hero.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • There's a minor character played by Pedro Pascal, who would later play Oberyn Martell.
    • There's also Willis played by BJ Britt, who would go on to play Agent Triplett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Adrianne Palicki.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Though given how brutal and crazy Wonder Woman comes across, this trope is hardly surprising. Made worse with the fact that we're supposed to side with her.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Probably the main reason that this show never got past the pilot phase, as pretty much everyone who sees this show roots for the villains over the psychopath of a hero the show gives us. As they are the only ones sane enough to call out Wonder Woman on all of the horrendous acts she commits and ironically follow the law more than she does.
  • Special Effects Failure: Because it wasn't intended for release yet, many of the special effects are unfinished, leaving visible wirework and such in the fight scenes. The infamous "pipe through the guard's neck" also looks noticeably fake. In fairness to the production team, this is one aspect of the pilot that is rarely criticized, for obvious reasons.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
  • Strawman Has a Point: Diana has dinner with a Senator who expresses concerns about the way she does things — namely, using Cold-Blooded Torture to get information from criminals, giving the metaphorical finger to Reasonable Authority Figures, and outright committing slander by holding a press conference to accuse Liz Hurley's character of being a murderous Corrupt Corporate Executive and admitting that she doesn't have any proof besides gut instinct. In fact, the only reason she's meeting the Senator is to get justification so she can go after Hurley. Of course, since Wondy-In Name Only is the hero of this story, she's ultimately presented as right. Although the Senator's point about the press conference is redundant: Imagine Superman calling a press conference in Metropolis and telling the world that he personally believes a particular series of mysterious deaths were directly caused by Lex Luthor doing things at Lex Corp and that he is personally going to investigate it but that he has ZERO evidence at this point. This means that yes, Lex Luthor can complain to the authorities that the Kryptonian superhero (who may not even have another name or social security number) publicly slandered him but it also means that anyone else giving Luthor grief on the grounds that "Superman said you're behind it!" would also admit they are acting that way because Superman personally believes something while admitting he has no evidence of it.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Adrianne Palicki is honestly trying her best as the pilot's warped version of Wonder Woman, putting in a legitimately decent performance.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Willis is portrayed as an innocent victim, but he intentionally took performance enhancing drugs in order to get a college scholarship. So this kid deliberately lied, cheated, straight up broke the law and stole a scholarship that another person worked really hard for. With this revealed, if the kid had lived, his scholarship would have been easily revoked.
    • Willis' mother, who voiced that she wished Wonder Woman had killed the drug dealer she'd captured and acted as if the drug dealer had forced her kid to take the drugs, completely ignoring any responsibility on her son's part for taking the drugs to steal the scholarship. This is along with the fact that there is no evidence that he's actually the guy that sold Willis the drugs, other than Wonder Woman's word, and even she admits she's not fully sure he was the one in the first place. At the very least, she does acknowledge that what she says is terrible, which puts her ahead of most of Wonder Woman's supporters, and as a distraught mother whose son is dying in the hospital, one can give her a free pass for not being the most rational and unbiased of people, especially with a convenient scapegoat nearby.
    • And the long list of Wonder Woman's unintentionally horrific moments. For starters, it appears that every single sympathetic moment we are given of her she was the MAIN CAUSE for the incident.
      • We are supposed to feel sympathetic that she has no friends and had to break up with her boyfriend because of an It's Not You, It's My Enemies moment. This despite the fact she does have a secret identity as Diana Prince, which she does nothing with besides stay at home and watch movies, and the fact that her CEO identity is publicly known to be Wonder Woman, so that means everyone that works for her now has a target on their heads and nobody bats an eye.
      • We are supposed to feel sympathy that she thinks she is seen as a sex object via the doll. This despite the fact that she approved the doll's design long before and then suddenly changed her mind, or the fact that she deliberately dresses like said doll for marketing purposes. Not to mention she even tries to use I Have Boobs, You Must Obey! on a guard.
      • In the same scene, we are supposed to feel sympathy that she has to be perfect all the time ("Wonder Woman isn't vulgar") because she's beautiful. This fails for several reasons. Mostly because it's effectively So Beautiful, It's a Curse, but also because there are plenty of beautiful celebrities we don't expect to act perfectly in real life, and the real reason people would expect her to be a good role model is not her looks, but her own decision, as she chose to be a superhero.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: This version of Wonder Woman's costume is pretty damn tacky. The show's attempts to justify it by claiming Diana designed her suit to look more like an action figure for marketability purposes didn't help. The fact she throws a tantrum over the dolls her company made of her in said outfit makes things even worse.


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