Kiwis Understand What Makes Bionic Woman Tick

New Zealand may be primarily known as the home of the Lord of The Rings movies to genre fans right now, but this article about NBC's Bionic Woman shows that they may also gain a reputation for cruelly accurate critics.

The story of a young girl barely out of her teens being surgically engineered after a horrific car accident into a superhero does fall squarely into the teenybopper category. You could be awfully kind and call it sci-fi lite.

But no self-respecting sci-fi buff would tolerate the fact that the surgery, first, does not change the young woman's personality one iota and, second, leaves her flawlessly beautiful... Jaime is represented as an unassuming superhero, suddenly thrust into the battle between good and evil. But actually she is a slave.

The article continues:

The state has, admittedly, saved her life by androidising large chunks of her anatomy. But in return, she is no longer free to live her life. She must periodically drop everything and, as happened this week, kung fu a squad of mean Slavic kidnappers.

The state doesn't even pay her a decent whack. Presumably, having spent billions rebuilding her, it takes the view that she is indebted for life. This really takes the ethos of public service to a sinister new level, and we must hope it doesn't catch on.

Imagine if the state decided to make all hip replacement patients do six months' community service as a penance?

If only the show was half as aware of its own moral dilemmas, maybe it would still be on the air... Of course, as the article points out, not all of its faults were intellectual:
[Prototype Bionic Woman Sarah] has trouble doing so much as eating a tin of baked beans and spends a lot of time shaking and moping. Yet strangely, she has a nice manicure, with elegantly painted red nails. Perhaps her nail boutique has fitted a vice for her hands?

Teens too smart for sci-fi lite [Stuff.co.nz]