September 21, 2007

Leis reviews NBC's Bionic Woman: "A disaster and an insult"

NBC's Bionic Woman sucks. Richard Leis, Jr. explains why:
Show creators apparently hate technology, especially when used to successfully save lives. At what price, they want to explore, do we do so? A character who suffers terrible trauma must continue to suffer long after they have transcended their human weaknesses and been relieved of their pain. The price, we learn, is generally too high, and it would have been better if the character had just died. Because they did not die, they now must spend the seasons performing altruistic acts, to give back to simple unenhanced humans who are owed some unexplained debt. The moment the transhuman start enjoying her powers, she will be taught a terrible lesson.

This bionic woman is a creation of nanotechnology and cybernetics, packaged in a beautiful and indistinguishable-from-human body. A simple bartender enriched by her involvement with a man of education and science must now pay the ultimate price for becoming transhuman. We do not learn in one episode, of course, exactly what price she will pay during her upcoming ordeals, but we can be sure it will be gratuitously gory and tearful.

Modern medicine is marvelous and technologies in labs and on the horizon suggest great things ahead. We know from experience that most people in pain, experiencing great suffering, or nearing death, will, no matter what their prior belief system, embrace relief. Relief is so obviously joyful that relief as horror as depicted in fiction simply rings false, yet writers go back to that same dark well over and over again.
Read the entire review here.


Anonymous said...

It's just a show, fer Chrissakes. A big, brassy update of a slice of '70s Velveeta. It's unlikely to sound the death knell for transhumanism...

Jonathan said...

Seriously. It is a TV show. It might be fun to watch, but I don't think I will take it seriously.

Roko said...

TV shows like this shape the opinions of tens of millions of people. Most of these people are not clever enough to think these things through, and will basically parrot the attitudes and morals which underlie the plot. Richard Leis is right: this kind of thing is bad for transhumanism.