Monday, December 19, 2022

12 Days of Christmas Watching 2022 Day #7: Wonder Woman vs. TOYS

For her Christmas episode, the Amazonian heroine fights one of her greatest opponents: TOYS! Yes, toys, like a model plane dropping bombs and a robot duplicate of herself! As a kid, I would have passed on the bombing fighter plane, but, yeah, a Wonder Woman android would have been a cool gift!

The one gripe I have about this episode apart from a ridiculous ending is how biased it is against toys. Its title is "The Deadly Toys." Toys are used as deadly weapons. Perhaps worst of all, toys are seen as juvenile preoccupations. 3 brilliant scientists are mocked for unwinding by playing a war game with miniature soldiers. I think that last one is the worst of all. Granted, 1977 was not a time when "intended for adult collectors" was something you saw on a lot of toys, so collecting wasn't what it has become now, but come on, to each their own, right?

On a totally unrelated note, I just went to the other room to admire my Lynda Carter Wonder Woman action figure.

The plot isn't worth getting into in too much detail because it starts out nonsensical and gets more so. A major is fired up because those 3 men overseeing the XYZ Project for the government are being targeted by someone. They are being replaced by androids! Do you know what it would mean if the XYZ Project fell into the wrong hands? Well, DO YOU?

I actually don't. In fact, I don't even know what it means if it does NOT because at the end, when--spoiler here--the bad guys are foiled, Diana explains to Steve why they should not be detained. You see, if they are caught, then the foreign agents will know it can be done and will do it again. If they are allowed to go free, they will go back to the foreign agents, who will think they did it...until they don't...I totally didn't get that part, sorry. Yet Diana says it with such fervor that I buy it. Really, I think Steve Trevor on some level is just like, "You're so gorgeous that I will go along with whatever you say, Diana!" And just think, that is the "glammed down and bespectacled" version of the woman!

So let's focus on what we DO get in the episode: Wonder Woman vs. Wonder Woman! Yes, dual Lynda Carters, and sometimes Lynda and/or a cool stuntwoman! Cool toys! Frank Gorshin as the old eccentric toymaker/toy store owner! And not only is Wonder Woman is spectacular as ever, but at times there are two of her, sort of. That old toymaker does great work making androids!

There isn't a lot of real action apart from the WW vs. WW brawl in the toy shop basement, but there are transformations, jumping around, magic lasso, deflecting bullets, etc. I swear on more than one occasion Wonder Woman adds a little flourish--an extra leap here, an extra twirl there--to show off a bit and compensate for the lack of a true physical threat.

What we don't get is a lot of Christmas spirit, though there is enough to make it a legit holiday installment of the series. It all takes place in December, there are some seasonal decorations, and at one point Steve asks computer IRAC what he should get Diana for Christmas. The response is, "Ask Wonder Woman," which Trevor assumes is sarcasm or nonsense. I am disappointed to report there is no follow-up on this, no awkward gift exchange at the end. 

The end does have one tacked-on but of Yuletide cheer. After the confusing ending with the bad guys (Please don't make me get into that again), Diana rushes off saying she has one more thing to do. Cut to Wonder Woman spray-painting a message on the window of the toy store:

It is an odd moment...

but a happy one, and I appreciate it!  You, too, Wonder Woman!

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