Bright Lights Film Journal

The Bionic Woman, Gay then, gayer now!

Jonathan Padget at the Washington Post, who apparently spent his childhood dreaming of long, silky locks and a fabulous wardrobe, isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. “The Bionic Woman’s toughest mission. Can she get her gay fan base to overlook Isaiah Washington?”

According to Johnnie, the original Bionic Woman, starring (of course) Lindsay Wagner, provided a role model for young gays back in the day (not sure how that worked). But the new version, starring Michelle Ryan, apparently includes trash-talkin’, homo hatin’ Isaiah Washington. What’s a boy to do?

Dunno, but Troy Patterson, over at Slate, has better news. Forget about Michelle, Lindsay and Isaiah. The one to watch is Katee Sackhoff (shown right, wet and sa-mokin’) as “Sarah Corvus,” a bionic chick gone bad. And when bionic chicks go bad, oh, baby, they go waaayyy bad. Are we in for some serious chick on chick action featuring mega-babes in tight, tight leather jump suits? I think we are!

Everyone discussing the revived Bionic Woman notes that Lindsay Wagner is so hard up that she’s pitching “Sleep Number” mattresses on late-night TV, even though she has been working steadily for the past thirty years, mostly in TV. Nobody knows you when you’re down and out, eh, babe?

I have some serious history with Lindsay, because I was a huge, huge fan back in the ’70s, to the vast amusement of my girlfriend Cindy. When I would watch The Bionic Woman, Cindy would watch me watching Lindsay. After about five minutes she would be on the floor. I don’t know why she thought it was so funny, but it always killed.

Cindy gave me one of my most cherished possessions, a Bionic Woman record album, a very strange cultural artifact indeed. The album has a picture of Lindsay, looking trés bionic, on the cover, but her name does not appear on the back of the album, nor is it her voice on the two trés lame melodramas on the actual disc. One can only guess (one can only guess, but one can always guess) that somehow, some hustler unconnected with the show obtained the right to use the Bionic Woman title on a record album, along with Lindsay’s picture.

I finally had to drop Lindsay when The Bionic Woman introduced the Bionic Dog, “Maximilian.” Before Max showed up, I could pretend that the show was aimed at twelve-year-old boys. But Max made it clear the target was ten-year-old girls. Well, and Johnathan Padgett.

I previously noted Johnnie’s ode to another ’70s superbabe, JoAnna Cameron, star of Isis, here.