Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wonder Woman 1.12: The Bushwhackers

Airdate: 1/29/77

A widowed Texas ranchowner named J.P. Hadley is the victim of cattle rustlers and, with the local sheriff seemingly unable to help, enlists the services of the U.S. government to protect his beef, a key food supply for the war effort.  When Steve Trevor and WW trek to the Lone Star state, they are beguiled by Hadley’s homespun charm and benevolent ways (he has also adopted six multi-national war orphans). Not everyone is exactly pleased as punch: Hadley’s biological son is resentful of his dad’s attention to the orphans, so he acts as the informer to the head rustler, the new town “deputy” whose identity he stole from a Pearl Harbor casualty. Before this is cleared up, and the son asks for and receives forgiveness from his father, we have the usual parade of seize and rescue histrionics, but this time flavored with a little BBQ sauce – Texas style!

Wonder Woman's C&W duds
First Nazi-less episode has much to recommend but let me start with WW’s new western-style outfit. Oh, she’s still got the tiara, belt, boots and lasso, but it’s a more sensible number for the sagebrush – most likely necessitated by her horseback riding scenes, and we all know WW does not ride side-saddle. Don’t worry, guys: the slack are white and skin-tight, so do the math.

Let’s not forgot the casting of some guy named Roy Rogers – a bit player, I understand. Apparently, this was one of his last roles, and he sure does a swell job playing a guy… who’s pretty much like he is (hey, we never went to Roy’s films for method acting, did we?). There’s just something surreal about seeing this legendary cowpoke trading straightforward dialogue with a woman in a star-spangled swimsuit – only in the 70s!

Oh, and there’s also a “mute” Hispanic boy who figures in to all of this. He helps out WW with some key recognizance, but it’s no fair betting as to whether or not he’ll talk by the end of the show!

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