Thursday, January 21, 2010

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (2001)

Directed by David Grossman
Starring Markie Post, Anne Stedman

" I didn't change that much, did I?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure you didn't used to smell like cigarettes and macaroni & cheese."

The original Electra Woman and Dyna Girl aired in 1976 as part of the Krofft Supershow, the same brain-twisting Saturday morning kiddie show that spawned life-altering live-action freak-fests like Dr. Shrinker, Wonderbug, Kaptain Kool and the Kongs, Magic Mongo, The Lost Saucer, and Bigfoot and Wildboy. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl starred Deidre Hall and Judy Strangis as the titular heroines, two clueless do-gooders in skintight lycra suits who traipsed around fighting retarded supervillians like Glitter Rock, a Jew-fro'd weirdo in spandex who tried to take over the world with bad prog-metal. While it only lasted for a grand total of eight 24-minute episodes, the show left an indelible mark on all the kids who watched it during it's initial run - especially the boys, including yours cruelly. We may have not known exactly what we were looking at, but we knew we liked it.

While the show was certainly never forgotten, it did lapse into utter obscurity for many years, until retro Cable channel TV Land began airing re-runs of the Supershow at the start of the last decade, turning on a whole new generation of pre-adolescents to the show's Electra-awesomeness and bringing back blissful, sugar-coated memories of long-lost Saturday mornings to creaky old bastards everywhere. The reruns proved so successful that rumors started circulating about a possible Electra-revamp!

Immediately after Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Deidre Hall landed a role on soap Days of Our Lives. She remained on the show for 33 years. So, Deidre was not available for crime fighting. Judy Strangis, meanwhile, had retired from acting in the early 1990's. She may have been coaxed back into the role, but a 50 year old Dyna Girl? That's really pushing the "Girl" part of the equation.

The solution? Recast the entire show, and update it for the cynical, pessimistic, post-ironic 00's. And then put it on the WB network.

Sure, sounds iffy. But how about we sweeten the deal by casting super-busty Markie Post in the lead role? That's right, the hot, uptight chick from Night Court, who was always dressed in fussy silk shirts and tight wool skirts. That chick would look fuckin' amazing in a superhero outfit, right?

Right. And that's what happened.

Only one thirteen-minute pilot was produced, and it was never aired. Written by Elisa Bell (Vegas Vacation) and directed by David Grossman (Desperate Housewives), Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was funny, sexy, tongue-in-cheek, and would clearly have been a classic bit of cult TV, had it been produced.

Judy (the positively delightful Anne Stedman) is a perky blonde college freshman who has modeled her life - including her choice of university - on Electra Woman, who saved her life as a young child during a freak Ferris wheel accident. Electra Woman has been in self-imposed exile for years, and Judy hopes that her invitation to the school's upcoming homecoming event will break her silence. The invitation is returned unread, so plucky Judy hops on a plane to Las Vegas to fetch her supergirl idol herself.

When she gets there, she finds Electra Woman on the skids, living in a trailer park and eating dog food. Worse still, midway through their conversation, a tow truck shows up to repossess the trailer, leaving the aging heroine Electra-homeless.

Judy takes Electra out for dinner and tries to convince her to make a comeback. Electra tells her she can't do it without Dyna Girl. Judy suggests they find her, and asks what she's been up to.
"Oh, probably still blowing my ex-husband," quips Electra Woman.
Clearly, there's some bad blood there.

You can guess where this is going, right? Judy and Electra stay at a motel for the evening. Electra gets smashed on the tiny bootles of booze at the mini-bar, and by the time she comes to, Judy has squeezed herself into the old Dyna Girl outfit, and booked them a meet and greet gig at a local jewelry store.

Said store turns out to be a grimy pawn shop, but you've got to start somewhere. While they wait for somebody - anybody - to show up for an autograph, a couple shotgun-toting thugs show up to rob the place. Will Electra Woman shrug off her apathy and become the ass-kicking superchick she used to be?

Maybe. If she doesn't get too winded.

For a fifteen-minute pilot, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl is jammed with eye-popping set-designs, super-powered cameos (Aqua Man protests the salmon lunch at Judy's school), funny and surprisingly raunchy dialogue ("Wonder Woman has better tits than I do. Fake, but still, what a rack"), and most importantly, Markie Post in a tight, cleavage-heavy super girl outfit. Had this show been developed and produced, it would have been legendary. Legendary, I say!

But it wasn't. Markie Post has been relegated to TV guest spots lately, and Anne Stedman's last steady gig was in the Fox sitcom misfire The Mullets back in '04.
Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be another attempt at reviving the franchise at some point. Chicks in spandex punching dudes never gets old.

In the meantime, check out the '01 pilot yourself. It is truly Electra Awesome.

And while we're on the subject, why not soak up some vintage Electra Woman and Dyna Girl?

- Ken McIntyre


  1. This is unbelievable! How did this not get made?

  2. You can buy this on dvd-r at super strange video dot com..On the disc,there is the pilot for Wonder Woman and Batgirl,too.


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