Tag Archive | Cloris Leachman

Whatever Happened to the Sweet & Happy Heroine?

I just spent the afternoon watching episodes of the 1970s television series Wonder Woman, starring the radiant Lynda Carter. What an adorable heroine she was. She was a sweet, but sober, visitor to America, whose naiveté made her all the more charming. I noticed that she smiled and laughed. A lot. She was cheerful and happy. It was a joy to watch.

There’s no doubt that 70s camp played its part in the filming of Wonder Woman, but the fact that the actresses didn’t take themselves too seriously made it magical. They were in on the joke. They were having fun, and it was fun to watch.

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Cloris Leachman (Queen Hippolyta) and Fannie Flagg (Amazon Doctor)

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Lyle Waggoner looking serious and rugged from a hospital bed.

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“They steal money and I have to fill out forms? What a country this is!”

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Where did she park her plane?

In today’s stories our female heroes are so much darker and more serious. They may be edgier, if not stronger, but certainly not more likable. Are they? I get the feeling that watching today’s crime fighters saps the watcher’s emotional energy more than it once did. And, no we haven’t come a long way, Baby. Our heroines are still practically naked. What’s up with that?