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Superheroine Chic

Are you ready for the second coming of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl?

By Bill Frost
Posted // June 11,2007 -

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl had everything a late-’70s young boy could want on a Saturday morning: Two gorgeous women in tight spandex-and-leather costumes, high-tech gadgetry, a tricked-out superhero car, cheeseball villains, a stone-funk rocker of a theme song and a running time of 15 minutes per episode—did I mention the tight spandex-and-leather costumes? Hot babes and cold cereal, part of a complete breakfast.

Is it any wonder the hormonally-charged boys who got up early on weekends to watch Electra Woman & Dyna Girl are now demographically targeted Gen-Xers staying up late for The X Show? That the hair-gelled slickster pushing commission-sales home electronics on you takes long lunch breaks with his latest Maxim? That The WB has a pilot in development for a revamped ’00s take on the Gynamic Duo? That it’s somehow OK for hipster Gen-X writers to peel off terms like “Gynamic Duo”?

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl was part of The Krofft Supershow, an unholy ’76-’78 mess of a Saturday-morning variety show from producers Sid & Marty Krofft, who are responsible for an entire generation of dysfunctional adults, not just males. The Bugaloos, H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Land of the Lost—if it involved slipshod puppets and a $27 soundstage, rest assured it was a piece of Krofft.

The Krofft Supershow didn’t offer much to young women—hosting “rock band” Kaptain Kool & the Kongs, who were eventually replaced by the Bay City Rollers, looked to be in their early 30s and sounded easily replaceable by a talentless Scottish pop group. But it did give us eight wondrous episodes of Lori (Deidre Hall, later of Days of Our Lives) and Judy (Judy Strangis, later of abject obscurity) becoming snug-costumed superheroines and kicking supervillian ass with stack-heeled boots that would give the Spice Girls vertigo. If pre-teen girls got anything out of Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, it was a vague message of wedge empowerment over the virtues of sensible shoes—or something. Either way, Kaptain Kool was a dick.

Sure, alter egos Lori and Judy were career women—if you call journalism a career. They were writers for Newsmaker magazine, but no one ever took notice when the strictly platonic older-woman-and-younger-assistant couple would disappear and re-emerge in bright spandex (and mask-less) costumes minutes later and cruise off in the snazzy and fuel-efficient Electra Car. This was either a major scripting gaffe or a tribute to Newsmaker’s progressive “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Like the upcoming Josie & the Pussycats movie, The WB’s Electra Woman & Dyna Girl update purports to be an irony-rich, grrl-powered overhaul bordering on spoof. Having hit the skids in the years after Dyna Girl/Judy bailed on crime fighting for modeling, Electra Woman/Lori’s now a penniless drunk living in a trailer park, according to the network’s initial pilot workup. The as-yet-uncast role calls for a “good-looking, statuesque blonde, 35-40,” and I’m projecting Daisy Fuentes. After participating last year in a thankfully aborted action series called I-Spike (international volleyball pro by day, international spy by night—no, really!), she’s gotta be ready for anything.

The new Judy—they’re attached to the name, apparently—is a “bright, imaginative, pretty but mildly obsessive 18-to-19-year-old brunette with not much of a social life.” To drive this point home, she’s a journalism major at USC who hopes to land a job at the school paper with a lifestyle piece on Electra Woman. Yes, a moist review of the new Dave Matthews album would probably get her in, but it seems Electra Woman saved this Judy’s life as a tyke, and she’s been obsessed with EW ever since.

Once Judy tracks Lori to the doublewide, she convinces the soused superheroine to return to action, and gets recruited as the new Dyna Girl in the process. I’d love to see 18-to-19-year-old brunette Carly Pope (coincidentally, a journalism major on The WB’s Popular) as Judy II, but only because I’m obsessed with doing a lifestyle piece on her and she won’t return my damn calls! Sorry, my bad.

Other than sheer sassiness, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl had no superpowers, per se, but they did have an impressive assortment of cool crime-fighting toys (like the all-seeing Crime Scope) engineered by resident old genius Frank. This time around, the unmarketable coot will be replaced by “Griffen, a good-looking techno-head, 18-19, whose fascination with Judy’s breasts is obvious—but not to Judy.”

Watch it: This is exactly how Kaptain Kool (now an editor for Maxim) lost his first gig.

 
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