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Superheroine Chic

Electra Woman & Dyna GirlElectra 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 pre-ADD 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 Mr. Goatee serving your double-tall non-fat mocha latte pre-ordered a Charlie's Angels DVD from Amazon.com months ago? 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, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, 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 supervillain 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 wedgie 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 down Lori to the double-wide, 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 her and she won't return my calls.

Other than sheer sassiness, Electra Woman & 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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