Isis first appeared on TV in 1975 as part of the Shazam/Isis Hour and garnered a pretty positive reaction from the Saturday morning elementary school crowd. It resulted in not only her own show, The Secrets of Isis, but also a comic book and animated series.
Unfortunately, time has not been kind to Isis. I recently rented the DVD and had a multitude of problems with the series. I'm not expecting it to be high quality entertainment. I fully realize it was meant for 1970's kids, and not meant for the eyes of a cynical adult in 2008. However, certain things on the show bothered me to no end. Let me walk you through some of my problems.
1. Andrea Thomas (played by JoAnna Cameron) discovers a mythical amulet which gives her the powers of Isis while on an archaeological dig in Egypt. An archaeological dig? She's a high school science teacher, not an Egyptologist! I can buy into the Indiana Jones scenario since he's a college professor. It's another thing entirely to have a high school teacher unearthing the secrets of ancient Egypt.
As if that weren't bad enough, Andrea is obviously a scientific genius rivalling the likes of Hawking and Einstein. In one episode she unveils her new invention to the high school principal... a force field generator!
2. Hey, where's Andrea? She's always gone when Isis is around! How peculiar...
How is it possible that Rick and Cindy cannot catch onto the fact that Andrea is actually Isis? They look EXACTLY alike and Andrea is always strangely missing when Isis comes around. I know this is just like the Clark Kent thing where a pair of glasses somehow completely conceals his identity, but for some reason this seemed even more extreme.
Notice a similarity? Same face, same hair, same voice, same height, they are never seen together. Hmmmm...
3. Rick Mason is a sexist asshole. He is constantly saying demeaning comments to Andrea, whom he obviously views as a fragile and weak sub-species.
Here's some incredibly awful dialogue from the last scene of the first episode. The scene: Isis, the chauvinist Rick and the young Cindy Lee have seen the criminals brought to justice, Isis disappears, and Rick and Cindy find Andrea mysteriously relaxing under a tree...
Cindy: You know something? How come you're never around when Isis is there?
Andrea: Beats me. Seems like you and Rick are always having all the fun.
Rick: It's probably just as well. There was a lot going on and the excitement might have gotten to you.
Andrea: You're right, Rick. At times like that, it's well that a woman isn't there to get in the way.
At this point, Andrea gives a knowing smile to the audience.
Gilligan: Excuse me while I go vomit.
[Related post: JoAnna Cameron's earlier work in the controversial Pretty Maids All in a Row]