5 TV Episodes Featuring WW84’s Dreamstone Plot
One of the more head scratching elements of Wonder Woman 1984 was its bizarre Dreamstone plot in which a person’s ultimate wish brings about negative consequences. In the film, Diana’s (Gal Gadot) wish for the return of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who was killed off in 2017’s Wonder Woman, is granted but at the expense of her powers. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) wishes to be more like Diana and ends up becoming just as powerful as Wonder Woman, but loses her, ah, nice personality in the process — and grows Cheetah hair. Max Lord wishes to be the wish maker and becomes sick (?) and so grants the world all of their wishes and steals their health (?) … ?
Yup. That’s the plot of Wonder Woman 2, a film that eschews Diana’s more aggressive personality in order to cater to the four fans of the 1970s TV show starring Lynda Carter. She doesn’t even carry a sword or shield … which is just … eh …
Anyways, if the plot sounds vaguely familiar its because we’ve seen it countless times before in other movies and TV shows. So, if you’re itching for more wacky hijinks in the vein of Max Lord’s yearning to “touch as many people as possible at once” scheme, then check out this list of Five TV Episodes Featuring Wonder Woman’s Dreamstone Plot, which itself is a variation of the “Be Careful What You Wish For” TV trope seen in countless Nick at Night shows, in case you were wondering. Which you probably weren’t. But now you know.
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror II (1991)
This Simpsons episode was the first thing that came to mind during our viewing of WW84. In it, Homer happens upon a monkey’s paw that grants its users four wishes. Except, each wish comes with terrible consequences. For example, Lisa wishes for world peace which beckons aliens to take over the weapon-less planet; Bart yearns for fame, but is quickly ousted after people become tired of his family’s antics. In the end, Homer gives the paw to Ned Flanders, whose wishes go off without a hitch, prompting Homer to wish he had a monkey’s paw. It’s actually one of the better Treehouse of Horror episodes and quite clever in the way it adapts W.W. Jacobs’ 1902 short story, “The Monkey’s Paw,” which is probably why Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns felt the need to rework the script as a big budget superhero film.
Actually, there are quite a few TV adaptations of “The Monkey’s Paw,” namely an episode of The Monkees (obviously) titled, ahem, “The Monkee’s Paw,” an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? titled “The Tale of the Twisted Claw,” and an episode of Creepshow titled, “Night of the Paw,” among many others.
The Brady Bunch: Hawaii Bound (1972)
In the premier episode of The Brady Bunch Season 4, everyone’s favorite sycophantic family travels to Hawaii where Bobby finds a magical tiki that inevitably brings bad luck to anyone unfortunate enough to hold it. The family shrugs off the warning and instead carry the tiki into a surf competition where Greg is mauled to death by a Great White shark, who then proceeds to devour all the Brady children before following a grieving Carol to the Bahamas. Naturally, Carol begins a tepid affair with Michael Caine but must deal with the Great White personally after it attacks Alice on a banana boat. It’s really great stuff. Though, we’re not sure what happened to the tiki.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Wish (1998)
In this episode of Buffy, Cordelia is given a pendant with which she wishes the titular Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. Lo and behold, the pendant giver is actually a demon who grants Cordelia’s wish and, in a wacky twist on It’s a Wonderful Life, watches her supposedly shitty existence with Buffy get shittier without her. The Master and his vampires take over without any opposition to challenge them and actually kill Cordelia, who learns that her life quite literally hinges on Buffy’s existence. Basically, she’s everyone in Bedford Falls, whose lives are all the worse without George Bailey. How said is that?
Charmed: Be Careful What You Witch For (2000)
A genie quite dissimilar from Robin Williams/Will Smith grants the Halliwell’s three wishes. Prue wishes she would feel the same way she did when she first met, ahem, Dick; Piper wishes Dan would move on; and Phoebe wishes for power. Naturally, the wishes all come true albeit with unintended consequences. Prue reverts to a 17-year old mentality, Dan decides to move on to San Francisco and Phoebe suddenly has uncontrollable powers. All three witches run amok until an 8-year old, a virgin, Allison and a cat murder them in cold blood on All Hallows Eve.
Power Rangers Dino Charge: Wishing for a Hero (2015)
Look, this particular reference is simply to show just how asinine WW84’s plot was. Please don’t get too caught up with our love of Power Rangers, especially Dino Charge, which stands as perhaps the greatest show to ever grace American screens. Anyways, in the episode “Wishing for a Hero,” a monster does some evil magic to wishing cards that allows the user’s wishes to come true. But, again, there’s a price. Koda wishes for a burger and ends up getting sick, Shelby wishes to be alone with Tyler and their date ends with blindness-by-bubbles and ants-on-food madness. There’s also a wish for a new Ranger and other wacky bits, though nothing as ridiculous as an oil tycoon granting all the wishes to the world so he can sure up his failing organs.
Note: there are hundreds of other episodes featuring this trope, but
these were the first that appeared when we searched Google these were the best examples we found. Hell, even The X-Files had an episode with a genie who grants literal wishes that turn out to be disastrous. Again, the concept here is that WW84 borrowed a long-used TV trope, which is weird considering the budget and talent involved in the sequel. Then again, as Patty Jenkins no longer allows Wonder Woman to brandish a sword or shield and has inexplicably decided to push the character closer to her TV roots, it makes sense that the plot would adhere to television rather than cinema. But it’s still a weird artistic choice and light years from Diana’s first appearance in Batman v Superman … for better or worse.