Recently DC has been making the move on a brand new direction in TV Series by putting together some of their superheroes into TV shows. First it was Arrow, followed by The Flash a year later and then out comes the latest installment in their series of new shows to be aired by CW, DC's Legends of Tomorrow. As with every TV show comes the good and the bad and it leads to the infinite possibilities of people either asking for another season or to drop it from the renewal altogether. Not every show has been received with critical acclaim or set the world alight, but it is a start, and a foundation laid for commercializing superhero TV series. Tonight we look into the impact of DC's new project, Legends of Tomorrow and share a few thoughts as to my reaction to is so far.
First off, the show is about a conglomerate of superheroes that have been taken from Arrow and The Flash TV series. It contains Ray Palmer aka The Atom, Dr. Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold, Mick Rory aka Heat Wave, Jay Jackson aka Firestorm, Dr. Martin Stein aka Firestorm all step-in from The Flash, followed by Sara Lance aka White Canary from Arrow with Kendra Saunders aka Hawgirl and Carter Hall aka Hawkman from a crossover world of both. They were mysteriously transported by Rip Hunter, a Time Master with a ship with the ability to go back and forth in time. Together, they are faced with stopping Vandal Savage, an evil ancient Egyptian priest who has made a life of immortality by killing Carter and Kendra. There are deep personal sentiments associated with this story. For example, Savage killed Rip Hunter's family in cold blood, therefore giving him a vendetta against him. Hawkgirl and Hawkman are embroiled in an everlasting battle with Savage in each of their lives, so they take center-stage. It is a decent ploy to get their characters developed for movies in the future.
The show comes with an episode every Thursday on The CW channel and features a mixture of subplots in each episode as the search for Vandal Savage through time continues and our heroes are given time to duel on their lives back in their own timeline as well as how they could end as legends if they save their future by destroying Vandal Savage. To that extent the show deserves applause for bringing into effect the sentimental as well as the objective value of becoming legends from mere mortals in a world dominated by Meta Humans. However, there are aspects that need addressing regarding these shows.
Are Bad Guys A Problem In This Series?
The criticism is rife with this show. For starters, the predictability never ceases to amaze me, following the same pattern that Arrow and The Flash took in beating up the bad guys and doing away with evil after almost every episode remaining intact. In fact, the only twist to the ploy comes when certain characters get severely injured, or even dies, thereby permeating temporary shock value to the audience but seemingly keeping the basic foundation of beating up bad guys intact all the time. Where is the depth in that? Why doesn't the story feature more complex scenarios where every situation cannot be managed by just overpowering your opponents, but outsmarting them and overcoming them by intellect or not overcoming them at all. It seems almost inevitable that each time our heroes are opposed by security guards, armed men, and the like, they will always come out on top.
Metacritic gave this show 58%, showing the level of faith they have in the series to deliver blockbuster episodes and create a full, enriching drama. Killing off minor characters and getting cheap shock value would not be a first and would certainly not be the least effective tool used: the drama that unfolds needs to have greater character depth, with each hero getting a fair share of their emotional trauma, and hardships, which connects with the audience instead of falling bland on their faces with short scenes exploring emotions and quickly sweeping on to grander objectives like looking for Savage. I repeat, the character development is poor in this one, yet again from a DC series.
Commercialization of a TV show
I get that. Reach wider audiences. Exposure to the masses. These concepts will undoubtedly lead to streamlining these TV shows to fit the bill of general public ranging from children to older males who have not been exposed to the comics before. That is a very business-like strategy and must be commended. It is a way to make money yet keeping the superheroes relevant. However, we have to wonder, does it mean we need to get in touch with comics first in order to explore the true essence of each of these characters, rather than a TV show? Are hardcore fans or even moderate fans of the comics not going to get a whiff of more excitement and unpredictability and not just a show with a very straightforward ending? The air of inevitability is strong with this one, through all the commercialized aspect of the show.
In conclusion, I am not sure whether this was targeted as a full-blown version of the comic books. The story line could spread over several episodes if played our carefully instead of one episode, one finish, straightforward approach. It takes the excitement out of the show because we have seen it all in the past with Arrow mostly, and to a lesser extent, The Flash. However, I do understand the point these shows are trying to make. For me, they are B+ shows, aimed at the masses, to bring people up to speed with the characters that have been left aside in the Arrow and The Flash. Hence why Atom gets more airtime and not Oliver Queen. Why Captain Cold gets more airtime and not Zoom. The era of commercialized superhero TV series are upon us, and instead of focusing on the not so positives, we should enjoy the short euphoria that it will bring as a pastime during lazy hours.
Originally posted on sniperthoughts.wordpress.com.