Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a great week and an even better weekend! This week, since a couple of weeks have gone by, I wanted to talk about the DC shows on TV right now, and which ones are worth watching.
About three years ago, The CW, a channel known for being the new WB in pitching shows that star high cheek boned girls and that would be more entertaining to teenagers, picked up the show Arrow. Arrow is based on DC Comics’ The Green Arrow, who, while wearing a Robin Hood like getup and carrying fancy arrows, is the protector of Star City. Like most things that have been based on my TV choices this year, Tumblr was a huge fan of the series, so I checked out the first season. Unfortunately, the first season did not grab my attention since I wasn’t really interested in this particular take on The Green Arrow, and also for the abysmal portrayal and interpretation of The Huntress, one of my favorite characters from the old DC comics, as well as The Black Canary, who is still a vapid character on the show. So time went on, season 1 came and went and the show got picked up for a season 2. Season 2 came and went, but suddenly the Tumblr was informing me that they were adding a lot of strong female characters to the show and that the show had improved significantly so I decided to check it out. I have not seen the first or second season and just immediately jumped into the third, and I have to say I’m not disappointed. Having enough knowledge of the show from Tumblr as well as DC Comics’ characters, it was easy for me to jump into the show. The fight sequences on the show as well as the bow and arrow maneuvers are really impressive and I may say better than that of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I actually recommend checking this show out.
The CW also picked up The Flash for it’s first season which aired last month. Barry Allen was introduced on The Arrow and then his character carried over into his own show. The Flash series like Arrow was a pleasant surprise. The show has just enough heart and laughs to make it enjoyable as well as serious moments that make you care. The special effects are pretty impressive, and hopefully they will be able to keep up the pace for the rest of the season. There have been hints to some of The Flash’s rogues, including Grodd and Captain Cold, who was done in a very cool and serious way. The upside to the show is definitely Grant Gustin who portrays Barry Allen with incredible honesty and heart. Jesse L. Martin is amazing as Detective Joe West as well as Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells, the head of Star Labs who seems to care about Barry becoming stronger as The Flash, but also seems to have sinister intentions. Unfortunately the downside to the show are the whipper snapper young scientists played by Danielle Panabaker and Rick Cosnett, who I think are supposed to be the heart of the show, but they just come across as a bit annoying. I miss the days when scientists were played by grouchy old men as opposed to plucky kids. But for the most part The Flash is definitely a win.
Why can’t it just be called Hellblazer? Anyway, Constantine, a show that airs on NBC Friday nights after the yawn oh so boring Grimm, follows the trail of John Constantine as he tries to save the world from the ghouls and demons presiding in it. There are a couple of things that the show gets right, and there are a couple of things that the show gets very wrong. The upside to the show is yes, Matt Ryan is British! He looks fantastic as John Constantine, with the trench coat and the blonde hair, the way he sits at a bar, it’s great. Unfortunately, the way Matt Ryan is portraying Constantine is a bit over the top. It might be the direction, but the made up word that came to mind while watching the first couple of episodes is ‘shouty’ and he’s also a bit angry. He also apparently needs the assistance of a boring snoozefest psychic female, who draws a lot. In my favorite Hellblazer comics Constantine is cool and collected, he’s a chess player, performing gambits left and right to get what he wants. The show doesn’t really seem to have a cohesive style or feeling, mostly because each episode has been written and directed by different people. This could also explain why the show doesn’t have it’s own voice but is taking ideas and spinning them from other shows. An artist who draws the future? Sounds just like Heroes to me. A map being used to find the bad guy with a sacred amulet? They did the exact same thing on Charmed. A piece of paper that when it is seen by others can be exactly what he needs it to be? Sounds a lot like psychic paper from Doctor Who. Also a lair that looks smaller from the outside but is bigger on the inside? Sounds also like Doctor Who. Since the show doesn’t carry it’s own individual voice, it might be hard for the show to find a fan base. It’s only on it’s fourth episode so I’m willing to give it a little time, so don’t get involved yet, let it collect ondemand first, and I’ll let you know if it gets better.
Oh Gotham, Gotham, Gotham, Gotham (shakes head, but smiles). This show was hyped and marketed as a show that would center around the world before Batman, because the most uninteresting part about Gotham was Batman. It’s about time we took him down a peg or two. It was also marketed as a show that would center around the G.C.P.D. and have Detective Jim Gordon as our main protagonist. The show has it’s ups and downs, but I think it’s entertaining enough to keep my weekly interest. The downside to the show comes with actor Ben Mckenzie and his emotionally dark portrayal of Gordon as well as his tumultuous ‘let’s make up problems because living in Gotham isn’t hard enough’ relationship with the future Mrs. Barbara Gordon. Also, there are certain moments where you’re like, I hope Batman shows up because then this episode would be five minutes long instead of an hour. Besides that, there are plenty of reasons to stick around and watch. I’ve talked about Gotham in the past and will say that Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin, David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, and Sean Pertwee as Alfred, are all doing exceptional jobs. Although, I would wait until this show collects ondemand and then watch it on a hungover weekend day.
So one of the reasons that DC is failing with their execution of their universe when it comes to pop culture is that while they have two shows on one network, they have two other shows on two different networks. While Arrow and The Flash are on The CW, Constantine is on NBC, and Gotham is on FOX. Marvel was able to create a cohesive universe in multimedia while DC just can’t seem to understand this. What people want to see is not only their characters done right, but they want to see heroes coexisting with other heroes. Arrow and The Flash have already had crossovers, and the fans loved it.
Have a great weekend! And thanks for reading!