Some people say there are too many comic book movies.
Those people are wrong.
Between them, Marvel and DC will “flood” the market this year with six superhero movies. Six. That’s one every two months. Three hours of your life, every 60 days, on average. Hardly a burden.
No, the real glut of super shows is on television. And for that, blame DC.
DC Comics and its parent company Warner Bros. currently pump out five weekly, hourly series about their properties — plus two more from the company’s Vertigo imprint (It would be three, but “Constantine” was canceled). By comparison, Marvel has one hourly drama, a handful of half-hour cartoons and the occasional NetFlix series. Marvel may own the big screen but DC dominates the small one.
Keep in mind that TV is much more time-consuming than movies. One typical TV series will take up one hour of your life, once a week, for 24 weeks. In short, 24 hours or 1 day per series per year. Multiply by five and you’ve lost five days of your life every year to this stuff.
So it better be really good, right?
Since it’s DC Week I figured it was finally time to toss out my thoughts on DC TV.
Gotham. It should come as no surprise to learn that the best of DC TV is the show centered on Batman. Without Batman, DC is nothing. Here’s how important Batman is: You can make a show about his hometown and his supporting cast and it will be a hit. Now in its second season, Gotham has done a good job of bringing new twists on the familiar villains and allies of The Batman. I never cared for The Penguin much until now.
The show’s main weakness? Bruce Wayne. No one wants to see the adventures of young Bruce Wayne anymore than we wanted to see the adventures of Darth Vader as a boy. All we want to know about Bruce Wayne is that his parents die and he goes off and doesn’t come back until he’s ready to commit himself to a life of crime fighting. I tend to fast-forward most scenes involving young Bruce.
Also, it’s kinda weird thinking that in this world Batman is going to grow up and spend his career beating up old men.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Despite the horrible title, the latest entry in the DC TV family is my second favorite. First of all, it’s a team show and super teams are always more entertaining than solo shows. If one of the characters annoys you, he won’t be on screen too long. Strangely, my favorite characters on the show are the two villains. I don’t know why they’re there but I’m glad they are. Yes, I know fire-guy is currently AWOL but he will be back.
The show’s main weakness? Any show that rests on one central plot is asking for trouble. A time traveler put this group together to find and kill Vandal Savage. Fine, but you can’t have every episode be about trying and failing to catch Savage. Not only that, but they’ve already beat him twice by my count and they didn’t do anything about it. Needs a stronger concept to keep the team together.
The Flash: Fun show that doesn’t take itself too seriously (see “Arrow”) and really embraces its comic book roots. Not many shows would have the courage to bring out Gorilla Grodd or the shark-headed dude.
The show’s main weakness? Too much time travel. I’ve totally lost what the over-arching plot of this show is about. Oh, and who on Earth thought it was a good idea for Barry’s true love — Iris — to be his adopted sister? I know they’re not blood relatives but still, creepy.
Arrow. The father of the current DC TV universe. I hate this show. And yet I watch it every week. For four seasons now. What is wrong with me?
I like the guy who plays Oliver Queen, but that’s about it. This show is hobbled by so much terrible, terrible soap opera. This is a show where the hero’s mother turned out to be one of the villains — but then she wasn’t — but then she was… And then she runs for mayor. And almost wins, despite everyone knowing she was involved in a plot to blow up half of the city. I was never so happy to see a character die as I was when she did.
Everyone is so tortured. Why doesn’t someone kill Merlyn? Why on Earth is Diggle wearing Magneto’s helmet? How did Arrow’s sister and ex-girlfriend become superheroes overnight? I could rant forever about this damn show but I’ve got one more to go and then bed.
Supergirl. I watched the first couple episodes and delegated this show to ‘speed-watch.’ That’s where I tape a show and run it on fast-forward until I see something worth stopping for. I usually don’t find anything worth stopping for. The show’s really not that bad but there are only so many hours in a day and something had to give and for some reason it can’t be “Arrow.” Oh, and Calista Flockheart annoys me, so that makes it easy to pass this one up.
For all you completists out there, I did watch a couple of episodes of “Constantine.” I thought it was OK but dropped it for time reasons and then it got canceled. I haven’t watched any episodes of “I Zombie,” nor will I. I did enjoy the first episode of “Lucifer,” but not enough to keep watching it.
Oh, and none of these shows is as good as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Well, maybe “Gotham,” but only because of Oswald Cobblepot.