Friday, January 8, 2016

The Berlantiverse: Arrow, Flash, Supergirl (Midseason review)

Greg Berlanti, in his attempt to save DC Comics media from itself (most importantly, from it's movie department), has been doing everything himself -- up to and including giving a "not" Justice League their own limited run series.

Let's start with the new kid on the block-- Supergirl.  While it started off with an okay pilot, and a three or four-block of episodes that were somewhat mediocre (and whiny), this show has finally gotten off the ground, and up up and away. With the debut of characters like Red Tornado and Dr. T.O. Morrow, up to and including the Martian Manhunter.

They were so close to screwing it up and making it a soap opera, but they've decided to actually have a comic book show.

Now, granted, there are some things that are fitting close to pattern. For example, they're using a lot of Superman tropes, up to and including Max Lord as a makeshift Lex Luthor.  But they've finally got it working for them, and cut back on the feminist tripe and cliche`, and decided to go into an actual SUPERHERO SERIES. Heck, leave it to Berlanti to have an episode where they point out that Superpowered people still need hand to hand combat experience.

But Supergirl finally has an overarching plot, and it's all the better for it.

Then there's Arrow. After a season three that was so damn dark it needed NVGs, Arrow has a sense of humor. Oliver Queen has a sense of humor, at long last. We've even got a bad guy with charisma and something that looks like charm. Heck, we've basically got a bond villain in Damien Dhark, only with magical powers. Despite having a season where we're bringing people back from dead after digging up their desiccated corpse, and a visit from John Constantine, as well as going back to that lousy island, this show is STILL visibly brighter than last time out.

Most importantly? They're cutting back on a LOT of the soap opera elements. Thank God.

Which is interesting, because the bright and cheerful The Flash is getting a little darker. Not much, but a little. But they've been working so hard on expanding the universe, so much so that they've included another universe. Then again, they also have magic and time travel.  Short version? I'm looking forward to Legends of Tomorrow, even though I really do think that's a terrible name for a TV show. Though I also want to see King Shark again, because that character design looked AMAZING.

Also, Berlanti seems to be building up to a Green Lantern tv show, especially with all the various and sundry references to Hal Jordan's Coast City, as well as his place of business, Ferris Air.

Speaking of which, did anyone else note that Supergirl mentioned Opal City? Can I have Starman now? Or at least The Shade?


  1. Oh I do hope you stop by TV For the Rest of Us or my blog sometimes where I've been reviewing all these shows. It would be such fun to have more nerds to argue with.

    (also, iZombie? incredibly underrated, you need to give it a shot)

    1. I started iZombie after this blog came out, and I binged the entire first season on NetFlix. But yeah, I concur, best Zombie media not written by John Ringo or Karina Fabian.

      Though I hear that season 2 won't be on NetFlix at all. I"m a little miffed at that.


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