Monday, January 25, 2016

TV: Boredom of Today

Thursday night, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW delivered strong ratings for The CW.  Let's hope they enjoy them while they last.

The excitement over the first episode had been building since the series was announced a year ago.  It was the most talked about and awaited series premieres of the last ten years.

So with that lead time, you'd think they would have prepared something that actually mattered, impressed or even held attention.


Instead, it was the most rote-by-numbers television since the days of EMERGENCY or to put in easy to understand fan boy and fan girl lingo, it's the most disappointing superhero outing since Ryan Reynolds flopped in GREEN LANTERN.

On the plus side, Ciara Renee has developed a character.  The writers don't know what to do with Kendra (Hawkgirl) but the actress has made her believable and real.  We can also find praise for Wentworth Miller's portrayal of Leonard Snart (Captain Cold) which finds Miller flooding the (still) sketchy character with life.

Others don't fare so well.

Take Caity Lotz.

She plays Sara Lance (White Canary).

She's been playing the character (on ARROW) since 2013.

There's no question she knows what she's doing, it's just that the script doesn't give her anything to do.

Why is she there?

No one seems sure.

Which is pretty much true of every character.

But it's especially true of human cupcake Falk Hentschel who is supposed to be playing Carter Hall (Hawkman),  Yes, he poses wonderfully but he's supposed to be a superhero, not a print model.

Others stumble around lacking even Hentschel's confidence.

If one word described the episode, it was: Floundering.

It didn't have to be that way.  Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Phil Klemmer knew "Pilot, Part 1" had to open strong.

So they took us into the future where London was under attack by Vandal Savage who kills a woman and then asks her child if he's brave like his mother or foolish like his father?

The child spits in his face.

Vandal Savage grins, the boy is like his mother.

Vandal then shoots the child dead.

That is the high point of the entire episode.  Quickly, we're following Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) as he runs to the Time Council for permission to go back in time.

Once back in time, he begins gathering nine people, eight superheroes (Victor Garber's Professor Stein and Franz Drameh's Jax Jacskon merge to become the hero Firestorm). They then go back in time for a non-event -- a man we've never seen before dies (he's Kendra's adult son from a previous life) and the time traveling machine gets attacked.

Oh, and Rip finally admits that he took the machine without the permission of the Time Council.

The whole episode is plodding and pointless.

Episode two is only slightly better.

What does it say about a TV show when the fans care more about it than the people who are creating it?

Maybe it goes to the fact that Berlanti isn't a strong storyteller?

He's incapable of telling a linear story, he loses interest in his own subplots and forgets plot points.  Anyone who's watched ARROW knows that.

The series is more or less carried on Stephen Amell's muscular ass.

It's certainly not carried by consistency or compelling storylines.  And THE FLASH is even worse.

Then there's SUPERGIRL which basically takes the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE parody of a Black Widow movie and plays it straight.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW simply demonstrates that, with each series, Berlanti has even less to offer.

The modest success of Berlanti's various shows demonstrates that there is an audience for superhero stories on TV.  It's just sad that this audience can't be served by a quality storyteller.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }