Monday, December 12, 2016

Mid-Season Chain of Thoughts on The DCW Universe

The CW’s DC shows have just gone on mid-season breaks last week.  I’ve some random musings (SPOILER warning, of course):
→ The CW’s DC shows should be collectively called “The DCW (combining DC and CW) Universe.”
→ The first-ever crossover event between Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow was a lot of fun.  Though, I think, Flash and Supergirl’s first meeting is still my favorite.
→ If truly scrutinized, the whole crossover was actually choppy.  It also has tons of clichés, packed with unpleasantly angsty drama, out-of-character decisions, and characters coming in and out of each installment.  It’s probably due to the budgetary and logistical strains that such project entails.
→ Next time, I hope that instead of doing another four-part (technically, this one was just three) storyline across the shows, they would just plan for a mega-event TV movie, budget it as such, and polish contractual commitments from the show’s casts so that they can participate on it properly.  That way, the pacing and writing would go much smoother – making it the epic that it needs to be. Fortunately, the fact that it’s so tremendously fun covers up all its flaws.
→ If nothing else, I’m happy that the crossover made Flash and Green Arrow finally get to stand with the Legends after being disappointed by how the LoT pilot turned up (particularly the part that it didn’t reflect its trailer – which had the Flash fighting side by side by the Legends).
→ John Diggle a.k.a. Spartan continues to be a delight filling the role of audience surrogate.  His reactions – both verbal and non-verbal – when encountering new mindblowing stuff are always impeccably hilarious.  It’s definitely the primary reason why this character is retained in the DCW Universe.
→ “You know why I’ve never done drugs?  It’s coz I was always afraid I’d see weird stuff.” That had me in stitches.
→ Supergirl called their ensemble “Earth’s mightiest heroes.”  It was an obvious dig at Marvel, which nicknames the Avengers as such.  I groaned of the sheer brazenness.
→ I like how the base of operations of the team looked like the Justice League’s Hall of Justice.
→ Ray Palmer commenting about Supergirl “She kinda looks like my cousin” is a brilliant reference to the fact that actor Brandon Routh used to be Superman (in Superman Returns).  Routh’s delivery and facial expression sold it perfectly.
→ I wish next time they have a mega-event crossover – again, as a TV movie – they can literally bring everyone to participate.  Literally.  I wished Supergirl brought Martian Manhunter with him, and I wished John Constantine made an appearance again.
→ I’m calling it: the next mega-crossover is going to be set in Supergirl’s universe.
→ Green Arrow, Flash, and Supergirl being DC’s small screen Trinity – substituting for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman – really works.
→ One of the best things about the debut season of Legends of Tomorrow is the character arc of Leonard Snart a.k.a. Captain Cold, which culminated with him making the ultimate sacrifice.  It’s somewhat heartbreaking that the next time the Legends encounter him, he’s going to be back as a villain, to team up with Reverse Flash, Damien Dahrk, and Malcolm Merlyn, forming the Legion of Doom.
→ Sarah Lance a.k.a. White Canary (Caity Lotz) is still my girl.  But I’m also beginning to crush on Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Vixen.
→ Cat Grant was the best.  Next to Supergirl, she was the one who brings a lot to the table of this show.  I’m genuinely sad Grant is gone (hopefully, temporarily), since actress Calista Flockhart can’t regularly participate anymore after production of the show moved from Los Angeles to Canada (she prefers to exclusively work in LA, where her family is).  Ironically, I fiercely hated Flockhart’s Cat Grant in the pilot.  But she not only eventually grew on me, but also turned out being an awesome character who was a significant guiding presence for Supergirl.
→ Cat Grant (52-year-old Flockhart) crushing on Clark Kent (29-year-old Tyler Hoechlin) was kinda creepy, though.
→ I love that a face has finally been given to Clark Kent/Superman in Supergirl.  Tyler Hoechlin is a really solid Superman.
→ I also love the subtle Batman references on Supergirl.  First, in the season opener, wherein there’s a mention of a “Gotham City” existing in this universe.  And, second, Supergirl mentioning that Superman used to work with a vigilante that has “tons of gadgets” and “lots of demons.”  It’s definitely an indication that a Batman also exists in this universe.  But I hope he’ll be shown in person.  I think that would be great.  Having Batman is always cool.
→ But the main reason why a Batman needs to exist in Supergirl’s universe is because I think the show will benefit more if it has Dick Grayson a.k.a. Nightwing in it.
→ It’s nice to see that the Supergirl/Jimmy Olsen romance didn’t blossom.  I hated it.  It didn’t work.  But I’m equally annoyed of Mon-El being Supergirl’s new love interest.  I don’t want a super-powered boyfriend for Supergirl.  It’s infinitely more preferable if Supergirl’s love interest is someone like Nightwing.  The shadow of Superman and Batman casting on the dynamic of Supergirl and Nightwing gives a romance between them an extremely thrilling layer.
→ I don’t buy Jimmy Olsen as Guardian.  The whole motivation of the character “wanting to help” as a superhero doesn’t make sense.  It has no impact.  It feels shallow.
→ Mehcad Brooks’ Olsen is the reverse-Cat Grant.  I initially liked him, but now, I find him a “meh.”  The character hasn’t been handled well.
Supergirl is, unfortunately, still the weakest of the four DCW shows.
→ The best among the four shows this season is actually Legends of Tomorrow.  It’s still tremendously dumb.  But it’s consistently fun so far. 
→ I hate that the Flash is all angsty now.  This used to be the “light” side of the coin that it shares with Arrow, which is supposed to be the “dark” face.  At least, it’s  still very entertaining overall.
→ I miss delightfully geeky Barry.  He has yet to appear this season.
→ So I guess the deal with Tom Cavanagh is to make him play a different version of Harrison Wells in each season.  Brilliant!
→ I actually like Jesse Quick more than Kid Flash.  Kid Flash is Wally West, but he’s still so far from being the Wally West – the greatest fictional speedster ever.  I wish the characterization of the character improves.
→ As for Arrow, the Green Arrow has a new team and his alter ego, Oliver Queen, is the mayor.  It’s still not as exciting as it used to be a few seasons ago, but the new status quo does bring a sense of overall freshness to the show.
→ I want to see a Green Arrow vs. Prometheus vs. Vigilante triple-threat fight.
→ Is Laurel Lance a.k.a. the Black Canary truly back?  If she is, I actually want to (re-)ship her and Oliver.  I think they would make a great “second chance” couple at this point.
→ But, above all things, I want an Earth-1 Powergirl to happen – played by Melissa Benoist, of course.  Then, she can also team up with her doppelganger Supergirl in her show!
→ Fun the first Supergirl/Flash/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow might have been, I do think the upcoming musical crossover of Supergirl and Flash is going to be infinitely more fun.
→ The Superman villain Mr. Mxyzptlk is set to appear in Supergirl this season.  With his immense reality-warping powers, I’m almost certain that he’s going to be the main catalyst for this peculiar crossover premise. 

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