Tag Archives: Arrowverse

Dear Jerks: An Open Letter to the CW.

Hi CW,

It’s me again. This is my 14th letter to your company despite my 13 previously unanswered correspondence.  I write to you, as always, a loyal member of the Arrowverse Aptly Ambling Society, but with a level of concern for your product that should surpass that of a 38 year old. I am well aware that I am outside your marketing demographic, and my words will fall on deaf ears. At least they have 13 times prior. That said, I find myself week in and week out further questioning my allegiance to your shows.

You know what? Let’s stuff the formality. YOU clearly have.

No need to put on airs at this point, as far as we are into the current season, so I’ll just out with it. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What possessed you? Are you being stubbornly idiotic on purpose or is it laziness?

Not too long ago, the DC/CW universe was the strongest, most capable representation of DC properties going. It dominated over Fox’s Gotham, and even stood above the consistently ill aimed DCEU. Your stories were solid, your characters strong, and episodes tight and action packed. No one in the TV landscape could contend, not even the powerhouse that is Disney Marvel.

Perhaps, that was your own downfall.  Did the lack of true competition make you complacent? Is that why everything has fallen to pieces? If you don’t agree, rewatch the pilot of Arrow. It’s on Netflix.  Now watch ANY episode from this season.  Do you see the difference? Miles apart, isn’t it?

I am speaking specifically today about Arrow and the Flash. Supergirl is doing her best at staying relevant, if not a bit mundane, in an age where no one seems to know what to do with Kryptonians, and Legends, as I have already and will continue to shout, has figured out its voice and is being exactly what it was meant to be.

If you’ll indulge me, there are fixes here. I’ll cover two of them. One for each show.

ARROW

Make things matter again.  I know you thought that my fix for Arrow was killing Felicity. Well you would have had you read the previous 13 letters. But she’s not the probl…no, I can’t finish that sentence. I physically cannot. Because she absolutely is. You’ve gone GOTHAM levels of off canon there.  But,  she’s hardly the root of the problem.

Nothing matters anymore. There were at least 10 people on that island when it exploded at the end of the fifth season. Why are 9 of them still alive? I know you knew there were problems with the show. Your star said in more than one interview that there were, so it was at least discussed. Nothing says course correct like blowing up 90% of your cast.

I’m not suggesting kill all of them. But kill more than the woman who already wasn’t in the show. See where your biggest pain points are in the off season and simply stop writing them.  Thea hasn’t been relevant in 3 seasons. Let her go.

Example: Season 1, Oliver stopped the bad guy and saved the day. Well, he stopped the bad guy at least. He lost his best friend in the process, and the city suffered a horrific earthquake. Season 2, Slade killed Moira, a main character up until then, right in front of her kids. There were CONSEQUENCES. Stuff mattered because it could be lost in an instant. Yes, you killed off Laurel. Don’t think I’ve forgotten that.  But you still have a Black Canary.

That’s an entire argument of its own.

The point being is that now, every single character is too precious to lose, and as such, there’s nothing for them to do. People can’t even stay injured. Felicity is paralyzed. There’s a chip for that. Diggle has the shakes. Nah, there’s a chip for that. Seriously, knock it off. Kill a couple people.  Make the show mean something again. Let one of them be Felicity.

Flash

This same too many characters problem bleeds into the Flash. Everyone is a best friend now. We’re just best friends saving the best friend world all the best friend time. I mean, isn’t Joe’s fiance like a commissioner or something? How the hell does that work her dating a subordinate? Doesn’t she have other things to do besides be a pregnant, conveniently temporary psychic? Why is she always at S.T.A.R. Labs?

And help me out: what exactly does Iris DO? She’s a reporter, right? So why is she part of Team Flash? What expertise does she possess to be in a super secret science lab? Or coordinating operations? What the hell is going on here? Is she actually a double agent?

Back to my larger point.

Most recently, Barry helped save Goldberg who was serving a life sentence for jackhammering a cop. He got stabbed and Barry helped save his life. But it couldn’t just be that Barry saved the life of a murderer. We couldn’t have that. No. See the Allens, both Barry and Henry, wouldn’t save a person because its the right thing to do regardless of their crimes. It had to be that Goldberg was actually framed by Kickpuncher.

Barry doesn’t save murderers’ lives. That’s all there is to it. He will however release a man convicted of murder, run him to China and strand him there without money, passport, extra clothes, or even a small idea as to whether or not he even speaks the language, all the while foregoing the legal process because the system was wrong!

I’m not even getting into the trial, conviction and appeal of Barry. That was a joke, start to finish. I only have a baseline understanding of the judicial system, having logged well over 200 hours of Law and Order and its sister show, SVU, and even I understand how much of a farce that whole proceeding was…Alright, one note from it.

Barry is at his sentencing. HIS SENTENCING, when the villain du jour was running amok and needed to be stopped. It went thus:

“We need a speedster!”

“Ok, cool. Someone call Wally and we’ll–”

“NO! Tell Barry about it. Have him do it. Have him asked to be excused from his own trial where he’s been convicted of murder and have him go do it.”

Again, I digress. It comes down to you have too many characters scratching for screentime, and you aren’t using any of them correctly. (Dibny aside. Dibny is damn awesome and when his time is up here, get his stretchy behind on the Waverider)   Tighten up the corners, let bad guys be bad guys, wrap this whole Devoe project up, and for God sakes stop this random pregnancy powers weird plot device from happening again. It’s cheap and lazy.

Look, I know this letter has only made it as far up as some 3rd AD’s secretary’s assistant. I know that none of this matters, end of the day. You’ll do what you do and that’s all there is to it.  But I ask, NO, I IMPLORE that you, Marybelle,  somehow get word from your little desk in an office in Vancouver to one or three of your writing staff and insist they go back and watch the first season of Arrow, and the first two seasons of Flash. Understand what is possible, and find your way back there.

And as always, kill Felicity.

Your friend in time,

M

 

The Goofs, The Girl, The Green and the Lazy: Arrowverse Week One Round-Up

Well, Berlanti’s Arrowverse is back for another season of humor, heart, and spectacle. Here’s the  (Spoiler Free) Breakdown of how the first week went from worst to first.

The Flash:

I believe it was Huey Lewis, of the Marin County Lewis’s that first said that the power of love is curious thing. For example, it can make one man weep, another man sing. No better evidence is there of the power of love and it’s curious (read super ass convenient) capabilities than the Season 4 opener of The Flash. It is here where love times love divided by love will conquer all.

As you may recall, at the end of Season 3, Barry decides that he will become the Speed Force’s captive, leaving Team Flash to fend for themselves. Jumping to present day, Iris (You’ll remember her as the one whose foretold death wasted half of every episode last season) is running point for Team Kid Flash, made up of Wally, Cisco/Vibe and Joe in a police issued SUV. They’re on the job, chasing down and capturing Metas, all the while having fun as they go. But it’s bittersweet, as everyone misses Barry. This is about as far as we can go without specifically ruining anything. Oh and Caitlin isn’t evil anymore. Yeah. Like that.

The Flash, while having been one of the best shows the last couple years while Arrow dipped into whatever the hell it dipped into, has a bad habit of high stakes cliffhangers with very underwhelming pay offs. Remember Flashpoint? The jaw-dropping season 2 ender that had all of our minds racing? What was going to happen?! A ripple in the fabric of time and space so big that it could help undo all of Arrow’s missteps! It could be the catalyst for a full season of plotlines and story arcs about Barry’s selfish mistake and–oh it’s done? With very little real consequence? Except for you, Diggle of course.  RIP Baby Sarah.

This opener was lazy. It was lazy, uninspired, and underwhelming. I’m talking Moffatt Doctor Who levels of lazy. Eric Bischoff’s Monday Nitro levels of underwhelming. My inability to come up with a third example’s level of uninspired. The writers once again couldn’t paint themselves out of the giant corner they were stuck in so they HAHA SCIENCE!!’d and YAY FOR LOVE!!’d themselves an answer.  This is getting to be a nasty habit, and it needs to change fast before the average viewer catches on. Guys, get it together. You’re better than this.

SUPERGIRL:

The Girl of Steel is back and broody as hell. That’s what happens when the alien love of your life gets lead poisoining and is sent off planet. Typical.

Well, Kara’s in a bad mood and in an attempt to cope has thrown herself into her work as Supergirl. National City is grateful for the drop in crime, but her friends and family are worried about her.

Meanwhile, Nathan Petrelli…no…Glenn Talbot…no…Morgan Edge…no…Nathan Petrelli is in National City to fill the male megalomaniacal CEO void left by Peter Facinelli’s Max Lord after the network switch.

Supergirl is a steadily consistent show, if not a little on the bland side. She serves as a strong role model for young and not as young girls alike, which is always a good thing. Season 1 and 2 benefitted from using the plots of some of Superman’s better stories, but that can also hinder it in the long run. We like the show, but it feels like it’s still finding it’s voice. It bounces back and forth between light-hearted and overly serious. There’s a medium there, and if they keep working at it, they’ll find it. (Hint: It’s more to the light-hearted side). It could really benefit from somehow finding itself on the same universal plane as the rest of the Arrowverse. A little crossover action, if even a simple cameo, never hurts. The first crossover with Flash in season one is one of the best episodes to date.

ARROW: 

At the end of last season, there were a lot of promises made. More accurately, vows. Even more accurately, ONE vow: Arrow had until the crossover to sort itself out or I was done forever. What was once my favorite hour of the Arrowverse managed to adorably trip over itself like an at first likeable but long term annoying as hell nerdy girl sidekick turned non-canonical love interest, much like the other real-world super powers predecessor, Heroes. The difference being that Heroes went bad almost immediately, while Arrow got through 2 seasons before it started to turn.
If you remember, we left our heroes on the banks of Lian Yu, where Adrian blew up all the sidekicks with an extraordinary amount of C-4 for a DA to procur. Well, we find out early on that they all survived. Well, almost all of them, you find out, as the show’s decided not to ditch the flashbacks as previously hoped, but flashback to the story of how they survived.

Meanwhile, in the present, Ollie has his hands full with fighting off a new group of terrorists led by Black Canary, while also raising his son Conn…sorry, William…who is having problems trusting his dual identitied father, if you can imagine such a thing. Also, Felicity isn’t as annoying thus far, but they made two separate hints that her and Oliver have “the talk” coming just over the horizon…there was a whole island of C-4! She couldn’t just have caught even one…never mind.

I give this show grief because I love it, and only want the best for it. And I’m not alone, thankfully, as my voice will continue to go unheard. Stephen Amell’s voice, however, that has a little more sway, and he’s made his point.
In a recent interview, while discussing a conversation that he had with Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti, Stephen Amell said this about the show back in Season 5:

“You know, I think that there’s a lot of things that we do well,” and Greg goes, “I would agree,” and I go, “Can we do those things?”

I have to be honest, we’re only one episode in, but it feels like they really are trying to do them. Arrow was the second place winner this week. They genuinely seem to want to get back to where we all know Arrow can be, but there’s a lot of work left to do. I can’t figure that the introduction of Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest) as a big bad is anything but a further step in the right direction. So I’m staying true to Arrow, but so help me if the wedding storyline comes back on the table, I will burn that bridge once and for all.
But please don’t, guys. Seriously. What am I going to watch instead? S.H.I.E.L.D.? Come on.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

There is a clear winner this week, and that winner is Legends.

This is the third season for this show, and if this opener is any indication, they’ve found their tone. The Legends work as a goofy band of screw-ups that really do want to do right, but can’t get out of their own way. The episode where they have to save George Lucas from becoming an insurance agent is one of the strongest of the series thus far.

In this episode, their former captain, Rip Hunter has left them on their own, and formed the Time Bureau: a group of suits that go around fixing anachronisms in the space-time continuum, a lot of which are the doing of the Legends themselves. Not to be outdone, and as a way of proving their worth, the Legends defy the Time Bureau and try to fix the mistakes themselves.

This one has finally found the humor. They aren’t all trying to look tougher by brooding or sex each other, at least not so far, they’re trying to prove to everyone that they really are the good guys, even if they get it wrong sometimes. Their new motto is “Sometimes we screw things up for the better”.  They aren’t quite as zany and quippy as the Guardians of the Galaxy, (and hopefully they never will be), but they have that flare to them.

I enjoyed Legends most of all, and I hope they stick with this new “we do what we want” attitude as it will strengthen the core and bring this show up in the ranks as a contender instead of what it’s been so far, an also-ran.  It certainly did this week.