Star Trek: Discovery – I’ve said on every review I’ve done on this show, if it wasn’t for the Star Trek name this might be a passable show on its own, but you can’t get the fact that this Star Trek and it has 50 years of history behind it. I’m not asking for a slavish devotion to the series before it, because a show that has remained in the public eye that long can embrace change. Look at Dr. Who, another long running series that has gained mainstream popularity without dismissing its core formula.
ST:D may, in the end, suffer from what many Star Trek series suffer from. If you look at the first season of ST:TNG and others in the franchise, there has been a roughness to the series and it took a season or two before gaining the confidence to find their own rhythm. This might ultimately happen with this series but it will be rough going from what I’ve seen so far.
The main issue I have is they’re so trying to be hip, in a sense, they are giving us the sizzle and not much sustenance. There’s no wonderment, no fun in the sense of adventure and camaraderie. Even with ST:DS9, with a war theme, there were ways of keeping the show interesting. I keep looking for that with this show but I’m not getting that. I see questionable thing, and that is what I think about more than the storylines or personal interactions.
Supergirl – The romcom superhero show. The format works for me because, honestly, most shows are from a male perspective and it’s nice to see a show, especially a superhero show, from the female POV. I will say the romcom element can be pushed in some instances, but I think that works for the audience that is the CW. The CW formula is to have the extended family vibe. It’s present in all of the superhero shows on the CW.
Something I’m glad that happened a few weeks ago was the conflict between Maggie Sawyer and her father. I was expecting a typical apprehensive meeting then a gradual acceptance or a total rejection by her father. It was more nuanced than that, exploring his own rejection by others and the hope for his child. He explained his reasoning as best as he could, and while I didn’t agree with his decision, I understood why he came to that conclusion.
Tackling the balance between the superhero and the person behind the mask has been a subtle theme of the show. What I see with the female characters is a way of showing how women have to juggle between a professional and personal life. It is taken in the grand scope of Supergirl and Carol Danvers balancing things, but it’s also explored with the other female characters like Lena Luthor.
The Gifted – Not technically part of the Marvel family, but it definitely more Marvel like than The Inhumans. I’m warming up more to this show, which at first looked like a rehash of the NBC show Heroes. What I’m liking about the show is, like the X-Men comic series of old, the questions about mutants isn’t so black and white. We found out there was an incident, a protest that went terribly wrong, which led to the draconian measure against mutants. That caused things to escalate between mutants and humans.
OK, I have to admit I liked hearing the phrase “mutie” uttered a few times, but it is simply because it was a nod to a link to the comic series. I mentioned the show Heroes and for me The Gifted is what the promise of Heroes was but it never delivered on. Shows based on comic book properties, in the past, would focus on visualizing the cool abilities rather than the emotions and feeling about the character. In the focus of style over substance, the budgets couldn’t fully sustain the style and there would be little thought to the substance. This show, so far, has done a good job of focusing on the motivations and back stories of the characters and giving depth to them.
Star Wars: Rebels – The show is in its final year, and for those in the know we know where they show ends up. We aren’t sure if all of the crew of The Ghost will be at the battle of Scarif, nor if they all survive. So far the show has had 2 part episodes, shown back to back.
SW:R seemed a lot more kid friendly in the beginning of the series but at this point I would say it is at the teenager phase. This is probably due to the fact on where the end game probably is with the series. I’m looking forward as to how this all plays out, as well as some hints in the last few episodes that might tie into Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The Flash: The Flash is the family friendly CW show. It has the whole vibe of family going throughout Team Flash. This is my popcorn show, along with Legends of Tomorrow. It’s comfort food and no matter how much craziness they throw in the plots, I roll with it. I’ve been a fan of the fun loving Flash when, which I thought was a bold move at the time, not only hinted at Gorilla Grodd in the first episode, actually had him appear in the first episode.
So I’m following along with the Thinker and the collection of the villains at Iron Heights and so far it is enjoyable. What I’m a little disappointed with is the domestic life of the characters. From the couple’s therapy to Joe having a baby, I’m concerned about the execution of those interactions. They seem a little too formula to me and not well planned or executed.
Another thing I’m starting to get concerned about, which is a general concern for TV series, is stunt casting for fan service. Look, it’s going to happen, I understand that. If you have a show and you can get someone familiar to the geek circuit, you’re going to go for it, but I’m not a big fan of it because for me it suspends belief in the character.
I still like The Flash but I fear they might have fatigue setting in with plot ideas.
DCs Legends of Tomorrow – My other popcorn show and this is so enjoyable because they don’t take themselves seriously. Last season, there were a number of time traveling shows on the schedule. Most treated the subject with dire circumstances and potential earth altering, time altering ramifications (yes I’m taking to you Time after Time and Timeless). It is ironic that the run of those genre of shows lasted one season and DCs Legend of Tomorrow is still chugging along.
(NOTE: Timeless will be returning, possibly, as a limited series sometime this season)
I think the fact that LOT doesn’t take itself seriously is a formula to its relative success. It’s turning into the Guardians of the Galaxy for the Arrowverse. They banter, disagree and may not be on the same page, but they try to do the right thing in spite of themselves and the lighthearted approach is a good formula for the show. The sly references to other cast projects is cool. While I’m not a fan of stunt casting, a wink and nod acknowledgement of things other cast members were involved in isn’t too much of a distraction for me.
Well, except for last week. I will say I had mixed feelings about the last episode, since it was an homage to ET: The Extraterrestrial. It was not one of my favorite movies and it seemed forced to add the elements of the movie for the show. Unlike last season’s George Lucas homage, which had a few key elements from his body of work, the ET homage just piled on references. However, I’m willing to ride with the silliness because the silliness works with the vibe of the team.