Quickie Thoughts on Recent CW


I have a few thoughts on recent happenings on the CW, like, CBS/Warner Television, not Content Warning, though usually my reviews include some of those.¬† I just don’t have the time to do it up like I used to in Media Reviews, so this is going to be real brief.

Legends of Tomorrow:¬† Has been renewed, will have its new season sometime this year.¬† I feel like it should have ended in 2020.¬† Of the CW slate getting crippled by COVID, they did the best job of having a satisfying season.¬† In fact,¬† I feel it was their best season ever, and ended with a cliffhanger one could easily write off without ever seeing the conclusion to (something out of a Big Lebowski daydream).¬† I have a lot more specific thoughts about Legends if anyone’s curious in the comments, but I’ll leave it off with this for the post: It’s nice the remaining cast members have a job, but artistically speaking last season should have been the end of it.¬† I’ll be very impressed if the show proves me wrong.

Black Lightning and Supergirl are cancelled:¬† But they have one more season left, here in 2021.¬† Black Lightning in 2020 had the second best season of the CW shows I watched, and had far and away the best “Crisis on Infinite Earths” tie-in episode.¬† Actually, if you take superheroes seriously, it was far better than Legends.¬† I don’t, so I preferred the lighthearted show.¬† But the drama and intrigue of superhumans on Black Lightning?¬† Better than anything on the CW slate.¬† Plus whoever did fashion design for the show should get more gigs in a hurry – they’re great.¬† 2021 will see an episode of BL serving as a “soft pilot” for a Painkiller spinoff series.¬† I doubt it will get picked up, but the guy playing Khalil is a very worthy action hero.¬† He’s hella built, has sick moves, and is a good actor.¬† I hope he gets movies.¬† Everyone else is great too, honestly, from “ABC After-school Special” Mom to “Jean Grey with Self Esteem” daughter.¬† Good luck in your careers.

Meanwhile Supergirl was one of the shows hard hit by COVID (Flash and Arrow were the worst).¬† Did they finish their plot arc last season?¬† I don’t even remember by now.¬† The X-Files’s Mitch “Sexy Bald Daddy Type” Pileggi and Cara “Appears in IMDb on a Movie with Yours Truly Great American Satan” Buono were going to exterminate humanity or something?¬† Jesse Rath, who plays Brainiac on the show, has done some great work there.¬† Again, I hope he gets some good jobs after the show is gone.

As for the rest of the show, really, everybody did as good a job as they could, given how cutthroat and difficult TV is, and I’m sorry to see them shitcanned.¬† In the awkward lurching foolery of the show you could sense behind-the-scenes problems were on display.¬† It’s especially a shame that Superman is coming to the CW exactly as Supergirl is cancelled, sending the message that “nobody wants woman-centered entertainment, men sell.”¬† C’est lavie.

The show was ridiculous, but they tried.¬† Katie McGrath was Queen of the World as Lena Luthor, but in movies she’s just a babysitter that gets triple-murdered by dinosaurs.¬† It’s a fuckin’ shame.¬† Supergirl’s human sister played by Chyler Leigh was a fun character for me.¬† She drinks embarrassing quantities of wine and lesbian processes like a big dog.

Goodbye, ladies.  It really was nice knowing you.

Spoiler Warning  for Something that aired a Year Ago, who cares?

Stephen Amell’s sendoff in Arrow was fucking hilarious.¬† He was fighting a bunch of 1-HP ghosts until they “got him” somehow, leaving him with barbecue sauce on his face and just enough life to say goodbye to all his homies.¬† Then he was undead for a minute and went to heaven with his wife.¬† The end.¬† He did a good job on that show, but TV is a mess.¬† As show creators, unless you know for a fact you have a set limited run, you’re just incredibly unlikely to make a satisfying story arc for a series.¬† Meanwhile Flash just literally could not finish their season at all.¬† Big mess.

There’s artistic intentions in these shows, but they are quickly lost in the business of making them happen.¬† But effort is made, and I do enjoy watching the little successes and failures of individual episodes and seasons.¬† I feel this is a case of “no ethical consumption under late capitalism” because you know these actors are paid shit and thrown away at a moment’s notice, and 99% of people on the other side of the camera are even more disposable and exploited.¬† All entertainment industries are rotten as hell.

The good news:¬† You want content that centers indigenous people?¬† You miss Cleverman?¬† I don’t know if it’s being aired on CW or just on their streaming service, but there’s a Canadian show called Trickster that’s looking pretty good two episodes in.¬† (Actually the whole first season is probably available from the Canadian source in some way.)¬† My fave character is the MC’s mom played by Crystle Lightning.¬† She’s an adorable fucked up badass.¬† I also like the show’s treatment of alcoholism and drug use as just part of everyday life, sad but inevitable.¬† It doesn’t waste time with all the usual shit and feels more like real life, if maybe a bit fantastic in some ways.¬† I don’t know how y’all feel about shows playing with the line between being schizophrenic and being a shaman, so tread carefully if that’s a problem for you.

Also, BATWOMAN.¬† If you’re up on superhero TV, this is probably the one you were wondering about.¬† The premiere season was OK, had some plus and minus.¬† The constrained cast and generally depauperate universe gave the impression of a very limited budget, the show has the same fashy ideas about crime control that Arrow had, but…¬† The actress playing Batwoman literally quit!¬† The villains and side characters and story were all tied to her, they’d have to recast or cancel, right?¬† Maybe make some excuse why her face is different, like surgery from getting blown up?

No!¬† They decided to let the character get mysteriously disappeared and have a new lady take up the batmantle.¬† The decision seems absurd and you’ve probably seen people hating on it, but one episode in, I can say – it’s looking good!¬† She’s good.¬† Particularly if you feel the sting of Black Lightning’s black lesbian superhero being lost to cancellation, pick this one up.¬† I have no doubt she’s going to do this well.¬† She jokes, she brawls, she has her dramatic feels.¬† I’ll be interested to see how she does when she has a chance to do romance.

That’s about all for now.¬† Not as brief as I expected, but far from a comprehensive look at the shows themselves or my full thoughts on them.¬† Discuss in the comments, if you like or have questions.

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