Day Two, Post 2B – Flash Back to Arrow

Remember yesterday, when I wrote about angst in the CW network’s DC hero the Flash, and how it’s a superhero trend, maybe for the worse?  Since the show The Flash is a spin-off of fellow CW Arrow, based on fellow DC hero the Green Arrow, The Flash may be following Arrow‘s lead.

Consider: Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen has a corrupt-politician mother who let them get swindled out of the family business, he and his sister Thea have different fathers, both men got mixed up with Ra’s al-Ghul, Green Arrow’s gotten one sidekick killed (by Thea for her birth father) and had to deal with another’s (supplied by Ra’s) drug addiction, Oliver’s US Government handler and Ra’s both want Oliver corrupted to their own ends, and a freelance hitman’s been gunning for Oliver since the beginning.

Then there are the love triangles: chiefly Laurel Lance (Sara’s kid sister)/Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak (Oliver’s and Ray Palmer‘s aide-de-champ)/Ray Palmer himself (also known as fellow superhero the Atom).

Of course, Arrow‘s had a two-year head start on all of this morbid nuttiness, so it’s not as overwhelming as on The Flash, but still…

More to come, true believers of the Distinguished Competition, but first, I’d like to hear what you’d think.


Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome, folks, to my new blog!  Here, we’ll be talking about science fiction TV shows and movies – not just what’s on now, but also what’s been around a while, who does what better, if these guys can join forces to create one great project instead of two good ones, how far they can go in one way without too many fans complaining, stuff like that.

I watch this stuff more than read it, though I also read lots about both; if I hit it big then maybe I can both read and watch.  Someday…

But for now…For my first post, we’ll (or at least I’ll) be talking about DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster, the Flash (at different times forensic scientist Barry Allen and his nephew and former sidekick, fellow forensic scientist Wally West).  His show’s on Tuesday nights on the CW, so for both time and medium we can focus on that for now.   For all the praise it’s gotten, you could say the show also represents problems with superhero stories in general now:

1.) Love Triangles and Dark Secrets keeping the hero and the lady he loves apart (artificial drama with a frustrating drag-out);

2.) Avenging Dead Relative as motivation (hey, it works for Batman…); and

3.) Morbid Tone (see #2).

They all help create drama, but with the Spider-Man and Batman movies relying strongly on them, the whole thing feels derivative and more than a little bit dull.

Flash’s 1990 TV forbear had similar problems to the 2014 – in both cases, somebody probably took one look at a recent, successful Batman movie and said, “That’s working – the darkness and the thirst for vengeance – give the cool young guy some of that angst stat!”

Also thrown in, by the way, probably to keep viewers from drowning in backstory: “Whomever we could introduce into the story without guys standing around gabbing where they came from – who cares if our lead guy’s dead in the comic book and we’re giving his his of sidekick’s supporting cast!  And jamming this non-Marvel Silver Age B-Lister down non-readers’ throats is YOUR problem!”

Of course, the 1990 show failed because it had scheduling problems caused by the Gulf War and Bart Simpson, budget problems caused by “realistically” showing the Flash’s speed (and with 1980’s technology, to boot), no-one knowing who the Flash is…not because of how mirthless and at odds with the comic book it’s been accused of being.

The newer Flash possibly elides some of these problems – not going for the same audience as another network’s show on its night (I’m looking at you, NCIS and Agents of SHIELD); introducing the characters to TV viewers with Arrow and Smallville; stylizing the high-speed effect to keep even 2014 technology cheap; and keeping pace with the cast and tone of the contemporary comic book (for all the line’s complaints; see entry under Didio(t), Dan).

Still, we’ve got The Dead Relative and The Love Triangle to worry about: except the best that the show apparently can come up with is the angst-increasing “Third point in Love Triangle may also be to blame for Dead Relative; his solution to both involves a universe-destroying paradox that the hero has to stop.”  I wonder if, in the name of artificial drama and lazy writing – I mean, dark tone – the writers would append “…by stopping the ‘solution’ from happening.  Instant drama!  Instant back-to-not-having-to-rewrite-our-series-bible!”  Road trip to celebrate!” to the earlier quote.

That’s all for now; if I have anything more or new to say I’ll add it; if you have any questions, I’ll answer them; till them, quoth Stan Lee…Excelsior, true believers!

‘Nuff said!