TV shows are awesome

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andersonh1
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Re: TV shows are awesome

Post by andersonh1 »

The Flash season 2 just ended, and I'm not sure it was as good as it could have been. I'm going to work my way through it and lay out some thoughts.

- the enemy of the season was Zoom, Hunter Zolomon. The character was based on the comics version, but departed from it in several ways. The writers spent half the season having him impersonate Jay Garrick, supposedly the Flash of Earth 2, complete with his winged Mercury helmet. The whole point of making some changes to both characters was presumably to pull one over on comic book fans who would know all about said characters. It worked a little too well, since even Mark Waid went on Twitter and complained when "Garrick" was revealed as Zoom. Not to mention that the actor playing "Jay" did a great job at making him heroic and likable, before pulling the rug out from under everyone.

- That being said, some of Zoom's actions while playing "Jay" don't make a lot of sense when viewed in retrospect. And there's one scene set on Earth 2 where Harrison Wells has a conversation with him, calling him Flash, so he knows what the man looks like. And yet later on in the season, Wells is the one who tells the rest of the group about Hunter Zolomon and identifies him, so he should have recognized "Jay" as Zolomon in that earlier episode. And there are a few other plot holes which I won't list here, but the writing was not as tight as it should have been.

- The theme of the season was "dopplegangers", so all the main cast get to play two versions of their characters. The character that benefitted the most was Caitlin Snow, normally a nice, sincere, sweet character, getting to vamp it up as Killer Frost on Earth 2. Generally the alternate versions of characters were fun to watch, though it made it way too easy for the writers to get some drama by killing off a familiar face.

- There was a parallel with season 2 of Arrow that tells me the writers really need to pull something new out of their bag of tricks. Near the end of that season, Oliver Queen loses his one living parent to Deathstroke, the villain of the season. Near the end of season 2 of the Flash, Barry loses his one living parent to Zoom. Considering how little we'd seen of Barry's dad Henry, played by 90s Flash John Wesley Shipp, it was a waste of the character, as well as giving me the impression that the writers need to step back and figure out how not to repeat themselves.

- I suspect that Shipp wasn't available very often, or the writers couldn't figure out a way to fit his character into the regular cast, so that may have contributed to the decision to kill the character off. But there's also a fanboy reason: the writers had Shipp play the genuine Jay Garrick, revealed to have been Zolomon's prisoner. So now Shipp is again playing the Flash. And since he's a resident of Earth 3, it makes perfect sense to limit his appearances on the show. It's all fairly convoluted honestly, since Jay has the face of Barry's dead father.

- And all that may not matter anyway, since the final scenes of the season show Barry going back in time to save his mother's life, something he refused to do at the end of last season. What effects this will have on the timeline and the status quo of the show remain to be seen. The end of the season is a downer, despite Barry and company beating the villain. It feels like they lost more than they won.

- And just to gripe: the plot of a number of the last five or six episodes depend on the main characters doing something stupid, otherwise they'd have fallen apart. It got very frustrating to watch Barry and company trust Zoom to do what he said he would (he's a psychopath! he lies!), or put honor above reason, or whatever.

So, the season was fairly enjoyable for the most part, but I thought the writing fell apart in the second half of the season, and it was largely down to the writers trying to pull one over on the audience, and especially the comic book fans in the audience. They tried to be too clever by half, and the show suffered from it. Still, overall I feel positive about the show and will most likely tune in to see what they do with season three. I think the writers and producers have spread themselves too thin with three shows all going at once (Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow... a real disappointment there), and it may get worse with Supergirl moving to the CW next year.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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I think a couple of us who post here are Doctor Who fans. Any thoughts on Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor, now that he's almost done?

I have to admit, I didn't like him at first. I think it's down to the writing during his first season. For some unknown reason, they decided to make the Doctor (and Clara, for that matter) difficult to like. And it worked: I did not like the characters or stories, and for the first time in a long time, quit watching the show for a few years. As I said to my wife, it takes a lot to make a life-long Doctor Who fan like me give up on the show, but the writers managed it. It didn't help that I found the whole storyline where the dead were turned into Cybermen to be in very poor taste, further turning me off the show.

But things have turned around in the last few weeks. My mom had been recording the show off BBC America and letting me have the disks after she was done, so I had Capaldi's second season, mostly unwatched, and part of the most recent season. In sitting down to try one of the current episodes, I found that I actually enjoyed it. Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor had changed and softened and become much more like the character has traditionally been written, with some humor and compassion and wit. And in going back to watch Capaldi's second season, I found that they had already started to write him that way even then, to a slightly lesser extent. There are times when the man gives a brilliant performance, and I really enjoy watching him in the role, to the point that he may be passing Matt Smith as my favorite modern Doctor. I'm still debating. I need to finish the current season before making up my mind. Maybe the slump is over and Doctor Who is returning to a higher level of quality. I certainly hope so.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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I've enjoyed his performance so far, what I've seen of it. I am admittedly a few years behind. I found the storied to be interesting and a few of them creapy. I dunno, I've liked him, but then, I'm not as hardcore on Dr Who as I am about something like Transformers or Star Wars or Star Trek.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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Capaldi's been great, but Moffat's showrunning has been the pits. That said, this last season started out the most promising of any I can remember, and for a while it seemed The Doctor and Bill would really make a fantastic last season. Then Moffat's big event came in and it sucked the life right back out of the show, and it reeled afterwards, eventually careening into a twisted mess that felt exhausting and embarrassing as a fan. I could have sat through 3 seasons easily of Bill and the Doctor had it been like the first half of that season.

As for Clara under Capaldi's Doctor, I think they wanted to "right the ship" as fans had seen her as hollow, a Mary Sue of the highest order, and they dumped "conflict" feelings on her left and right until she became unbearable.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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andersonh1
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Re: TV shows are awesome

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Moffat used to be the best writer for the new series, back when he was giving us a story per year. When he took over the series, I think he still did well for seasons 5 and 6, with the quality dropping somewhat in season 7, though I still think Day of the Doctor is the best episode the new series has produced, and Moffat wrote that. All through Capaldi's three seasons, it's been very hit and miss, and every season has ended on a very down note.

I've finished the most recent one, and "Thin Ice" and "Empress of Mars" are a couple of episodes that I really enjoyed. "Eaters of Light" seems to be unpopular, but I enjoyed it. "Oxygen" was pretty good, despite being hardcore anti-capitalist. The Monk storyline wasn't bad per se, but dragged on longer than it should have. I liked the return of the Tenth Planet Cybermen, though the audio "Spare Parts" is a far better origin for them than the one we got on tv. While the two Masters were fun during the finale, turning Bill into a Cyberman is surely one of the most cruel things ever done to a companion, surpassing what was done to Clara last year. And that in turn just makes the Doctor look reckless and ineffectual.

Moffat is in the same position that JNT was: a producer that started out well with some good ideas who just stayed too long. I think he's long since run out of new ideas.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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I haven't watched any of the CW DC shows for a while, but their version of Crisis on Infinite Earths pulled me back in, in part due to Arrow ending after 8 seasons, in part to see all these characters interact, and in part for the cameos. I won't spoil the plot (which borrow several elements directly from the original Crisis), but the cameos at the beginning are great.

- Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox from the Batman 89 movie (with music from that film and the same Gotham briefly seen) on "Earth-89"
- Hawk and Robin from the current Titans tv show
- a character I didn't recognize from "Earth X"
- and finally, Burt Ward, walking his dog while the skies turn red, whereupon he exclaims "holy crimson skies of doom!" while the Batman 66 theme plays... and of course, it's "Earth-66"

It's a five part story, with three episodes this week, and the other two in January. I got tired of these shows for a number of reasons, but I genuinely enjoyed this episode. You can tell it's on a tv budget, but it works fairly well regardless.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

Post by Dominic »

I missed the first two episodes this week. What is part 3, and when is it on?

The tv shows using Earth-X is probably the reason that DC went with the stupid thing they are using now, rather than Morrison's Earth 10. Not sure that I can forgive that.

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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We can't pick up the CW for some reason, so I've been watching the episodes a day late on the CW website, because eps are available the day after they're broadcast. Here's the schedule I've found:

Dec 8: Supergirl will air “Part One” at 8/7c
Dec 9: Batwoman will air "Part Two" at 8/7c
Dec 10: The Flash will air "Part Three" at 8/7c

And then we get to wait until January for the final two episodes.

Jan 14: Arrow will air "Part Four" (probably at 8/7c)
Jane 14: Legends of Tomorrow will air "Part Five" (probably at 9/8c)

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Re: TV shows are awesome

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Thanks. (It is a sign of how old I am that I only think to check online for shows that I watch online, rather than any content.)

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andersonh1
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Re: TV shows are awesome

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In part 2, Kevin Conroy's Bruce Wayne gets some lines taken directly from Ben Affleck's version of the character in "Batman v Superman". Sometimes I could hear his Batman voice, sometimes I couldn't. Tom Welling gets his cameo as Smallville's Clark Kent in this episode, and we get Brandon Routh's Kingdom Come inspired Superman, though from the John Williams musical cues and dialogue references, I think he's playing the same Superman from "Superman Returns", or a slight variant. I thought the story really slowed down in this episode compared to the last one, but I'm sure all these talking scenes help save some money for the special effects during the action.

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