Shiri’s Thoughts on the End of The Main 2015 TV Season
The “What the Fuck” Award Goes To:
I stuck with you, Gotham. Against the sayers of the nay. I defended you. And this is how you repay my loyalty? With an absolute, complete, and total cluster? I’m offended.
Here’s what you fucked up:
The Barbara/Leigh thing
So much wrong with this little sub plot.
#1: apparently, there just weren’t enough cat fights this season. Did you enjoy watching two hot chicks roll around, guys/gals who are in to that sort of thing? No? Nor I. That could have been subtle and creepy and amazing. Instead it was all kinds of middle school “you stole my boyfriend, bitch.” Blech.
#2: Jim Gordon marries Barbara Keen. They are married for a very, very long time. They have a daughter. Her name is also Barbara. Barbara Gordon. Who becomes Batgirl and then Oracle. So. Why do you add this totally useless little event wherein Barbara Keen goes bat shit (haha. I only realized that was funny after I wrote it) crazy? Why would Jim Gordon even think about getting back together with, let alone marrying and having a kid with, a total psycho? Barbara losing it makes perfect sense. She was kidnapped and traumatized and brainwashed (maybe?) into killing her own parents. Quite frankly, her parents had it coming. They were assholes. Even if she did it willingly in the midst of a psychotic break, fair play. Maybe, maybe in comic book world, she and Jim come back from that. It happens. Occasionally.
But Barbara lured Jim’s current girlfriend into her apartment (which, by the way, Leigh, conflict of interest. IRL you would be well on the way to getting your license yanked. For that and exceeding her scope of forensic psychiatric practice by suddenly being a master medical examiner), plied her with alcohol during a supposed counselling session, and then tried to stab her. Regardless as to which of them Jim believes (hubs pointed out that he did walk in on Leigh beating the shit out of Barbara in a fashion that went well beyond self defense), Barbara stalked and tried to kill Jim’s lady. Even if Leigh did go out of bounds, what in the name of Thor’s mighty dong would make a smart man, and decent cop, get back together with a lunatic like that? One of two: he’s actually an idiot, which makes him unappealing, or he sets out to save her, which makes both of them unappealing and makes me delete this series from the DVR faster than you can say “it’s the refrigerator, stupid.”
The Fish Thing:
Didn’t she get shot? And then there was the whole Mists of Avalon moment, the recruit the homeless moment, the… wait, where did the money come from? What happened to Dahlmaker? Did the national guard storm the compound or are he, his basement of body parts, and his gross clients still sitting out there on a random island that’s apparently relatively close to Gotham and no one noticed? How are Fish’s nails still so nice? Why with the scalp studs? The only good thing about that arc was Selina.
Hubs pointed out that, perhaps, the writers/showrunner anticipated Jada Pinkett-Smith to return for the second season and had to figure out a way to be rid of her at the last minute. Perhaps. But Fish was an awesome character and she deserved a more fitting end than whatever it was that happened I wasn’t paying attention to because I was checking my phone.
Do Mob Bosses Get to Retire?
Really? After all that time, Falcone just walks away? I don’t buy it. He was also a very compelling character and I get that they were likely clearing the decks for next season (and apparently the Joker and Mr. Freeze), but seriously. Seriously.
And Marone Just Let Someone Shoot Him in the Head Like a Chump?
I get him going after Fish. He’s a dick. We’ve covered that. But again, really, really sudden and anticlimactic for the middle of a gang war. It could, at the very least, had a little bit of glory.
Such an amazing character all season and to be honest, I don’t even remember your climax because, again, I was confused, bored, and on Facebook. Nygma’s treatment was slightly better but the stretchy cam wasn’t necessary. We get it. He’s finially snapped. Show us the cold, calculating Riddler who comes out on the other side, at least for that last moment.
I will accept this one finale as an utterly ridiculous, last minute changes clearing of the decks. Gotham has… let’s say, a round three episodes to impress me next season.
The “I May, Sadly, Be Over It Award” Goes To:
Redemption is possible, but it’s going to take a lot. A really, really lot. It could happen one of two ways:
1) This whole complex plot surrounding Oliver’s taking the Ra’s mantle is actually the current Ra’s maneuvering to make Nyssa the Demon’s Head. Because there’s some archaic law in the League that’s blocking her somehow and if Oliver becomes Ra’s and she marries him and then he has an “accident” of some sort, it would make her the Assassin Queen. Yes, that’s a long shot, but it would fit into the mythos. Ra’s has centuries to make and execute a given plan; he’s a long view guy. Ra’s is also a guy who is willing to destroy thousands, if not millions, to get what he wants, even if, in the end, it’s what every parents wants: the best position in life for his child.
2) Another complete clearing of the decks. We go back to Ollie being a slightly morally ambiguous vigilante who works with his vigilante friends and, occasionally, shady ARGUS, at a street level to protect people. Lance gets his head out of his ass, everyone sings Kumbaya, and we move on.
Beyond that, despite a few decent episodes around the mid-season break, most of them lending extended screen time to Ray Palmer/The Atom, Arrow’s season three has been a collection of episodes with the following plot-line and dialogue:
You lied to me!
It was for your own protection!
Never lie to me again.
You lied to me again!
It was for your own protection. You’re going to have to trust me.
I trusted you and you did a horrible thing! How could you?
It as for your own good.
There’s also the issue of travel to and from Nanda Parbat. I acknowledge that it is, in the grand scheme, a small matter, but it’s been bugging the shit out of me for months. Nanda Parbat is, according to canon, somewhere in Tibet, and no one has suggested an alternate geographical location. As far as we know, no one has access to a Boom Tube, and even Ray Palmer only has a regular jet, leading one to assume gaining entry to a mythical land in the Himalayas would be something of a… dare I say it… undertaking. Or at least take more more than five seconds. Also, visas and shit. “Sir, is there are reason you’ve been to Nanda Parbat six times in the last month?” would be something that might trip a vigilante and his mates up. At one point in the penultimate episode, Merlyn said, “Nanda Parbat isn’t exactly the easiest place in the world to get to,” in the context of needing a plane blah blah blah. Apparently, Malcolm, IT IS. Also, for real, has no one thought to call Flash? Yeah, I know he has shit to deal with what with his mentor being a cold blooded killer from the future an all, but for real. If Oliver can show up from Nanda Parbat to help Barry with some lame-ass metahuman, I’d imagine Barry could find it within himself to run to Tibet, bust Oliver out, and run back. Given everyone else can get there so fast.
Arrow has lost any tension and drama it once had and devolved into The Real World: Starling Parbat. I’d like my vigilante show back, please. Also, it would be nice if Stephen Amell were permitted an attitude other than brooding and a facial expression other than vaguely constipated. As anyone who follows him on FB or has seen an interview knows, dude is hilarious. It would be sweet if he could smile or crack a joke once a season.
There have been a few nice developments in the second half all, with the exception of the afore mentioned Mr, Palmer, in the form of the ladies. Felicity lost any cred she had earned in the last few eps, but Thea finally came in to her own. I hope she does become Speedy, because that would be rad and she deserves it after all the shit she’s put up with from Ollie and Merlyn. Also, Laurel is now awesome and finally grabbed her independent agency with both hands and shook it loose. I think my favorite moment of the season was when Nyssa tried to knife Oliver in the face during the wedding. I sort of wish she’d gotten him in the eye. That would have been awesome and then he could have been a pirate. Al Sa-Him is a great name for a pirate.
(addendum: watched season finale of Arrow. Neither of the things happened, but something completely else did. Depending on how it’s handled at the beginning of next season, I may be willing to recommit. MAYBE.)
The “Tipping Point” Award:
I hate Iris. I want to punch her in the face. She is not a nice person. She is selfish, she is vain, and she thinks the world revolves around her. Do I like that the guys have treated her like a fragile little flower? No, and you can read about that in an entry from a few weeks back. But don’t mistake my ire at the writing/character development for a defense of her behavior.
The last few episodes of The Flash have been… fraught. Angsty. I mean, betrayal, sure, but part of the reason this show has been faboo in it’s freshman season is because there’s just enough camp to keep it fun and Wentworth Miller is the bomb. Gustin’s Flash is a lovable dork with relatively decent reasoning skills and backup who have been individually developed as fully fleshed out characters/individuals. Heading into Arrow’s dark and gloomy takes the shine off a bit and it has been the shine I have so loved. Maybe once they finish this arc they can get to back to the Rogue’s Gallery and the wonderfully goofy Scarlet Speedster with a quick wit and the big brain we all came to love last fall.
The “Oh, Hell Yes, It’s Coming Back” Award:
This one is a three-way tie.
Smart, funny, and a little bit gross. A female lead who, while she was turned against her will (and really, who’d want to become a zombie), has found a new life for herself and a deeper, albeit it often troublesome, understanding of other people. The supporting cast is excellent, though I often find myself wondering where Peyton has disappeared to. Ravi is fantastic, Blane is deliciously, deviously evil, and I like Lloyd and am hoping they don’t go somewhere predictable and dumb with their relationship.
I reactivated my Netflix account for Daredevil, expecting it to be decent. I did not expect it to have my mind blown. The show is dark, violent, bloody, and unpredictable. Brooding without the Man of Steel heavy-handedness, laden with moments of mirth and warmth that make it real instead of horrifically depressing. TV doesn’t usually get me in the feels and Daredevil did just that several times (especially in the Nelson v. Murdock episode wherein men explored the history of their incredible friendship and both shed very appropriate tears as their lives were peeled away and crushed). Both the hero and the villain have a certain moral ambiguity about them I absolutely adore in my comic based media but is so very rarely done. It creates an ever shifting, ever changeable, masterful dynamic flowing between them The casting, as is so often the case with Marvel projects, is impeccable, the writing is solid (if occasionally a tad bit superhero cliche), and the flashbacks work to move the story forward (a seeming contradiction, but if you’ve watched it you know what I mean). They’re also interesting (looking at you again, Arrow). This very morning I re-watched the warehouse confrontation between Daredevil and Fisk and it had just as much, if not more, impact than upon first viewing.
The tie in with the MCU – explaining the conditions in Hell’s Kitchen vis a vis fallout from Avenger’s battle for New York and the lack of “heroic” give a shit required to rebuild a poor neighborhood – was spot on and absolutely, realistically valid. Stark rebuilt his tower, but neither he, nor the other Avengers, nor the government, were interested enough in how their actions affected the norms once said norms were out of immediate danger. As one of the mobsters so adroitly phrases it, “Every time one of those costumed freaks smashes through a building, we make billions,” (or some approximation thereof). We all know that if the Marvel universe was, “the real world,” that’s exactly what would happen.
I am unashamed to admit I am addicted and obsessed. I’ve already asked hubs to get me the Millerrun of Daredevil upon which the show is said to be based (’78-83, I believe). I was honestly and truly bummed out when I read they weren’t planning to do another season until after AKA: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron First, and The Defenders cycled and did an actually squee-accompanied happy dance when Netflix announced a second season for next year.
Also, I want to do naughty things with the fight choreography. It is… well, if you’ve done martial arts, you understand.
Because Agent Carter. Because, “I know my own worth.”
That is all that needs be said.
The “#SaveIt” Award:
Hands down. Yes, our first thirteen installment arc was… uneven. But the casting is genius and there’s so much potential. Constantine deserves an opportunity for production on a network that can do it justice and doesn’t dance around the nature of the beast, that beast being John himself rather than hellspawn or voodoo priests who talk to their sister’s skull, or double-crossing angels. Netflix, given the recent success of the aforementioned Daredevil, would be ideal but I have no idea if they have some sort exclusivity/non-compete with Marvel. Amazon, Hulu… anyone not constrained by a prime time slot on a major network. Anyone who can make John a little bit more of an asshole, give him a little bit more of an edge, let him chain smoke, and be that ends justifies the means guy we all know Matt Ryan can give us. Also, Spectre. Need more of him. A lot more.
The “Looking Forward To” Awards:
This is the fun hero show with the edge of camp I’ve been looking for. I can take or leave Canary, but am psyched about some time with Hawkgirl and I can’t wait to see Brandon Rauch’s Ray Palmer and Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold play off one another. Both actors clearly revel in the somewhat ridiculous nature of the comic book screen adaptation and it makes them way, way too much fun to watch.
I’m grouping these together because, my impression is, they’re going to play as one long continuity broken into smaller arcs, something else Marvel has proven themselves superior at (somewhere there is a warehouse with walls covered in a massive murder board that keeps track of all of it). I’m not as familiar with these characters as some others, though Luke pointed me in the direction of the early 2000s Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth (damn, do those three make beautiful music together) run of Iron Fist and it was a thing of spectacular beauty that has me pumped for the entity that is Marvel’s street level TV hero effort. Can’t wait to see the band all together either. There is going to be some serious ass-kicking.
The “I’m Staying Away From That Clusterfuck” Award:
Full disclosure: I haven’t read the Lucifer comic, though I do have great faith that anything Mike Carey helmed is more than good. Hubs read the entire run and loved it, from the character’s first appearance in Sandman through to the end and he loved it.
This show is not that comic. As one comment I read so accurately explained, “This show was on twenty years ago. It was called Brimstone.” Brimstone had some fun moments. But I’ve already seen it and I don’t really need to see it again unless there’s some fabulous twist. This show was on again about ten years ago. It was called Angel and, while it had some decent episodes, was a disappointing whole that devolved into WTF, oh god, please make it end, getting on the fucking boat your fucking Hobbits territory long before it was cancelled.
If you want to make a comic procedural, there are plenty of good ones out there. Pick one of them. Do it right.
The “I’m Ready For It” Award:
Season Three of Hannibal airs next month. Keep your eyes peeled. Garnish and all. If you’ve managed (unlike me) to avoid the off-season press you’re head is going to explode a few minutes in. And more creepy Bedelia and her creepy whatever with Hannibal can only lead to me checking the door fifty times before I go to sleep at night because real life horror is so much worse than stupid demon horror. You know Hannibal could by your psychiatrist and you’d never, ever know.
So there you have it, kids. Add ins? Take aways? Agrees? Disagrees? That’s what the comments are for.