Batwoman coming to the CW

From http://wegotthiscovered.com/tv/falls-arrowverse-crossover-introduce-batwoman/, thanks for allowing me to reprint it here!

Batwoman will be part of the DC-CW Universe.

With Gotham ending next season, the CW can slowly assimilate the hometown of the Batman Family (and maybe its gallery of rogues other than Ras Al-Ghul – whose incorporation was one of the highlights of the show!).

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“When Stephen Amell teased that he’d be serving up an announcement this week, I’d assumed it’d have something to do with Arrow moving to a new night, which, as it happens, was confirmed earlier today (it’s relocating to Mondays at 9 pm this fall). But what I didn’t expect was for him to set the internet ablaze.

Believe it or not, none other than Batwoman will be introduced in this fall’s Arrowverse crossover! Marking her historic first appearance in live action, here’s what Amell had to say at The CW’s upfront presentation regarding this momentous occasion:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’ll be doing another crossover event this fall on the CW, and we’ll be introducing a new character. For the very first time appearing, we’ll be fighting alongside Batwoman, which is terrific…

Previously, Bruce Wayne had been name-dropped on Arrow, but there’s no way Batman can make a guest appearance on the show due to Gotham‘s existence. Regardless, being able to secure the services of his cousin, Kate Kane, is one hell of a big deal.

Additionally, CW President Mark Pedowitz had this to offer:

“We are adding the city of Gotham into the Arrowverse. This will be another full-throttled, action-packed event.”

After seeing the heroes of the Arrowverse contend with an immortal, an alien invasion, and Nazis from a parallel Earth in recent years, I’m all for seeing something more grounded this time around, awesome as those other events were. Hopefully more information trickles out of San Diego this July, but journalists and fans alike are no doubt about to begin months of speculating regarding which villains will show up. Stay tuned for more.”

***

Even after I savaged the last two seasons of Arrow, I certainly will tune in for more information!

***

About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

 

 

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The CW Fall 2018-19 Schedule

Changes are coming to our DC-CW shows. Well, at least on the days they are airing.

Originally the DC-CW shows spanned the week, now they are lumped into the first few days.

***

All times are Eastern…

SUNDAY
8-9 PM — Supergirl

MONDAY
8-9 PM — DC’S Legends of Tomorrow
9-10 PM — Arrow

TUESDAY
8-9 PM  — The Flash
9-10 PM — Black LIghtning

***

My internet trolling has not help me learn why. The ratings for the DC-CW shows are still stellar (for the CW) and all the shows ended up in their top ten.

***

About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

A review of the Flash Season Four Finale

I sat through 21 episodes for THIS shit?

What a bitterly disappointing ending for a fair-to-good season…

Season Four had wonderful potential – the big bad was finally not another omnipotent-he-is-always-one-step-ahead-of-us speedster (he was an omnipotent-he-is-always-one-step-ahead-of-us genius), a whole new rogue’s gallery was forming, and the highlight – the introduction of the Elongated Man!

Hartley Sawyer was perfectly case – he even LOOKED like Ralph!

But the rest of the season just shows the severe limitations of the “Big Bad”-style.

I’ve complained about this style recently and called for its elimination in the DC-CW shows. The last three seasons of Arrow show the style at its worst. But it wasn’t until the last episode of Season Four of the Flash that it finally dawned on me why.

Yes, the Big Bad makes for tedium and repetition (“Hoping this is their chance to stop (insert name of Big Bad) once and for all …” seems to begin the synopsis for 3/4ths of Arrow’s IMDB’s Episode Lists …) but that is only a symptom. The disease is thus:

Nothing. Happens. Until. The last. episode.

Nothing.

No plot progression. No sense of advancement.

The Big Bad Style is interesting and thrilling when you first watch it. But the plot devise has been used in sixteen seasons between the four DC-CW shows, as well as Agents of Shield, Gotham, etc.

Maybe it’s me, maybe these shows are better while binge-watching. I doubt it. I suspect the Big Bad syndrome is even worse – seeing the heroes defeated not once per week but four times in an afternoon – “is this a rerun, did I hit the repeat button?”

Again it goes back to the main problem: “We’ll stop him this time!” “At last! I … oh. Episode 17, nope, you have five more to go before THAT happens.” Until then …

…nothing…

Arrow tried for a different take this season by killing off their Big Bad – revealing that the actual Big Bad was lurking in the background. But then it was back to the “We’ll stop him this time/this will work it HAS to!” …

Meet the new (Big Bad) boss, same as the old (Big bad) boss.

Flash should be better than this. They do done-in-one shows, they do not only character development, but character advancement! The heroes are likeable. The actors playing them fit the roles perfectly – the chemistry of the cast is obvious!

So how do we fix this? Get rid of the Big Boss. Or at least stay away from him or her for more than one episode at a time. Do two- three- or four-part arcs with other villains. Grodd, perhaps, or a more powerful non-Flash villain: Kanjar Ro, the Shadow Thief or Felix Faust.

For gosh sakes, introduce the Green Lantern Corp!

“We can’t, it might conflict with the DC Cinematic Universe!”

Ignore the DCCU; they certainly are ignoring YOU…

***

I think my souring began with the resolution of the mid-season cliff-hanger “The Trial of the Flash” and I never had a chance to recover. For several episodes Flash did not escape from his cell or allow other shenanigans. “If I cannot get out legitimately, I don’t want to do it.” So how does he get released and found innocent of murder?

Illegitimately.

Ralph disguised himself as DeVoe. How can you kill a man who is still alive? Granted DeVoe WAS alive, but it was a fraud on the court. At least Arrow, pulling similar shenanigans some months later, used it against a corrupt system. Here the judge/jury was legit.

The means do not justify the ends. Barry Allen would be the FIRST to tell us that! His reaction to how his team sprung him was conveniently ignored.

Plus, at the final hearing DeVoe’s “widow” was present, but the District Attorney was NOT?! I know this isn’t Law and Order, but STILL…

It was the nadir of the series, in my opinion.

Until this season’s finale…

***

The season finale had its moments – the introduction of Barry & Iris’ daughter from the future, the birth of Joe & Cecile’s daughter (yes, thse are spoilers, who cares? It was a crappy show), even the Thinker’s reference to himself as the “Big Bad” made me laugh.

But the rest of it?

Synopsis: with technobabble that would make the writers of Star Trek Voyager get erections, Barry put his physical self into DeVoe’s mind. This is done with the help of DeVoe’s wife who finally turns to the good side after a 20-episode build-up.

Flash finds Ralph “alive” (an why not the rest of his new Rogue’s Gallery?) and they fight off an infinite number of Thinkers in Matrix-like fashion.  Devoe is finally destroyed because Ralph’s physical body leaves the Thinker’s mind. Of course, why hadn’t anyone thought of THAT …

But, thanks to Holographic Resurrection, the Thinker appears again to menace our heroes! His wife finally defeats him by reaching around the chair and unplugging him.

Yes, they unplugged him.

By now I’d unplugged the Tivo.

***

I love the Flash, I do. I love the charactersl I love the cast.

But I swear to god if this keeps up next year I’m rooting for the bad guy.

And start watching NCIS. Abby Scuito or no Abby Scuito.

Copyright 2018 Michael Curry

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About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

Arrow Season 6: same old same … old …

Arrow finished its sixth season limping to the finish line. Not in terms of ratings, though – it was once the CW’s top-rated show and was still in the top four at the end of Season 5. With Season 6 it remains a healthy #5.

But in terms of story ….

Eh.

I still love the show – its first three seasons were some of the best things on TV, especially for a comic book fan. But since then the Big-Bad-style, although popular, dragged the show down. I think for Season Seven they should abandon it.

Seven seasons is traditionally the final season for most shows – casting contracts last for seven years and are negotiated after that on a season-by-season basis. If Arrow goes on to an eighth season, do not be surprised if major members of the cast leave. Those that haven’t already left or been killed off …

To keep the show fresh they need to dump the Big-Bad storyline. That is, one major villain dominating the series for the bulk of the 22 episodes of the season. When it works, it is gripping and exciting! When it doesn’t, it makes for long, tedious stories with neither plot advancement nor real resolution until Episode 22. In other words, the last three seasons of Arrow.

“He’s one step ahead of us!” “This will work! We can defeat him!” Nope. Oh, occasionally the Big Bad has a set back and is even captured! But he will get back on his feet and escape. After a rare episode featuring a new or returning villain in a done-in-one show or a one-episode character study (“I’m leaving for good!”), we are back to the undefeatable Big Bad.

“Hoping this is their chance to stop (insert name of Big Bad) once and for all …” seems to begin the synopsis for 3/4ths of Arrow’s IMDB’s Episode Lists …

The Big-Bad style was done poorly over last three seasons of Arrow. By the time of the Big Finish, I stopped caring… And apparently, I’m not the only one:

Here is a website tracking Arrow’s ratings this season: https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/arrow-season-six-ratings/

Pretty abysmal for a network show, although still respectable for cable/satellite channels. Click on any of the dates and you will usually see Arrow dead last among the networks selected (but note they are comparing, say, the CW to CBS …).

But the highest ratings over the last several weeks were from done-in-one shows: Roy Harper’s and Nysa Al Ghul’s return (Episodes 15 & 16), when we get back this season’s Big Bad, ratings tanked. Almost two hundred thousand viewers stopped watching.

The finale was the highest-rated show since January 25th and was the sixth-highest rated show of the season.

Sixth? The rip-roaring conclusion was only sixth?

Should that be a big enough hint for the producers?

The season began with Cayden James being the Big Bad: from the Arrow Wiki: “Believing Oliver Queen was responsible for the death of his son, the master hacker committed a series of attacks throughout Star City, wanting to avenge his son’s death and formed his own cabal to do so. It was later proven to him that Oliver was not responsible for Owen’s death, and James was subsequently taken into custody. Shortly thereafter, he was killed by the true mastermind behind his son’s death; James’s former associate Ricardo Diaz.”

The second half of the season revealed Diaz, played by the excellent actor Kirk Acevedo, as the true Big Bad.

kirk-acevedo-slice-600x200

Unfortunately, Diaz was much like Adrian Chase (last season’s Big Bad): an Olympian-level (but not too super-powered) athlete who was always one step ahead, had the local law enforcement on his side … yadda yadda ad nauseum…

Season 6 was a cut and paste of Season 5. Both had an exciting conclusion but the dozen-plus episodes leading up to it was tedious television. I may have to treat Arrow Season 7 as I did Agents of Shield 2 & 3: watch only prime-numbered episodes (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc.), the mid-season cliff-hanger, and the last two shows. I wouldn’t lose any of the plot.  And that’s a shame.

(Obviously this doesn’t count the line-wide cross-over. This year it was “Crisis on Earth-X” and got Arrow it’s highest rating of the year. The show had no sign of Cayden James or Ricardo Diaz. Hint. Hint.)

And don’t think we didn’t notice Arrow copying this season’s Flash plot with its “our-hero-is-on-trial” sub-plot – Arrow even copied the resolution – with Christopher Chance taking Ralph Dibny’s role!

(and hey, I’ve got to include this: I love Kirk Acevedo’s channeling his inner-Al Pacino as Diaz, but to bring in Rene’s daughter during the trial as a silent threat? Holy Vincenzo Pentangeli!

Google it…)

The solution? Only feature the Big Bad in half your episodes. Make the other 11 done-in-one or two-or-three-part (separate and resolved) story-arcs.

Gaining new viewers in a seventh season will be very hard to do. This might make for a good jumping-on point for what may be its last season.

But what do I know? Who am I?

I may be one of the two hundred thousand viewers lost, that’s who…

 

Original material copyright 2018 Michael Curry

The DC-CW line-up: Our story so far…

Our Story So Far

We are at the mid-season cliffhangers of the four DC-CW Television shows. Here are some thoughts:

SUPERGIRL

Supergirl is DC-CW’s touchy-feely show. I don’t mean this in a bad way – but the show deals with the emotional health of the characters much more so than the other shows.

But that doesn’t mean it lacks fun and plenty of comic-booky action.

This season we meet Samantha Arias, a co-worker of Kara (Supergirl) and who slowly discovers she has super powers. She IS from Krypton and turned into Reign by Krypton’s version of the devil. Now Reign is killing off National City gang members and other bad guys to the delight of Morgan Edge, who is blaming Supergirl.

Also, Mon-El is back. He was thrust into the future and formed the Legion (of Superheroes). Now some of them are in the present, although we’ve only met Saturn Girl so far…

The mid-season ends with Reign defeating Supergirl in a brutal battle over National City. Supergirl is in critical condition and Reign/Arias confronts her young daughter …

FLASH

The Flash is halfway through its best season since its first. We’ve slogged through almost every evil speedster in the DC Universe as the season-long Big Bad and fortunately Flash is NOT repeating itself, again. The joy that imbued the first season is back in this one. Mostly thanks to two events: the upcoming marriage of Barry and Iris and the introduction of Ralph Dibny. The joy from the former is obvious (we’ve been rooting for these two since the premier episode) and the latter reminds us of what fun this show can be. Ralph can be likeable and unlikeable, and he is played to perfection by Hartley Sawyer – he even LOOKS like the Elongated Man from the comics!

It all makes a refreshing change from the previous season: the constant losing to the Big Bad, the plans made that were thwarted forty minutes later episode after episode … add to that the characters’ gnashing teeth and rending garments over the unstoppable foretold death of Iris … episode after episode. By the time it was done, we sighed in relief. Not because of the “happy” ending, but just because it was over.

I see signs of the “episode after episode” problem with this year’s Big Bad – the Thinker. The cliffhanger ends with Flash framed for the Thinker’s murder. I hope they can continue the upbeat tone until the end of the season.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

The unloved step-child of the DC-CW is still going at season three. This season is probably its best season so far. But compared to the prior two, that is not saying much.

Now the Legends are fixing anachronisms in time. Somehow this led to the resurrection of Damian Darkh. Darkh’s Big Bad villainy was the low point of Arrow and was misused in last season’s Legends. I rolled my eyes when I saw this overused and overpowered character revealed as the Big Bad this season (there is a Bigger Bad lurking but we don’t really know much at this point). I roll my eyes in every episode in which Darkh thwarts the Legend’s plans. Episode after episode …

Still, I like the show. It’s fun, pure and simple. Everyone seems to be having a great time and you can feel that through the screen. I wish they had more to work with as far as decent stories and effective bad guys instead of the same old same old.

The cliffhanger ends with John Constantine recruiting the Legends … I applauded. I knew the character was coming to the show for at least one episode, but it was still a pleasure.

Rumors abound that a character from Arrow will join Legends, replacing Firestorm. It could be anybody – I’m hoping for Ragman!

ARROW

Arrow is also coming off an awful season, which itself followed a bad season (with the aforementioned Darkh). Both suffered from the problem that plagued Flash last season: constant losing to the Big Bad … episode after episode. Big Bad gets captured at one point but only to escape. No progress, no satisfaction for the viewers.

This season is better, although the same problems remain – repeated failure against this season’s Big Bad (which the cliffhanger shows us to be a TEAM of Big Bads). Also, Team Arrow has broken up …  again. Oh, and Oliver Queen is on trial accused of being the Green Arrow … again.

This season is better, but I wish it were better still.

***

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Oh, and the line-wide crossover Crisis on Earth X? Superb (although not without its flaws, but they are minor)! And it did something the comics rarely did during cross-over Crises – make permanent changes that will affect the second halves of this season. By why drag out Eobard Thawn again? How many villains has DC created in its 82 years of publishing? Use different ones. Please?

BLACK LIGHTNING is coming in January!

Copyright 2017 Michael Curry

Arrow: a primer for the CW TV show! (part one)

A DC-TV Primer: the CW Network’s superhero lineup

Wednesday: Arrow

Part One

From Wikipedia (as I said before, if they are going to do the work FOR me …):

CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASONS ONE through FOUR

The series follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City, who spends five years shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Lian Yu.

SEASON ONE: Upon his return to Starling City, he is reunited with his mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). The first season focuses on Oliver rekindling his relationships and spending his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante, following a list of names he discovered in a notebook belonging to his father. He uncovers Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) conspiracy to destroy “The Glades”, a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime. John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister’s presumed death. The first season features flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island, and how it changed him; flashbacks in subsequent seasons continue to show how Oliver spent his time and gains the skill-set that shapes him into the vigilante he is.

SEASON TWO: Oliver has vowed to stop crime without killing criminals. His family and allies come under attack from Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a man from Oliver’s time on the island who returns to destroy everything important to Oliver. Oliver accepts aspiring vigilante Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as his protégé, and begins to receive assistance from Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Oliver also gains another ally; a mysterious woman in black, who is eventually revealed to be Laurel’s sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who survived her ordeal at sea after the yacht sank. In flashbacks, Oliver continues his time on the island with Slade, Sara, and Shado Fei, and depicts how Oliver’s animosity with Slade started.

SEASON THREE: Arrow has become a public hero in Starling City following Slade Wilson’s defeat. Queen Consolidated is sold to wealthy businessman, scientist and aspiring hero Ray Palmer (Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh – watching him on this show makes me wish his Superman movie was more successful and we would have seen more of him). Oliver struggles to bring his family back together, an old enemy returns, and Oliver becomes embroiled in a conflict with Ra’s al Ghul (excellently played by Matthew Nable). After a tragic event and a rocky start, Laurel sets out to follow in Sara’s footsteps as the Black Canary. John Diggle struggles with his new role as a family man, as Oliver no longer wants John in the field after the birth of his daughter, while Felicity Smoak begins a new career as Vice President of Palmer Technologies (formerly Queen Consolidated). In flashbacks, Oliver is forced to work for Amanda Waller in Hong Kong alongside Maseo and Tatsu Yamashiro, and to stop corrupt general Matthew Shrieve from unleashing the Alpha-Omega, which Ra’s al Ghul eventually acquires in the present.

SEASON FOUR: the Arrow becomes “Green Arrow”. He and his allies fight against the terrorist organization H.I.V.E., headed by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who is attacking Star City (formerly Starling City). John Diggle is concerned with finding H.I.V.E. and learning the reason for the murder of his brother, Andy (Eugene Byrd), who is later discovered to be alive and a H.I.V.E. soldier. Thea joins the team under the alias “Speedy”, but must learn to control herself while fighting, as she now has a blood-lust that may never be fully quenched as a side effect of the Lazarus Pit. Laurel struggles to bring Sara back after learning of Thea’s resurrection from the Pit. Oliver decides to run for mayor. Despite having found happiness with Felicity (now CEO of Palmer Technologies) and planning to propose to her, Oliver discovers that he is the biological father to a boy he unknowingly conceived nine years previously with a former lover, Samantha Clayton (Anna Hopkins). This discovery destabilizes his relationship with Felicity, his life as the Green Arrow, and his mayoral campaign. Oliver ultimately discovers that Damien plans on detonating nuclear weapons and ruling a new world over the Earth’s ashes. In flashbacks, Oliver is forced by Amanda Waller to infiltrate the organization known as Shadowspire, befriends a prisoner Taiana, and has his first encounter with the mystical idol that is eventually acquired by Darhk.

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            A review and critique of the characters, the actors who portray them and the plots will come next time…

 

Original Material Copyright 2016 Michael Curry

 

Characters mentioned and their images are copyright their respective holders.  Thanks to DC Comics, the CW Network and Berlanti Productions and the actors portrayed for the use of their images.

I also thank the original creators of all characters mentioned, whether or not they have been properly compensated (gratmens during the credits aside).