The World Of Television
The CW has a definite hit on its hands with The Flash. Much like Arrow (which I seriously need to catch up on), it has taken a character that could have become either extremely excellent or terribly silly on the small screen and turned it into one of the most enjoyable new shows of recent memory. The CW took more of a lighthearted turn with the Scarlet Speedster when compared to Arrow, and I’m glad that they did. With so many recent heavy-handed shows and films centered on superheroes (Gotham, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, etc.), it’s nice to have a few laughs while watching the blurry one bring justice to Central City.
Grant Gustin has won me over as Barry Allen/Flash, and I look forward to seeing him interact with his brilliant costars on each episode. The special effects are very good for the budget, and as long as the show is successful, I see these effects getting better. The writing is superb, easily navigating the waters between young adult drama, superhero action, the ever-present danger of making a hero or villain look hokey or silly, and moving the story along with just enough laughs, thrills, and suspense.
Also, considering the fact that most of the Flash’s enemies have names like Captain Cold, Heatwave, Pied Piper, and Weather Wizard, this makes the writing and acting that much more important to a story that is trying to reach beyond the comic reading audience. Overall, The Flash is no flash in the pan. It’s going to be around for awhile.
Fox has a hit of its own with Gotham, although that show definitely has a few wrinkles to iron out before it becomes a sure thing. Much like The Flash, a second season has been ordered. Unlike the speedy series, however, Gotham still seems to be finding its footing, especially with writing and a few of the characters and/or actors that portray them. Robin Lord Taylor is the breakout star of the series. His portrayal of the Penguin has made me look forward to his presence in the show. He’s intelligent and lethal, but just enough of of goof up to sometimes get in trouble with Fish, Falcone, Maroni, or others. He’s still learning the ways of being a crime lord, but he’s well on the way to becoming the villain that runs the show in Gotham City.
Ben McKenzie does a solid job as Jim Gordon, as does Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. However, the writing for these two characters sometimes gets jumbled in my opinion, and leaves the actors’ performances a bit wanting. Sean Pertwee is brilliant as Alfred, and the younger cast portraying Bruce Wayne, Ivy Pepper, and Selina Kyle are also excellent. The bulk of the supporting cast, particularly Cory Michael Smith (Ed Nygma) and John Doman (Falcone), are also coming into their own and I expect more of them as the series rolls along.
Unfortunately we are still having to put up with the train wreck that is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney. While it appears that her character is meant to be a cornerstone in the rise of the Penguin, I feel that Fish is just too outrageous and unnecessarily overacted. Now, whether or not Smith is directed to overact is unknown to me, but she’s definitely not helping her career with this role. Erin Richards is also rather disjointed as Barbara Kean. I feel that it’s not so much her fault, though, as the character itself (so far) is bland. She’s basically the polar opposite of Fish.
I will say that recent episodes have shown that the writing is starting to develop a solidity that was lacking in early episodes. The direction is also improving. Hopefully we’ll see these improvements continue as the show goes into its second season.
The last show that I’m going to talk about today is TBS’ King of the Nerds. The first season was fun until the finale, in which the “king” was determined not by the actions of the final nerds, but by a popularity vote. It left a lot of fans with a bitter taste in their mouth, especially those who felt that Genevieve Pearson was robbed considering the fact that she competed in (and won) more nerd-offs than any other nerd. She’ll always be the king of season one in my opinion.
The second season attempted to somewhat remedy the whole popularity vote situation and succeeded to a degree, but it also introduced a “villain” element in the program with certain nerds. I understand that first and foremost this show is a game, but to make certain nerds look like villains (intentionally or unintentionally) seemed a bit too much in my book. It felt like the show was hoping to make viewers cheer harder for certain members of the cast than others.
The newest season seems to be cranking up the villainy a bit as well, but there’s no definite villain yet (there’s only been one episode). However, Ori seems to be well on his way to being a potential thorn in the side of some of the nerds and Kaitlin’s attitude seems ripe for villainy as well. Hopefully things will even out a bit and we’ll see nerds leave the show with no ill feelings towards any of them.
In other news, I’ve been a bad boy when it comes to my exercises lately and, as a result, have put a few pounds back on. I’m jumping back on the Insanity wagon again and hope to get myself back on the straight and narrow soon enough.
Next month I’m headed to Louisiana Comic Con and Mary Kate Smith of the second season of King of the Nerds will be there. That in and of itself is pretty cool. I’ll give a full report after the convention.
That’s all for now folks. If you agree (or disagree) with anything I’ve posted, lemme know! Thanks for reading.