I’ve recently had a chance to catch up on some of my most anticipated fall TV shows. I tend to enjoy science fiction, action, and super hero type shows (as you can see below), but I’m always open to some other genres as well. So, here are some short takes on some recent shows I’ve been watching.
The Flash on The CW
The Flash so far has been fun, well paced, and not weighed down by unnecessary drama or excess character back-story. Fans of the CW show Arrow will no doubt be able to spot many similarities between the two shows. Unlike Arrow, The Flash features heroes and villains with super powers (like super speed, obviously). I would say that the show takes itself a bit less seriously than Arrow and has a slightly faster pace. Overall the characters are all likeable, especially the lead who plays Flash, Grant Gustin, who offers some nice subtle emotional and human touches to the part. Some of the dialog from the young scientists at Star Labs feels a bit stilted and awkward. Also, something feels off about Tom Cavanagh’s performance as the head of the lab (besides that he is obviously up to something in the show).
The show has a certain unrealistic and campy nature to it (as can be expected of many comic book inspired shows), but in a way that is just part of the appeal as long as you can learn to accept it. Once again I kind of snicker when I watch Flash because most of the actors look like they were pulled from an Abercrombie and Fitch advertisement (though not quite as much as in Arrow). But hey, this is still the CW, they know full well who their target audience is. We’ll have to see if this show can become more than just an Arrow spin-off, but so far I think they have done a good job of making The Flash feel unique. If you are looking for an entertaining and not too serious super hero or adventure show, I think this show would be a good bet. Those who didn’t care for Arrow should probably stay away though.
Arrow on The CW
Arrow is back once again for a third season! I’ve enjoyed Arrow overall, but in past seasons I feel like I’ve had to put up with all the times characters randomly change their minds, Oliver (Green Arrow, spoilers!) pushing everyone away several times a season (just to realize he needs them yet again), lots of “will they won’t they” romantic moments with various female characters, and that Arrow can somehow dodge bullets at a moderate jog. Also, is tight leather really the best outfit for fighting bad guys? But the show is also often entertaining, exciting, touching, and one of the better super hero shows on television. Season three so far feels like we will be going down the same mostly enjoyable but occasionally aggravating path.
These first few episodes already featured some irritating and ultimately wasted moments between Felicity and Oliver, Oliver once again pushing people away, and the show’s writers conveniently wrapping up many of the cliff hangers from last year quickly in the first episode. Also they have to come up with yet another reason why Oliver couldn’t come home after his shipwreck. Once again we get slightly cheesy but overall exciting action scenes and characters undergoing moments of terrible decision making at the worst possible times. So, basically what I am saying is that the show is still the same old Arrow, shortcomings and all, and you sort of have to expect and accept that these things will happen. Though, it does feel like this show might run out of steam and ideas in the near future, especially since they seem to write each season without a larger sense of where the show is ultimately headed.
Agents of Shield on ABC
I gave up on season one of this show after a few episodes due to the awkward dialog, slow pacing, and unexciting plots. The show just felt like it had no purpose beyond trying to create a new television Marvel spin-off. I might have given the show more of a chance if Marvel hadn’t set the bar so high with their recent movies. Luckily for Marvel, the second season so far seems much more promising. In season two Shield has been forced to go in to hiding after agents from the evil group known as Hydra were found to have infiltrated the group. Now Shield must work from the shadows to stop Hydra from furthering their evil agenda while hiding from their own government. This addition of a worthy adversary in Hydra makes the stories feel like they have much more weight, importance, and a greater impact on the Marvel universe. The actors also seem much more comfortable in their roles and better developed now, and the episodes just feel more fun and exciting than in season one. On top of that, Marvel shows just feel much better when they actually have super powers, super villains, and crazy artifacts.
Gotham on Fox
I think there is a compelling show in here somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it. All the pieces for success seem to be there: a tie in to some of the best received comic books and movies of all time, a solid cast of actors, and the chance to see the back-story of some of comic books most interesting heroes and villains. The show features an interesting setting and generally good acting, but this Gotham just doesn’t seem to click with me. Maybe some of the problems are a few too many “wink wink” moments where they show a younger version of Batman villains for basically no reason, the slow pacing of the episodes, or the show hinging on characters I don’t care about or feel connected to (or that really the best part of anything Batman related is Batman). It’s not a terrible show (possibly a lackluster show), but I’m not really sure what the point is so far. The plots and story-lines just don’t feel like they are going anywhere that interesting. Maybe I just have more interest in Batman than the city he grew up in or the history of the villains he fights. I’m not really sure how the Batman name or connections really enhance this show either.
Do you enjoy any of these shows or disagree with my assessment of them? Any suggestions on other shows to watch this fall? Let me know in the comments below and as always thank you for reading!