We all know that DC’s television universe is a force to be reckoned with. Hell, the Berlanti-verse alone is already four shows deep across two networks, with each show — even Supergirl — all but guaranteed to return next season. Now that the DC Universe is firmly entrenched on the small screen, I think they should continue the pattern of spinning off characters into their own series. In fact, DC should look to spinning off no less than three shows next year: the obvious ones being Martian Manhunter and Vixen, but I want to make the case for another team show: Birds of Prey featuring the female heroes from the Arrow-verse.
Another Oliver-light episode, “Unchained,” focuses on Felicity, Nyssa, and ROY’S RETURN! It was wonderful how much light Roy brought back to the group. He had Oliver smiling and everyone happily working together as a team.
“This is Your Sword” was another mixed bag of an episode. It had a lot of great moments, but as I’ve been saying in the recaps recently, the overall stakes don’t make any sense. The audience is steps ahead of the characters, telling them what will happen instead of wondering. We end with a cliffhanger where every member of Team Arrow (save Thea) “dies” from the Alpha/Omega bio-weapon. Yeah, uhm okay. Sure. That totally happened.
More than any other series on television, an episode of Game of Thrones can often feel like 48 minutes of watching players set up a chessboard wherein, to paraphrase another classic HBO series, “all the pieces matter.” Last night’s episode, “High Sparrow,” was no different. And in the case of the dueling queens — Margaery and Cersei — they were literally moving a pawn around the chessboard in the form of King Tommen. But despite brief detours following the Lannister siblings’ plights in both King’s Landing and Volantis, the episode was mainly about (three of) the surviving Stark children and each one’s struggle to accept, reject, or reclaim their name.
The end of this week’s Arrow gutted me (and Oliver) more than the literally torso-piercing mid-season finale did. As I write this I am still in shock and can’t really move. We’ll get to that later though.
The subtitle for this recap is two-fold. With Oliver gone, Team Arrow is like kids whose parents went out of town so they have a big party, but everyone breaks things and they have to scramble to fix the house before the parents return. Only Oliver isn’t coming back (yet). On the other and more obvious side of the metaphor, Laurel’s absurd aversion to telling her father the truth gets frustratingly WEIRD.
Where do I even begin? There’s the remains of Team Arrow (or whatever it may become without the Arrow to guide them — oh, haha, get it?); the future of both the A.T.O.M. and the Canary; Malcolm, Thea, and everyone’s inability to disclose important deaths; the whitewashing of Brick; and of course: the revival! I think I’ll just go in that approximate order, and throw some flashback plot in there too (sorry, for now, they’re not my favorite thing).
Seven episodes into season three of Arrow and one thing is clear: the universe that is being assembled on The CW is the most consistently entertaining take on DC’s heroes I’ve ever seen in live action1. Coming in to “Draw Back Your Bow,” I was actually expecting it to be one of the weaker ones of the series (and trust me, there were some weak spots, but more on that later) because I didn’t think Cupid — played convincingly by Amy Gumenick — would be a compelling enough villain. But by and large, the quality of the episode was up to par with the rest of the season so far.
We are definitely living in a golden age of superhero television. Last year, we dedicated an episode of Hard NOC Life about the topic of comic book adaptations in prime time, but this season has seen a dramatic increase as the first three days of the week are chock full of superheroes — with DC heroes dominating the landscape1. And while Gotham on Fox and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC get all the press — because they’re on major broadcast outlets — those two shows should be taking notes from The CW, the network that does superheroes better than anyone.
I’ve already sung the praises of The Flash. Not to be outdone by their newly arrived companion, the third season premiere of Arrow kicked off with one a hell of an episode! Fortunately, Rodrigo was live-tweeting along with all of the other Arrowheads. Warning: there be spoilers ahead!
At the beginning of this blog’s life, The Wolverine was a very popular topic. Jenn wrote about her issues with the film — primarily how she felt the movie was yet another example of Hollywood’s exotification of Asia and is essentially an Orientalist fantasy in the spirit of Miss Saigon. Later, Claire rebutted Jenn’s claims of Orientalism in the movie but still thought it sucked because of all the plot holes and poorly drawn characters. We even discussed it at length on Hard NOC Life.
Here’s the thing, though. I liked this movie. Like, a lot. It was probably one of my favorite movies of the summer and is definitely my favorite in the X-Men movie canon (which, I guess, isn’t all that difficult since X2 and the Magneto bits in First Class are the only good ones in the franchise).
Now that it’s out on blu-ray and DVD, I thought it was an opportune time to express why I liked it (even though it seems no one else on the blog did).