Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Well, that's bad for the show.  I like Elsass and his performance - I thought he had a lot of charisma.  I don't like recasting, but I don't know if Superman & Lois wants to do a show where one of their kids is gone (they'd almost certainly not kill him off).

The whole thing is really weird to me.  The vaccines work.  They don't work in terms of stopping the spread, but that wasn't really the point.  People were dying and the vaccines can prepare your body to fight without the risk of you dying.  Just like the flu shot doesn't keep you from getting the flu - it gives you some protection from that and helps you fight off the virus if you happen to get it.

The problem is that, with the Internet, you can build yourself an echo chamber.  You block opinions you don't like, and suddenly all the opinions you see look like yours.  Over time, "everyone agrees with you" and the opposition is some sort of crazy minority.

I saw this with the Trump raid online.  People saying "most of the country is mad about this" - well, no.  Most of the country probably doesn't really care.  1/3 of people didn't vote in the last election.  1/4 didn't even register.  Of the 2/3 that did vote, at least half of them wouldn't be angry about it.  And of the 1/3 that might, most of them probably don't care enough about Trump to get mad about any kind of persecution.  But if you surround yourself with people that are really mad about it, suddenly it seems like everyone is really mad about it.

With vaccines, you block out people that are celebrating the vaccines, and you start following more people who are against them.  You find people that say the same things you say, and you start to trust them.  So when you hear them say that "healthy young people are dropping dead at sporting events", you trust that even though there's no evidence of that.  And the excuses are at least plausible - the pharmaceutical industry probably has had some immoral scandals so maybe they're covering it up to make money.  Maybe the corrupt media is in on it.  And if you accept the plausible excuses, is it that far to accept the implausible ones about mind control? 

People like feeling apart of something.  Even if it's stupid, even if it's alienating to people you liked before, even if it's making you sad or angry.  Finding people that think like you feels good.

I'm sure Elsass was tricked by something or someone.  He probably genuinely believes what he says, and he probably genuinely wants to keep people from doing what he sees is a mistake.  But hopefully he's discovered that he's wrong, and hopefully he gets help.  And hopefully he gets vaccinated.

Because I think he's a promising actor.  He's charismatic and good looking, and people have gone on to great careers after CW work.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Jordan Elsass is mentally ill and needs help. From what I can tell, the antivaccine trickery started with his mother who blamed some infant health problems he had on his vaccinations and attempted to sue the Arkansas Department of Health in an incoherent filing claiming that her son became autistic. I can't say whether or not Elsass is or isn't autistic, but this antivaxxer delusion started at home.

Elsass was surrounded by vaxxed and boosted coworkers for all of Season 2, so his adherence to his antivaxxer value system is probably due to a family-driven indoctrination that social media undoubtedly deepened. His absurd value system led to a difficult time in Season 2 where pandemic protocols were relaxed for the S+L cast and crew but not for Elsass whose studio-mandated lockdown never ended because it was the only way for it to be safe to film around him.

The segregation and loneliness clearly made him crack even as he adhered to his belief that vaccinations are dangerous and evil; he was ostracized by his castmates from all social functions. He said on social media that restaurants and other businesses refused him entry because he couldn't offer a vaccine receipt back when Canada was still requiring it for indoor public spaces. He was probably under strain because his belief is that vaccines are deadly and dangerous and yet, nobody on S+L died from their 3 - 4 doses and the cognitive confusion there would have been disorienting.

He said that he was checking into a mental ward for a two week hold and would then go to Vancouver for Season 3 of S+L; he never made it back to Vancouver.

It is encouraging that Elsass recognized that he was having a mental breakdown and sought help even though he didn't seem to see that his refusal to vaccinate was making it difficult for him to work, alienating him from his coworkers and now his refusal to meet pandemic protocol quarantine requirements for an unvaccinated actor has cost him an excellent job and probably his career. Elsass is to be pitied and I hope he is still in care and can free himself of what was inflicted on him by some truly bad parenting and self-destructive choices.

However, I think it's for the best that SUPERMAN AND LOIS is free from having to work with an anti-vaxxer actor even if said actor was a brilliant talent. They are probably going to be a lot happier working this year and they can find a new actor for Jonathan who can live up to Superman's values of truth, justice and a better tomorrow (that's right, they changed it).

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

The Warner Discovery actions are getting sleazier.  HBOmax has been removing content lately as a “cost cutting measure”, but how would that action save significant money?  The reason is residuals. … tform.html

By not having the content available to view, Warner Discovery does not have to pay anything to the creators.  On just the things they’ve already removed, it is saving the studio millions while creators are left out in the cold. … 4594082816

Such as Julia Pott who is a creator from the cartoon Summer Camp Island.  Cartoon Network has at least pledged to continue airing the series so that the creators will get residual through that means.

This is already affecting DC content as well.  The recent Aquaman: King of Atlantis was pulled.  How long before the DCAU or Arrowverse is taken off?

These are some really poor business practices all around for Warner Discovery.  I remember Zaslov before the merger stating he was creator focused and wanted to give them a compelling environment to come work for Warner Discovery.  What he’s done since has been very much the opposite

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I had hoped David Zaslav would not be doing a slash and burn on WB-Discovery, but I think it's clear that's his only plan. The agreement between HBO Max and creators is that HBO Max would get the money for subscriptions brought in by the content and then creators would get residuals for ongoing viewing. HBO Max has pocketed the subscription money and then ceased residual payments. Will any talent want to work with WB's film or streaming content departments if this is how WB does business with BATGIRL and other HBO Max projects?

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

More perspective from the creator of Infinity Train: … h-infinity


Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

DC/Warners is a total disaster now.  Reading that Star Girl, the only show I watch on CW, probably will end with this 3rd season.  Titans is horrible, get rid of it.  Doom Patrol I love but it too seems to be on the way to nowhere.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

TITANS... has its merits. I just don't care for them. But we all know that there is an audience for miserable, grimdark, self-loathing, hateful superhero shows. Someone out there likes it.

I've heard that the STARGIRL team is planning to do a season finale that can work as a series finale if there isn't a renewal and that the SUPERMAN AND LOIS team is also thinking about how they can do the same.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Could Universal Studios end up the home of Superman, Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo in the end? … universal/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I guess Zaslav's plan is to slash, burn and sell.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

What a disaster.  It would've been so easy for Warner Bros to create their version of the MCU.  Superman/Wonder Woman/Batman would've been so much easier to sell than Iron Man/Thor/Captain America.  But they squandered their time and then rushed it once they knew what they were missing out.  If they could've just done it first (which they easily had the power to do), then they wouldn't have the money issues they have now.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

All DC Warner had to do was follow the DCAU example into live action.  Those creators even created one of their most popular characters now - Harley Quinn.

Word was that the 2007 George Miller Justice League read like a DCAU story, so they were flirting in that direction.  Even if it wasn’t a bullseye, it would have beat Marvel to the punch. … explained/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

David Zaslav clearly wants to burn WB down and sell off the rubble. The previous regime couldn't get their act together on superheroes. But... I will point out that DC superheroes are a *lot* more expensive to bring to live action than Marvel superheroes. This was a huge stumbling block for DC.

Look at SMALLVILLE (2001) and HEROES (2006), two network TV shows that featured superheroes in plain clothes with limited powers. The showrunners said this made the shows grounded and believable; obviously, this was a budget decision. It was financially impossible to show characters flying or demonstrating super strength in extended or plausible scenes. That's why SMALLVILLE and HEROES never had onscreen superhero fights.

SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006) showed Superman using all his powers in full, but Superman needed a $330 million budget. In contrast SMALLVILLE and HEROES had $3 - 4 million an episode. (All figures adjusted for inflation.) Superpowers were extremely expensive.

Marvel had an advantage during 2008 - 2012 with Phase One of Marvel: the IRON MAN, THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA movies could be made for $190 million each because Iron Man doesn't need to look like a flesh and blood human, Thor's power is through the hammer and Captain America is effectively a street level powered superhero. That's how AVENGERS (2012) could cost $283 million and feature a superhero team while MAN OF STEEL (2013) cost another $330 million just for Superman alone. (All figures adjusted for inflation)

Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and Green Lantern have to look like actual humans and have to have extremely detailed powers: Superman and Wonder Woman's flight and strength are an extremely intricate set of effects coordinated between performer and set. The Flash needs superspeed environments. Aquaman needs water environments. Cyborg is half CG-half actor. Green Lantern needs extensive green energy constructs. This was very costly for live action from 2008 - 2012. There's a reason why the first Berlanti Productions superhero show was ARROW (2012), a street level character without superpowers.

AVENGERS was also the product of a very different financial culture from Warner Bros. Warner Bros. produced MAN OF STEEL (2013) with lavish sets, extensive location filming, years of effects development and high priced actors. In contrast, AVENGERS (2012) was filmed more like a Berlanti TV show: a TV director, extensive use of soundstages with CG, even for outdoor scenes like the Battle of New York City, actors who were not (yet) stars. Warner Bros. has historically been unwilling to make their superheroes films with these measures.

Beginning in 2013, advances in digital modelling and motion capture and CG environments and sets (for movies) began to bring costs down. As a result, Berlanti Productions could bring the THE FLASH (2014) and SUPERGIRL (2015) to TV on $3 - 5 million budgets that were previously limited to SMALLVILLE and HEROES levels of effects. SUPERGIRL proved that a modestly budgeted TV production could do Superman with costs having fallen and technology having risen.

If Warner Bros. had adopted Berlanti Productions cost-saving methods to BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (2016) and JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017), those movies could have earned just as much as they did but turned a profit thanks to lower production costs. Instead, WB insisted on making BVS and JL with a production method where both movies cost about $360 million each (adjusted for inflation). A film needs to earn approximately three times its production budget just to recoup its budget on production, marketing and theatre costs; BVS and JL would need to earn at least $1.1 billion in ticket sales. BVS broke even but didn't earn a profit with 1.1 billion at box office (adjusted for inflation). JUSTICE LEAGUE lost money, earning only 795 million (adjusted for inflation).

I'm only just catching up on SUPERMAN AND LOIS now, but it looks almost as good as a Zack Snyder extravaganza. It is only at $7 - 8 million an episode instead of the full $340 million, and the effects don't have the same slow motion ready detail, but we're seeing Superman fly, fire heat vision, lift heavy objects, fight at superspeed. Filming in Vancouver and using TV payscale actors and getting as much money on the screen as possible has proven to allow for a Snyder-level of storytelling with around $120 million for 15 episodes as opposed to $340 million for one movie.

DC characters were extremely expensive when this superhero craze finally hit mainstream with IRON MAN in 2008. Yes, Marvel was smarter and faster and more strategic, but to be fair, WB started with one foot in a financial hole because their characters' effects budgets were more costly than the competition's.

Unfortunately, WB kept digging themselves into a deeper hole even when Berlanti Productions showed them a ladder.

(All figures adjusted for inflation.)

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Well, that's bad for the show.  I like Elsass and his performance - I thought he had a lot of charisma.  I don't like recasting, but I don't know if Superman & Lois wants to do a show where one of their kids is gone (they'd almost certainly not kill him off).

Elsass' replacement is an actor named Michael Bishop who looks a lot like Elsass. I think this will be just fine.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I just finished Season 2, Episode 6 of SUPERMAN AND LOIS. In addition to being a very well-written show, SUPERMAN AND LOIS makes the argument that there is absolutely no reason to spend $340 million on a Superman movie anymore. SUPERMAN AND LOIS can make a great episode for $7 million that looks just as good as a Zack Snyder movie (Superman stops an avalanche!). SUPERMAN AND LOIS could make a great Superman movie for $30 million.

Location filming outside Vancouver isn't needed when effects and digital backdrops can situate the characters anywhere. Fight scenes on a TV budget have proven just as lavish as a film so long as the money on locations, sets and actors are distributed effectively. With just a bit more money, the Vancouver production model for TV has proven that it can compete with the feature film and do as good a job with a lot less money and a lot more love and care.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I'm only on Season 2, Episode 10 of SUPERMAN AND LOIS, but I have to say, S+L is shaping up again to be a bit like a Zack Snyder Superman movie but produced by a team that actually likes Superman. I note that S+L, like Snyder, has a certain intrigue and interest with the idea of an evil Superman; the mass murdering Superman from John Henry Irons' world, the egotistical and deadly Superman from the Bizarro world.

However, S+L is always careful to declare that these versions of Superman are not the *real* Superman; that the genuine Superman is formed by a very specific set of life experiences on the Kent farm and with Lois Lane and with weaknesses on his powers that have given him humility, compassion and self-control.

In contrast, the evil-Supermans are always underguided or overpowered in some way. The alternate Superman in Season 1 was a fully Kryptonian, conquering alien invader who never had a grounded upbringing among ordinary people. The alternate Superman in Season 2 is a violent and self-absorbed celebrity who was overpowered by green Kryptonite and didn't have the limitations that helped Clark master and control and restrain his powers. The true Superman doesn't have a 'pure' cultural origin and doesn't have the heightened powers, but that shapes his heroism while the other Supermans lack it. This allows the show to present a Snyder-style Superman, but as alternate images and divergent versions of the real Superman.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Hmm. There are a few shots of Clark and Jordan's flying lessons where, when standing in the arctic, the foreground lighting on the actors doesn't match the background plate of the arctic. A Zack Snyder movie would probably get an actual snowy location or build one with CG augmentation, so I have to step back a little from saying SUPERMAN AND LOIS has effects that are just as good as a big budget WB movie... but they're almost as good.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Finished SUPERMAN & LOIS's second season and... this show is SMALLVILLE done right. That's somewhat unfair and also totally fair.

The part that's unfair: SMALLVILLE had a much lower budget than SUPERMAN & LOIS at a time when digital effects were too expensive to show Superman's full array of powers. No TV show in the early 2000s could afford to do HD-quality depictions of Superman flying for more than a few individual shots. SMALLVILLE couldn't pull off superhuman fight scenes or extensive superpowers. Even as late as Season 8, scripts were constantly having any and all use of superpowers trimmed to the bare minimum. Writer Geoff Johns, writing the Season 8 Legion episode, remarked that he started out thinking the Legion characters would use their powers in every scene only to learn it was unaffordable. SMALLVILLE couldn't show global scale threats while SUPERMAN & LOIS could actually afford it.

The part that is totally fair: SUPERMAN & LOIS has a much better sense of life in a small town. At the same time that SMALLVILLE was airing, there was another show, EVERWOOD, a show about a small town created by Greg Berlanti, the Arrowverse executive who is now overseeing Todd Helbig's stewardship of SUPERMAN & LOIS today. Berlanti grew up in Suffern, New York state, a town with a population of 11,000.

S&L benefits greatly from Berlanti if not writing then encouraging S&L's creative interest in all the townspeople of Smallville; everyone in the town has a personality, a history, an agenda, a purpose, a perspective. Instead of the anonymous extras of SMALLVILLE, the S&L version of Smallville's inhabitants all feel like human beings who are a splendid micro-representation of the macro situations when the Earth is under threat.

The only issue with this emphasis on ordinary people with Superman among them: supervillains got a little lost in the shuffle for Season 2. Ally Allston, despite having some in-depth characterization as a cult leader, never really got any definition as a global-scale supervillain powerful enough to punch Superman into a coma. Season 2 was so focused on Smallville and Smallville-ians that Ally Allston becoming a Parasite didn't get much focus; in fact, the episodes would pointedly declare her unimportant compared to Lana Lang's troubled marriage but then need the audience to see Ally as a planetary threat. It's possible that this is an acceptable flaw.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

STARGIRL is cancelled. The Season 3 finale has been written and filmed as a series finale. … 235158715/

SUPERMAN AND LOIS may not make it to a fourth season either, unfortunately. The economics that allowed shows like SUPERNATURAL to run 15 years simply aren't in place anymore, leading to LEGENDS and BATWOMAN being cancelled and now STARGIRL being cancelled.

Oddly, the new BATMAN animated series made for HBO Max is not going to be on HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery felt they could make more money selling it to a broadcaster or streamer than they could in HBO Max subscriptions.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I'll be sad about Stargirl.  It has a fun cast and a good story.

I'm still hoping the Flash will devote some time to being a finale to the Arrowverse.  Or at least Earth One.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Javicia Leslie (BATWOMAN) will be on THE FLASH, so that's one show addressed. Hopefully, some of the LEGENDS gang will show up too.

I'm sad that STARGIRL is cancelled, but I feel we could look at it not as a TV show that was cancelled at three seasons, but as a TV event trilogy that had a beginning, a middle and an end.

I like ARROW and THE FLASH a lot (yes, still), but I have to say: there are a number of ARROW seasons and many FLASH seasons that were just hammering out more product on the TV assembly line to sell more units of ad time. STARGIRL wasn't like that. Every season and every episode had a narrative and creative purpose. An insight beyond executing the formula. A point beyond filling a timeslot.

Time has been hard on STARGIRL executive producer and creator Geoff Johns. Actor Ray Fisher (Cyborg in JUSTICE LEAGUE) has accused Johns of racism in calling the Snyder version of Cyborg "an angry black man" and he accused Johns of permitting and enabling Whedon's abuse and harassment on JUSTICE LEAGUE. Johns was effectively fired from Warner Bros. after the Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE failed at box office. Johns is no longer in a leadership position for DC's films.

Johns was able to keep working on numerous DC movies and shows because he was individually contracted to each project as a consultant (AQUAMAN, SHAZAM, BIRDS OF PREY, WW1984) and as a writer-producer (all the CW and HBO Max DC shows).

Johns didn't respond directly to Fisher's accusations. A Johns-spokesperson said that Johns' comments were standard story and character notes and that racial implications were not intended. My suspicion: I think Johns is probably an okay guy who, like any white person of privilege, has blindspots of sensitivity. I don't believe there is hate in his heart, but there was probably a failure to recognize how his communication with Fisher regarding Cyborg was disrespectful to the lived experience of a black man.

I don't believe that Johns is a Klansman or anything, but I believe Fisher; I believe that Johns spoke poorly and without sensitivity or respect for the relationship that Fisher had with Snyder where Snyder drew on Fisher's lived experience.

I also think that Johns turned a blind eye to Whedon's behaviour: he may have been starstruck by Whedon and misread Whedon's toxic behaviour for sardonic humour (as I certainly have).

Johns has kept his head down since JUSTICE LEAGUE, returning to (lower paid) comic book work and writing FLASHPOINT BEYOND and some creator owned comics, running STARGIRL, serving as "executive producer" on SUPERMAN AND LOIS, DOOM PATROL and TITANS (probably just reviewing scripts, monitoring production, and offering feedback and suggestions and the occasional rewrite if asked).

I believe that STARGIRL represents Geoff Johns and that Geoff Johns is STARGIRL the show (the character of Stargirl is his sister). STARGIRL is heartfelt, inclusive, joyful, warm, loving and kind. I hope that Johns finds a way to make things right with Fisher if he can, and continues to produce good work. That said, I reserve to retract all of the above if more accusations from others come out. Don't let me down, Geoff. Don't be another Whedon. Be good.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Kevin Smith's adventures as an Arrowverse director with his friend, Jason Mewes:

(Mewes and Smith play the characters of Jay and Silent Bob in Smith's ViewAskew universe movies, and in real life, the two have an alarmingly codependent friendship/partnership with Smith having helped/financed Mewes' 10 year journey from heroin addiction to sobriety and Mewes being an assistant manager in Smith's speaking/touring business.)

I just got back from Vancouver. I was up in Vancouver. I directed my third episode of The Flash.

It was fun. It was awesome, man. I go up there, like, you know, in TV they don't really need a director in episodic TV. Cast and crew make that show every week. If you ever look at the credits of your favorite shows, the director's the only name that really changes and stuff. That's how fucking replaceable the director really is.

It's weird, when I show up, I find myself at a loss. It's not like when I direct a movie, I'm involved in every aspect. But on TV, I'm not really. I'm kind of a bystander who gets to say "action" and "cut." But as a fan of the show, it's fun 'cause you get to watch that shit get made.

it always feels like when I go up there, that I'm not so much the director of the episode as a Make-A-Wish kid that gets to... that gets to go to the offices and shit. And I sit in on all the big meetings and stuff like that. And I watch very talented people who do this every fucking week sit around and talk to each other, how they're gonna plan this shit. "How are we gonna make her fly? How are we gonna do this shit, and whatnot?"

And then periodically, they remember I'm there and they look over at me and they go, "What do you think, Kev?" I'm like, "I think that sounds awesome!" And they're like, "Okay, big guy." And they go back to making the fucking show and stuff like that.

It's been nice, it's been a nice thing to do, to go up there. As a fan of the show, I get to watch stuff get done. And Jason Mewes, the guy who I stand next to professionally and personally for the last 30 fucking years and stuff, is the biggest CW fan on the planet.

Like, basically, the demographic I think is 12-year-old girls and Jason Mewes. He loves all of those fucking shows, man. He goes deep on 'em. He's always loved, like, you know, preteen or fucking youth dramas with heroic action in them and shit like that. Like he loves all the fucking CW shit, Supernatural. And when Arrow started, he was always trying to get me to watch Arrow and stuff.

He'd be like, "You gotta fucking watch Arrow. You used to write Green Arrow comics and shit." And I was like, "How is the show?" He goes, "Fucking awesome, man. This dude Stephen Amell is amazing. You gotta see this shit, look." He pulls out his iPad, always has an iPad in a holster on him at all times and stuff. He can watch his programs. Pulls it out and fucking pulls up this scene.

And he shows me a shirtless Stephen Amell doing this impossible exercise called the Salmon Ladder, where he's just like doing chin-ups but throwing the bar up in the air and catching himself and stuff like that, something. And I'm like, "This must be done with CGI." They're like, "No. You just have to be in shape."

I'm watching it and he's all bare-chested and oily and sweaty and shit. I was like, "What's this have to do with Green Arrow?" And he goes, "Oh, you want to see him shoot a fucking arrow? Do you?" And he pulls up another clip and he shows me a clip of fucking Stephen Amell shooting an arrow, also shirtless.

I was like, "I think you like this show for reasons you don't understand yet."

And he goes, "Watch it with me." I was like, "That might cross the line right there." I was like, "No, you watch it. Let me know how it goes and stuff." And he did. He watched it forever and then they introduced Flash in season two, and he's like, "You gotta watch this shit now! They're doing Flash, you fucking love Flash." And so he did-- he got me, he hooked me. But not by saying, "Watch the show."

One night, I got this fucking call in the middle of the night, Jason Mewes called the house. And like I said, he lives near me, so he never calls. It's weird when he calls the house since he lives like around the block. He just pops in like Kramer and the adventure begins.

I looked, the phone was ringing, and I saw it was his name and stuff. I said, "Oh, my God, something must be wrong."

I picked up the phone, I was like, "What's up? You all right?"

He goes, "Turn on the fucking TV! Turn on the TV right now!" The last time he called screaming "Turn on the TV" was September 11th, 2001.

I got fucking scared and I was like, "Oh, my God! Are we under attack by ISIS again?"

And he goes, "No, man. Fucking King Shark is on Flash right now."

And I was like, "You fucking piece of shit! You almost gave me a heart attack!" I said, "I thought ISIS had reached American shores."

And he goes, "Who the fuck is she? I'm talking about Flash!"

I said, "What do you mean, King Shark's on Flash?"

He's like, "He's on fucking Flash right now, man! Turn on the fucking TV! He's... Oh, you fucking missed it, it's over and shit."

I was like, "How'd he look?"

He goes, "He looked fucking amazing." Now, for those of you that don't know who King Shark is, he's a DC supervillain. But he ain't cool like the Joker or Lex Luthor. He's like way down the list. His whole gimmick is he's a shark that walks on land and wears pants.

Like that's... it's goofy and it works in the comic books. 'Cause he's graphically interesting. But you would never try this shit in the real world because it would look stupid. But he was saying they tried it. I was like, "That's fucked up, man." I was like, "I gotta see what it looks like."

He goes, "You go to Twitter, man, somebody screen capped."

I went to Twitter, and sure enough, there were pictures of fucking King Shark. And sure enough, it looked like legit. If you were ever gonna do a King Shark, it's like, that's it! Holy shit! I said, "I can't believe they had the balls to fucking try this. I thought you said this was a critically like revered show."

He's like, "Oh, the critics love it. It's got the ratings too."

I was like, "Then why would they fucking risk that with King Shark?" Like... Oh, my God! You've gotta have a lot of confidence to rock King Shark. That's like 12-inch dick confidence, man. You know, to be in your second season, be like, "Zip. King Shark. Deal with it."

And have people stay around and shit. I was like, "That's fucking impressive." I said, "Looks good. I gotta give this shit a watch." It really piqued my curiosity. I worked under the Smucker's logic. "With a name like Smucker's, it must taste like pussy." Or whatever the fuck it is.

Like... I was like, "If they're doing King Shark, it must be fucking watchable and shit." I kicked back and I downloaded the episode and I watched it, and goddamn it if it wasn't fucking good. I was like, "I'm gonna try another episode." I went back to the beginning and started watching all of The Flash, and I binge-watched.

I went into my office and just started fucking watching. Got real roped up in that shit 'cause it's all emotional and whatnot. And there was some shit that's connected to Arrow that I didn't understand. any time I was lost, I'd pause it and I would text Jason and be like, "Hey, man, they're talking about some island. What the fuck's this all about?"

And he'd be like, "Oh, that's where Ollie became the Green Arrow, let me tell you."

And then... he would send nine fucking paragraphs of backstory, and at first I thought, like, "Oh, man, I bet you he's just pulling this shit off Wikipedia." But he wrote it himself. I know this 'cause Arrow was spelled 12 different fucking ways throughout.

He'd tell me and I'd be like, "I got it." I'd go back to watching the show. And my wife would make fun of us and shit. 'Cause this was going on for a few days.

She was like, "Oh, look at you old ladies and your stories." She's like, "What are Nicky and Victor up to this week?" and shit.

I was like, "Fuck you, bitch. This is Flash."

I fell in love with the show big time, man. I got to the season finale of season one. And they built an incredible season with season one of The Flash. And the season finale's one of my favorite hours of television ever produced and shit. Didn't know that until I watched it. Jason Mewes knew it was good, so Jason goes, "You're almost at the fucking season finale." He goes, "You gotta fucking record yourself watching it."

I was like, "Like a reaction video?"

He goes, "Yeah, man, like the kids. You gotta be like a millennial, bitch."

And I was like, "Why would I do that?"

He's going, "Because it's a really good episode." He's going, "It's emotional. And you know me." He goes, "I don't cry at anything. But I know you. You cry at everything." He goes, "And I almost cried watching it, so it's gonna fucking tear you up, man. I wanna see what that shit looks like." I was like, "Okay."

And so when I sat down and watched the episode, I set up my phone to record myself. And you can see the video up online. I put it up on my website and stuff. I trimmed it, you don't have to watch the whole thing. But you watch me... like to say that I cry is like an understatement, like...

Crying, I think of crying as like, you know, a Native American by the side of the road going, "Garbage." You know, like that's... like a dignified solo tear and shit. This was just bawling, like fucking blubbering. Like... [moans] My tits were going up and down. fucking messy, snot running down my face. All over this fucking show.

And somebody sent the link to my mother, I guess, and my mother called me up, she goes, "Tiger, are you okay?"

I was like, "Yeah. What's the matter?"

She's like, "I saw you on a video on the internet and you were crying."

You know? I was like, "Ma, which one?" You know? I cry a lot and shit.

She goes, "You were watching The Flash and the boy's mom died."

I said, "Oh, Ma, this show, The Flash, is so fucking good." I said, "You gotta peep it out, man. It's really emotional. Yeah. It gets to me and stuff."

And my mother goes, "Jesus Christ! I just hope you cry that hard when I die."

I was watching it and loving the shit out of it. And I kept bugging Jason, it became our little thing and stuff. And so Jason's wife Jordan runs our company. And she's the one that sends me places and stuff, puts movies together, shows together. she was paying attention.

She called me up one day and she goes, "Uh, look, I see you keep texting with Jason about The Flash and you love it so much. And I saw that embarrassing crying video and stuff."

She's going, "it's clear you like The Flash. I hope this doesn't bug you, but I called up your agent and I said, 'Hey, Kevin really likes this show The Flash. Why don't you see if they'll let him direct an episode?'"

And I was like, "Why the fuck did you do that?" I said, "Oh, my God! Don't do that! That's so fucking embarrassing, man. I don't want no fucking handouts from the shirtless boy network. Like, no!" I was like, "I'm content to watch that show." I was like, "That's fucking embarrassing. Don't ever fucking do that again."

She goes, "Calm down, they said yeah."

I was like, "Good fucking job!" Oh, my God! I was like, "Way to think outside the box! That's fucking phenomenal, man."

Jason's in the background going, "My old lady got you a job, bitch!"

I was like, "Put him on the phone."

He's like, "Can you fucking believe this shit, man? You didn't even fucking watch the show and shit, and I told you to watch it, now you're going to fucking direct it, you gotta take me with you."

I said, "I don't know if I can fucking take you with me, dude. I just found out that I get to fucking go, that I got a job. I can't call them up and be like, 'Yeah, you gotta hire the other guy too. I don't know if you ever saw that movie, but we're a package deal.'"

He goes, "Well, I don't have to fucking be on the show. I just wanna go up with you, man, because they shoot Arrow up there and they shoot Flash up there, they shoot all the shows. I wanna see like Starling City, I wanna see Central City, I wanna see all the cities. You know."

He's like, "Just bring me. You can tell them I'm your assistant."

I'm like, "You kinda are my assistant."

I brought him up with me, man. We went to Vancouver, that's where they make the show. they write the show in Los Angeles, and they shoot the show up in Vancouver. And when I got up there, they gave me the script. And the script was fucking beautiful. It was written by Zack Stentz, beautiful script that actually tied into, a spiritual sequel of sorts, to my favorite episode of the show, the season finale of season one and shit. Played like a sequel.

I was like, "Oh, my God!" And good news: it's a show where, you know, the boy solves all his problems at one point by running really fucking fast.

sooner or later, there's an action sequence. And this didn't have a fuck ton of that. It was more people talking to each other. I was like, "I know how to do that shit. Oh, my God, this is gonna be fucking easy and stuff." I love the script, but while I was reading the script, in it there was a character reference named Jay. And I was like, "Oh, fuck. I'm gonna have fun with this shit, man."

I go over to Jason's room and I knock on the door. He's like, "What's up?" I was like, "Oh, my God! They wrote you into my script, dude, look!"

And he grabbed the fucking script, and you've never seen anyone get more excited in your life. And he goes, "I'm gonna be on the CW?"

And I realized it had gone too far. I was like, "No, man, no. No, no, I'm just kidding."

He goes, "What do you mean?"

I was like, "I was just bullshitting, man. I just fucking showed you 'cause there was a name in the script said Jay. I thought it was funny."

He goes, "How do you know it's not me?"

I was like, "'Cause it doesn't say 'and Silent Bob' after it, so... I'm relatively sure."

He goes, "Why would you fucking do that?"

I was like, "I just thought it was kinda funny."

He goes, "You're an asshole!" And closed the door. I was like, that was time well spent.

I went into work the next day, and I did this thing, it's called-- I've never done one of these before-- tone meeting. They do it in TV a lot, apparently. When you got a TV show that's up and running, when the director comes in they sit them down and have a tone meeting with them. that you know what the show is supposed to be or whatever.

I'm a huge fan, so I didn't think I needed one. But everybody does it, so they sit you down. They're in Los Angeles, you're in Vancouver. And they do it on Skype, like by this big TV.

Todd Helbing, who was the producer, he pops up on the screen, he's like, "Hey, man. How you doing?"

I was like, "Hey, how are you?"

He's like, "You ready for the tone meeting?"

I was like, "Fuck, yeah, man."

He's like, "Open your script. Scene one."

I was like, "Okay."

And he goes, "Kevin, the tone of scene one is, uh, it's happy. Everyone's happy in this scene."

And I was like, "Okay."

And he goes, "Great. Scene two." I go, "Okay."

And he goes, "Now, Kevin, everyone in this scene, they're sad. Everyone's very sad."

And I was like, "All right." And it went on like that for fucking every scene. He literally told me the general emotion of every fucking scene.

And I was like, "What happened in the history of television where this is necessary?" Like somebody fucking-- Some director was handed a script and fucking came back with something where he was like, "What do you mean Roots ain't a comedy?" And they were like, "What the fuck?" And they were like, "From now on, we gotta tell every director what the tone of every scene is and shit." we go through the whole fucking tone meeting.

He's like, "This scene's happy, this scene's sad." I'm like, "Okay, okay."

Finally we get to the scene outside the Big Belly Burger and shit, where that Jay character was. And he goes, "Okay, the scene outside the Big Belly Burger." He goes, "This is gonna be weird. Weird to have to say out loud, but I'm just gonna put it on Front Street. We wrote your friend Jay into this scene."

I said, "No way! Are you fucking shitting me, man?" I was like, "I was busting his balls yesterday going, 'This is you. Psyche!'" I was like, "Oh, my God!" I was like, "That's very nice." I said, "But weird. Like, why would you write him into the script like that?"

And he goes, "We just assumed he'd be with you."

I was like, "He is, man. Absolutely."

He goes, "Do you think he'll wanna do this?"

I was like, "Do I think he'll wanna fucking do it? He loves these CW shows, man. I'm shocked he didn't show up to your office, push you back in the chair, rip your dick out, be like, 'Whose cock do I gotta suck to be on The Flash?' Doing 'Goodbye Horses' with your dick and shit."

Todd Helbing's a writer too, he's funny. He goes, "Well, if I knew that was an option, I would have held out." He goes, "Do you think he'll do it?"

I was like, "Draw up the paperwork right now, man. This is a done deal. Trust me, this guy's gonna wanna fucking do this and shit like that." I went back to the room and stuff, knocked on his door, he's like, "What's up?" I was like, "Hey, man. I went to the tone meeting."

He goes, "How was that?"

I was like, "Fucking weird. Weird." I said, "But, in the middle of the tone meeting, man, we got to this scene and remember that fucking yesterday when I was like, 'Hey, man, you're in the script.'"

He goes, "Yeah, that was a dick move."

I was like, "Well, it may not be such a fucking dick move 'cause I just did the tone meeting and they told me that they did write you into that scene. And they asked me to come back here and ask you if you wanna be in my episode of The Flash."

Now, I've known Jason 30 years, I've seen him cry twice. Once on the birth of his daughter, his daughter Logan was born about three years ago, and shit like that. I got a picture of him holding this little baby bawling, he was so happy to be a dad, snot running down his face.

Second time I've ever seen him cry was after I was like, "You are gonna be on the CW." He started crying. This was his honest reaction. He goes, "I deserve this!"

We shot his scene the very first day. In the fucking schedule it was the first thing I ever directed on Flash, it was nice to have him there with me and stuff. He's usually there when I direct shit. it was nice to have him there. And it was a pretty quick scene, man. Like basically he shows up, everyone went fucking nuts. Like it was crazy. I don't think of him that way.

But like people on the cast and crew were like, "There's a legit movie star fucking coming." And I was like, "Where? Who? Him?! Holy shit."

Grant Gustin who plays the Flash, he was just like, "I can't believe you got him to do this." He goes, "How much money did you have to pay him?" I go, "Oh, no. It don't work like that at all." I was like, "In fact, go ask him to get you coffee. Watch him do it."

It was sweet, though, it's been fun fucking doing 'em.

But I honestly feel disingenuous. Like it feels weird to do the job because it doesn't feel like the way that I normally do the job. TV directing is a much bigger, or different deal. Easier deal to me, where I'm like, oh, there's not a lot of creative input or something like that. You have to find your way. Like what makes you... Like why are you there?

Like other than saying "action" and "cut," it seems arbitrary, anybody could fucking do that. You know, I had to find a place though how I could live in that world and feel useful.

And so, it first started happening I think when I was doing Supergirl. Um, we were-- we were doing some-- setting up some fucking big sequence at this pool. Uh, the giant, like, a community pool. And it was a big wide shot and whatnot. We're doing it like when the pool is closed so it's like two in the morning.

It's real late. So, you know, people are run down, we've had our "lunch." Which was at midnight or whatever. But people are getting tired because it's late and it's cold. So, you know, I was like, "Fuck man. I'm gonna get-- I'm gonna go get some burgers for my crew."

For the people on camera and stuff like that. 'Cause they're the ones that gotta be up and sharp. I was talking to the first AD, he was like new on the show, first time I'd ever met him and stuff. And I was like, "Hey, man. I was thinking about-- how long do you think this is gonna take?"

He's like, "I think we're gonna be ready to go in five minutes." "Hey, I'm gonna go grab some fucking burgers, man. Can you like, watch this?"

And he goes, "What do you mean, watch this?"

I was like, "Well, if you guys are ready, just start shooting without me."

He goes, "What an interesting way to direct a show by not being there at all."

I was like, "I know, but you guys do this shit every week without me. Let's be real. And it's a big wide shot, performance-- we're just doing it for the wide. It's the performance-- I'll be back for that and shit. You got this, right?"

He's like, "Sure, man. Go ahead."

And so I fucking got in the car and I left set and I drove down the road to-- In Canada, they got an A&W place. They do A&W burgers and root beer and shit. And it's-- they're amazing. It's my favorite burger on the fucking planet. they're open 24 hours. And they're like literally across the street from where we were shooting.

I rolled up on A&W at two in the morning. And I pull up to the box and shit. And they're like, "A&W, can I help you?" It's one guy.

And I said, "Uh, hi. Let me get 20 Buddy Burgers, man."

And the guy goes, "Yeah, right."

I was like, "No, I'm serious. 20 Buddy Burgers."

And he goes, "Pull up to the window so I can confirm your method of payment."

I said, "Okay, fair enough." And I went up to fucking next window and shit like that.

And he opened his window, I rolled mine down, and he goes, "Oh, it's you. Well, that makes sense."

I was like, "What the fuck's that mean, man?"

He's like, "That's a lot of burgers. And I heard you were in town."

I was like, "I-- they're not for me."

He was like, "I don't need to ask any questions."

I was like, "I'm getting them for the people on Supergirl." He's like, "I'm sure you are." I go, "20 burgers, man. How long is that supposed to take? 'Cause I'm supposed to be back in five minutes."

He goes, "20 burgers usually take about 20 minutes. But like if you will take a selfie with me, I'll do it in ten."

I was like, "If you'll do it in ten, I'll fucking blow you, man."

And he goes, "The selfie will be fine, Mr. Smith."

I said, "Fantastic." I waited by the side, he cooked up fucking 20 burgers and shit.

Came out with two big bags, gave them to me. He's like, "Thanks." We took a selfie and shit. Off I went, back to the place.

I was like, "Yay, burgers!" And I started giving out burgers and shit. And soon the burgers were fucking gone. And I was like, "Oh, fuck. I didn't get enough." I said, "If I do this again, I gotta get more." Some crew members were like, "Where's the burgers?" I was like, "Oh, they ate them all." They're like, "Fucking A." And walked away.

I was like, "Fuck man. Let me see if I can fucking get some burgers going and shit like that tomorrow."

Next day, we were shooting late again. Like it was one in the morning and stuff. And so, you know, I was bored again on set at a certain point, everybody's working. I don't really have anything to do. I was like, maybe I'll go get 'em some fucking burgers, man. I'll roll up on the burger joint again. It's right across the street. I pull up and I hear, uh, "Welcome to A&W. Can I help you?"

I said, "Hey. Let me get 40 Buddy Burgers."

And the guy, it's not the guy from the other night. He goes, "What, are you high?" And I wanted to tell him "Yes." But I wanted to finish the fucking transaction.

I was like, "No, no, no." I was like, "I-- no. I do want this."

And he goes, "Please drive up to the next window to confirm your method of payment."

I drive up to the window, he opens his up and mine, he goes, "Oh, I heard about you. I get it now." I said, "What do you mean?"

He's going, "You were here last night."

I said, "That's right. I ordered 20 burgers."

He's like, "Yeah. The guy last night, he's a big fan and stuff. He's been showing everybody the picture."

I was like, "Right on." I said, "Well, I'm back for more."

He goes, "What do you want?" I said, "Can I get 40 Buddy Burgers, man?"

He goes, "Okay. Give me your credit card." I showed him. He's like,

"All right." I said, "How long is that gonna take?"

He's like, "40 burgers, 40 minutes."

I was like, "Oh, well, the guy yesterday, man, he said 20 burgers takes 20 minutes. But he did it in ten and shit."

And he goes, "That's 'cause the other guy's a big fan."

Understood, captain. You know... I went and waited. 40 minutes later, man, they brought out my fucking Buddy Burgers. Big bags and shit like that. I said thank you. I went back to work and shit. I was like, "Hey! Fucking burgers for everybody!" Everyone's like happy to get them. It's crazy, man. It's really sweet. Like, it's... I don't know why, they're like, "Oh, my God. This is nice."

And I'm like, "It's $1.99 burger." I tell them all. I'm like, look, man, I'm gonna go home and they're gonna give me so much fucking credit for directing this episode. We all know I didn't do shit. The least thing I could do is buy you a fucking burger. And McCloud, the AD, is like, "Fucking A."

it was great. Like people, it really cheers people up and shit like that. It's perfect walking around food. When you're done, you just throw the paper out and shit like that.

But I ran out of burgers, 40 wasn't enough. There was still some people that didn't get any. I was like, "Fuck! Next time I gotta go fucking higher and shit." we had one more night of night shoots and shit. it's about two in the morning and at one point, I rolled up to McCloud, the AD, and I was like, "Hey, McCloud."

He goes, "Go ahead. Just get me three burgers."

I was like, "Will do, man."

I got in the car, and I went back to fucking A&W and shit. And I pull up to the box and I was like, "Hi, man. I'm-- let me get 70 Mama Burgers, please."

And the guy goes, "Right away, Mr. Smith."

I'd built something of a reputation of sorts and stuff. So, you know, I was like, "Oh, fuck. This is great." I said, "You know what? I'm gonna go deeper tonight." I said, "70 Mama Burgers. Let me get like 40 French fries as well."

And he goes, "Okay."

I said, "20 onion rings."

He goes, "Right on."

And I'm looking at the menu board, like I've been going to A&W three nights in a row. And since I stay away from sugar, I've been trying not to succumb to the temptation because like I love root beer. It's one of my favorite things in the world. I love sugar. I love sugar on anything. You put it on dog shit, I'm like this is the best. But root beer is one of my favorites. And they market it so well. Like the orange and brown just like makes you salivate and shit, like a Pavlovian response.

And all these days and nights I've been able to not fucking get a root beer. But I'm like, it's fucking two in the morning, man. And like you're buying everyone these burgers. And like it's like your mom said: you're a good boy. You know? Like... You fucking-- you deserve a treat, man. Why don't you get yourself a fucking root beer, champ.

And I was like, "Let me add to that, man. I wanna add one small diet root beer."

And he starts laughing, the guy in the ordering box. I said, "What's the matter?"

He goes, "Look at the screen." And I looked at the screen, it said 70 Mama Burgers, 40 French fries, 20 onion rings, one small diet root beer." He goes, "That looks like the worst diet ever attempted." He goes, "I'm totally Instagramming that."

I pull up to the fucking window and shit, give him my credit card, it's my friend from the first night and shit, the guy I took pictures with. I was like, "Hey, man. It's you." He's like, "Mr. Smith, I gotta tell you."

I said, "Look, first off, Mr. Smith is my father. Just call me Kevin."

He goes, "Kevin, I gotta tell you, I've been telling my manager that you've been coming every night and that you've been buying these burgers. And my manager asked me to ask you if you wanna give us one of your jerseys, we'll hang it up here in the A&W."

And I was like, "Are you telling me you wanna raise my fucking jersey to the rafters of an A&W Root Beer?" I was like, "That's the highest honor a non-Canadian can receive."

So, um, so I found my place, like that's what I do. I bring shit. I bring food for people, I bring toys for the actors. That's how I do the actors and shit like that. I learned that when I was on Supergirl at one point. I had like a break, lunch break, and rather than sit around and eat lunch, like I smoked lunch. And then we were near a Toys 'R' Us, so I went stoner shopping and stuff like that.

And, you know, I had a basket so I kept throwing in shit. Everything under five bucks, little trinkets and shit like that. And so I bought like a book of stickers, puffy animal stickers.

We went back to shoot a scene with Chyler, who plays Supergirl's sister, Alex, and with Melissa, who plays Supergirl. And so we were about to rehearse, do a blocking rehearsal, and I had one of the puffy stickers, I had it on my finger and I walked up to the two ladies and I was like, "Ladies, you see this puffy dog sticker? Whoever wins this scene wins the sticker." It was adorable.

Chyler goes, "You're going down, bitch." You know, fucking... And they did, they fucking out-acted each other, like wizards fighting and shit like that. All for the puffy sticker. And at the end, I was like you both get a puffy sticker. And Chyler was like, "That wasn't the rule."

But how I direct is I bring food for everybody and give them toys and shit. I'm more of like a craft service person, you know. Or a candy man than anything else.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I'm behind on STARGIRL, but I had some thoughts on Season 1 -- specifically the Brainwave Jr. arc. This redemption arc for Henry Jr. never made a ton of sense to me in terms of plotting, but it made me *feel* for him so I accepted it and also -- I felt it was more likely that I had failed to understand Geoff Johns' writing. I felt it less likely that Johns had failed to convey Henry Jr.'s arc properly. Johns is an excellent writer (and I will insist to my dying day that his work on the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie was great even though only I, Slider_Quinn21 and Informant liked it).

The thing that confused me about Henry Jr.'s arc: I didn't understand why he sided with the Justice Society. I didn't understand why Brainwave/Henry Sr.'s betrayal didn't break Henry Jr. but instead inspired him to help the JSA in his final moments.

Henry Jr.'s got a whole superior, survival of the fittest attitude going on; his father is a cold and cruel sociopath who torments him with his inadequacy and is secretly a telepathic supervillain.

Then Henry Jr. manifests telepathic powers and, in a hospital, he overhears the most horrible thoughts: children hoping their parents will die soon, health care workers being dismissive, his housekeeper thinking Henry Sr. deserves to die. When Courtney/Stargirl approaches him, trying to understand why Henry Jr. is a bully, why Henry Jr. showed Yolanda's topless photos to his friends, why Henry Jr. mistreats anyone he can get away with mistreating. He was like this before he had his powers.

Henry Jr.:
You think I'm a jerk? Well, trust me -- everyone else is worse. If my dad hurt anyone, he had a reason to.

People are monsters. Deep down, they're ugly. And greedy. And hateful. And twisted.

That's the truth.

Life isn't that black and white, Henry. People can be bad, but people can be good, too. And kind and compassionate.

Maybe some of the thoughts you read -- maybe some of them are bad. I mean, sometimes we're hurting or we're afraid and we think awful, awful things.

Have you tried looking a little deeper? I bet you'd find something better. Behind the pain and the fear, it's all about love.

People want to love, and be loved. I think you do, too... the way your father treats you... and you're still at his side. I don't know what it must've been like growing up with him as a father.

I can't imagine what he did to you.

Henry Jr. responds by threatening her life. Courtney retreats. But in the next episode, Henry Jr. reaches out to Courtney. His father has amnesia and his personality has rewound by 10 years. The savage, rote cruelty of Brainwave is gone. There's an openness. A blankness.

Henry Jr. believes that his father's grief over the death of his wife and Henry Jr.'s mother twisted Henry Sr., warped him into Brainwave. Henry Jr. also learns that he and Courtney are cousins and Courtney hugs him joyfully. Henry Jr. has hope. He's offered acceptance. He's given a chance. He uses it to help the JSA and tell Yolanda that he wishes she had his powers, that she could read his mind and know his regret. He feels remorse, he wants to change, he hopes his father will want to change too.

But Henry Jr.'s hopes are dashed at the climax: Brainwave reveals that he murdered his own wife, he killed Henry Jr.'s mother, because he saw her as a weakness. Brainwave tells Henry to join him; Henry refuses and Brainwave prepares to kill him.

Then Henry dies fighting for the JSA and... when I first watched it, I didn't understand it. Brainwave, Henry's father, wasn't good; even with his mind rewound 10 years, he was still a murderer. So why did Henry change and why did Henry feel validated as opposed to lost and betrayed?

Rewatching Season 1 again, I came to realize: Henry holds his father in contempt. Brainwave is dismissive, condescending, vicious and scornful, and Henry treats others in a similar way. Henry believes, even before he's verbalized it, that everyone on Earth is a monster. But Courtney invites him to consider the possibility that the monstrosity he sees is only people when they're scared and hurt and lost and alone. Courtney asks Henry to consider that his own crimes against humanity are because his father made him feel small and weak and worthless and that he adopted the same attitude to others.

So when Henry Jr. asks Brainwave to consider that the Injustice Society warped his value system and changed him, Henry isn't looking for Brainwave to validate his hope at all. Henry was a bully given a second chance by Courtney and now Henry is offering his father that same chance. When his father rejects him, Henry isn't broken; Courtney had already healed him and Henry takes comfort in knowing that he was the best of what Courtney thought of him instead of the worst of what Yolanda -- and his father -- believed of him.

"People are good," says Henry Jr., believing the best of himself at last and at the end of his life. "Don't let this change your mind," he tells Courtney, not wanting to be the last questionable person whom Courtney will believe in.

Johns did a good job. I wonder if it should have been clearer... or maybe I should have just paid more attention.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I did finish Stargirl - it was good.  I thought the twists at the end were a little predictable but effective.  I thought the show finished strong and left everyone in a good place.  The epilogue felt a little tacked on, but I don't know if it was or if it was supposed to set up a season four.  I know Brec Bassinger said season 4 was going to be "crazy" - I always hope writers are specific about that, but I don't know if they'll let us know what they were going to do.

All in all, the show was sweet.  It was different than the rest of the Arrowverse and I'm glad it didn't cross over with anything other than John Wesley Shipp.

I did read that Stargirl might appear on Titans.  That would be kinda cool.  I'm enjoying Titans season four, and I'm glad Doom Patrol is back.  I assume both will be in their final seasons.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Fun fact: Doom Patrol is/was supposed to be DC's version of the x-men.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

There have been numerous allegations of Marvel engaging in plagiarism of the Doom Patrol to create X-Men, but the evidence for this has been uncertain.

Doom Patrol debuted in MY GREATEST ADVENTURE in June 1963, UNCANNY X-MEN was first released in September of the same year. But given the lead-in time, X-MEN would have been conceived, written and drawn starting in June 1963 for a three month lead-in; it's unlikely that Marvel could have read MY GREATEST ADVENTURE and immediately come up with characters and designs and written scripts and produced UNCANNY X-MEN #1 by September; the X-Men would have been in development at least a few months before Doom Patrol first appeared.

The similarities are likely because Doom Patrol creator Arnold Drake and X-Men scripter Stan Lee had similar mindsets: they gravitated to writing about outcasts, misfits and oddballs like the Chief and Professor Xavier; they weren't as enthusiastic about square-jawed, matinee movie handsome stars like Superman. Rather than choose a young, handsome leader, they (separately) chose a man with a disability.

DOOM PATROL has some truly crazy continuity as a comic book series, arguably as tangled and near-incomprehensible as SLIDERS. X-MEN is messy too in its publishing history, but it's periodically smoothed out its bumps. DOOM PATROL, on the other hand, went from a relatively straightforward series about four awkward people in impossible situations (like SLIDERS) to a really tangled, psychologically troubled, self-loathing series.

It's noticeable to me that Professor Xavier, despite being given a dark side, has ultimately been presented as a hero; even when he's had bouts of manipulative and horrific behaviour, X-MEN has in the end redeemed him and cast Xavier's villainy as the character being written incorrectly or Xavier having additional motivations that were heroic. In contrast, the Chief of DOOM PATROL has gone from being a heroic figure to a corrupt, cruel, uncaring, twisted figure of scornful contempt towards everyone and everything.

The difference, however, is that DOOM PATROL has been lauded and admired for its skillful stories of psychological depth as the characters became more self-destructive and dysfunctional whereas SLIDERS is mocked for its incompetence as the show became more and more depressing.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

it seems like the end goal was to destroy the characters.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I guess you could say that writer Grant Morrison destroyed the Doom Patrol, but it could be argued that he destroyed it to save it. There would be no DOOM PATROL television show if Morrison hadn't changed the series from a lighthearted, somewhat peculiar superhero adventure into psychological body horror.

The comics where DOOM PATROL took a turn into darker territory and tore down its characters are regarded as the high point of the series with very high quality scripts and artwork. I don't think anyone would consider the script or direction of, say, "The Breeder", to reflect any quality.

I'm personally a bit mixed on DOOM PATROL's shift into darkness. Morrison's reinvention has stood the test of time with most subsequent writers building on his foundation and with the DOOM PATROL television series (and their brief appearance in TITANS) drawing on Morrison's version of the team. Maybe he did the right thing even if I personally take issue with it.

The original Doom Patrol debuted in MY GREATEST ADVENTURE from writer-creator Arnold Drake. Drake was a great writer who presented the Doom Patrol as goodhearted, optimistic misfits: a racecar driver with a huge heart trapped in a robot body (Robotman). A fighter pilot who thrived on physical adventure trapped in a form of "negative" energy (Negative Man). A movie star actress in a body that now stretched and contorted into grotesque forms (Elasti-Girl). All three of them had been caught in bizarre accidents (a car crash, a flight crash, exposure to toxic chemicals) that had warped their bodies into these new forms.

All three of them had been recruited by a heroic genius in a wheelchair (the Chief) to form the Doom Patrol superhero team. All three of them fighting other outcasts who hadn't coped with their situation as well as the Doom Patrol.

Drake wrote great stories and created incredible villains. But MY GREATEST ADVENTURE, later DOOM PATROL, didn't really set the world on fire with sales and didn't become a cultural phenomenon. After a decent run of 41 issues, the 1968 issue of DOOM PATROL #121 killed the team off in a heroic sacrifice to save a small village.

Why did DOOM PATROL fail where X-MEN succeeded? Well, X-MEN didn't actually succeed in its 1963 run either! X-MEN limped to seven years with the original run of Xavier, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel and Beast; it wasn't until the 1975 revival with Angel and Beast swapped out for Wolverine, Storm and Nightcrawler that the X-Men took off in sales. The teen X-Men were too bland; the older and more conflicted newcomers were more compelling.

DOOM PATROL was a good book, but it was arguably not as good as it could have been. Arnold Drake wrote the Doom Patrol as winning, positive personalities with occasional flashes of the body horror and despair suggested by Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Woman's situations. The Chief was a reliable, brilliant hero; everyone seemed mostly happy. DOOM PATROL didn't make itself as unique as its characters and concept suggested.

DOOM PATROL was often a very straightforward superhero series, albeit an extremely charismatic, memorable, inventive and fun read. It was probably as good as it could be in a time when storytelling in comics had to be kept simple for readers who might not be able to get every issue, for broad newsstand distribution, for DC's audience being children and young teenagers. The 1968 finale seemed to be the end of the line.

In 1977, writer Paul Kupperberg sought to revive DOOM PATROL. Kupperberg used stories in the SHOWCASE anthology title to reveal that Robotman had survived the explosion that had supposedly killed the team back in 1968. Kupperberg created a new team of original characters joining Robotman to form a new Doom Patrol... and it wasn't great. Kupperberg wrote this new Doom Patrol as a completely generic superhero team run by superheroine Celsius, the previously unknown wife of the Chief.

Due to delays and low sales, DC didn't approve and print a Kupperberg DOOM PATROL series until 1987. The Doom Patrol under Kupperberg were basically the Avengers or a lower profile Justice League; they had none of the original Doom Patrol's eccentricity and all the generic aspects of the team had been amplified.

Kupperberg later blogged about his revival, saying he had changed Doom Patrol to be more like any other superhero team, realizing only later that he'd taken away what made them unique. In all fairness, original creator Arnold Drake often wrote Doom Patrol like any other superhero team with small nods to their peculiarities; Kupperberg took a property that was 80 percent AVENGERS and 20 percent TWIN PEAKS and made it 100 percent AVENGERS. Kupperberg wrote that he met Arnold Drake long after his revival and that he apologized to Drake.

Drake shrugged it off, patted Kupperberg on the shoulder and assured Kupperberg all was forgiven.

The original Doom Patrol had been interesting but occasionally too bland; Kupperberg had made Doom completely bland. Neither version really landed in the public consciousness and Doom Patrol was likely to fade away except writer Grant Morrison took over from Kupperberg starting with #19 of the revival. Kupperberg killed off his original characters to give Morrison a clean slate.

Morrison brought the Chief and Negative Man back to join Robotman but left Elasti-Girl dead. Morrison introduced the character of Crazy Jane, a woman with 64 separate personalities with each having a separate superpower. Morrison changed the cheery tone of the original Chief/Robotman/Negative Man team to all three being more depressed and bleak, especially with Crazy Jane in the mix. Morrison highlighted how the Doom Patrol were troubled, damaged, broken people whose damage sometimes manifested as superpowers useful for investigating 'weird' crime and bizarre supervillains who were engineering the collapse of reality itself.

Morrison also changed the Chief significantly. Arnold Drake's Chief had once been a warm father figure and a genius. He could be bad tempered and impatient when under stress, but he was ultimately a good guy. He was Temporal Flux. He was Professor Arturo. He was Dad. With Morrison, the Chief remained a genius, but he was now distant and cold to Robotman, strangely indifferent to the previous version of the Doom Patrol being killed, and his interest in the Doom Patrol's enemies seemed more about co-opting their powers rather than stopping them from harm. Arnold Drake's Chief was focused on using the Doom Patrol to save lives; Morrison's Chief didn't seem to care.

This change in character was, however, justified by the events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS the previous year which had destroyed and rebuilt the DC Universe and its history in a new timeline; this new Chief did not necessarily have the same history or character as the original.

Morrison's final arc revealed: the Chief had secretly engineered the race car accident, plane crash and toxic exposure that had turned Cliff Steele into Robotman, Larry Trainor into Negative Man and Rita Farr into Elasti-Girl. He had deliberately set out to mutilate them, curious to know what kind of "freaks" these formerly photogenic, popular figures would become. He had always despised them, regarded them as shallow and narcissistic.

Morrison also revealed that the Chief had also arranged for the 1968 explosion that had killed off the entire team (until they were brought back to life); the Chief had gotten bored with the Doom Patrol, only to become annoyed when the ex-wife he'd abandoned took over his team and legacy and he used her death to regain control. The Chief only allowed the Doom Patrol to learn the truth just when the Chief was about to unleash a nanobot apocalypse upon Earth that would cause Doom Patrol-style mutations across the entire human race.

The arc ended with the Doom Patrol defeating the Chief and decapitating him.

The blatant retcons of the Chief are upsetting to me because I loved the original Chief. The revisions to the Doom Patrol's origins are, to me, offensive and completely out of sync with Arnold Drake's original DOOM PATROL issues. But... Drake actually retconned himself frequently, writing continuity inserts where Robotman had a period of violent instability before the Chief stablized his mind, inserts that didn't fit into Drake's own previous issues.

Later stories have largely maintained Morrison's run. The subsequent Rachel Pollock run kept the Chief's decapitated head alive and offered him a chance for redemption before he met with a final death, concluding this iteration of DOOM PATROL in 1995.

In the 2001, there was another DOOM PATROL revival from the brilliant John Arcudi where Robotman joined a reality TV show of people trying to use the Doom Patrol team name as the brand had fallen out of use; this fun comedy series did a few sequels to the Morrison/Pollock stories. The sales were not great, but it was a highly enjoyable story with a strong ending and an epilogue to the Morrison/Pollock era.

In 2004, DOOM PATROL was rebooted entirely after another CRISIS-continuity restart, and writer-artist John Byrne had the Chief recruit Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl for the 'first' time. Most people hate the Byrne run. I thought it was okay. A subsequent CRISIS, however, restored the original continuity of the series in an interesting way: the latest CRISIS causes the rebooted Chief, Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl suddenly find memories of all their previous adventures (and deaths) returning to them.

The Doom Patrol next appeared in Geoff Johns' TITANS as guest-stars, declaring that their history from the Morrison/Pollock run had been reinstated; the entire timeline, including the reboot, were merged into a single history (although some areas remained vague). Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl had forgiven the Chief for causing their origin stories; it was explained that the Chief (who is somehow alive after his death in DOOM PATROL #95) found remnants of Elast-Girl's elastic form after the 1968 explosion and was able to "regrow" her back to wholeness. He presented saving Elasti-Girl as his apology to the team.

In 2009, the excellent Keith Giffen had a 22 issue run of DOOM PATROL with the rebooted-memory-restored team. Giffen told terrific 'weird-superhero' stories and made lavish use of the Morrison/Pollock stories with the Chief remaining a manipulative and dangerous leader. There were also two issues devoted to the odd continuity situation: Robotman recalls his entire history with the team and his joy when Elasti-Girl finally turned up alive.

Unfortunately, Giffen's run on DOOM PATROL was cut short at #22 before he could ever explain how the Chief went from being a decapitated head who died to a (relatively) restored human body again between 1995 and 2004.

The New 52 reboot in 2011 seemed to once again erase the entire Doom Patrol and restart them. The new Doom Patrol appeared in Geoff Johns' JUSTICE LEAGUE series with the Chief leading the Kupperberg team -- with the Kupperberg characters being killed off in their first appearance. They were treated as cannon fodder in the JUSTICE LEAGUE: FOREVER EVIL crossover. However, their appearance ended with the Chief seeking a new team, presumably Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl who showed up later in JUSTICE LEAGUE again.

Then we come to the Gerard Way (UMBRELLA ACADEMY)  revival of DOOM PATROL which debuted after the DC REBIRTH story altered DC continuity again where the pre-New 52 continuity starts merging with the New 52 history. The Gerard Way incarnation of DOOM PATROL follows this and is set after the events of the Keith Giffen run while folding in the John-stories as recent events. However, there have been some hints that Gerard Way's series is set in a different continuity from other DC books.

Ultimately, Grant Morrison changing DOOM PATROL from lighthearted adventure to dark body horror has, fairly or unfairly, stood the test of time.

Making the Chief a villain was... a peculiar turn, to put it mildly. In some ways, it was the equivalent of revealing that Professor Arturo deliberately got the sliders lost in the universe by sabotaging Quinn's timer and then faked his own death, then allied himself with the Kromaggs as their spy, then arranged for Wade to be sent to a Kromagg rape camp, then hired Oberon Geiger to trap Quinn in Mallory's body just because he found Quinn annoying.

However, Morrison's storylines and arcs were extremely well-received and have come to define the Doom Patrol. Why is that?

First, it's doubtful that the DC-Vertigo indie comics readership who thrilled to Morrison's writing in 1989 had read the original Arnold Drake issues from from 26 years in the past at a time when reprints and trade paperbacks of underperforming comics were hard to find.

Second: before Morrison, the Doom Patrol concept wasn't reaching its full potential; its more optimistic stories were also blander and too close to other superheroes. Morrison emphasized all the things that made the Doom Patrol different, creating a version of the Doom Patrol that doubled down on the most original asepcts of the original concept.

Morrison's Doom Patrol could actually be distinct from other superhero teams like the X-Men or the Avengers or the Fantastic Four or the Legends of Tomorrow or Team Flash or Team Supergirl. This is the version that has been adapted and sold to television. This is the version ongoing in the Gerard Way series. In contrast, the original Doom Patrol was perhaps not sufficiently distinct from its competitors. It could be argued that Morrison had to break the Doom Patrol in order to save it.

Personally, I don't mind the idea of putting the Doom Patrol in darker stories and circumstances, but my preference is to leave the characters alone. We wouldn't turn Peter Parker (Spider-Man) into a mime who takes a vow of silence; his defining characteristic is his verbal humour. We wouldn't turn Bruce Wayne (Batman) into a deadly gunslinger. (Well. We wouldn't do those things permanently.) But it was apparently okay to turn the Chief from a heroic figure who believed that extraordinary personalities emerged from extraordinary adversity into a twisted supervillain who believed in mutilating people to satisfy his curiosity.

To be fair, Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne never had sales so low that their comics got cancelled. It could be argued that Arnold Drake's Chief was not memorable enough to endure. Timothy Dalton wouldn't have been interested in playing Arnold Drake's Chief; he wanted to play Grant Morrison's Chief. That said, the TV show has found a middle ground for Morrison's Chief: he has done terrible and downright evil things, but he did them to protect one person rather than out of morbid and uncaring curiosity.

I accept that Morrison's new version of the Chief and the Doom Patrol's history were justified by CRISIS changing continuity. And I accept that Morrison's Doom Patrol team was an unforgettable masterpiece whereas Arnold Drake's Doom Patrol team was... written professionally and enjoyable to read, but would probably be forgotten if Morrison hadn't revised it. In contrast, David Peckinpah broke SLIDERS just to break it.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Sliders was a show that was always on life support. Massive fan campaigns brought it back year after year. It was when the patient was showing some signs of recovery that the executives at fox decided to pull the plug, and watch the patient wither away.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

It's interesting because DOOM PATROL was, like SLIDERS, an underperforming property. DC Comics, like FOX, cancelled it, but it had a following and DOOM PATROL, like SLIDERS, kept finding its way back into the publishing/broadcasting schedule. And DC decided to make DOOM PATROL a more conventional superhero action series just like FOX decided to make SLIDERS a more conventional sci-fi action series.

The results were mediocre at best, and then DC and FOX decided to take a strange turn with DOOM PATROL and SLIDERS into body horror, sexual savagery, an extremely in-depth (and confusing) mythology that was initiated by one writer and then overwritten and rewritten by a subsequent writer and then another writer after that.

Both DOOM PATROL and SLIDERS became taken over by creators who were deeply invested in drug culture and writing DOOM PATROL and SLIDERS as a response to their use of drugs. Both DOOM PATROL and SLIDERS became frightening, upsetting, confusing, disorientingly out of sync with their previous incarnations and deeply disturbing.

However, DOOM PATROL was great and SLIDERS was a disaster. I will try to figure out why later.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

There is a positive in regards to comic books; the sliders comic book series never officially ended.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

It has been 25 years since DEADLY SECRETS was released. I think we can say that SLIDERS' comic book series is cancelled by the official bankruptcy of Acclaim Comics.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Never. It can be picked up by any other publisher.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Oh my God, please do not tell me you're still obsessed with some comic book series from the late 90s. Now, returning to my obsession with some TV show from the late 90s:

I think part of the distinction between DOOM PATROL and SLIDERS is the kind of drugs at play here. I am not the person to impose sobriety on anyone; while I haven't been inebriated since... I think 2011? I never find fault with people for using chemicals as they see fit; I myself take a lot of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal supplements, fiber supplements and fish oils for energy, vision and gastrointestinal maintenance.

That said, there are some drugs that are ultimately debilitating and designed to suppress life and biological function and David Peckinpah was addicted to them and they killed him. SLIDERS was being made on cocaine and heroin, drugs that, in their function and usage by Peckinpah, were antithetical to life.

In contrast, Grant Morrison's drugs of choice were about mind expansion and perspective: they took marijuana, mushrooms, acid and other hallucinogens, but while physical pleasure was a part of it, it was also about stepping outside empirical reality and exploring perceptual and emotional reality which they then put into their writing. In contrast, David Peckinpah's use of drugs was to take him away from writing.

DOOM PATROL benefitted from a somewhat the psychedelic perspective that Morrison brought to it whereas SLIDERS did not benefit from Peckinpah numbing himself to his grief and tragedy. In addition, I don't believe that Morrison's hallucinogens were physically addictive whereas Peckinpah lost control of his body and his mind and his life and his TV show.

I guess it's fair to say that Grant Morrison warped DOOM PATROL as much as David Peckinpah twisted SLIDERS, but Grant Morrison arguably brought new life to DOOM PATROL that continues to this day whereas Peckinpah killed SLIDERS and buried it deep. After that, however, Peckinpah killed himself, so I am disinclined to hold a grudge at this point.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

We really are living in clown world:

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I'd appreciate it if such posts came with context. … dc-comics/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Stephen Amell (and two others) have agreed to return for Flash's final season.  Hopefully there are a lot more others who can guest star.

Which leaves the question - is he The Spectre?  Will it be a flashback?  A parallel Earth?  Or will Oliver be resurrected?

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I dunno.

Javicia Leslie will be in THE FLASH, but I've read that she may not be playing Ryan Wilder but rather a parallel universe doppelganger and that Leslie's appearance isn't meant to tie up BATWOMAN in any way.

I generally think that the fan preference is for characters to return as the characters; Oliver Queen as Green Arrow, Ryan Wilder as Batwoman 2.0. Maybe the creators have a plan to give us that but in an unexpected way.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

I dunno.

Javicia Leslie will be in THE FLASH, but I've read that she may not be playing Ryan Wilder but rather a parallel universe doppelganger and that Leslie's appearance isn't meant to tie up BATWOMAN in any way.

I generally think that the fan preference is for characters to return as the characters; Oliver Queen as Green Arrow, Ryan Wilder as Batwoman 2.0. Maybe the creators have a plan to give us that but in an unexpected way.

For Batwoman, I would want her to come back and wrap up her character.  Same with the Legends.

For Oliver, I think he needs to stay dead or be the Spectre.  It would be weird for Arrow to wrap up emotionally on their show and for Arrow to undo some of that.  I don't know, I feel like wrapping up Legends and Batwoman is one thing - rewriting the ending to Arrow is another.  But it's all the same people, really, so maybe it doesn't matter.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I agree with this, but I suspect that the wish is that if Stephen Amell appears, he's wearing a hood and a mask and firing arrows as opposed to standing in a cloak giving grim intonations.

In terms of BATWOMAN: I don't think there's anything to wrap up beyond a brief reference to how the Season 3 soft cliffhanger has been dealt with. I guess they could also establish that Kate Kane (Wallis Day) has located Bruce too.

And for LEGENDS: ideally, the Flash rescues everyone from Time Jail and they live happily ever after.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I think that's probably fair.  If I were Berlanti, though, I would probably try and set up some mini-arc where Barry has to travel to Gotham, to Star City, to National City, and to the Waverider to collect McGuffins.  And in those episodes, bring back as many of the characters from Arrow/Supergirl/Legends/Black Lightning/Batwoman as possible, and make those episodes essentially "Flash guest stars".  Give us updates for the shows that finished themselves, and give us wrapups for the shows that couldn't. 

It would relieve pressure on Grant Gustin (although maybe 13 episodes is more manageable), it would eliminate "freak of the week episodes (again, maybe 13 episodes is the right number to avoid that), and it would give the fans what they want.

I don't know if any of those shows need more wrapup than you said, but I'd like to give each show their due since this will almost certainly be the end of the Arrowverse as we know it.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I guess, coming from comic books:

There was a period where Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, became a mass-murdering supervillain named Parallax in 1994. He became the enemy of every DC superhero. And by 1995 or so, it became clear that turning the heroic Hal Jordan into a bloodthirsty psycho was going to stick for awhile.

Even then, it was obvious that Hal Jordan would eventually be flying around saving people, fighting supervillains and making green energy constructs again at some point. The status quo for Green Lantern would inevitably reassert itself. It's a bit like SLIDERS: did you ever really believe that Professor Arturo was dead? Didn't you feel on some level that the Azure Gate Bridge professor would be back?

In 1996, the FINAL NIGHT crossover had Hal Jordan sacrifice himself to save planet Earth while offering no real apologies for destroying the Green Lantern Corps and killing all his friends. And it was a bit like Wade 'dying' in "Requiem": did you really believe Wade was gone forever? Or did you feel on some level that Wade's life could somehow exist beyond SLIDERS' fifth season? At some point, Hal Jordan was going to be a hero and a Green Lantern again.

In the 1999 crossover DAY OF JUDGEMENT, Hal Jordan became the Spectre, seeking redemption for his crimes as Parallax. And again, this was declared to be the new status quo. But even then... it was a bit like Quinn being erased. Whether or not SLIDERS could deliver on Quinn's return, Quinn's return seemed inevitable just as Hal Jordan becoming Green Lantern and his crimes being addressed seemed inevitable.

And in the 2004 GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, Hal Jordan discovered that his turn to supervillain psychopathy had been due to his mind being infected by a primordial fear entity from the dawn of time called Parallax, warping his perceptions and morality and transforming him into a murderer. The Spectre had been drawn to use Hal as a host in order to burn the fear entity out of his psyche. Hal was able to cast out the Parallax infection (along with the Spectre) and restore his body to life and his Green Lantern ring to power. Hal then confronted a DC Universe crisis, explained the situation to Superman, Batman and the Flash, and began rebuilding the Green Lantern Corps. Also, subsequent stories revealed that Hal hadn't killed any Green Lanterns; they had all survived his attacks but been depowered, and Hal rescued them and redeemed himself again.

It was inevitable. The status quo reasserted itself. And I always knew it would. The same way when, watching SLIDERS: I knew that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo would find their way back to each other. We never saw it onscreen and the show was cancelled, but on some level, I feel that you, Slider_Quinn21, know that shortly after "The Seer", the original sliders were reunited and the original platform of the show was restored.

I imagine that something similar will happen with Green Arrow because ultimately, the iconography of Oliver Queen is not based in him being the Spectre, the Wrath of God, the Voice of Judgement, the ominous extradimensional identity appearing to hand out plot exposition in a booming voice. The iconography of Oliver Queen is that he is a street level vigilante superhero who uses a bow and and arrow.

But maybe they'll accomplish that by having Barry meet Oliver before he became the Spectre via a time travel story.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

TITANS and DOOM PATROL are cancelled but will receive series finale stories. … bo-max-dc/

I assume SUPERMAN AND LOIS will have to do the same.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Yeah looks like the Berlantiverse is done.  Quite the era but it's probably done either way.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

No era can last forever. I'm glad that ARROW and THE FLASH, despite their faults, had a full run. And even if SUPERMAN AND LOIS only makes it to Season 3, it doesn't feel like it was cut short. SUPERMAN AND LOIS will have been a three year Superman event, a long-form Superman trilogy. The STAR WARS trilogy didn't feel incomplete for only being three movies. Not every story needs to last 15 years like SUPERNATURAL.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

One thing I would've liked better would've been for the universe to stick the landing a little better.  It would've been nice if the whole universe could've ended on a big crossover event.  Maybe Crisis - maybe something else.  I know this stuff is impossible to predict, but if they'd known things were shutting down, I wish we could've made this feel a bit more cohesive.

And that's why I'd use Flash as a series finale to the whole universe, not just the Flash.  But I also get letting them finish however they want.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I agree. It's a problem with broadcast TV (and has been a problem with streaming lately).

I hope THE FLASH will be a strong conclusion to the Arrowverse. The creators have, understandably, said they can't promise that because their priority is concluding THE FLASH.

Eric Wallace
Going to save the Legends…. As much as I’d love to do that, that’s not something that is very easy to do in a season when I may have to wrap up my own story. I want to be honest, and not get anybody’s hopes up. … time-jail/

Broadcast shows are meant to go on indefinitely. It's like driving a car with a broken fuel gauge and a vague memory of when you last refilled the tank. Ideally, you get where you want to go, but all-too-often, you realize in mid-journey that you're running out of gas and you have to settle for a closer destination and still don't quite make it or you get stranded on the highway.

There are exceptions. SUPERNATURAL and LOST negotiated an endpoint. Some shows like FRINGE, STARGIRL, DOOM PATROL and SUPERGIRL had the advance notice to see that with contracts expiring and studio personnel shifting, a finale story was needed.

One of my favourite Netflix shows, TRINKETS, had a first season that was well-regarded but only had somewhat above average streaming numbers. Another show in a similar situation was AMC's KEVIN CAN F** HIMSELF. Netflix and AMC renewed both shows for second seasons but informed the creators that there would be no third season, enabling the creators to craft conclusions.

I think BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and SUPERNATURAL did a good job of ensuring that each season was a 'chapter' within itself. SUPERNATURAL could usually count on another season when it engaged in cliffhangers, but both BUFFY and SUPERNATURAL often presented season finales that could conceivably work as series finales (although SPN would have needed some re-editing).

But then we have LEGENDS and BATWOMAN: the creators were strongly advised to write series finales. LEGENDS gambled on a renewal and lost. BATWOMAN hedged its bets, creating a 'teaser' cliffhanger while not endangering any of the lead characters. ARROW tried to launch a spinoff that didn't get picked up. We have MACGYVER which awkwardly re-edited its Season 5 finale into a vague attempt at a series finale. We have the recent slate of Netflix shows cancelled on cliffhangers which includes THE OA, TEENAGE BOUNTY HUNTERS, I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS and the very charming sitcom BLOCKBUSTER.

And sometimes, we have creators who seem utterly unaware. On SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, Josh Friedman knew his show was highly unlikely to get to Season 3, was only still on the air because WB cut the license fee to get some cheaper advertising for the fourth TERMINATOR film -- and he still ended on a cliffhanger. Tim Kring knew HEROES REBORN would have no second season and inexplicably crafted a cliffhanger. Chris Carter got 16 episodes of THE X-FILES and somehow failed to wrap up his show and managed to alienate his lead actress, somehow failing to consider that if he wanted to keep doing X-FILES with Mulder and Scully, it might be important to maintain a positive relationship with the person who plays Scully.

For the most part, when a show ends, it isn't because it's come to a conclusion or the end of various contracts; it's because something has gone catastrophically wrong behind the scenes whether it's ratings, studio funding and broadcaster support, actor issues or creator issues. Usually, when a show ends, it isn't because the car made it to its endpoint, it's because the car ran out of gas on the highway.

And that's generally reflected in the final product: storylines aren't concluded in an effective or coherent fashion, threads are left untied, a final summation of the show is lacking, or the show seems to be leading into a new chapter that never arrives. It's one of the perils of TV.

I think BUFFY had the right approach with series finales that could be serviceable series finales, and TRINKETS and KEVIN CAN F*** HIMSELF were handled with care by the streamers. But as of late, I've read that Netflix often mandates cliffhangers even on shows they don't plan to renew because a cliffhanger gets the audience to watch something else on the streamer while waiting for a resolution that may or may not come.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Actually, James Gunn says SUPERMAN AND LOIS will make it to at least Season 4. … e-seasons/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Interesting.  I'm very intrigued by Gunn's vision.  And I'm glad that Superman & Lois will get time to tell their own ending.

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FLASH's creators assure fans that Oliver's Spectre storyline won't be overturned: … ow-events/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

ireactions wrote:

FLASH's creators assure fans that Oliver's Spectre storyline won't be overturned: … ow-events/

That's a relief.  Although I'd probably feel better about Oliver's story if he didn't die when he did, and if he were somehow resurrected and could patrol Star City again.  But it's probably unfair to Arrow to do that.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

I suspect that Oliver will appear in the show as the Green Arrow via time travel with Barry encountering Oliver before Oliver became the Spectre.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Yeah, they've already released an image of Amell in the Green Arrow costume.  It will be nice for him to be able to close out the universe he helped start.

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

LEGENDS will unfortunately not get a series finale on THE FLASH.

Eric Wallace:
It’s disappointing to me. But we just don’t have the bandwidth.

I had hoped that we’d have 20 episodes. My original concept was to have at least one — if not a two parter — that wrapped up LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. A little crossover: we get them back, we get them out of time jail, all these good things, Booster Gold.

When we found out we only had 13 episodes, that was no longer possible.

All the Legends at least are all going to appear in an episode. … the-flash/

Re: DC Superheroes on TV (CW & HBO Max)

Rewatching SUPERGIRL's fourth season. It's the best season of the show. Frustratingly but perhaps inevitably, SUPERGIRL was *never* able to reach these heights again.

The fourth season has Supergirl at her most tormented and under fire. Melissa Benoist's sunny, cheery personality enlivens Kara's simple, straightforward character, making her an excellent viewpoint character as Supergirl finds herself hunted by the US government and Lex Luthor and feared by every civilian as Ben Lockwood is maneuvered by Luthor into fomenting anti-alien hatred.

Season 4 was one of the most bloodthirsty, violent seasons of SUPERGIRL. And yet, the show had some hesitation: there's an episode where Lex Luthor, in an absurdly petty act, targets a 10 year old boy with sea to surface missiles in order to make a Supergirl-clone hate America; however, the show reveals that the kid survived because Luthor's henchman, Otis (or rather, the show) was not willing to kill off a child character. It was SUPERGIRL's bleakest season, yet the show insisted on a hint of hope.

Despite the darkness of this era, the friendships between Kara and Lena, the sisterhood between Kara and Alex, the loving energy between Dreamer and Brainy, the charm of Brainy as comic relief -- it all heartened a wounded nation living in an age of Donald Trump.

Why couldn't the show get back here for Season 5 and Season 6? The writing team didn't change. The cast barely changed. And while Seasons 5 - 6 were good enough and had some great episodes, it was never as excellent as Season 4. What happened?

I'll have something to say about it tomorrow.

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ireactions wrote:

LEGENDS will unfortunately not get a series finale on THE FLASH.

Eric Wallace:
It’s disappointing to me. But we just don’t have the bandwidth.

I had hoped that we’d have 20 episodes. My original concept was to have at least one — if not a two parter — that wrapped up LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. A little crossover: we get them back, we get them out of time jail, all these good things, Booster Gold.

When we found out we only had 13 episodes, that was no longer possible.

All the Legends at least are all going to appear in an episode. … the-flash/

I read yesterday that the show had a huge plan for a season 10 with the Justice League uniting to fight Destro.  When they found out they weren't getting a tenth season (and that the ninth would be shortened), these plans were dropped.

I don't understand these TV writers.  If there's a storyline that would be super cool and give the fans what they want...why do they insist on leaving those ideas unmade?  He says they need all thirteen episodes to wrap up Barry Allen's story.  But I feel like so much time is wasted on The Flash that they're going to continue that even with a leaner ninth season.  A Justice League story, even if it's just a 2-3 parter, would be a great way to end the Arrowverse.  And to just say "yeah, we wanted this but it won't happen" just irks me.

Maybe this season will surprise me and I'll say "you had 13 hours of television and you used each of those hours perfectly" - but every time this season that Barry fights someone dumb by running around in a circle, I'm going to be sad that we aren't seeing the Justice League unite.  Every time it looks like Barry and Iris are going to break up or whatever, I'm going to be sad that we aren't seeing the Justice League unite.

I know it's their show and they should get to end it how they want.  And they think they need all 13 to end their show.  And, really, they've earned that.

But I'd rather end the Arrowverse right than end The Flash right.  But that's just me.

I'm looking forward tonight to seeing what they do.

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It's true that the narrative pace of THE FLASH has slowed to a crawl in recent years. After seeing the Flash spend an entire season failing to defeat one guy with a knife, I too find it hard to believe that THE FLASH needs all 13 episodes to wrap up Barry Allen's story.

Why aren't they just limiting themselves to 11 episodes of Barry fighting a monster of the week? Why aren't they doing the Justice League versus Destro?

I suspect part of the reason is budget. A 20 episode order allows you to do some bottle episodes and let the saved budget go into other episodes to hire more guest stars and have more effects; a 13 episode order gives you less financial room to maneuver.

In addition, there's also time constraints: a 20 episode order means you have a lot more space to schedule the cast of BATWOMAN and LEGENDS and SUPERGIRL and SUPERMAN AND LOIS (Arrowverse edition) and have a wider window to get everyone booked at the same time. A 13 episode order narrows the window significantly.

But. It's absolutely true that there have been entirely too many sequential episodes where Barry is moping around STAR Labs until someone gives him a sappy motivational speech. And I find it really difficult to believe that THE FLASH has to do another 13 and cannot spare 1 - 2 episodes to get the Legends out of jail.

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Okay, so why was SUPERGIRL never as excellent as Season 4 after Season 4? The writing team didn't change. The cast barely changed. How come SUPERGIRL couldn't maintain the same Season 4 heights for Seasons 5 - 6?

I think the problem is probably: SUPERGIRL's fourth season hit upon a fictional situation that was an excellent allegory for a real world situation: the alien refugees of SUPERGIRL were a powerful analogue for the extremely mixed reception that refugees receive in the United States. The anti-alien hatred storyline was a superb fictional representation to draw parallels between the TV story and real life Islamophobia, white supremacy, white centricism, and hatred and fear of the different. This allegory was perfect -- but then Season 4 concluded its story and SUPERGIRL could never find as strong an allegory in Seasons 5 and 6.

Season 5 has Leviathans declaring that humans have failed to manage the Earth, something Season 6 also takes a stab at.  Both times, SUPERGIRL highlights the climate emergency and ecological catastrophe caused by humans. But the issue here: this isn't an allegory. This is a real world situation. And since it would be trivializing and foolish to have Supergirl conquer climate change on Earth 38/Earth 1, the show could only ever raise climate change and then ultimately have to step back from any of the superpowered characters ever doing anything about it.

SUPERGIRL was unable to identify another fictional scenario to mirror the real world, and the show stumbled a bit as it inevitably gravitated back to Supergirl fighting supervillains of the week. And the content was absolutely fine, it just wasn't as relevant and as meaningful as Season 4 where Supergirl was effectively battling representations of alt-right fascism and modern white supremacy.

Could SUPERGIRL have kept the alien refugee storyline going to Season 6 or maintained a focus on alien refugees even after defeating the President of the United States and punching that smug look off Sam Witwer's face?

Perhaps, but we've all seen from THE X-FILES how destructive it is to stretch out a storyline because the creators fear they can't come up with a better one. Ultimately, SUPERGIRL told its alien refugee story... and wasn't prepared to tell more alien refugee stories or couldn't think of anymore. Except the alien refugee arc of Season 4 was so defining and definitive that every non-refugee story of SUPERGIRL was inevitably going to feel like an afterthought.

I love SUPERGIRL, but Season 4 hit a high mark that no subsequent season could reach.

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ireactions wrote:

But. It's absolutely true that there have been entirely too many sequential episodes where Barry is moping around STAR Labs until someone gives him a sappy motivational speech. And I find it really difficult to believe that THE FLASH has to do another 13 and cannot spare 1 - 2 episodes to get the Legends out of jail.

Budget and timing is one thing.  But they *have* the Legends.  Scheduling worked.  Why not do a couple episodes and give them a proper wrap-up.  Especially since the Legends can absolutely be silly.  Maybe the time jail looks exactly like Star Labs for some reason so you can use the sets.  If they can't get Donald Faison, let Tom Cavanaugh do it and say it's a time disguise.  It doesn't really even matter with the Legends.  Just have fun.

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I agree. We don't need 13 episodes of Barry Allen fighting supervillains of the week just as we didn't need 13 episodes of Barry fighting mirror monsters. I will say, however, that we're just viewers and we don't know the perspective from inside the show.

One instance of this: I criticized the SMALLVILLE finale for not making Lex the center of the story and having him only feature in two scenes. You pointed out later: the finale only had Rosenbaum for two days of filming, so they could only film two scenes and the Clark/Lex and Tess/Lex scenes were the scenes to do. I protested that any scenes without Lex could have been filmed with Lucas Grabeel (the young clone) who could morph into Rosenbaum for whatever Rosenbaum would do.

I later learned that this had actually been the plan, but Grabeel took a lead role on SWITCHED AT BIRTH and SMALLVILLE couldn't book him; SMALLVILLE's budget had been so low by Season 10 that they couldn't schedule guest-stars to keep themselves free and could only hope that actors would be available when filming slots arrived.

It's possible that FLASH could only book the LEGENDS actors for a day or two or weren't able to book them all in the same filming slot or could only get them to film insert shots (like in SMALLVILLE's ninth season when all the returning guest-stars were mostly talking heads on Watchtower's video screens). We don't necessarily know the whys.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Eric Wallace just can't imagine THE FLASH's final season not having 13 episodes with Barry Allen experiencing 13 separate crises of confidence and needing 13 individual motivational speeches from 13 different characters in order to get back on his feet for 13 episodes in a row.

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James Olsen on SUPERGIRL is a character I really struggled with. This charismatic, baritone voiced basketball player looking man built like a tank is not my image of Jimmy. I would have preferred Percy Daggs III (Wallace from VERONICA MARS), someone a little more unsteady rather than the hyperconfident Mechad Brooks.

However, SUPERGIRL did a great job of writing James out in Season 5: James returns to his hometown for a visit to discover it's become a corrupt hellhole revolving around a prison. James moves home to try to change things, no resolution, no confirmation on whether or not he succeeded. Jimmy finds his new neverending battle. The lack of closure and the tentative optimism in this story felt so genuine and sincere and SUPERGIRL found the perfect balance of sentiment and uncertainty.