In our ongoing efforts to bring you the best television coverage we can here at GOO Reviews, we decided to take a different approach to our weekly television coverage this year. Every Monday, we’ll be releasing our roundup of the week’s shows in something we’re calling “Superhero Showdown”. Because they’re all comicbook-based shows. And they’ll all be competing with each other. We’ll be recapping episodes, providing our commentaries for each, and letting you know which show reigns supreme over the course of the season. We can’t cover every different comicbook-based show, however, nor should we because a bunch of them are pretty intolerable.
So, the shows that made the cut:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was actually the show that got us started on our weekly TV recapping here at GOO Reviews. And it took all of 10 episodes before we dropped it. Now, we’ve dropped a few shows here at GOO Reviews, sometimes based on staff availability, but usually based on show quality, and at that time, still relatively early in its first season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. exposed itself as a very bad TV show.
But one of the deep, dark secrets of our TV viewing here at GOO Reviews is that… well, we never stopped watching it. And it did get better. Not much better, not actually good, but good enough to not stop watching. So we’ll be covering it this year because, in the absence of having anything better to do, it’s precisely, almost exactly good enough, and besides that, it’s the only Marvel network TV show left.
The Greg-Berlanti-led DC TV universe has grown from one TV show to four since the debut of Arrow in 2012, but make no mistake, it’s 2014’s The Flash that really broke through and has become the flagship of the “Arrowverse”. And of all those shows — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow — it’s also The Flash that’s… the least bad. Because make no mistake, none of these shows are really that good.
No, the Berlanti universe of TV shows aren’t about things like being good or consistent or well plotted or even tolerable sometimes. They’re about earnestness, a palpable and genuine feeling that these are heroes, that these things do matter, that we owe it to ourselves and each other to be just a little bit better, good storytelling be damned. And of all four shows, The Flash is the best at that. And that’s endearing. Make no mistake of that.
Legends of Tomorrow
Having said that, Legends of Tomorrow is the show made for the real DC comicbook nerds, the ones whose hairs stand up on the back of their neck when they hear the name Connor Hawke and squee when they find out who series protagonist Rip Hunter’s father might be. For instance, when we last saw the Legends team, they had just defeated the eternal, time-spanning menace of Vandal Savage and said their farewells to the Hawks when, seemingly out of nowhere, another, heretofore unknown time ship appeared in the sky, revealing a costumed man (he had a mini-cape and everything!) calling himself Rex Tyler and claiming to be from the Justice Society of America. And right then, right there, us nerds — the real nerds at least — we just about all creamed our pants. Collectively. And hopefully metaphorically. If that’s not you, if those names mean nothing to you, if those things don’t sound great… then I really wouldn’t recommend this show. Like reeaaally wouldn’t recommend it. But we like it. Kind… kind of.
Legends of Tomorrow season two premieres October 13 (this week!).
The Walking Dead
At first glance, a show like The Walking Dead might not seem like it belongs on this list. There are no people with powers, not even many with very specialized training, no one on the show is even claiming to be a hero, and the only supernatural elements of the show lie purely on the horror side of the equation. That’s all correct, those are all reasons why The Walking Dead isn’t a superhero show. But we’re covering it here anyways.
It’s well known even among casual of fans of The Walking Dead that the property began life as a comicbook series, and a pretty small and unheralded one at that as an independent book published by Image Comics in the early 2000’s (remember those/then?), and the combination of its comicbook roots and the fact that we just really like the show was enough for us to continue recapping it and put it here. In case we have to remind you, Rick, running through the forest in an attempt to evade the Saviours (many of whom The Walking Dead crew had brutally slaughtered in their sleep only episdoes earlier), just got someone in his group killed by Negan, Saviour leader, and we’ve been waiting all summer to find out who died. But I’m sure we didn’t have to remind you.
The Walking Dead season seven premieres October 23.
As for those superhero TV shows we’re not covering? We’ll be monitoring Supergirl to see if it gets any better (or at least gets better enough) and I don’t think any of us here have the time to catch up on Arrow. And if you’re wondering about Gotham? Our firm recommendation is that no one should ever watch Gotham. Especially not you. And espeeecially not us.
- October 10, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×01-02, The Flash 3×01
- October 17, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×03, The Flash 3×02, Legends of Tomorrow 2×01
- October 23, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×04, The Flash 3×03, Legends of Tomorrow 2×02, The Walking Dead 7×01
- October 31, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×05, The Flash 3×04, Legends of Tomorrow 2×03, The Walking Dead 7×02
- November 7, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×06, The Flash 3×05, Legends of Tomorrow 2×04, The Walking Dead 7×03
- November 14, 2016 — Legends of Tomorrow 2×05, The Walking Dead 7×04
- November 21, 2016 — The Flash 3×06, Legends of Tomorrow 2×06, The Walking Dead 7×05
- November 28, 2016 — The Flash 3×07, The Walking Dead 7×06
- December 5, 2016 — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×07, The Flash 3×08, Legends of Tomorrow 2×07, The Walking Dead 7×07