Beyond the Golden Age of Television

ShieldI am a fan of TV and I am a fan of comic books.  They are both awesome.  But better than enjoying both separately, is smooshing them together like a glorious peanut butter and banana sandwich of unadulterated double awesome.  It’s been said that we are in another golden age of television, but with this past Fall season’s veritable bonanza of truly excellent comic-inspired television, we’re past golden age.  We’ve gone platinum.  It’s the Platinum Age, people.

With four prime time shows in play across three networks, DC may as well be crowned the king of comic book based television.  In many regards, Arrow is still at the top of the pile. Now three seasons strong (well, two and a half…), Arrow has found its own rhythm, even if the phrase “Are you okay?” is what passes for character developing, emotive writing…  Still, the Arrow’s world is so well developed, it’s already support spin-offs (and the inevitable crossovers the bring).  The Flash had a strong start, with a winter season full of monster of the week style programming to get on board with life in Central City.  Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of The Flash in print, but the chemistry of the cast is just too irresistible for my dislike of the speed-based problem solving central to every episode to get on my nerves too much.  It’s just that good.
On the darker side of the spectrum is NBC’s Constantine.  Matt Ryan’s portrayal of the titular character is simply pitch perfect.  To paraphrase a friend of mine, “He can chant spells holding his hand over his head and not look lame!”  That’s seriously high praise.  Moreover, the stories resonate with the dark fare of the comics, and each episode seems chock full of east eggs and references back to the voluminous Hellblazer corpus.  Despite decent numbers, the network has apparently declined to extend the season after the initial thirteen episode order, but hasn’t ruled out a second season.  With such potential awesome as Doctor Fate and The Spectre making appearances (at least as easter eggs… for now), I’m hopeful that this will have a long life. #SaveConstantine
Even with all the praise I could heap on Constantine, the stunner of the season is unquestionably Fox’s Gotham. Gotham’s city-out-of-time feel, combined with some downright breathtaking performances (most especially Robin Lord Taylor’s portrayal of Penguin, but like practically every other main cast actor too), makes it one of the best shows of recent memory in my opinion.  And dear god, giving us the Earth One version of Alfred (played by the inimitable Sean Pertwee) as a veteran of the Royal Marines who is more than capable of handling himself and looking after young master Bruce is freaking awesome.  I hope this show runs for six seasons.
Despite all that praise for DC’s shows, I gotta say, Agents of SHIELD has stunned me with it’s non-stop awesome this season.  If there was an award for “Most Improved Show,” AoS would be a shoe in.  Practically everything that hampered the program in the first half of season one has been thrown out the window and replaced with… excitement and real momentum.  Maybe when the show starts to butt up against the Age of Ultron release things will get squirelly again, but until then I hope they can keep up the momentum in the second half of the season.  Personally, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the mutant side of the Marvel universe, so Marvel studios having to work around their inability to use mutants on screen has never caused me any grief.  But I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of the Inhumans, so the developments of this season–and the sheer fact that they’d use the show to introduce Terrigenesis just fills me with pure squee.  All that aside, we’e got Agent Carter to see us through the winter, and who isn’t looking forward to that?
The best part of a DVR and two weeks off for the holidays?  I get to watch them all again.  Platinum age, people.

 

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This entry was posted by Chris Avery.

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