Archive for the ‘ TV ’ Category

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Thoughts

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth's Migh...

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode, "Breakout". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a while, but The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has finally returned to our TV screens, debuting its second season with an impressive episode, bringing classic characters such as Dr Doom and The Fantastic Four into the animated universe. With an impressive season behind it already, I believe Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is well on its way to becoming one of the best-animated superhero shows of all time!

What separates EMH from other animated comic book shows, is that is has the potential to benefit the comic book industry in a huge way. Several legendary story arcs from the comic books such as ‘Ultron Unlimited’ and ‘The Kang Dynasty‘ have already been spectacularly featured in season one, which is great for introducing some of the older Avengers stories that modern fans may not have seen before.

For example, after viewing the fantastic ‘Kang Dynasty’ arc in season one, I went out and purchased the book that influenced the show, The Kang Dynasty’ by long-term Avengers writer Kurt Busiek. While for new readers, the book may be a bit long, I found it to be an example of how to do a comic book event right, with effective characterisation, and a fantastic level of unpredictability. Hopefully the show can influence more viewers to pick up the comic books, which would be a huge bonus for the comic book industry, as well as perhaps leading to some of the classic storylines receiving re-prints, which is a benefit for long-term Avengers readers.

One of the strongest features of the show in no doubt is its ability to build up future storylines. In season one, we received hints at The Kree-Srull War, Secret Invasion, and The Ultron War. While this doesn’t some please some fans (particularly those who didn’t like Brian Bendis’s New Avengers series), I find it captivating to watch future storylines unravel. Especially now Spider-Man and The X-Men are set to feature. For comic book adaptations, the difference between an animated television show and a blockbuster movie, is that a television show has the time and the audience to develop more intricate storylines, and introduce far more characters. For instance, a Marvel Civil War movie would never work as a feature film, but it fits perfectly for an animated television show with the rights to a whole host of characters and the time to build it conflict. Judging by a season 2 preview, the show is set to feature the Civil War storyline sometime in the future!

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a comic book fan’s dream. Unlike many animated comic book television shows, it takes itself and the source material extremely seriously. With a full second season to look forward to, I can’t wait to see where the show is heading. I just hope it doesn’t reach the same fate as Spectacular: Spider-Man and Wolverine and the X-Men.

 

 

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Great Superhero TV= My Hero

My Hero (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

Whilst popular TV shows like Smallville and Heroes have come and gone, they were missing a crucial element to the superhero formula. Fun. Sometimes comic book movies and TV shows fail to showcase that having super powers can actually be fun. Spider-Man was overburdened, Superman became lonely and Green Lantern struggled to overcome fear. Before all the live action comic book genre really took in the 21st Century, came one delightful English superhero sitcom, My Hero.

My Hero was created by Paul Mendelson and aired on BBC One in 2000 lasting for six series until concluding in 2006. Ardal O’Hanlon played the role of the multi-powered alien superhero Thermoman, who creates a human alter ego George Sunday. The series follows the lives of George and his family, including his human wife Janet (Emily Joyce) and their two super powered infants. The show focused on how George struggles to fit into society, due to his un-familiarity with life on Earth, he finds himself being misunderstood often.

What made My Hero so successful was that it actually included all of the common conventions of a superhero show, but lampooned the superhero mythos to make the product humorous. The show explored how the hero struggled to fit into society, which provided tons of comedy material. George’s awkward relationship with Janet’s parents made you laugh, but also made you sympathize with him, as he could not reveal that he was really a multi-powered superhero.

What stood out for me with the show is that it took a superhero with set powers similar to Superman, and brought him down to Earth in a way comic book movies have always struggled to do. Due to George’s quest to be accepted by his Wife’s parents, whilst saving the world as Thermoman, audiences connected with him and actually supported him throughout the series. That’s how you humanize a character that’s invincible, something DC has long struggled with for Superman.

As Ardal O’Hanlon was the heart of the show, the product’s quality ultimately diminished when he left in 2006 to be replace by actor James Dreyfus. (Gimme Gimme Gimme) Gone was the lovable superhero, replaced by a camp archetypal character that single headedly, despite the best efforts of the show’s amazing supporting cast, destroyed the show. Despite the show’s poor ending, I can’t help but wish the BBC would convince O’Hanlon to return so that My Hero can grace our screens one more time. There are so many sitcoms they have in need of cancellation (My Family mainly) and it’s only fitting Britain shows America how to properly handle a superhero sitcom.

 

What Next After Smallville?

Tom Welling as Superman/Clark Kent.

Image via Wikipedia

While Smallville may not have been everyone’s taste, it was successfully able to take a character such as Superman and make a television show that was accessible to both men and women of all ages. For men it was a show about a the beginnings of a comic book legend, but for women the show was also about the drama of a young superhero in the making going through high school. In my opinion there are some great potential shows that could fill the void left by Smallville.

1) X-Men: First Class

This sci-fi show would show how the first group of mutants were trained by Professor Xavier to save the world and fight for mutant rights. Whilst having nothing to do with the movie of the same name, this show would be follow the original X-Men such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel and Beast. To distinguish it from the movie, this show would depict the older years of Professor X, after Magneto and they had fallen out. It would have all the drama of teen mutants struggling to fit into society, whilst also being a show about superheroes with kick-ass powers.

2) Deadpool

Now Ryan Reynolds seems all but tied up with Green lantern, I’m a true believer that a Deadpool movie simply won’t happen. Luckily, the character is under Fox who have a great reputation for TV shows.¬† I’m certain Deadpool could easily translate into one awesome TV show if given the chance. A show about a mercenary with no rules and a big mouth would provide audiences with great action, good comedy aswell as providing a fresh comic book character in a market that’s becoming heavily saturated. Whilst casting the merc with a mouth would be difficult, I’m sure a show about Deadpool would provide some great fourth wall busting action.

3) The Flash

DC seems to be unsure over what characters to now apply to TV shows. With Smallville finished and Wonder Woman cancelled, I would give the Flash character a chance to shine. Whilst I’m sure a Flash motion picture is on the horizon for DC, (especially now that fans are dreaming of a Justice League movie) what better way to test the waters then by giving Barry Allen or Wally West to chance to shine on TV. Although the character has already had a stint on TV back in 1990, what better time to reintroduce the Scarlett Speedster than a time where he can be given a show with top notch special effects. Plus, being owned by Warner Bros would give the show some serious funding, and with the character being so popular this show could be a potential cult classic.

These are just the main three shows I think would be great to have on television. Let me know what you think. Do any of these shows sound interesting? Or do you have your own idea for a superhero TV show? Please let me know and leave your comments below.

Is The Big Bang Theory being stretched out?

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

The Big Bang Theory has to be one of the best comedies on TV today. The show, which sees four male scientists from Pasadena California show how little they know of life outside of the laboratory when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex makes for one of the best sitcoms I’ve seen since Friends finished seven years ago.

After finishing it’s fourth season now over in America however, I’m beginning to wonder if Warner Bros are intending to stretch the show out for as long as possible. Whilst I’m happy to see Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter and the gang on TV for years to come, we all know too well what happens when a show is stretched out for longer than necessary. Look at some¬†popular television series such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, Smallville and Glee and you can see how the quality of the shows decrease as they enter their later seasons. Another one of my favourite shows, How I Met Your Mother has entered its sixth season and we still have no idea who the mother is.

I began to notice signs of The Big Bang Theory being stretched recently during the season four finale when (spoiler alert) the main female on the show Penny sleeps with astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali after trying to get over her ex boyfriend Leonard whilst getting drunk. It just seemed like that twist was inserted purely for shock value, and to stretch out the Leonard-Penny will they won’t they conundrum even further.

What also worries me is the continuous focus on Sheldon’s lack of sex life. Throughout season four we’ve had Sheldon pretend he’s in a sexual relationship with his friend Amy Farrah Fowler, as well as the recent scene where he was pleasured by massaging his neck. I just get the feeling they’re slowly building up to Sheldon actually having sex, which would be a massive mistake for the show. It would destroy the integrity of the character just for cheap thrills. Much like what’s been done for Penny already.

Perhaps this is why I appreciate shows like Gavin & Stacey so much. By refusing to sell out and over kill the show, co-creators James Corden and Ruth Jones kept the show to three seasons max. This meant the show consistently remained funny, whilst not ruining any integrity of their characters.

I hope The Big Bang Theory starts to pick up pace in season five. It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in years and I’d hate for it to sell out for cheap thrills like what we witnessed in the last episode. If they can start moving things along quicker, the show should hopefully remain funny for a few more seasons.