I am totally in love with how Daredevil, the series Marvel made with Netflix, was made. From the writing, to the direction, the production--everything. And I feel like it has now colored the way I will watch any other superhero shows.
And I got to test this with the new episodes of Agents of SHIELD and The Flash.
The Flash has always been a light romp, a fun series with a filial undertone that sets it apart from how superhero shows are usually made. Smallville, I think, was the closest--with its emphasis on the Kents in the first three seasons. But, at the same time, The Flash is also a little more open to the camp of the comics world--going so far as to name their villains, and letting them recur and develop personalities.
Last week, I would have gone on record and said The Flash is the best superhero television series of all time. But after my exposure to Netflix and Marvel's Daredevil? I don't think I can make that claim anymore.
Especially since the much-hyped "All Star Team-Up" episode failed to deliver what The Flash has been consistently supplying its viewers: an episode that perfectly balances action, and drama, and world-building.
Ever since they revealed the Reverse Flash secret to Barry, the show's light heart took a hit. I've never noticed before how so much of the show's atmosphere hangs on Barry's shoulders. If he's happy, we feel it. When he's sad, we feel it. And now, with Barry conflicted about the Reverse Flash's identity--the show is mimicking his feelings too. And it's not a good thing.
There were too many scenes this episode that I wished went by faster. The villain was a cut out, not allowed to be more than someone who needed to be beaten. And the Iris-Eddie scenes felt forced.
Barry is not winning any points in this episode of The Flash. And neither is the show winning anything by launching the final episodes of its maiden season with a weak episode.
Especially since Agents of SHIELD is finally getting its groove back. Albeit, more slowly than last year. And why is that? Well, for one thing, we have too many characters--and they're all spread out into different factions.
I mean, come on: did we really need the "real" SHIELD to come in right now? Isn't dealing with the Inhumans and Mr. Hyde's Group of Indexed Individuals enough?
Since SHIELD came back from the midseason hiatus, what we've gotten is a fractured shell of the promising show Agents of SHIELD once was. The momentum of Skye's rebirth as an Inhuman was buried in the rubble of a corporate takeover that no one really wanted.
I mean, who woke up one morning and thought: you know what Agents of SHIELD needs? Another hostile takeover by a subgroup that's been lying in wait all these time.
Well, apparently, the showrunners.
Fortunately, we get a more-or-less solid episode this week with "Melinda." Mostly because Ming Na Wen delivers quite the emotional punch in an episode that explores how she became known as The Cavalry.
I really hope this begins Agents of SHIELD's ascent back into must-watch television again. Because while I have become somewhat of a Marvel fan, I can and will still drop a television program if I'm no longer enjoying watching it.
And with Daredevil in the mix, we know Marvel can do so much better than what it's doing right now.
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