Happy Thanksgiving, folks!
While we all laze about in our turkey-stuffed comas, let’s think about the shows we all love. In my case, it’s always going to be my superhero shows.
While we have some sort of Renaissance going about right now in the genre, we still need to give respect to the others.
So, in no particular order, here are the shows that I like to give thanks to.
Much to the consertation of my colleagues, I never quite got into Arrow. Yet I can respect, and be thankful, for what it’s done for TV. Thanks to the show, we have a whole buffet of CW/DC TV shows to enjoy. Greg Berlanti can do no wrong now. I hope the man makes many more quality, fun, and human superhero shows to come. It all started with Arrow.
9) Incredible Hulk
If Arrow helped revive the superhero TV genre for a new generation, then Incredible Hulk helped legitimize it as a genre. This 70s show was glorious, heartbreaking and fun. Yeah it was pretty formulaic, but it still had a lot of heart. The fact that David Banner (yeah the name change and its reasons remain stupid) could never achieve peace is always going to tug at your heart strings.
8) Batman: The Brave and the Bold
If you like to revisit the sillier age of comic books, where Bat-Baby and Wonder Tot were actual things that happened, then check out this show. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is not a perfect show, but it is a fun one. With Batman as our audience surrogate, we explore all strange and wonderful parts of the DC Universe from Blue Beetle to Aquaman to Starro. This is the show where you just want to remember how cool superheroes are without being bogged down by the angst. (There is some angst because Batman, but you get the drift.)
7) Superman: The Animated Series
As a little girl, this show was one of my favorite series. I still think that it gives the best all-around portrayal of the character of Superman: not too dark, not too happy. I find it to be the most perfect balance that we’ve gotten for the character in any TV/film medium. It definitely helped reimagine the character for a new generation. This made people excited for Superman again.
6) Jessica Jones
Easily one of my favorite shows of 2015, I am so grateful for the story this show told. Delving into Jessica’s psychology, her trauma and how she grapples with it, was something that felt fresh. Her past,her rape by Kilgrave, wasn’t just dramatized for the sake of being shocking. It was played very fresh and respectfully, acknowledging Jessica’s victimhood but not taking away her power. My heart was in it throughout the whole show.
While I love the dark and real storylines in Jessica Jones, my heart is always warmed by Supergirl‘s relentless optimism. Even when the stories are at their lowest, the cast and atmosphere just give me a sense of coziness. Not to mention, despite their continued pacing issues, the show is churning out some real truths about the world and delivering one of the better coming out stories I’ve seen. Not to mention that the Danvers sisters have one of the best familial relationships on TV. Hands down.
4) The Flash
Barry Allen has screwed up pretty badly this season. What I really appreciate about The Flash is the recognition of his flaws. Barry doesn’t have all the answers. He can’t always save things. Even though it hurts seeing Team Flash in such a dark place, he still strives to be better. He’s still human and surrounds himself with people who challenge him. The dynamics between Team Flash is one of my favorites out of the CW shows because they are so comfortable with each other, because they are a family made. Plus Joe West is the best TV Dad. Period.
3) Luke Cage
2016 has been the worst. I think we can all agree on that. Yet, even with all the terrible, I still can’t hate the year. Luke Cage was released. And it was definitely a bright spot for me. I can’t think of a show that is quite like this one. It’s new. Luke’s story, methodology and identity are explored with a deft touch. While it’s not a perfect show, I think that this is my favorite out of the Netflix/Marvel shows. Mike Colter is a gift and so is Luke’s soft-spoken determination.
2) Batman: The Animated Series
Few shows have had quite an impact on me as Batman: The Animated Series. It was the first show that I remember watching where I felt like I wasn’t being talked down to. It felt grown-up. Actually, it also inspired a love I have for the Gothic Horror genre because Batman? Batman is steeped in it. Easily one of the best animated shows of all time, I have to give it credit for never ever talking down to me.
1) Justice League
This is easily one of my favorite superhero shows of all time. Hell, it may even be one of my favorite TV shows. Even with the new animated series and live action film coming up, I don’t think they will ever match the chemistry on Justice League (or its sequel show Justice League Unlimited). Full of solid storytelling, great characters and respect for the universe, the show made me a superhero fan. More importantly, it showed me how good superhero stories are told. It’s second season, in particular, is a revelation of great season long storytelling in and of itself. Without this show, I wouldn’t be talking about all these other wonderful shows. So I’m really grateful for its existence.
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