With another television year in the books, I think it is time to look at how the shows based on comic book characters fared this year. Here are the shows I am going to rank: Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Arrow, Daredevil, Flash, and Gotham. I am not including Constantine for two reasons: 1) It was cancelled mid season and 2) I didn’t watch it.
6) Gotham: This show just never found an identity for me. It was kind of like I kept watching to see if it would ever come together, but the only thing that really binded anything together was the overarching hatred of Pinkett-Smith’s overacting. The story seemed to bounce all over the place and the three episode arc of The Ogre just felt like it went too long whenever people were hoping for a ramp up going into the season finale. The show’s finale drew 3.5 million fewer viewers than its launch did and it’s hard for me to argue why that shouldn’t have been the case.
5) Agent Carter: This was the mid season offering that Marvel gave us while SHIELD went on hiatus and I was pretty excited about the show when it got started. The problem came in that it focused far too much on things like chauvinism in the workplace and too little on building Peggy into the incredible character we know she is supposed to become. The other problem I had was just in direction. They had a new director every week and it made certain episodes like “The Iron Ceiling” and “SNAFU” great but left episodes like “The Blitzkrieg Button” lacking. I am anxious to see if they correct this in the next season as I still think the show has promise.
4) Arrow: This one is hard for me to rank so low. However, I am simply trying to take this for this season and this season alone. I like Arrow a lot and without it, I don’t think we see the comic book resurgence on television we currently have. This year just missed something the other seasons did not. It took a while, but Merlin turned into a great villain and Deathstroke made this show take the next leap that the others did not. R’as just felt forced in a lot of ways and took a long time to build into the super villain he became. I think the slow ramp that they have used the last two years will eventually come back to haunt them, but all in all it was a good season, just not a great one.
3) Daredevil: This one came out of nowhere for me. You can also ask Mike and Jon – I was willing to give up on the show after the first few episodes. Then everything changed. I still contend that some of the violence – like ripping out a rib to make a shank – was violence for the sake of being on Netflix. However, D’Onofrio was a brilliant choice for Kingpin and Foggy really grew on me. It had a great story line and the casting was really well done. Also, the episode “The Stick” is hard to top for me. All in all this show jumped out of nowhere for me and I really did enjoy it.
This is where it really gets tough and I am going to cop out a little bit and give you a 1a and 1b.
1B) Flash: Flash really jumped out of the gate as one of the best of this genre of television. It had a great overarching villain from episode one, it had a love interest that wasn’t overblown like “Olicity” in Arrow, and it had much better acting than the other shows I have seen come out of the CW. However, the DC comic book television shows are not interconnected into their cinematic arc. This is a detraction and it really has let me down with all the news that everything that is happening positive on the CW with Flash and Arrow will be for naught.
1A) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The sophomore season of the Marvel cinema pusher had a lot to overcome after the cinematic universe killed off the agency that Agents of SHIELD was following. However, Marvel overcame the challenge and not only put together a good storyline but was able to build up the backstory of the Inhumans as well. I was impressed with the growth of the characters in season two as well with Fitz and Simmons becoming two individuals instead of the male and female versions of each other, we learn why May is May and we get a good story of what happens when an agency is divided against itself. All in all, I don’t think that the season itself was better than Flash, but the fact that Marvel has taken the time to build the stories together with the global cinematic universe puts Agents of SHIELD over the top for me.