Sunday, November 11, 2012

What's Next On My DC List? (Series) Live-Action DC Adaptations

Let us discuss these great (but somewhat awful) series that are based on DC characters and for some reason still fail to make them anything like the originals. Let us crack them down, with a bit of description of all of the characters, so you get a chance of where it all went wrong!

Our first victim of the day is the one season lasting Flash. He is a DC superhero, part of the Justice League.
"Thus far, four different characters—each of whom somehow gained the power of "super-speed"—have assumed the identity of the Flash: Jay Garrick (1940–present), Barry Allen (1956–1985, 2008–present), Wally West (1986–2006, 2007–present), and Bart Allen (2006–2007, 2009–present). Before Wally and Bart's ascension to the mantle of the Flash, they were both Flash protégés under the same name Kid Flash."
In this series we have the second Flash: Barry Allen, played by John Wesley Shipp. Flash has always been a scientist who after a sort of explosion ends up with supervelocity and powers that sometimes break the laws of physics.
Now, the series itself was kind of awful. Yes, I was -1 year old, however my brother had a couple of episodes on tape. You see, they got the Flash completely wrong. Here, he was a charming, very buff and muscular, brown haired guy who looked everything but a scientist. Barry is actually a blonde, strong (but not particularly muscular in the beginning) and a sort of geek. He is one of the most annoying characters ever written, but he is charming for that quality. Yes, he is a sort of looker, but his costume never reveals it.
In the show we also had a love interest, but it was really boring. There was one main villain, Trickster played by Mark Hamill, I remember from an episode I saw like a hundred times and I hated him.
I am honestly surprised this got a full season! They didn't really get what the character is about, but this is still considered a classic. I won't tell you to check it out, however I am afraid that until somebody shows up with a decent Justice League live-action movie script, we won't see much of the Flash - and even then, who knows if they will want to include him? So, just in case, if you feel like having a good laugh at horrible effects and silly dialogues, do take a look! However, their were two extra movies released, The Flash II: Revenge Of The Trickster and Flash III: Deadly Nightshade. Now, these are simply compiled from the episodes of the series, so there aren't any new stories. In case you do want to see what these stories are about, perhaps it is easier if you check out these two as they really are the highlight of the whole series.

Oh, another 90's classic. Actually, this is the very series that introduced me to Superman. I didn't know him before this and I was about seven the first time I saw it. Everything I learned about Lois and Clark, I know from this show. And guess what? They got it pretty right.
After growing up a bit and learning about the characters more thoroughly I realized that this series was very accurate on Clark's side, rather then Superman's. Clark has a great relationship with his parents Martha and Jonathan Kent. He is also a bit of a loser at his workplace The Daily Planet. He pretends to be a bit of an idiot to not give away his secret identity. Unfortunately this results in him getting yelled at constantly by his boss Perry White and co-worker Lois Lane. But he has a dear friend, Jimmy Olsen, a photographer at the paper who gets yelled at just as often and he does. The cover seems to work as nobody realises who he is while Lois starts to fall for his secret identity too, not just his super side.
I literally loved this series! Dean Cain was probably my first love and ever since then Superman has been a favorite hero of mine. He has of course become more of a cliché, as people object to him being practicly unbeatable - therefore making him unineteresting. I don't know if you have seen any of the Justice League cartoon movies, but lately they keep giving you ways in which Superman would actually and literally die if it weren't for his friends.
Anyway, biggest problem with this series is that they never made the hard choices: one particular example would be Jonathan Kent being alive. One of the things that defined Clark's decision to use his powers for good was the fact that he couldn't bare to lose someone he loved. In the end the only reason this Clark has for becoming Superman is the fact that his parents raised him to be very nice and a gentleman... Cute, but why?
In the end, this was a great story, it stands up I believe in comparison to others. It ran for a total of 4 seasons with 87 episodes. Check it out if you get a chance!

Oh dear god... This is the classic case of having all the necessary items you need for a successful character adaptation and throwing it away!!!!! Keeping one thing: the sexy outfit. Guess what, there are certain pieces of shit that cannot be saved, not even by a sexy outfit - this is one of them. Diana of Themyscira, Wonder Woman, comes from the island of the Amazons, where no man is allowed (except for Batman and Superman who earn Diana's mother's trust over the years). She has super strenght, able to fly and has a special whip that makes people tell the truth if they come into contact with it. She is a real hero with the charm of a shy young girl who knows nothing about the world.
The show has nothing of the sort. In only the pilot, she beats up somebody, threatens to kill them... and we get to know her as the owner of a big company that sells toys based on HERSELF... yeah, see the problem? This should really fall into my "What The F*ck Is This S*it?" category, however, I decided to let the experts give you the scoop on this horrible misinterpretations of a great character. Click on the link below to see Nash, Film Brain and Linkara's review of the pilot that was cancelled.

After only five years after Lois & Clark Warner Bros. decided to launch a new Superman TV series, however this one based on Clark's youth in his home Smallville, where his adoptive parents found him. We basically see his high school years and how he learns the responsability that goes with using his powers to save others: not everyone can be saved.
I am sure you know about this series, so I don't want to go into detail, what I do mean to talk about is the mistakes they've made and the reason why it should've been cancelled after the 5th season. For some reason, although the characters were allowed to be used, little things like, oh, I don't know, SUPERMAN'S COSTUME was not allowed to be used. Why? Beats me.
But let's go in order. First of all, Clark keeps wearing a red shirt with a blue jacket, or vice-versa... very subtle. Second, when his nemesis Bizzarro appears, he then wears a purple shirt with a blue jacket... You really went out of your way there with the costumes, didn't you? Second, we discover that Lex Luthor, his arch nemesis of always, is actually a neighbor in Smallville who Clark saves from certain death (several times actually...). How does he repay him? He steals Clark's blood to find out whether or not he really is special. He does this at least 300 times, each time ending up with become friends with Clark again, throwing the blood away and then getting some more from him (again). Fortunately, Clark is an idiot so they could use this story line over and over - and he even tells everybody "Lex is my friend", for a total amount of 3 billion times. It is very bothersome... But don't worry, if by any chance Lex decides to not want to steal Clark's blood, his dad comes to save the day and steals from him just the same.
I believe that the cherry on top however was how Lex showed his eternal devotion to his best friend Clark: marrying the girl he has been in love with for 20 years or so. Gee Lex, you're a really cool guy!
Imagine if Lois was split into two characters, you would then have Lana and Chloe, except that Chloe got all of the interesting features of Lois, while Lana... yeah. I believe that the happiest day of my life was when they killed her off. I am going to ignore the fact that she returned as a ninja. That did not happen. I am also not going to acknowlodge the fact that for some reason they end up in the hospital in every second episode... has anybode else noticed that?
The biggest advantage that the show has gained was adding Green Arrow to the cast. But I find that even that was a bit dumb, seeing that although they are good friends, Clark and Oliver were never really best friends. They are in a bit of contrast and that totally got lost in translation. Bringing Arrow in, meant adding other DC characters as well, for example a cameo by Hawkman, Martian Manhunter and epic enemies like Metallo, Doomsday and the above mentioned Bizzarro. But by transforming some of them into hip 21st centurian young heroes, like Black Canary, you ended up with something quite ugly to look at... Aquaman? I mean gross. And by the way, who the hell is protecting your city Green Arrow, while you're in Metropolis?
I will even forgive that instead of a black suit that Superman wears after his epic battle of with DoomsdayClark only wears a black jacket or that the Watchtower looks nothing like the Watchtower and it isn't in... you know, like space...
In the end, the show held up, but there is one last thing that f*cking drove me crazy and I will NEVER EVER forgive them for being so-so goddamn careless! Unfortunately for Smallville, it came out at a time when glasses weren't in fashion... you heard me right, the ONLY thing that differentiates Clark from Superman was not a trend at that time so they decided to not use it. Oh wait, even worse, they sometimes give it to him, and sometimes don't. Not to mention that Clark meets Lois BEFORE getting glasses - and we are talking about a woman who is such a good journalist and detective that she practically figured out who Green Arrow was, even though he actually has a good costume and a device that distorts his voice. Yet we are set to believe she has no idea who Superman is? Aha, OK. No, wait, NNNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!! THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!!
However... Erica Durance was a great Lois. Overall, I loved every casting choice they made (except for the Justice League!), and even though I said that it should've been cancelled after the 5th season, it is only after that that we finally get rid of stupid Lana and the story gets to have a Superman feel. But then, it should've been called Superman instead of Smallville - the two kind of cancel each other out. By moving to Metropolis you killed the main point of the series: Clark's youth.
It makes no difference whether you check it out or not, but if you are interested in a couple of episodes, try and get a hold of those that feature other DC characters!

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If you are interested in my Arrow review, click here or the picture!

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