[Review] - DCTV: Arrow Season 4 And The Flash Season 2 Episode 7, "Brotherhood" And "Gorilla Warfare", And Supergirl, Season 1 Episode 4, "Livewire"

Courtesy of Warner Television Productions
What are these shows about? Arrow and Flash have been on long enough that they've pretty much already cemented their identities, and Supergirl is new enough that it's still finding its own. Arrow began as a show about redemption, and the Flash began as a show about potential, but both have gentrified into shows about family. Arrow tends to be about the worst aspects of family, while the Flash tends to be about the best. And while family is certainly an important part of Supergirl, right now it is taking a back seat to a far more disturbing trend: women being utterly shitty to one another.

Oh, and The Flash introduced Gorilla City. Man, it's a great time to be alive... and watching a cable television show about guys in full body leather suits... fighting telepathic gorillas. OK, it's a weird time to be alive. Are you happy now?

Hit the jump for the reviews, which contains spoilers that are the best date spoilers of all time. Not an opinion, a statement of fact.

So, let's talk about Supergirl, because the show is actually becoming really uncomfortable for me to watch. This is a show about women, intentionally created for women, and run by a woman (Ali Adler). The principle cast is primarily female (four to three, though it feels like there are more because the men have very little affect on the plot). And the writers have went out of their way to make very episode a statement on women in modern society. Except, as much as they like making statements on how things should be, they keep falling back on the very notions they are trying to undermine. If I were a parent letting my daughter watch this show, I'd be getting very concerned, not because Supergirl isn't a good role model, but because the show is unintentionally advocating the shitty treatment of women in society.

This week's episode, which saw the DCAU original character Livewire properly portrayed in live action for the first time by former Middleman actress Brit Morgan, was about how women treat one another in the modern world. A lot has been written on the superficial, objectified, denigrated and generally shitty way men have treated women over the last... 5000 years. But not nearly enough has been written the way that women treat one another. The sort of paranoid, sabotaging, false-friended nature trotted out by TLC and the Real Housewives series. How, in the nuclear family the past, another woman was a potential rival for a husband's affections, and now she's a rival for your job, your sense of self worth, and your boyfriend's affections. How mothers beat down their daughter's self confidence, or over inflate it, and how sisters are constantly being judged and judging themselves against one another. This is poisonous behavior, and if we as a modern and enlightened society (which I'm yet to see conclusive proof of) are to make permanent strides towards an equal and unbiased respect between genders, there first needs to be an equal and unbiased respect within genders.

And this show does nothing to resolve this issue. All the characters, pretty much one at a time, admit to doing this, but nothing is done to correcting the behaviour, or changing the outcome, or just sitting down and talking about how things could be better. As I said last week, this is a one step forward, one step back sort of show. They say something isn't wrong and shouldn't do it, then they do it. And then they personified this very behaviour with Livewire. I'll admit, her context in this show is a little more understandable than her DCAU counterpart (and just a smidgen less annoying), but at least her animated origin had a legit beef with Sups. Here, Livewire flat out admits the only reason she's being bitchy towards Supergirl is because she's there, and an easy target. What this makes her is a high school bully, ragging on Kara clothes, spreading rumours about her sexuality, and generally being a Queen Bee. And the only reason that Cat stops her isn't because it's wrong,it's because it's bad for business. this doesn't change the fact that, if Cat turned on Supergirl (as I expect is likely eventually to become a plot point), she's wouldn't devout every word on every page of her media empire to destroying her.

Yes, Cat ends the episode deciding to civilize the discourse in the city, but the fundamentals of the issue haven't changed, in universe or in the show. They've already introduced Lucy Lane as a love interest for Jimmy, while shoving Jimmy and Kara's lack of sexual tension down our throats, eventually leading to a moment when Jimmy has to choose between them. Again, the show pits two women against one another over a man. Not the message we should be sending to young girls watching the show (neither is the Jimmy is tall, strong and sensitive, and Winn is a nerd, so Kara is only flirty with Superman's Pal - just as poisonous). If the show wants to be about social politics, they need to be deft enough to handle that responsibility. And this show isn't good enough to do that. It is very good at punching people while they fly through the air, so maybe they should stick to that, and get any sense of empowerment through ass-kickery, rather than trying to change the world through high minded rhetoric.

Both Flash and Arrow were mercifully on task this week, focusing on their own on going stories rather than the Legends crossover, ironic considering that after a one-week break, the next episode is the crossover that kicks off Legends. Arrow focused on Diggle's story about his dead brother, and Ollie's campaign for mayor. Meanwhile, with Barry still out of commission after Zoom's attack, Grodd reared his 800 pound self again.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

2 comments :

  1. "Oh, and The Flash introduced Gorilla City. Man, it's a great time to be alive... and watching a cable television show about guys in full body leather suits... fighting telepathic gorillas. OK, it's a weird time to be alive. Are you happy now?"

    Am I happy now? You think? Any live action show that doesn't just feature Grodd, but flat-out shows Gorilla City? Better than the best episode of Game of Thrones, or the Wire, or Sopranos or anything else ever on a TV screen. Gorilla City trumps everything else. Not an opinion, a statement of fact.

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  2. Well i would say that when the Flash and Arrow TV series were started their concepts were given different but the families liked this series and its mostly watch by them so they have changed the concept of it. The Flash Leather Jacket

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