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Thursday, March 22, 2018

DC'S LEGENDS is flat out fun

I was not an instant fan of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW when it started, but by the end of season one, I was on board. An ensemble cast of super heroes doing a kind of QUANTUM LEAP thing, with more than a little bit of the 1987 JUSTICE LEAGUE Bwahahaha team comedy sensibilities.

In other words: just my kind of show!

Confession time: I've just now gotten around to watching the back end of the new season, so I am several weeks behind. But episode 11 made me stop and want to write this post.

In season two, the show cemented itself for me, when they ended up meeting George Lucas in the early 1970s and a madcap adventure ensued. Also, Civil War Zombies.!

The cast has rotated a bit, losing the Hawkman and Hawkwoman characters from early one, and (thankfully) losing Rip Hunter for the most part (the character is great, but the actor not so much). Then in the incredible 4 part crossover of CW shows this year, they lost Martin Stein, and soon after Jackson, thus ending Firestorm. It was a gripping and emotional loss that carried significant weight. And it was incredibly well done. It helps when you have someone like Victor Garber in the role of Stein.

Newest cast member, Zari (The Mighty Isis, though they are never going to use THAT name) played by Tala Ashe is a great addition who just earned her stripes in season three episode 11 "Here I Go Again." It is a straight up GROUNDHOG DAY send up, though Ray Palmer references the Star Trek Next Gen episode, "Cause and Effect."

Zari is trapped in a time loop, and goes from being a pain in the ass new member to actually caring deeply for the team, and she employees Nate (Steel) first, then Ray (The Atom) as she has an hour each time she reboots to save the ship from exploding. Along the way she learns deep secrets, fears, and desires of her team mates.

The team return from a Disco era mission that we don't see, but hear enough to figure out that Napoleon Bonaparte somehow escaped his time and ended up making an 8 track tape, including a song called "Waterloo." (It's that kind of humor.) Zari has been secretly planning to use the time ship to manipulate her own past, and her tinkering would seem to have set off a series of events that cause the ship to explode, after which she returns to an hour prior to the explosion and repeats.

No spoilers, but towards the end, Zari gives an emotional plea to them all, addressing each of them individually with sincerity and love.

Mind you, this episode was incredibly funny as well as exciting.

At first I bristled a little with Nate and Ray became the Beetle and Booster stand ins for the show, with Mick as Guy Gardner essentially. I had wanted to see those characters show up in the rotating ensemble from the jump, and was hoping it would come to pass. But clearly, the writers are going for that vibe without those characters. And, at this point, introducing the Blue and Gold. would be redundant to the show.

Still, I'm OK with this team, and the way they are evolving.

LEGENDS is, hands down my favorite of the CW shows. It is most boundlessly fun. It doesn't really get the credit I think it deserves among those shows, and maybe that's why it can get away with being so random and fun. Time travel means that they can bounce around, screw things up, and fix them, without worrying about the larger CW DC U. That must be liberating to the staff behind the show.

Constantine is going to be a regular in season 4, which was recently announced. I'm OK with that, though his appearance in episode 10 of season 3 was the least favorite of mine thus far this year.

Overall, the show has as much heart as it does a sense of humor. And the blend makes for some of the most enjoyable super hero TV you're likely to see anywhere.

Check it out, if you're not already!

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