Boycotting Berlanti? pt2

Boycotting Berlanti? pt2

 Greg Berlanti - Boycotting Berlanti opinion by Paul K. MetheneyPreviously on “Boycotting Berlanti”…

Oh, to hell with it. Read the first part.

The Real Problem

My primary concern here is not the agenda Mr. Berlanti is clearly pushing. It’s not even the racism (which I think only divides us). My main concern is the lack of quality of these shows. Millions may disagree with me. That’s their right. I am worried that these shows, because of their popularity (i.e., we nerds are desperate for superhero genre TV), give the impression that this is the best we can expect from TV. Worlds where formerly oppressed minorities are allowed to be bullies, racist, and demand to be accepted as they are (even if they are racists and bullies). Situations where acceptance is universal? Nope. It’s not. He’s aiming at the lowest common denominator of plots and characters.

Characters/Writing Done Right!

Mr. Berlanti, it’s not impossible. Here are a few superhero TV/Movie characters that the writers made them feel real; flawed, but heroic, without being stereotypes or 2 dimensional.

  • Luke Cage – anti-racist, articulate
  • Deadpool – seriously flawed, but vulnerable
  • Jessica Jones – super-alcoholic with a heart of gold
  • Daredevil – Blind, but not handicapped (all of the characters there are 3D) Does the CW pay less than Netflix? Does that justify the consistent lack of quality comparisons?
  • Captain America (Thor, Ironman, any of the Avengers really.)
  • Wolverine – from “Logan” – damaged goods, but at heart: human
  • Justice League – (just to show it’s not all Marvel characters)
  • Negan – The Walking Dead – so bad, but occasionally shows some weakness. It’s from AMC dude!
  • Dexter – talk about a bad guy you like!

Well-Written Shows/Movies

  • Game of Thrones – characterizations we love to hate and hate to love (apologies to Kara-El)
  • Breaking Bad – good characters do not have to be good guys
  • Stranger Things – who needs a great plot when you have great characters?
  • Sons of Anarchy – murderers, drug dealers, and bikers you rooted for.

The Real Reason for a Boycott

  • Caity Lotz - Boycotting Berlanti opinion by Paul K. MetheneyArrow – The plot is redundantly circular. Fight bad guys, fight each other, rinse, repeat. It has become its own formulaic theme. Actually made one of the most iconic heroes in comics less appealing than drug runners & murderers listed above.
  • The Flash – Iris is a whiny, control freak who has no business running a super-team (her last job was as a blogger, before that she worked as a barista) and whose only credentials are: she married the main character. This show has ventured over into the Goofy Lane. The comic’s Gallery of Rogues was always a joke, but show producers have no problem changing other main factors. If you can make a hetero superhero gay, surely you can write a better piece for Mirror Master. Caitlyn hated her persona, Killer Frost. Now she misses her. Now KF is good. Everyone’s going to therapy. Everyone gets superpowers. Everyone.
  • Black Lightning – This show has a particularly sharp spot for me because it is racist (Yep. You heard me.) White people: bad. Black people: good (and every one of them focused on civil rights), except the bad black people – who are two-dimensionally greedy. Again, “The world is not that black and white. ” Literally.
  • Supergirl – The villains are forgettable. The plot reads more like a soap opera screenplay. Kara has become a SuperGirlScout (oops, we don’t have those anymore, we just have female Scouts.) She’s too manic. Either perky to the point of annoying or depressed enough to aim me at the bathtub with a razor. Don’t get me started on the realism of the characterizations.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – The big bad was a giant stuffed toy. Enough said.
  • Riverdale – In all honesty, I never watched this, to begin with. Always hated Archie comics and creating a dramatization of it very likely can’t help what I disliked about it.

Here’s an idea.

Instead of agenda-scripts, why don’t we try to make GOOD scripts?  Let’s focus on great stories about human beings instead of tropes. Let’s tell messy stories about realistic people who just happen to have special abilities. Let’s ditch the cookie cutter stereotypes and create characters that feel real. Until then, I may have to head over to Netflix for an extended stay.

I had hope for another Berlanti show “Deception.” No gay characters in the small ensemble cast (the odds were against it, besides they seem to find romance with each other). No racism. No obvious agendas.

It got canceled. Maybe it was too straight.

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