Two years ago, I wrote you an open letter. Now I’m doing it again because despite it all, I still watch everything you serve me and have a lot more opinions. I’m still a fan overall, but I’m definitely less excited to watch every week, and that’s a problem. As always, I want all these shows to succeed. Especially since, for one of them at least, its next season will be the last.
So as all the shows have ended for the season, bear with me in this slightly spoilery letter.
I get what you’re trying to do, but you’re not doing it well. I understand that by having this female superhero and some great female leads you had to play the feminism card a lot. And it worked…in season one. Now we had season four and you decide to tackle racism and immigration in the form of aliens, and it becomes tired. I know I’m a white girl in Canada, so who am I to comment on your support for these marginalized groups, but I can say that watching it is not fun and I want my superhero shows to be fun. At least Sam and her daughter were somewhat fun, even if they were a random addition to the show that I really don’t miss. I will say, though, that Lex was (is?) great. I very much enjoyed his arrival. He’s iconic, and you did him well. When you have compelling villains that aren’t based around a social justice issue, I think things work a lot better.
Let’s talk characters. Dumping Mon-El was a great call. He was taking away from Kara and the show. I miss Winn and though I don’t hate Brainy, he isn’t the same. Alex is cool as always, but I miss her haircut from season two. Kelly is a nice and not fully random addition, so I like that. J’onn and Nia are alright. Lena is great, but I was hoping that with Lex’s inclusion now, we could stop playing the Is Lena Good Or Bad game. But it looks like you’ll dangling this back and forth for most of season five, right? And lastly, I hope that even with his powers, James still has a career and doesn’t completely lose himself to the hero gig as he kind of did as Guardian.
What do I want from the show in season five onwards? I want more fun times amongst the group to contrast the fights and villains, and I want more character development in which the characters develop forward. I feel like we got so close with Alex getting over Maggie and looking into adopting a kid and then she got thrown back into heading up the DEO for so long we all forgot about it until that episode where she got the baby call. Even Kara hasn’t had much development. I think we’re past the point of the show being amazing, but it can still be good, and the back half of season four proved that.
Dear The Flash,
You guys are doing alright still, and I’m glad. I thought the Thinker last season was great, and slowly teasing Nora like that was great fun. Introducing Nora in the way you did was a superb way to play with the time travel aspect and shake up Barry and Iris’ relationship without a pregnancy. But I will say that Nora was…a lot. She had the behaviour of a twelve-year-old in the body of a twenty-year-old, and it drove me nuts. She also clearly inherited her dad’s dumb gene as she kept making these dumb choices (messing with the timeline for example). But overall, she was a neat addition, and it was sweet to see her interact with not only Iris and Barry but Joe and Cecile too.
While the show has obviously gotten a bit darker, I applaud that you’ve managed to keep somewhat light, and I encourage more of that…Though if the rumours of Cisco leaving are true, you’re gonna have to really start showing off comedic sides from other characters more than you have. Ralph has potential, but I really, really don’t want to lose Cisco. He’s a great part of the team.
I do think that you’re falling into the same rut that Arrow has: the seasons are getting a bit repetitive. I know you’ve had great villains and have introduced meta powers well, but overall, the seasons and character arcs blur together a little. Adding Nora was enough to perhaps set this past season apart, but I highly encourage you to shake things up in a bigger way so to keep things fresh. You have a great cast with very likable characters, and I think we should see them do more than fight meta-murderers over and over.
You’ve had a bumpy few years. But you have an end in sight, and I am praying you use this last short season well. Though without Felicity, I see a darker season coming, and I don’t know if I want that. Arrow can do dark well, but sometimes it’s too dark and dry. I don’t know what to expect in the coming season. Where will Oliver even be?
Let’s talk villains: Adrian Chase was a great villain. Ricardo Diaz was not. Emiko was not. These small-time thugs with a vendetta against Oliver (Adrian included) is tired, and we better not get another one. Though based on the cliffhanger we just got, I don’t know what kind of villain to expect now. Some outer space Big Bad that Oliver will have to face alone? At least that’ll be different.
As for Oliver’s death, I think you’ve set it up reasonably well, and having teases in all the Arrowverse shows leading to the next crossover was smart. I’d rather Oliver sacrifice himself against a big threat like the Monitor or whoever than some small time Star City punk. I just hope that his death is done well, and everyone gets to mourn him right. In this last short season, I do have faith that you can deliver something of value. Arrow did a lot for the superhero genre on TV, and I’d like to see it sent off well. That means a good villain, appearances from Thea, Team Flash, Roy, maybe even Sara, and development that works with the characters, not these random new stories you like to throw out (Emiko, literally everything with Diggle…). I don’t think we need or want the flash forwards, especially since we know the fate of the characters now, and most people still don’t love Dinah and Rene. Let’s focus on the present and end the characters’ time well.
Dear Legends Of Tomorrow,
You are my favourite for sure now. I think your third season was one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen. It was funny, unique, had great characters, and embraced its weirdness just the right amount. I will say that season four didn’t wow me as much. I think you went perhaps a little too weird in the first half, but even your worst episodes were still better than most of the other Arrowverse shows’ mediocre ones. All in all, you have a fan in me.
But I think to return that brilliant season three spark, there are a few things you can do. One, maybe go a little easier on the weirdness. Some episodes, like the first one with the fairy godmother and the one with the possessed puppet, were a bit too weird, even for you. There’s a line and I fear if you cross it more and more, the show will be too zany. Two, stop splitting up the team so much. I know there’s a lot of them but they work best when they’re together and playing off each other, rather than split up into three or four teams doing unrelated things. And Three, remember that you’re a superhero show. I don’t know if it’s a tight budget or what, but we haven’t seen the Legends use their powers in ages. Because you guys have such a diverse cast of characters, the fight scenes are always more fun than that of The Flash‘s, for example, where there’s just a lot of running.
Other than that, I think you guys have something special. No other show could get rid of their entire first season cast except for three characters, bring in a bunch of new ones, and still thrive (though I really don’t like Mona. She’s like Curtis but worse).
As I said, I still like watching you all for the most part and I will miss you over the summer. No matter how frustrated or bored I get by the end of seasons, I always get hyped right back up when the first promos release in August/September.
Sincerely, a fan.
P.S. Hi Black Lightning. I know you’re not technically an Arrowverse show, but I think you still deserve a message. In the first season, I appreciated how your show very much differed from the typical superhero show formula, but even that isn’t enough to save the show now after its second season. I found the first half of season two very boring. The show is just dark and not fun for me to watch. I like the family but I feel like they’re stuck in the same ruts and aren’t growing enough.
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