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Doux News: November 2, 2014

This week: DC versus Marvel: Let's discuss -- General TV stuff -- This week in casts -- National Cat Day

DC versus Marvel: Let's discuss

There's an article on Salon today about the differences between the DC Comics and Marvel franchises. It's a long read and interesting, but in a nutshell, it pretty much says that Marvel may have the movie bizz tied the heck down, but Agents of SHIELD is their only television show (until Agent Carter arrives) and it's not a very good one, while DC has a confusing movie mess of hits and flops, but they're killing on television with Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and Constantine -- all of which, they say, are much better than Agents of SHIELD.

And I'm going, "Huh?" That's debatable. While Arrow has taken a lot of storytelling risks and has done some excellent work with making their characters compelling, it's soon to be making such sweepy statements about the rest of the stable. Yes, the fun and flashy Flash is doing great and smells like a hit, but it only has four episodes under its strange-looking helmet, and the jury is still out on Gotham and Constantine. Or is it? I dropped Gotham almost immediately because it did nothing for me, and Constantine had something of a second episode ratings plummet, which doesn't bode well. Agents of SHIELD has steadily improved after a somewhat shaky and disappointing beginning, and while it's true that it's in something of a storyline box because of the tie-in to the movies, the terrific cast led by Clark Gregg and Ming Na-Wen and the Whedonesque humor have successfully pulled me in.

Or maybe it's that I can't imagine not watching a Whedon show. Am I giving Agents of SHIELD a pass?

At any rate, the article made me think, and possibly fume. I'd love to have a discussion about it. What do you guys think? Post a comment!

General TV stuff

-- There's a trailer now available for the new Netflix show, Marco Polo. It obviously wants to be Game of Thrones when it grows up, only without magic. Pun intended.

-- Neil Patrick Harris just got his own variety show. I love Neil Patrick Harris. Unfortunately, variety shows haven't done that well since, what? The seventies?

-- Arrested Development appears to be up in the air when it comes to another possible season or a possible movie because of difficulties with tying down the cast. Creator Mitch Hurwitz has taken criticism of season four seriously, though, and is currently recutting it so that it flows the way it was supposed to. Interesting info if you're a fan of AD.

-- The Colbert Report will be ending on December 18. Colbert will be taking over The Late Show from David Letterman at some point in 2015. If I were Stephen, I'd take a nice long vacation and then start doing a ton of prep.

-- And of course, there is still no freaking news on freaking Continuum being renewed or cancelled. Although we did learn that the third season had serious ratings problems, which we sort of knew already. I don't care. I want a fourth season, and I want it now.

This week in casts

-- Game of Thrones has its cast locked down for a seventh season, and the fifth hasn't even aired yet. It sounds very much as if seven is going to be all she wrote. So to speak.

-- Taylor Kitsch has joined Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughan for the second season of True Detective, with more casting news waiting in the wings.

This week in cats

Wednesday, October 29 was National Cat Day! Did you know there was a National Cat Day? Shouldn't it be a National Cat Week?

The best story I saw about National Cat Day was about Kittens on Demand. In some big cities, you send in your order, and fluffy cuteness will arrive for a fifteen-minute visit in your office. And yes, they're available for adoption and profits benefit the ASPCA. Plus it won't freak out your cat at home.

That's it for this week. Can you believe it's November already?
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I don't know about Constantine yet. It might go either way.
    Gotham is improving.
    Agents is definitely winning for me.
    Fun and serious stuff all at once.

    On a non-super note..They cancelled The divide. Gaah. They ended on a bloody cliffhanger. Now we'll never know.

    Forever looks bad in the ratings, but is super-cute. Except for the serial killer stuff, which was gross. Which is no complaint btw.

  2. It seems daft to compare a show in its second season with shows that have only just started - Arrow is surely the only sensible point of comparison. And I'm enjoying season 2 of Agents of Shield a lot, even if I still only watch it for Fitz/Simmons/FitzSimmons. Mostly Fitz.

  3. I love Agents of SHIELD, and it's so much better now than when it started. It usually takes shows a while to get going, which is why, as you all point out, comparing TV shows that are only getting started it problematic, at best. I have loved Arrow from the 1st episode, and ditto for the Flash. Gotham does nothing for me - I wasn't really excited about it when I first heard about it - another police show, but based on a superhero who won't actually show up in it. Huh? And the overacting, campy style extinguished whatever little interest I had to begin with. And I've really enjoyed Constantine so far, but if no one watches it, it won't matter because it will be off the air before it gets a full season pickup. Another thing the article could have brought up - DC animated movies are completely awesome, while Marvel's animated movies and TV series are very much Meh.

  4. Happy (belated) Cat Day!

    According to my day planner, today is also Book Lovers' Day.

    What a wonderful week.

  5. I haven't given up on Gotham because I feel a bit obligated to watch it, plus that last episode I saw was an improvement from the first few. I'm a little worried that Gotham will never fully rise up out of the procedural structure it has created for itself.

    Arrow is my favorite, but I may be biased.

    Agents of Shield keeps improving, and some of the stuff they are hinting at is exciting. This one is probably my second favorite for now.

    After one episode of Constantine, I'm not sure I even want to continue. I liked the main character, but the rest of it was so... well it was trying too hard and none of it really worked.

    The Flash on the other hand is starting to grab me, but I'm not super into yet. I like the characters, but I keep waiting for the shoe to drop and everyone reveals who they really are. I guess that's just comic book foreshadowing, but it is a bit frustrating. Otherwise it is a very different show than Arrow. I can't really ask for more.

    JimGFromWI, I totally agree about the DC animated universe. I've seen about 90% of them, and a good chunk of the shows (Batman, Batman Beyond, Justice League, JLU, but only a handful of Superman episodes).

    I'm actually looking forward to the Supergirl show, but it could easily be horrible. Agent Carter should also be a lot of fun, since there are so few episodes I bet it will basically be one long arc. The same can be said for the upcoming Daredevil series, which is being written to account for binge watching.

    So yeah, there are a lot of these shows, but none of them are bad. Still, over saturation is kind of a danger right now given in 2016 we are getting something like seven superhero movies. Lets hope that the quality of these projects justify their existence.

  6. Is Sunbunny feeling under the weather? She hasn't reviewed Person of Interest #4.06 yet. Her POI reviews are one of my must-reads.

  7. Baby M, the review will be up at some point today. Sorry about the delay. :)

  8. I have yet to agree with other people on all this. I've always liked high concept shows, like Buffy and Lost, and while Agents of Shield WAS a little slow going at first, it has slowly become one of the best shows on the air with a lot going on. It's harder to juggle a high-concept show, but I find them much more rewarding and the dialogue and characters on Shield are terrific. And I loved Gotham right away for the same reason. It's a high-concept, complicated show that has me fascinated to see where it's going to go. On the other hand, I both Arrow and The Flash to be disposable froth, with uninteresting side characters and trite dialogue. Oh, well, to each his own.

  9. Out of all the comics shows, Constantine has been the only one I've enjoyed the first episode of rather than suffering through it. So obviously it will be cancelled to keep The Divide company. Sigh. I'm kind of crossing my fingers I don't like the second episode so I won't get attached.

    About giving shows a chance: for me, there's no point these days. Even when I did used to try several eps, I can't think of a single show that I liked that I didn't like immediately. Yes, there needs to be setup in the first ep, but it's also got to have *something* that grabs me, or no dice. Too much to see to grant any amnesties.


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