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Requiem for The Legends

DC's Legends of Tomorrow
2016-22.

The official announcement has come down. Legends of Tomorrow, or DC's Legends of Tomorrow for those title purists out there, has been cancelled. Or not renewed. However you want to split that particular hair. Whichever way you want to phrase it, there ain't going to be a season eight.

As I've said elsewhere, seven seasons is a good run. Anything over 100 episodes, formerly the inviolable threshold for syndication, is something any TV show can certainly hold its head high over. And while I would love to be getting more of it, I think that I can manage to be grateful for all the good stuff that they gave us over the years. Because a lot of it meant a hell of a lot more than just an admittedly often silly TV show about time traveling superheroes.

So, instead of mourning the untapped potential of whatever the Hell might have been their plan for Booster Gold, what had the beginnings of a perfectly lovely romance between Gwyn and Alun, and all the rest of the stories left untold, I want to take this moment to recognize and thank the people who made this show happen for a few things that meant and mean a lot to him. Here's an incomplete list.

- They gave us a powerful, admirable, and utterly heroic female team leader who never once made even a hint of sacrificing femininity for strength. That's a false paradigm that's long overdue for the junk heap, and Caity Lotz made sending it there look easy.

- Then they took it one step further and gave her the healthiest, most supportive, nurturing, and emotionally honest relationship that I've ever seen presented on television, and never once made the implication that she needed to choose between that and her work as a Legend.

- They showed the world the ultimate example of non-toxic masculinity and the friendships that can grow from it. What this show accomplished with Ray and Nate's friendship is the sort of thing most shows would never even attempt, let alone present without an ironic 'no homo' at the end of every single scene.

- They actively gave the finger to bisexual erasure. Most shows treat a character entering into a same sex relationship as immediately re-categorizing that character as 'gay.' Because we, as a culture, are really uncomfortable acknowledging that bisexuality exists. Legends gave us two prominent bisexual characters. And repeatedly committed itself to confirming that they were, in fact, still bisexual, regardless of who they were with at the time. That representation just doesn't happen.

- And then they gave us a prominent asexual character as well. And then showed us that that didn't make a bit of difference either.

- They gave us one of, if not the, first Muslim woman superheroes on TV. And showed us that that wasn't a big deal either. And far from just mentioning it once and then quietly ignoring it, they spent the next few years showing how Islamic practices fit into everyday life, and I loved every single time they did because I was always learning something new.

And so much more.

They made a show where, in between the ridiculous nipple-eating unicorns and giant Kaiju Furries, they showed us a kinder, a more inclusive, and a more decent way to be. And shrugged it off like it was no big thing.

To quote Mick and Leonard from the season three finale:

Mick: "You know what your punishment is, Leonard? You end up being a better man. So do I."
Snart: "Better? You mean softer."
Mick: "No. I mean better."

So, goodbye, Legends. You meant a lot to a lot of people.

Tell us your favorite Legends memories in the comments if you like. And then join us in a chorus of 'Sweet Child of Mine.'

DC's Our Legends of Tomorrow
2016-22.


Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, retired firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla. If you'd like to see his raw notes for this and other reviews, you can find them at What Was Mikey Thinking.

5 comments:

  1. A lovely requiem, Mikey.

    I think Covid-19 killed this show. The sixth season was delayed and mostly substandard, and I can't think that was the fault of the cast and the writers.

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  2. Return of the Mack ringtone.

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    Replies
    1. That was a good one. I personally will always cherish the funeral for Axl the rat

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  3. I'm really gonna miss this show. I still have hope for some kind of closure, somewhere down the line. Favorite moments:

    Stein and the Banana Boat song.
    Zari trying to sacrifice herself for the team, certain it would be her end.
    The last farewell of Firestorm.
    Charlie learning what it means to be a Legend, one timeline patch job at a time.
    Gideon learning what it means to be human in a stunning 100th episode.
    Nate's steadfast loyalty and love for his team as the best first mate Avalance could ask for, even when he's a bit high.
    Astra turning her management potential to the side of good.
    Nora finding humanity, then kindness, then love.
    Spooner reclaiming her mother across almost a century apart.
    Gwyn being the last to finally see how heroic and worthy of love he was.

    And so many more moments of time, across time, for all time.

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