Representación, Ideología y Recepción en la Cultura Audiovisual

5 Reasons to Watch «Legends of Tomorrow»

Petra Filipová es doctoranda del programa de Estudios Culturales y de Género de la Universidad Pavol Jozef Safarik de Kosice, Eslovaquia, y becaria del programa de co-tutela predoctoral KVARK que esta institución desarrolla en colaboración con la Universitat de les Illes Balears, entre otras. Su investigación se centra en cuestiones de identidad de género y sexual en la ficción televisiva estadounidense. Aquí nos ofrece sus cinco razones para ver Legends of Tomorrow, la recién estrenada propuesta de The CW.

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1. Comic-book story without actual comic books: Legends of Tomorrow is the CW’s newest addition to the network’s lineup of superhero shows. Unlike Arrow (2012-) and The Flash (2014-), Legends has never had its own comic book series, arising solely from the demand for a spin-off with fan-favorite recurring characters. Considering the liberties taken with the original comic book plotlines in the first two shows and the criticism often aimed at the network by ardent comic book fans, Legends might actually benefit from starting with a clean slate regarding plot and character dynamics. However, while Legends offers a breath of fresh air among the shows heavily reliant on one central superhero character, it is still deeply entrenched in the CW’s ‘Arrowverse’ and built on references to both Arrow and The Flash, easily lost on someone not previously acquainted with at least one of these shows.

2. Time travel: The central premise is that a team of people with special talents is needed to prevent the destruction of the world by an immortal villain, Vandal Savage, in the 22nd century. Savage himself has originated in Ancient Egypt, and so far, the team has travelled back to the American 1970s, the Cold War Soviet Union and recently also to year 2046. While the rules of time-travel on the show might seem situational or shaky at best, with some suspension of disbelief, the philosophy and the situational conflicts of time travel are enjoyable enough, especially for fans of the genre.

3. Cast: The team roster of Legends can intrigue more than just comic book fans. Characters like Atom, Captain Cold, Firestorm, or Hawkman and Hawkgirl are an interesting mix of villains, superheroes, and tentative neutrals, and several names of actors involved provide another reason for giving Legends a try. The Time Master striving to protect the world from Savage is portrayed by Arthur Darvill, an English actor perhaps best known for his role of Rory Williams on Doctor Who, coincidentally another show concerned with time-travelling. Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, stars of the popular TV show Prison Break, play two thieves without any superpowers, but with enough cunning and sarcasm to be great assets to the squad. Caity Lotz from MTV’s Black Valley reprises her role from Arrow – that of a trained assassin and a newly resurrected vigilante – and Brandon Routh, the 2006 silver screen Superman, is Legends’ businessman and engineer with a shrinking exo-suit.

4. Character dynamics: Some critics have claimed that the show feels distracting and overcrowded with so many characters battling for screen-time. Indeed, it differs from the other Arrowverse shows that focus on one protagonist and keep the others firmly in the role of supporting characters – however, this even distribution of focus among the cast is a part of what keeps Legends intriguing for the viewer. With thieves, billionaires, professors, mechanics, assassins and reincarnated Egyptians on one team, the audience is treated to a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, motivations, clashes of identities, and unexpected alliances.

5. Action, drama, humor: Legendsfast-paced writing and witty dialogues have the potential of attracting a wide range of viewers. The show is in a constant flux between special-effect-heavy action, amusing banter full of irony and references to other parts of the modern geek culture, and dramatic reveals and/or dilemmas the characters have to deal with when faced with the potential or actual consequences of altering time. The characters seem to be developing, individually and as a team, with every adventure, and while it might be too early to decide whether or not the show as a whole will keep to the standards of the first several episodes, it is most definitely worth a try.

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