Last night, I livetweeted the premiere of Legends of Tomorrow, the new CW/DC joint that features time traveler Rip Hunter, the Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Firestorm, and the White Canary. I was mostly just tweeting out jokes, but the show was a ton of fun, if not problematic at times. Below I dig a little deeper, but be warned that each week my recaps will contain spoilers.
1. ‘Legends’ – Not So Much
One of the things that I really felt drawn to in the episode was the idea of Rip Hunter instantly lying to the team about their ‘legendary’ status in the future. This is a clever way to assemble the team by feeding their egos, and instantly undercut them. The idea of these heroes being relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things and, therefore, expendable, is an unexpected turn for how the show has been promoted, but makes a ton of sense if you step back and look at the team itself.
Two rogues, two people that can die without much consequence (due to their constant reincarnations), a living nuclear reaction, a resurrected assassin, and a presumed-dead scientist – that’s not exactly the type of team that inspires bed time stories. And yet, the belief that they can become that is enough (for some) to stick around.
2. Oh, the 70’s on TV
There was no way that the show was going to go to the 70s and not make it super cheesy. Remember the 70s of Days of Future Past? That looks subtle compared to this. I think every pop culture trope from 1967-1980 was present on that college campus, and they even managed a Gabe Kaplan cameo in there.
Look, this show – more than any other on TV – is a walking comic book, and so everything is more technicolor and obvious than it would be if subtlety was the name of the game. It isn’t – enjoy the show for what it is.
3. Family Ties
Tying in Rip Hunter’s family gives the show its personal connection that it needs, even if that felt a little heavy handed and obvious. As soon as Jonas was introduced, it was clear who he was and what his fate was going to be. Mark my words – this season ends with a living Jonas hugging Rip.
But on top of that, we also got to meet a child of the Hawks – well, sort of. Dr. Boardman is the son of one of their past lives, and that was a twist I honestly didn’t see coming. Hawkgirl has been a reluctant participant in her own mythology so far, and giving her that anchor was a smart move, too. The show really managed to excel at giving each character a reason to do what they’re doing, beyond just the ‘I’m on a superhero show’ motivation.
The show also drew its lines pretty clearly – the Rogues and White Canary are birds (pardon the pun) of a feather, the scientists are a pair, and the Hawks are the Hawks – that really only leaves Jefferson as the lone wolf of the team. Look to the Hawks to ‘adopt’ him as it were – he and Kendra are very similar, in that they are a part of a puzzle that they don’t really understand/fully buy into yet.
5. Humor and Heart
Aside from the unfortunate Dr. Cosby/Dr. Stein drugging scene, the show had a perfect mix of humor and heart. The show borders on cheesy the entire time, and that’s ok – Arrow is all brooding, The Flash is all hope, and Legends is all fantasy. It is a show that promises to travel time and space, and do so with a cast of characters that would make an issue of “Who’s Who” blush. This is supposed to be a little cheesy, and the show does that on two fronts – with more jokes, and more ‘awww’ moments than the other CW shows. Tonally, the show is closest to Supergirl, actually, and that’s a good thing. By importing some of that overt sunniness to a world that is in peril is a great thing.Continued below
Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments!