You're welcome Norway! It's time for the Legends...
What makes for a great fictional television show?
Is it one that has a deep, profound impact on you? Is it one that challenges you with every new installment? Is it one where the acting and writing are so strong that you simply have to watch and marvel in awe at the masterclass happening on screen? Is it one you pretty much live for, counting down the days, hours, minutes until the next episode? Or is it one that just sets out to entertain you from its opening moments to its closing seconds?
The answer is, of course, all of those scenarios and likely many more, and depends a lot upon the viewer watching. However, any show that falls into the final option above is arguably doing exactly what a fictional television show should be doing in 2016. Offering enjoyable escapist entertainment and a break from our often bleak real world reality.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Possibly the most fun you can have in 45 minutes without the need for cable.
If you hadn't caught on by the end of the first episode then it's made very clear here. Legends of Tomorrow is a show that will likely not win any awards for either its scripting or acting. It's not going to change your life or provide many water-cooler type moments to obsess about. However, it is going to do its damnedest to entertain the hell out of you, throwing everything it can at the screen that its television sized CW budget will allow.
Episode 2, the second half of the pilot, gave us a Back To The Future with superheroes style adventure. And really, what's not to love about that? It also improved upon the previous, already entertaining installment because it wasn't bogged down with assembling the team and explaining their individual reasons for joining, meaning this week we got much more time for character development. Plus by grounding this episode in one time zone, 1975, it gave us more of a coherent story to follow.
We were treated to a couple of impressive action sequences this week, including one entertaining fight scene taking place under the influence, but the real crux of this series comes in the character dynamics. Relationships are forming quickly yet they don't feel forced or rushed and by episode's end it feels like we've got an actual team in this band of misfits.
Arthur Darvill had minimal screen time this week, but his character, Rip Hunter, felt a lot less like the Hollywood idea of a British arsehole than he previously came across as. Also softening somewhat is Victor Garber's Dr Martin Stein. He's front and centre for a lot of this episode, meeting himself in 1975 (and going by the name of Marty, just to reinforce the BTTF feeling) and providing a fair few laughs along the way.
I'm finding it interesting that Dominic Purcell's Heat Wave and Wentworth Miller's Captain Cold work far, far better here as part of a larger team than they ever did in The Flash. Their almost monotone approach to their respective characters just didn't cut it for me before, but they are quickly becoming my favourite pair. Plus it helps that they seem to be given the best lines.
We also lost our first Legend this week. We say so long for now to Hawk Man (kinda wish it was Hawk Girl as she's my least favourite/most wooden but I get that storywise Carter Hall's death made more sense), however I wouldn't bet against his resurrection in a future episode. His early demise in this series came as something of a surprise to me, but it's probably a good decision as juggling the story-arcs for nine separate characters is no easy task. Bearing in mind that this team is essentially the Expendables of superheroes, it does make me wonder who else might not make it to the end of this 16 episode run.
I've avoided a lot of the future spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow so I really have no idea exactly what's coming up over the course of this series, however I feel quite confident in saying that it's gonna be a whole lot of fun finding out.