It’s the turn of the last of the main broadcast networks to show us what’s up its sleeves for the 2015-16 season - yes, here comes The CW! Now, if you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you’ll have noticed three things:
- The CW, which was traditionally a network intent only on serving teenage girls and young women the likes of Gossip Girl and vampire things, has slowly been trying to get boys to watch as well, with shows such as Supernatural*.
- It’s been doing big ratings with DC superhero shows.
- It still does the girl-thing really well*
So you shouldn't be too surprised to see among The CW’s three new shows (yes, just three) a DC superhero show, a scary show, and a show for girls that’s also a bit for boys, too, and is pretty well done.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
A group of heroes and villains from The CW’s other big DC superhero shows, Arrow and The Flash, spin off and form their own group in order to save the world from the immortal Vandal Savage and his army. They know they have to because Rory from Doctor Who comes back from the future to tell them they have to.
Among the line-up are Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who have been playing brothers again over on The Flash, albeit villainous, very camp ones; Victor Garber (Alias, Legally Blonde, Deception, Eli Stone, Justice), who’s another Flash escapee, having played one half of Firestorm, although his other half (Robbie Amell) is noticeably missing here; and Brandon Routh - Superman in Superman Returns - has of course been doing sterling work as The Atom over on Arrow for the past season and actually now has his miniaturisation abilities.
More interestingly, Caity Lotz is back (yay!) as a Canary - the White one this time - despite having been killed off quite seriously at the start of Arrow’s third season and we have the completely new addition of Golden Age Hawk Girl (Ciara Renée). Arthur Darvill’s quite fun as 'Rip Hunter', and the villain is Vandal Savage, who’s a big name in both the comic books and the DC animated movies but so far hasn’t shown up in a live action piece.
Overall, it’s clear there’s been a marked progression over the years with the three series, from quite dark with aspects of fun in Arrow to cheesy fun that’s occasionally dark in The Flash to pretty much full on high comic book camp here. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Based on the Belgian TV series Cordon (coming to BBC4 soon), this sees a lethal virus break out in the US, resulting in a huge urban quarantine in Atlanta. Except - because it’s originally Belgian (cf Salamander) - there’s also a government conspiracy. Mostly, all a big soapy drama of not much excitement, in which everyone has to decide whether to do the right thing or not by their family, the law, little Timmy the cat, et al.
Following on from the success of the format-busting and decidedly meta Jane The Virgin, we have Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in which 10 years after a girl is dumped by her boyfriend, she bumps into him in New York and, deciding she had the happiest time of her life with him, follows him as he moves to Los Angeles, hoping to rekindle their romance - while ignoring a far more obvious and more suitable guy right in front of her. Except her ex really just isn't that into her and has a girlfriend anyway, but that’s not stopping her.
Coming from the director of 500 Days of Summer and with animated sequences, musical numbers and more, this is actually quite a funny, innovative-looking little piece that could go pretty much anywhere, so I’m certainly going to be giving it a try.
*Yes, I know that's stereotypes - and I did watch Gossip Girl, myself - but if you look at the demographics, that’s what was happening on average.