Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pilot Review: Legends of Tomorrow

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW)
Premiered January 21 at 8pm

It’s rare that I’ve stopped watching a pilot once I started it, but there are definitely times I’ve considered it. I didn’t find this show to be all that bad at its start, but I was rolling my eyes at this notion of time-masters and the bleak concept of the future being devastated by Vandal Savage as expressed by him running around targeting individual people in London. But, by the episode’s end, it became clear that this may be exactly the type of show I want to watch. The pilot did a great job of setting up and then completely re-framing its premise, pulling eight people together to fight crimes on a time-traveling basis (more on that later) after they were told that they were legends, and then pulling the rug out from under them by revealing that they were chosen precisely because they didn’t matter, which in turn inspired them to make a difference, even if no one will ever find out about it. The time-traveling nature of the show may not be too sold, but it’s definitely fun to watch time travel and to see how things turn out differently based on where these characters go and what they mess up. The most enjoyable part is the assembly of characters who have been picked for this particular mission. Not being a regular viewer of “Arrow,” I’m actually familiar with all but the White Canary, who I now understand is a less polite version of the Black Canary who fits in much better with Captain Cold and Heat Wave than the heroes. I love that Victor Garber’s Professor Stein and Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer have been plucked from their previous shows to appear here, and I also think that this episode justified Ciara Renée’s Kendra Saunders being taken away from Cisco on “The Flash.” Tying in the Egyptian reincarnation mythology to the premise of this show, with Savage as presumably only the first of many time-centric missions, was a good idea, an di like seeing all of the heroes use their powers to fight together. I’m up for giving this show a little bit to entice me; so far, I’m much more pleased than I expected.

How will it work as a series? Now that they’re more clued in to the fact that Rip is on the run from the time masters rather than working with them, our team should be much more able to ensure that any run-ins with bounty hunters are better anticipated in the future. They still have a lot of work ahead of them, but traveling through time should bring plenty of entertainment and adventure as well as deadly threats that should be fun to watch.
How long will it last? It looks like Marvel has a great competitor in this show, which nearly matched “The Flash” in its strong premiere numbers and should definitely be considered a hit for the CW. Superhero series have been a success recently for the network, and I think this is just the latest one that will sustain a healthy present.

Pilot grade: B

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