My Opinion on CW’s DCTV (Part 1)

Before I start, I want to clarify that I’ve only watched The Flash and Supergirl, while loosely following Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow. I have yet to watch Black Lightning, not because I’m racist, God forbid, but I haven’t had the time. I think I’ll be binging on the first season in September before the other shows return in October. To be honest, I’m sure I’ll find the lack of a procedural format or villains of the week in the new show will be a huge improvement from¬†the other shows.

Also, this series of posts contain SPOILERS.

I know The Flash is the second show in the Arrowverse, but it was the first CW DCTV show I started watching (because I loved Grant Gustin in Glee)

In the beginning…(a recap of The Flash seasons 1-3)

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Who knew that lightning can give abs?

I LOVED season 1. The teases about Harrison Wells, the Reverse Flash reveal, the WestAllen chemistry, Barry’s CSI skills, the comedic timing, the SnowBarry moments, the emotional scenes with Mr. and Mrs. Allen…

I don’t remember what made me get restless with The Flash. Looking back, season 2 wasn’t too bad, even if the big bad was another speedster and a mentor figure who was secretly plotting against Barry. I was also getting tired of waiting for WestAllen to happen. The tension was getting less and less exciting without any real obstacles (I didn’t like Patty very much, honestly), so I was relieved when they had that beautiful kiss in the season finale.

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YES! Until it was retconned…

Season 3, though, was BAD. Like, it wasn’t bad enough to make me quit the show (ūüė≥…Tom Felton as Julian was what made me stay) because the final reveal of Savitar made for some very good themes, albeit they were all half-baked. As someone familiar with the entertainment industry and its workings, I knew that they couldn’t afford to have both Barry and an unmasked Savitar together on screen for too many episodes. But still, they stalled that reveal for too long, especially with all those filler episodes (not including the musical episode and mini Glee-union, which I loved) and their handling of Caitlin’s transformation to Killer Frost.

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Who doesn’t love a musical? (Don’t answer that, if you don’t ūüė†)

Seriously, a split personality? It turns out that it may actually be a brilliant idea, seeing that Killer Frost has existed since Caitlin’s childhood, but I didn’t know that during Season 3.

And then, there’s their handling of Flashpoint in ONE EPISODE. I should have known they couldn’t beat that amazing animated Flashpoint movie in the DCAU. But still, in only one episode…and Flash didn’t even get a message from Robert Queen for Oliver. Though that wouldn’t beat Thomas Wayne’s storyline in the comics and animated movie, it still could have been a great moment.

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The epic scene from DCAU’s Flashpoint Paradox

The Flash¬†Season 4 Returned to Its Roots…Kinda

Then finally, Season 4… it was an improvement from Season 3, at least. Barry and Iris finally had their wedding, Killer Frost made more sense, and the big bad wasn’t a speedster. BUT, the writers stalled in revealing the Thinker’s motive and failed to develop an intriguing dynamic between Thinker and Flash. While I didn’t want Thinker to be another mentor figure, enemies can play a mentor role, too, by helping heroes grow (for those of you who know classic K-Dramas, I’m thinking of Mishil and Deokman’s dynamic in Great Queen Seondeok – example scene).

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My biggest problem, though, was that Season 4 was trying too hard to become “light” again. While being light is better than the utter darkness of season 3, it was still hard to reconcile the campiness with the Thinker killing EVERY. BUS. META. By the end of the season, all except Ralph [who is slowly growing on me] were dead. And then there’s Amunet being a metahuman trafficker, and she’s never called out for being a literal slaver. The show did a better job maintaining Captain Cold’s criminal status than with taking Amunet’s crimes seriously.

Finally, Barry’s trial was the worst I’ve ever seen on TV. I could think of several defenses for Barry, but the so-called brilliant lawyer, Cecile, couldn’t use any of them for some reason? They should have trapped Marlize with the photos of her and Brainstorm after her testimony to discredit her. They should have questioned why Clifford Devoe was going to meet Barry when Clifford had requested a restraining order against Barry. They should have used Barry’s cell phone as evidence that he received a security alert. They should have done an autopsy on Clifford, and if Marlize refused an autopsy, demand to know why she refused, etc. And, trials are NEVER that fast in the U.S. Obviously, Barry didn’t receive due process this season.

I know I sound frustrated, but, honestly, I still love the show and its amazing cast. And this year’s crossover was the best ever, and I’m wondering how the screenwriters will beat it next season (though Batwoman’s entrance is a good start). The wedding, the wedding crash, Overgirl kissing Dark Arrow, Tommy Merlyn, Earth-X, the high stakes…it was all amazing, except the tragic death of Professor Stein.

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Supergirl’s Thunderclap (More about this in Part 2)

I mentioned I’ve slowly warmed up to Ralph Dibny, but I wasn’t against his introduction to the show or anything like that. I was just growing tired of the Flash introducing jerk characters only for them to disappear. Thankfully, Hartley Sawyer’s Ralph is here to stay, though I only wish that the screenwriters could better utilize his detective skills (or Barry’s CSI skills for that matter). And hopefully, the show-makers fulfill their promise in introducing his love interest, Sue Dearbon.

Despite all its flaws, the season had a solid finale, and I am eager to see what happens next. I loved how Season 4 teased the mystery girl (I knew she was Barry’s daughter, but that doesn’t answer WHY she’s there) in a similar way to how they teased Eobard-Wells’s nefarious secrets. And with her reveal as Nora Allen, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Flash family (and Killer Frost) next season. I hope it includes some WestAllen babies.

Take a look at the released Season 5 SDCC promo here.

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Welcome to 2018, XS

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Once, I wanted to be a writer…

I bet most people had that phase when they were little and wanting to have all kinds of jobs when they grow up. My twin sister wanted to be a farmer, a teacher,  an acrobat, and so many other careers.

For me, though, I think I only considered three jobs as a little kid: a novelist, a research scientist, then finally, a neurosurgeon.

I’ve since been reconsidering my goal to be a neurosurgeon after starting college, but I’ll save that for another post. Instead, as an exercise of self-reflection, I want to use this post to reflect on what pushed me to pursue those different dreams as a child.

Some people still think that writing long stories is a novel idea.

It’s clear I wanted to be a novelist because I loved reading novels. I don’t remember the very first novel I read, but the first classic novel I read was¬†Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

But reading novels doesn’t easily translate to writing novels. After all, inputting ideas is easier than outputting them. Not that I never had ideas of my own, but motivating myself to develop a story through long writing sessions for several months has been difficult. (Turns out, I have a real problem motivating myself for any long haul because of my depression, but that’s a different story.)

What fascinates me most about novels, and other fictional media are characters, their psychology, the impact of their pasts, the influence of the setting, etc. I hope I’ve been able to redirect this passion and learn more about others around me.

Maybe I’ll write novels as a pastime (I cannot write short stories because my imagination for my stories is too big), but for now, it won’t be my major job.

Top¬†researchers are expected to perform, so they’re often under the microscope.

Specifically, I was into researching human anatomy and physiology. I find skeletons fascinating and blood doesn’t disturb me, but a small book I read in 7th grade solidified my interest in science. I read about Phineas Gage and how he survived a metal rod going through his skull, and ever since I’ve been intrigued by the mysteries of the nervous system.

I don’t know how I decided research wasn’t my calling, because I quickly moved to the next thing…

In medical school, he worried about passing as a surgeon, but he made the cut.

Also during 7th grade, I was part of a science competition club, and one of the activities led me to study muscular dystrophy. Learning about the poor prognosis for certain types of muscular dystrophy motivated me to help patients with such disorders. I had recently experienced my mother’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment (she survived, and has been cancer free for over ten years), so I guess there was some of that motivating me as well.

Ever since I’ve been working to become a doctor, possibly neurosurgery to combine my passion for neuroscience and medicine, though I’ve since become open to other specialties. I’m about to start applying for a committee letter, and I’m still trying to figure out what has motivated me to stick with premed for the last three years despite the obstacles…

Going Victorian

I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free; and laughing at injuries, not maddening under them! РCatherine Linton, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

So, this semester, I decided to take an English Victorian Novel class. The course is an intensive writing course but that didn’t faze me.

My 8-year-old-self called them “big books” or “chapter books”, and the first classical “big book” I read was¬†Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I’ve reread it a couple times since then, and the book was my first introduction to Victorian novels.

I guess taking this class is an attempt to return to my childhood and rediscover why I love stories in the first place, and what that passion means for me as an adult. I remember I first wanted to be a fiction writer. I’ve since moved on to a pre-med track in college, but it’s nice to satiate my humanities side once in a while, too.

Re-booting my blog

I remember trying to write a diary/journal every day. Long story short, I can’t stay committed to writing down something every day without fail. Maybe I’m being too perfectionistic about it…since technically there’s no reason to write it every day as long as it was done often.

I sorta feel the same way about blogs. My previous blog was devoted to a topic that easily lost steam for me since I can’t stay passionate about anything for too long without finding another interest. Then there was this other urge to write college-level essays for each post, which isn’t sustainable for a college student with actual essays to write.

So, now I’m rebooting this blog to be a chill place for thoughts. Not that I’m not going to research before stating an opinion or read over my posts to avoid posting something embarrassing, but blogging is supposed to be chillaxing, not stressful. So, no more essays, just random thoughts from now on.

Hopefully, my thoughts will be worth your while.