According to Variety, the CW has ordered a pilot for something called The Graysons, a Smallville-esque drama which will trace the adolescence of Dick Grayson in the years before he becomes Robin, Batman’s partner-in-crimefighting. How Smallville-esque, you ask? Well, it’s being executive produced by the Smallville showrunners (along with McG) and, in case Clark Kent doesn’t last another season, The Graysons is being positioned as a potential pre-superheroic replacement.
Follow me after the jump for an explanation of why this is the Worst Idea Ever of the Week.
1) Dick Grayson’s origin story goes like this: He was a kid when his circus-acrobat parents died in an “accident” engineered by very bad men. He’s taken in by Bruce Wayne, who channels the kid’s fury into fighting crime, and gives him a girl’s/bird’s name to do it. Not a whole lot there to base a TV show around, unless you monkey with his origin to a point where it’s unrecognizable. Which is exactly what they’re doing. According to the Variety piece, The Graysons “will be set in modern times, young DJ will face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up.” Ecch.
2) They’re changing his name to D.J. Grayson. Look, I get that you don’t want your hero to be called “Dick” all the time. But what’s wrong with “Richard’? Every time I hear “D.J.” I think its going to be followed by “and the Bear.”
3) Of all the DC Comics properties to make a TV show out of, this is the wrong one to choose. Hell, even if you wanted to make a Batman-related show, to capitalize on The Dark Knight‘s success, there are far better choices. Here’s one, of the top of my very large head: Gotham Central, a police procedural that shows how the cops deal with all the stuff Batman doesn’t have time for. You never once have to show Batman, it’s not his show. So, no tights. But you still have access to the entire Batman rogues gallery. You do that one right, it’s like Law and Order…but 23 percent more awesome.
4) See No. 2. Blurg.