The CW's fall schedule: A snap judgment
Tech-bro superheroes. Deadly viruses. A woman singing about a giant pretzel. Judging by the trailers that feature these strange subjects, the CW just revealed a pretty strong lineup of new shows. And because we’re never, ever wrong when we judge entire series’ prospects based solely on their trailers, we’ll defend that statement below, in mini reviews that dissect the shows we may or may not be binging this fall.
DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
If you’re a casual fan of the CW’s Arrow and Flash… wait, who am I kidding? No one is just a casual fan of Arrow or The Flash. You either read those words and think, “What now?” or you’re already squealing and clicking over to the Oliver/Felicity Fanfiction Archive.
Your level of devotion should determine how you feel about the CW’s Arrow/Flash spin-off, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The story follows time-traveler Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) who brings together a team of heroes and villains to protect the planet from evil time bandit Vandal Savage. Arrow fans will be happy to see Sara Lance, formerly known as Black Canary, resurrected from the dead as White Canary—and the other newbies are intriguing, including Hawkgirl (“a girl with wings and a past lives complex”) a pair of criminals named Captain Cold & Heatwave, which sounds like the name of a New Wave band, and the Atom, who looks like some Silicon Valley bro in a tech-genius suit he can’t control. The music is soaring, the geek jokes aren’t bad (“I’m from East London… oh, and the future”), and the production level looks like a million bucks. If Rip Hunter can see the future, he’s probably reading Legends fan fiction right now.
This looks like a very adult show for a channel that’s generally aimed at younger audiences. Created by Julie Pec (Vampire Diaries, The Originals) and based on the Belgian series Cordon, Containment follows a fatal epidemic that spreads across Atlanta, dividing families and friends as the government quarantines the afflicted parties.
The very of-the-moment images of street protests and cops using physical force against helpless individuals are a little chilling, and there’s so much potential for smart political allegory here. But the fact that the trailer looks like a mix between Contagion and World War Z begs the question: What is this virus, anyway? Please don’t let it have anything to do with zombies. There are already enough of those down South.
Put “crazy” in the title of a show about any woman, and you’re already asking for trouble. But I’ll give this musical comedy from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) a pass, because the trailer made me laugh, mostly thanks to a highly expressive performance from breakout star Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken). Well, that, and the giant pretzel.
Bloom plays Rebecca, an ambitious New Yorker who decides to leave her partnership at a well-respected law firm and move to West Covina, California, where her ex-boyfriend just happens to live. (Okay, it’s not really a coincidence.) Musicals have a terrible track record on television—but this one might work, since the format perfectly captures Rebecca’s whimsical, wackadoo optimism. The scene where a West Covina local tries to convince her that the ex still loves her is a cringingly spot-on depiction of what happens when you refuse to accept that he’s just not that into you. It’s good for the future of CW comedies, and bad for all the crazy ladies who will watch and become convinced that their exes still love them.