DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has come a long way since it struggled through a taxing mythology and off-putting pacing in its shaky first season. Now, it’s the CW’s wackiest — and most wonderful — superhero series, at least according to EW staffers Chancellor Agard and Shirley Li, cohosts of Superhero Insider with Kyle Anderson on EW’s SiriusXM Channel 105 every Friday at 1 p.m. Here, they share their reasons why, ahead of the drama’s season 4 premiere.
CHANCELLOR: Legends of Tomorrow isn’t just my favorite superhero show; I believe it’s one of the most entertaining TV shows, full stop. Equally bonkers and brilliant, the fourth Arrowverse series follows a group of time travelers — featuring Arrow and The Flash standouts Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) — saving history, and it successfully jumps the shark on a weekly basis. (Last season ended with a battle between a gigantic Tickle Me Elmo-like toy and a dragon demon. What other show would dare do that?) I know I’m not alone in my affection for the show. Shirley, what do you think makes this series such a gem?
SHIRLEY: Where to begin? The pop-culture-referencing episode titles? The fan-servicing meta-humor? The fact that every cast member aims to chew as much scenery as possible? In season 1, the show was the awkward Arrowverse outlier trying too hard; now, by taking itself less seriously, it’s the lone series that makes ensemble superhero — not to mention time-travel — storytelling look easy. Take last season’s “Here I Go Again”: The episode’s built on elements that shouldn’t work, from centering on a new addition (Tala Ashe’s Zari) to using the trope of time loops as plot fuel. And yet, it delivers an entertaining hour that doubles as a deeper character study, simply because Legends knows how to have fun. That said, I worry the show could go too far with experimentation. Legends begs viewers to suspend their disbelief, but could it be in danger of turning into a collection of silly vignettes rather than substantial comic book arcs?
CHANCELLOR: Sometimes I feel guilty about focusing on the show’s wild antics — like the time they traveled to World War I and asked J.R.R. Tolkien to help them find Jesus’ blood — but then I remember that the crazy plots do have depth. After all, most of their fights are about their insecurities, about proving to themselves that they’re not total screw-ups. (Time-traveling heroes: They’re just like us!) Or look at how the writers managed to make us sympathize with season 3 villain Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough, who is having the time of his life in every scene) by focusing on his relationship with his demon-possessed daughter, Nora (Courtney Ford). Looking ahead, the upcoming season 4 premiere has a murderous unicorn terrorizing Woodstock — yes, you read that right — but balances that out with more human subplots about Sara’s romance with Time Bureau boss Ava (Jes Macallan) and Nathaniel’s (Nick Zano) relationship with his estranged father (Tom Wilson). I’ll admit it’s a lot to take in, so to wrap up, where should newcomers start if they want to watch?
SHIRLEY: The ninth and 10th hours of season 2 — during which the team must save the Star Wars franchise and stop the Legion of Doom — work well as a litmus test. Or try season 2, episode 14: In it, Victor Garber’s Dr. Martin Stein sings “The Banana Boat Song” inside NASA’s Mission Control center — and if that doesn’t convince you of Legends’ charm, I don’t know what will. But with that, I’m afraid we’re out of… time. (Sorry, had to.)
Still not convinced? EW also asked Legends’ breakout star/toy to weigh in. La-la-ladies and gentlemen, a chat with Beebo, the series’ resident fuzzy toy/Viking god/supersize savior, whose answers the series’ writers sw-sw-swear Beebo answered all by himself. Herself?
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Were you scared fighting a giant demon in the season 3 finale?
BEEBO: Demon scaaaary. But Beebo solves most problems with hugs!
Did you like having five Legends within you, controlling you like Voltron?
Beebo la-la-loves company!
Do you consider yourself a Legend now?
Beebo la-la-loves doing adventures!
How did it feel to be worshipped as a god (in “Beebo God of War”)?
Being a god can be lo-lo-lonely. Beebo just wants everyone to la-la-love each other!
If you could time-travel anywhere, when and where would you want to go to?
Beebo wants to ride a woolly mammoth!
Which Legend would you want to cuddle with the most?
Beebo la-la-loves all the Legends. Group cuddles are the best!
Which Legend secretly cuddles you the most? Is it Mick?
Mick lo-lo-loathes cuddles. [Shakes head] But Nathaniel, for suuuuuuure!
Anything else you want to make sure people know about you?
Beebo wants all boys and girls to believe and support survivors of sexual assault. Cuddles require consent!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on the CW.