Tag Archives: Television
It was recently announced that there’s going to be a pilot for a Green Arrow live-action TV series. In all likelihood, it’ll probably end up like that much maligned Wonder Woman pilot – relegated to the bootleg stalls of comic conventions. But why?
Superhero comics would seem to be just about the perfect source material for TV shows. They’re already serialized and they all end on a cliff hanger. There’s a built-in audience, and a whole bunch of marketing tie-ins. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some very successful examples – three immediately spring to mind the Adam West Batman, the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman, and Smallville. But the first two were unabashedly campy and probably would not fly on network TV today. I haven’t seen much Smallville, but I know they steered away from the tried and true parts of the comic book continuity for years and years. And, when superheroes did start showing up on the show they’re costumes were pretty ridiculous.
Also, there were many many years between these successes. Batman ended in 1969 and Wonder Woman started in 1975. Smallville started in 2001, almost thirty years later. (I can’t think of any other successful live action superhero shows, but if you can let me know.) There have been other attempts, but none that I would call a success.
Green Hornet – 1 season, 26 episodes. The Flash – 1 season, 22 episodes. Birds of Prey – 1 season, 14 episodes. Justice League – 1 pilot.
Ok, so I thought of a couple more successes. The Incredible Hulk and Lois and Clark. So, that puts us at about one success a decade. I mean, considering the source material, it shouldn’t be this hard. Allow me to present some easy, totally, like, nothing-but-net ideas.
Batman, but in a smallville-ish way. Have a young (early twenties) Bruce Wayne learning to be Batman in Gotham. Very Batman: Year One. Not too many supervillains, at least not at first. Concentrate on drug dealers, and gangsters. The supporting cast could be Alfred, Lieutenant Jim Gordon, and D.A. Harvey Dent. Follow in the realistic style of the Christopher Nolan movies, and your set! I would watch that every week! I mean, A-Plots would be Batman kicking ass, and the B-Plots could be Bruce navigating the Wayne corporation.
Punisher. I really don’t think I even need to say more. Again, it would be kind of gritty, but have more War Journal style narration. Again, more gangsters than supervillains, but I think it would be cool. Every episode, he should get his ass kicked and then come back and win in the last ten minutes. I’m cheating a little with this one since Marvel actually is producing a Punisher TV series. I just hope they have learned their lesson from the three Punisher movies.
Finally, how about something a little lighter. Captain Marvel (although, I guess they’d have to call it Shazam or something ‘cause of the copyright issues.) A little boy turns into a Superman-eque superhero, but retains his boyish mind and personality. It would be like Super Big! He also has a fantastic assortment of bizarre supervillains – like a super intelligent caterpillar and a weird bald doctor
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think those are some pretty solid ideas for TV shows. And, I don’t think they’d be too expensive or difficult to make either. (Okay, maybe Captain Marvel could be a little expensive but I think it would be worth it.) What do you think? Do I have something here?
Graham Becksted’s a future TV executive so you should be nice to him. He is the author of Graham’s Grumbles the second blog by that name that is listed in Google results when you search for Graham’s Grumbles. If you would like to be his 51st follower (thank you, bots), he can be followed on Twitter @GrahamBecksted.