There’s been no shortage of superhero TV shows hitting the air in the last few years – just as there’s no shortage of films of the genre either! I do think we’re close to saturation, as too many more shows of the same type will likely kill of this fad. But for now, there’s several of these shows that I’m thoroughly enjoying! These are my top five picks, in no particular order.
1. The Flash
This show seems to tick all the boxes somehow – it’s got the action, the drama, the emotion, but still with sprinkles of romance and humour, which I particularly enjoy. It’s certainly not as dark as the show it spun-off from, Arrow (see below), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s serious, heart-wrenching moments from time to time. The rotating cast of weekly villains, with one big one to ride out the season is a fairly standard superhero formula, but I like seeing the different meta-human powers on show, and the different strategies needed to defeat them, so not every fight sequence is the same. Another big plus is the supporting cast – while Barry Allen is the star, and one of the most likeable heroes out there, I also find that I really like every other character too, which is rare. Normally there’s at least one I don’t like, or who has a boring storyline, but everyone on this show is highly engaging!
I’m a sucker for all the Marvel films, which have yet to disappoint me yet, whereas the DC ones just haven’t been living up. That said, DC has been triumphant in the TV universe, so when Marvel attempted to break into that genre, there was a lot to live up to. Daredevil has been their biggest success yet in my opinion, opting for a Netflix series rather than a weekly broadcast. It’s dark and moody, more so than most of the films in the franchise, but Matt Murdock is such a compelling lead character. I sometimes got a bit mixed up with the plot, as stretching it over 13 episodes can get complicated, but it made sense in the end, and makes a nice change from the villain of the week format of most other shows. No spoilers though please, I’m only halfway through season 2!
This is the original show of this recent superhero trend, the one that has now launched a few spin-offs, and prompted Marvel to get in on the game. While it hit a bit of a lull – I think most of us got a bit tired during season 3? – it’s still one of the best shows out there. It’s got plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, and a cast of characters that balance each other out – if you don’t love Felicity’s sense of humour in amidst all those serious moments, then what is the point? It does get a little dark at times, and unlike The Flash, there’s a couple of characters I’m losing patience with. Overall though, I tend to be a loyalist with most shows I watch, and stick it out – fortunately season 4 has seen a return to form and I’m enjoying it again. And the fact that it’s stuck it out the longest thus far proves that it must be pretty good!
The newest show on my list, yet to complete it’s first season, so it’s still to prove it’s staying power. That said, it’s off to a good start. Yet another Berlanti show – the man who brought us Arrow and The Flash – so it had a promising start, but most importantly, this time we finally got a female hero! She had a fair bit to live up to, after the success of the other two shows, and she’s doing pretty damn well this far. There’s plenty of other strong female characters on the show too, with most of them outshining the boys much of the time. Seriously, who would you back in a fight, Alex and Cat or James and Winn? The other two shows have some pretty great girls too, but it’s so refreshing to see more than just one in any given show, for a change. Feminism aside, this show does all the same things right as the others – plenty of drama, strong action sequences, and lots of humour, romance. There’s also a lot of emotional moments for Kara, keeping her grounded and making her feel human, which is important for a character who is actually an alien!
5. Agent Carter
Speaking of kick-ass women, Peggy Carter is one of the best. Technically she’s not a superhero, but she exists in the Marvel universe, and kicks so much butt that she absolutely gets a place on my list! The shorter run of the show lends itself to one long storyline, and is well written so it’s easy enough to follow (see my Daredevil comments), but still keeps you on your toes. It’s refreshing to see something so human in this genre too, which can get overloaded with special effects and powers. Going up against threats that are human, superhuman or alien, with no actual powers of her own is incredible enough itself (the same is true of Arrow, but his capabilities are near-super at times). Doing this as a woman, in the 40s, working in a male-dominant workplace makes it even better. She’s smart, brave, strong, witty, and confident enough to hold her own against them all. While it’s unclear now if the show will get a third season or not, in my opinion, Peggy is one of the best heroes out there.
Do you watch any of these shows, or others of the genre? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!