What I’m Watching These Days (Part 2 of 3)

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Continuing my rundown of the TV shows I’m watching these days …

Doctor Who (BBC): Do I really need to explain this one? First of all: time travel. Secondly, either you’re somebody who likes Doctor Who or you’re not. I watched it sporadically on PBS as a kid (Tom Baker was my Doctor back then), but grew to love it with Russell Davies relaunch in 2005. Each new Doctor is my favorite one, and even when the companions are annoying, I still consider it to be some of the most intelligent and well-paced writing on television. I was glad when Stephen Moffat first came on board, but I’m glad now that he’s leaving. He’s a master of single episodes, but I don’t find his seasonal plot arcs to be as satisfying. So I’m curious to see what Chris Chibnall does with it. Also curious to see if Peter Capaldi will stick around — I’ve rather enjoyed his older, gruffer take on the Doctor, and think there are still more stories to tell with him.

Heroes Reborn (NBC): I haveĀ a long history with Heroes on this blog. I loved (and hated) the original show when it first came out. I guess I loved the idea of it. In 2006, we didn’t have all the great superhero TV show options we have now. So Heroes filled a niche. But by the end of the series’ run, I spent more time making fun of it and kvetching about what it did wrong than I did enjoying it. And while I did watch the final season, I didn’t bother blogging about it. Still, I was willing to give this new iteration of the show a chance. Maybe Tim Kring had learned some things since the first time around. Maybe the absence of Hayden Panettiere would somehow improve the quality. And having watched most of the 13-episode miniseries on-demand at this point, the verdict is … meh. Better in some ways, but just as weak in others. Despite the use of a comic sans font for the title cards, it still just doesn’t feel like a comic book. And I don’t care enough about the characters. And the Big Bad is boring and the threat to the world seems ridiculously far-fetched. From what I understand, there won’t be another season, so I guess I wasn’t the only underwhelmed.

Legends of Tomorrow (CW): Unlike Heroes, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow does feel like a comic book. And not only a comic book, but a cool crossover issue. With a ragtag bunch of misfit superheroes, some of whom aren’t even superheroes. Oh, and time travel. For those who haven’t watched it, these are all characters who were introduced on either Arrow or The Flash, and while they seemed like fifth wheels on those shows, this one is made entirely of fifth wheels, and that works somehow. In the same way that Guardians of the Galaxy worked. These are underdogs who are all more or less along for the ride, discovering their hero-ness one episode at a time. The “Legends” in the title is ironic, because they’re anything but … and yet could be. I didn’t actually expect to like this show, for the same reason I thought I wouldn’t like Arrow — because I’d never heard of half these characters before. But like that show, this one has quickly grown on me. Did I mention there’s time travel?

Coming up tomorrow: More superheroes (and maybe some time travel) …