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

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

Agents of SHIELD & Agent Carter (ABC): I’ve gone ahead and lumped these two together, since there’s an argument to be made that they’re just two parts of the same show — one dealing with the current exploits of SHIELD and the other dealing with its roots. As a Marvel Comics fan from way back, and a big fan of their successful movie lineup starting with Iron Man back in 2008 (where this incarnation of SHIELD was, sort of, first introduced), these are probably my favorite comics-inspired shows right now. Since I’m also a James Bond fan from way back, I appreciate the fusion of spy and superhero genres that these shows bring to the table. Oh, and I did I also mention I’m a Joss Whedon fan from way back? So yeah, there’s a whole light-yet-heavy tonal thing that he brings to Agents, usually accomplished through clever bantering, which pushes it over the edge for me. And that’s carried over to Agent Carter as well. Now if only Marvel would put more shows on prime time TV …

Supergirl (CBS): Knock knock, DC calling again (and not even for the last time). This is the first of the DC characters in recent years that aren’t on the CW. As such, it can’t rely (yet) on crossovers and references to other shows. But the production company is the same, and presumably there will be a crossover with The Flash soon, so I guess they do exist in the same universe. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed this show more than I thought I would. Based on the comics, I’m hardly a big Superman fan (although I did like Smallville), and even less a Supergirl fan, but Greg Berlanti seems to have struck the right tone with this one. Melissa Benoist is eminently likable, whether she’s being geeky and awkward as Kara or strong and kick-ass as Supergirl. This is definitely a fun show that feels like a comic book come to life.

The Blacklist (NBC): Like Castle, this is another one that technically doesn’t belong on this website. Although with some of the scientifically far-fetched plot lines, there’s a stronger case to be made for this one than for that one. At times, this show reminds me of Alias (another spy show that wandered into sci-fi territory) and Silence of the Lambs, with a touch of X-Files and Alias. I sometimes wonder what the conversation would be like if Liz Keen, Sydney Bristow, Clarice Starling, Dana Scully, and Olivia Dunham all sat around a table drinking wine and swapping stories about the strange men who came into their lives and forced them (the women) to tap into strength and power they didn’t know they had in the process of dealing with their (the men’s) baggage. It’s become something of a trope, and I’m not quite sure if these female characters are ultimately empowered or not. I think so … but not being a woman, I wouldn’t presume to say.

The Flash (CW): And last but not least (and only last because I decided to alphabetize “The”), there’s yet another superhero show. Honestly, it’s been an embarrassment of riches for superhero shows this year. Supergirl on Mondays, Flash and SHIELD On Tuesdays, Arrow on Wednesdays, and Legends on Thursdays. Anyway, so most of what I have to say about this show I’ve already said about those shows. It has the fun tone of Supergirl with the larger universe of Arrow and Legends. Plus this season, it introduced Earth-2 (alternate universes are another favorite of mine), and last season it introduced … wait for it … time travel! Sometimes, it feels like these TV writers have just tapped directly into my brain. Seriously, though, as a kid in the 70s & 80s, the best I could hope for was Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk or a goofy Spider-Man whose webs looked like heavy fishing nets. And don’t get me started on what they did to poor Captain America. So when I sat and watched the Flash fight an actual scary looking King Shark a few weeks ago, I almost broke down and cried. More cool stuff like that please!

And that’s my wrap-up. So yeah … lots of superhero stuff. And I have watched those two Marvel shows on Netflix as well. But that’s a post for another time. For what it’s worth, I’d be happy to watch more non-superhero science fiction than you see on this list, but there’s not much of it out there these days for some reason. But I’m always open to it. I hear rumors of a new Star Trek show on the horizon …