In a sea of superhero shows, Legends of Tomorrow usually flies under the radar. Yet, it is one of the best TV series out there. Here are 6 reasons why you should start watching it.
Want to know why you should be watching Legends of Tomorrow? Here’s why:
Rather than focusing on one superhero like its fellow CW shows, Legends of Tomorrow has an ensemble cast made of secondary superheroes and villains that already appeared in Arrow or The Flash. Together, they have been recruited to track and fix anomalies in the timeline. The Legends have to jump in to save the day by defeating villains that are trying to change history or the future. The episodes follow the “case of the week” formula, with new costumes and new time anomalies, and the team always ends up messing things up and having to fix their mistakes. Unlike most time-travel shows or movies, Legends of Tomorrow quickly decides to cut itself from the time-travel rules it didn’t follow anyways and focus on the fun aspects that the genre can bring.
It Gets Better with Time
You know how the first season of a show is usually the best? Well, not with Legends of Tomorrow. Season 1 is actually the worst season of the show. The writers tried the serious route in terms of scenario and tone, and missed the mark completely. The season suffers from an overload of characters (nine main cast members) that don’t get enough time in 16 episodes to be fully fleshed out. The result is a long and uneven season that struggles to find its place in the Arrowverse. In season 2, the showrunners took the show apart and rebuilt it piece by piece (cast, dialogue, characterization, humor…). In my opinion, the show really picks up in season 3, when the writers let go of any creative barriers they had and let their creative juices flow. They had much better understanding of their characters, where they wanted to go with the show, and its tone. They started taking risks, embracing the weird, and becoming as over the top as possible, and it paid off.
The cast includes familiar faces from the Arrowverse, such as Caity Lotz (Sara Lance/White Canary), Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom), Wentworth Miller (Leonard Snart/Captain Cold), Victor Garber (Martin Stein/Firestorm), Matt Ryan (John Constantine)… Moreover, with Legends of Tomorrow taking part of the annual crossovers (most of the time), you will get to see the big names of the DCTV superheroes.
As mentioned above, one aspects that made Legends of Tomorrow into this great series (after season 1) is how they handle their large cast, especially considering that the roster of characters is always changing from one season to the next. The show constantly has various actors and characters coming and going. The new characters are written in a way that makes blending with the rest of the already established cast members seamless. Some actors even end up playing different characters once their original storyline ends.
Since season 2 and up to season 5 (season 6 will air later in 2021), the show has mastered blending the genres and has some of the craziest storylines you can think of (superheroes, puppet show, Downtown Abbey and Star Trek parodies, horror films, Jane Austen in Bollywood, giant stuffed plushy saving the world…). It shouldn’t work, yet it does. Legends of Tomorrow is a joyful ride where every episode transports you to a new universe. The show keeps upping the stakes each season. In season 4, magic was added to the game, and aliens are landing on Earth in season 6!
The show is very meta: one episode sees the Legends wearing the costumes of the Flash, Supergirl, and Arrow; Prison Break references said by Wentworth Miller or Dominic Purcell were plenty; they also regularly half-break the fourth wall to mention their participation to the annual crossovers.
Quote from the Episode: Legends of To-Meow-Meow
Nate: Gideon, any messages while we were gone?
Gideon: You missed calls from Barry Allen, Oliver Queen and Kara Zor-El.
Ray: Sounds like the annual crossover.
Nate: Ugh. Yeah, that’s gonna be a hard pass.
It’s a Show with a Lot of Heart
While the show can be silly at times, it respects all its characters and the audience can really see how each Legend evolves through the season. The show is character driven and takes the time to develop relationships and dynamics between characters. While there is obviously some romance, there is a big emphasis on friendships – one of my favorite being Nate and Ray, who prove that men can be in touch with their feelings without any toxic masculinity in the way.
Each episode has its own character moments, and they never feel forced. More serious narratives are interwoven with the lighter storylines, never dragging the show into that manpain territory that Arrow or The Flash know so well.
Representation & Diversity
In its later seasons, the show has become very diverse and representative. In my opinion, they address issues like racism or religious discrimination in a more integrated way than many other shows. It somehow does not feel as tokenist as the other Arrowverse shows. There is LGTBQ rep on screen and off screen, interesting and complex women of color (Olivia Swann and Lisseth Chavez have been added as cast regulars for season 6), and religions are respected and discussed (Zari and Behrad are practicing Muslims). During a recent online panel, Tala Ashe (Zari) discussed the impact that her role had on her and her fans:
“I never saw myself represented on any television, until I was an actor myself and encountering the reasons why, or the limitations that existed in the media. When the closest thing you can identify with is Aladdin, that’s a problem. I’ve heard from so many young women reaching out to me saying, ‘Thank you for representing a Muslim-American character or Middle Eastern character, one that isn’t a terrorist,’ because five, ten years ago, that’s all we were seeing.”
Legends of Tomorrow proves that diversity a strength. The show is successful because of everything that these unique characters bring to it.
In our current world where joy is sometimes hard to find, Legends of Tomorrow is a breath of fresh air. Go watch it!
The show is currently available on Netflix in the USA or on Blu-Ray.
Froggy holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing and Management from Dauphine University in Paris. She currently resides in North Haollywood aka Vancouver, Canada where she works as a Project Manager. In addition to covering conventions across North America for The Geekiary, she is a sports photographer for Our Game Magazine.
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