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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I've been catching up on various DC and Marvel shows recently. I've been watching THE FLASH, SUPERGIRL, JESSICA JONES, DAREDEVIL, etc.

Now, I'm going to paint with a broad brush now so - PLEASE - don't pull me up on exceptions to the rule. What I am about to post, well I am not saying it applies to every DC or Marvel show.

I have found DC shows to be more fantastical than Marvel. I have found them to be lighter. I have found them easier to binge-watch. I watched ten episodes of THE FLASH yesterday, but I can't get through more than 2 episodes of JESSICA JONES at a time. There definitely seems to be something light-hearted about the DC TV Universe.

I found the comics to be the same decades ago. Maybe the fictional cities helped. Maybe the larger-than-life names helped (far more likely to know a real life person with the name Peter Parker than Clark Kent. Are there any Clark Kents in the US phonebook?). Everything seemed so fantastical.

The easy way to put it is that, super powers and costumes aside, it felt like the Marvel stories could have taken place outside my window whilst the DC stories were too fantastical. Many factors probably led to that perception. Peter Parker's personal life gave the stories much verisimilitude. We've all been to a place akin to the Coffee Bean Bar. We've all know a grump like Jonah Jameson. We've all had frail aunts. So that added to the verisimilitude; DC, meanwhile, didn't really seem to explore the civilian identities in detail. I just remember Clark or Bruce hanging around waiting for the next disaster. That may have changed in recent years (I'm sure both companies focus on civilians).

But I digress. Back to the TV exploits: there's no denying the DC TV Universe is dark (some THE FLASH episodes have been very dark), but the supporting casts, and the general atmosphere, feels light in many ways. There's something light about Central City in that show. 

Let me put it to you this way: if I could live in a fictional TV universe for 6 months, and had to choose between DC and Marvel, despite the dangers in both, I'd rather hang out with Barry Allen in Central City, or Supergirl, than hang out with Jessica Jones or be near the SHIELD agents. 

Again, I've painted with a broad brush. I know there will be exceptions. I am sure there is a light-hearted Marvel series. I am sure there are really dark DC episodes. But generally speaking, I am finding the DC TV Universe more palatable, fun and light-hearted than the Marvel TV Universe. To get through a season of SUPERGIRL in 3 days means it must be appealing in some ways for me.

Any thoughts?


Edited by Robbie Parry on 01 July 2018 at 12:05pm
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I went to high school with a Clark Kent and a James Bond.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I dislike the lighting used for the DC shows in general. It's kind of this soft, brownish hue that smacks of network TV (at the risk of sounding condescending toward network TV). I prefer the way the Marvel Netflix shows are shot, which I find more filmic. It's difficult to put a finger on what exactly the difference is. Perhaps shot with a slightly colder colour palette and with higher contrast. 

Agents of Shield actually has some amazingly blocked sequences, some that are worthy of a feature film, but I find the general aesthetic once again to somehow be very 'TV', for want of a better term.

I was amazed that the Inhumans pilot went into IMAX cinemas, because that also had a very generic TV look, somehow fuzzy despite being HD.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 01 July 2018 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

In a nutshell,i like the DC shows, they`re fun.The
Marvel Netflix shows i like too, but they suffer from
slow pacing.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 1:54am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think the quality of the Marvel shows is higher, while, yes, the DC shows can be more fun.  I find that I WATCH the Marvel shows, but I can do my email and Facebook, etc. while the DC shows are on.

It's sort of the opposite of the movies: the Marvel cinematic universe is more fun, while the DC movies are darker.  That's not a comment on the quality: the Christopher Nolan DARK KNIGHT movies were dark AND good, while MAN OF STEEL and most of the rest of their connected movie universe have been dark and not so good.  (WONDER WOMAN and the Harley Quinn scenes of SUICIDE SQUAD were enjoyable exceptions.)  Meanwhile, the Marvel movies are all lighter (mixed with strong serious scenes too) and more entertaining, though the quality ranges from 4-star (WINTER SOLDIER, IRON MAN, and more) to 2-star (THOR: THE DARK WORLD and maybe a couple of others I'll avoid mentioning).


Edited by Eric Jansen on 02 July 2018 at 1:57am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 4:49am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 Peter Martin wrote:
I dislike the lighting used for the DC shows in general. It's kind of this soft, brownish hue that smacks of network TV (at the risk of sounding condescending toward network TV). I prefer the way the Marvel Netflix shows are shot, which I find more filmic. It's difficult to put a finger on what exactly the difference is. Perhaps shot with a slightly colder colour palette and with higher contrast.

Yes, there's definitely a difference, which may well add to the perceptions I mentioned in my initial post.

 Bill Collins wrote:
n a nutshell,i like the DC shows, they`re fun.The Marvel Netflix shows i like too, but they suffer from slow pacing.

Two episodes of DAREDEVIL or JESSICA JONES - and I call it a night; but I have now managed to complete THE FLASH in three days. I could not wait for subsequent episodes.

 Eric Jansen wrote:
It's sort of the opposite of the movies: the Marvel cinematic universe is more fun, while the DC movies are darker.

I'd definitely agree with that. 

I watched SUPERGIRL in less than a week, too. I'm not saying either approach is preferable, just that it's different. But I would definitely hang out in Central City with Flash or have a beer with Hank Henshaw. I don't know if I'd want to live in the MCU.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 4:52am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

P.S. I find it less repetitive and more credible that a particle accelerator accident created many metahumans than SMALLVILLE's approach to having meteor rocks lying around and turning everyone angst-ridden and powerful. 
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 6:46am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I also agree about the tones switching between the TV and Cinematic "universes" (Marvel supposedly shares theirs, but you'd be hard pressed to actually see signs of that - the invasion in AVENGERS is just referred to as "The Incident".).

On that note, I've really gotten tired of the derisive nods to the Marvel Cinematic heroes on the TV shows. "The Green Guy", "The Flag Man", etc. They have actual super-hero names, and they should not be too embarrassed to use them. There was a passing Captain America reference in an episode of Luke Cage, but that was it. I wonder if they will refer to the end of INFINITY WAR in any way.

It would be great to slip in a quick Iron Man or Spider-Man cameo at some point, since they can be shown in full costume without having to pay Robert Downey Jr or Thomas Holland $$$$ for it.


Edited by Vinny Valenti on 02 July 2018 at 6:47am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 7:49am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Thinking about Vinny's comments, I'd like to explore something. I think it's a good idea for DC TV and DC movies to remain separate entities. 

Sure, there's a part of me that wonders about Henry Cavill's Superman showing up in ARROW or THE FLASH? But I think it is better that they are two separate entities. If anything, in theory, they can learn from each other's mistakes.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 02 July 2018 at 11:44pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

DC does  better tv shows, Marvel better movies. AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only Marvel show I ever watched with any regularity, and I've only seen a handful of episodes since season 3.

DC's movies are far too dark and I don't care for some of their costume designs. The movie Flash costume is downright horrid.




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John Popa
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 9:25am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I watch Supergirl and Flash, although neither regularly. I miss a few, then catch up. I think they're both pretty fun, Supergirl moreso than Flash, although I'm a bigger Flash fan in general.

The Marvel Netflix stuff is too much of a dirge for me. I like heavy, serious super hero stories but they just wear me out. Too many episodes, too little range of emotions. It's all just earnest and angry and tedious, at least to me.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

John, I hear ya. Wears me out, too. An entire season of one of the MCU TV shows in a weekend? No way!

Incidentally, there is one drawback to the "cross-pollination" in the DC shows. I bought first seasons of ARROW, SUPERGIRL, and THE FLASH. Watched ARROW and SUPERGIRL. Now watching THE FLASH. But a spoiler for one of ARROW's later seasons was dropped in an episode of THE FLASH. A major spoiler!

That's the way the cookie crumbles, I know. But it's frustrating. Maybe I could see if there's a "viewing order" listed via Google so as to avoid spoilers again. I don't really know what dates these shows started (I prefer DVDs/Blu-rays to TV airings). But I learnt that the first season of THE FLASH aired in 2014, around the time that ARROW's third season was airing (I think). I guess unless I find a "viewing order" to follow, other spoilers will follow.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 8:45pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Marvel has too many shows, AND spreads them around too much. I'll never see RUNAWAYS, because I don't get Hulu, and I dropped CLOAK AND DAGGER after the first three or four episodes.


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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

With 1,000 cable channels (and streamers), I wonder if one day we will see purely Marvel and DC channels.  (The CW is close, with two DC shows on almost every night.)  Marvel could do it right now if they upped production (and also showed the movies, animation, and old shows like INCREDIBLE HULK).  Marvel IS too spread out, and DC needs to figure out a way to get their big guns on TV and have ONE continuity between all its various productions.
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Ray Brady
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Posted: 04 July 2018 at 7:04pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I've had a completely different reaction than most folks here. I've tried to watch Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, and in each case I was bored silly, and couldn't make it past more than three episodes.

On the other hand, I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two seasons of Daredevil as well as Jessica Jones, a character I had never encountered in comic form. I haven't gotten around to Luke Cage, Iron First or the Defenders yet, but my track record to date solidly favors the Marvel shows.

The only current DC show I've found compelling is Gotham, and that's almost entirely due to the performances of the villains.
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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 6:11am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Robbie, in Wikipedia you can find the air date of each episode of each of the shows, which is very helpful to synchronise them. Specially when there is a crossover.

I couldn't compare DC or Marvel TV shows as for  which ones are better, because they are so different.
At first I thought that Marvel Netflix shows (Agents of SHIELD is something else) were darker, while DC CW shows where lighter. But I do not think that is exactly the difference. I mean, Arrow has a quite dark tone; nothing to do with Legends of Tomorrow, that is virtually a comedy.
I think the difference is that the Marvel Netflix series are more realistic, more graphic (the violence and bloodshed scenes are way too graphic to my taste) and more "decompressed". The characters are more rounded, their reactions are more realistic, the consequences of everything that happens feel more like the real world. 
DC shows are more fantastic, more comic-booky in my view. The exception is Black Lightning, which is somewhere in the middle of both definitions.

As for which is better, I really love both approaches, as long as the episodes are good. The first season of Flash or the second season of Arrow, for instance, are among the best superhero shows I've ever seen, but their last seasons are much weaker. Marvel shows have been a little more regular in quality, in my opinion.


Edited by Sergio Saavedra on 08 July 2018 at 6:13am
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 17 post reply


While my son loves the Marvel movies, he also very much enjoys a lot of the DC shows that are available on Netflix.  He's only 8, so he's not allowed to watch the Marvel shows, since they are so much more adult in tone and content.  And for me, I find the Marvel series torture to sit through... I've found almost nothing enjoyable about them.

So for this household, the vote goes to:  DC!



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 18 post reply


(Sergio, I think you mean IMDb!  *cough cough!*)

:)



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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 08 July 2018 at 11:23am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Of course, Shaun. Who edited my post otherwise? ;-)
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 09 July 2018 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I've binge-watched both JESSICA JONES seasons and the first season of LUKE CAGE (gonna do the same with the second season sooner or later). IRON FIST aside, the Netflix Marvel series are just better written than their DC counterparts on the CW. And it's not because you can get more "adult" on Netflix than on the CW. It's because all the DC shows, including THE FLASH, are just plain badly written and often flat-out screw up the characters. Grant Gustin isn't playing any Barry Allen that I recognize.

(Irony: I just watched JUSTICE LEAGUE on HBO. Bad movie. But the guy who was playing the Flash, even though he looks nothing like Barry and his costume is a mess, had a personality much closer to the Barry Allen of the comics than Gustin's character.) 
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