LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (SEASONS 4-5)

CW

Season Air Date:

  • Season 4: October 22nd 2018 – May 20th 2019
  • Season 5: January 14th 2020 – June 2nd 2020

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Legends Of Tomorrow (Season 4-5)

Starring: Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Amy Pemberton, Matt Ryan, Jes Macallan, Courtney Ford, Ramona Young, Adam Tsekhman, Thomas F. Wilson, Jane Carr, Christian Keyes, Sisa Grey, Olivia Swann, Shayan Sobhian, Sarah Strange, Joanna Vanderham, Mina Sundwall

Let me ask you a question for a moment, a question that’s seemingly innocent yet holds more weight than you probably will realise. And that question is this. What was your favourite TV show growing up? Was it the classics of the 70’s and 80’s, like MASH, Fawlty Towers, Dallas, Bewitched, Colombo, Miami Vice, Full House and Quantam Leap? Perhaps you love sci-fi and genre shows, like LOST, Fringe, Once Upon A Time, V, Wynonna Earp, Humans, The Orville, Black Mirror, Roswell, Roswell: New Mexico, Timeless, Manifest or Killjoys? Or maybe you love the comedies… Frasier, Spin City, Samantha Who?, Two And A Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls, The Good Place, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, New Girl, Brooklyn 99, Modern Family, Superstore or The Goldbergs? Or do you love superhero shows, like the Arrowverse? Whatever you prefer in terms of TV show genre, maybe there’s a show that you place above all others, one that you’d instantly watch, no matter what is going in in your life. Even if you are enduring trials and tribulations beyond what you could ever imagine, is there a TV show in your life that you’d always make time for, rain or hail or sunshine?

Because of COVID-19 this year, the 5 broadcast networks of CW, ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS announced ‘floating’ or tentative fall TV Schedules, for old and new shows. Some TV networks are premiering shows in ‘fall’ as in anytime between October and December, with cast members of shows quarantining in the city that they’re filming in, so that they can film with social distancing, to create the best possible TV show for us all to watch and experience. What used to be one of my own favourite times of the year (aside from Christmas, Easter, birthdays, spending time with family etc!), because it was when I know which of my favourite series or most anticipated new series are ‘pitted against each other’ for healthy competition so to speak; wasn’t that exciting this year. But that’s just the way it is at the moment. Generally speaking though, aside from this year which is unprecedented; it’s a time when I can see which TV shows I will watch live and which I will save until a later date. There’s around 20 odd shows per channel, and 5 channels (CW, FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS) so that’s almost 100 shows! That’s a lot of shows. Which got me thinking. What do you think is the most watched TV genre of all? Do you think it’s police procedurals (like Monk, Psych, Castle, The Mentalist), or medical dramas (Greys Anatomy, The Night Shift, Royal Pains) or lawyer shows (Bull, Franklin and Bash, The Good Wife, Suits, The Grinder) or even family dramas or soaps (Parenthood, Packed To The Rafters, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210, Dynasty)?

Well I’m no expert, and I don’t have the stats with me at the moment (nor any moment for that matter!) but I reckon the most watched or talked about TV show genre right now is… wait for it… yep, the superhero genre. The comic book genre. The genre where we as people look to other people, human or otherwise, to save us from adversity, destruction, and ourselves. Think about it as I list the countless TV superhero shows (current and ended/cancelled) and then you can see whether I’m right or not in my line of thinking that superhero/comic book shows are the ‘in’ thing right now. Arrow, The Flash, Agents Of Shield, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Stargirl, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Titans, The Umbrella Academy, Gotham, iZombie, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, Cloak And Dagger, The Tomorrow People, Inhumans, The Gifted, Smallville, Legion, No Ordinary Family, Raising Dion, Krypton, The Cape, Heroes…you get the picture, right? Tons and tons of shows where the everyday folk look up to others with superhuman abilities, to save them from a host of baddies!

So why is it that these shows are the ‘in craze’ right now? What makes the aforementioned TV shows, and maybe more that I have forgotten about, more relevant or more special in the lives of all of us right now, as opposed to the run of the mill ‘good guy catches bad guy and throws them in jail’? Maybe, just maybe, we are all still searching. For purpose and meaning in this life. For an inkling of what life on Earth means, so that our lives can feel like they matter. Without a higher purpose or someone to look up to, don’t you think life would be boring and just be monotonous? Let’s dwell on that for a bit. Take the premise of any superhero show, and let’s examine. Titular or main character is just an average Joe or Jane, or less than average, then an accident makes them into something more powerful, they use their powers for good to help the city and the greater good of the world. Throw in a season long or series long nemesis that said superhero needs to fight in order to gain closure to ___ killing their parents/loved one/sibling and that’s probably the outline of any superhero show when it all boils down to it.

Superheroes, while they are flawed, appear, at least on TV shows, to be perfect, and a perfect person is who we crave to be like. How many times do we see little kids at shopping centres ask their parent for a fruit drink because ‘I want the Iron Man flavour’ or ‘I want the Batman flavour’? As a café worker, I reckon it’s too many times, but that’s for another post. How many times have we struck up an engaging and maybe intense conversation with a stranger on the basis of having a certain superhero TV show in common? People emulate and long to be like who they see on TV and who they see their parents modelling. If superheroes are who we all look up to now (and why wouldn’t we- it’s someone who fights for us, and takes our burdens and troubles upon themselves in order to give us freedom even if we don’t deserve it!), then perhaps the greatest superhero of all that we should look up to, isn’t as far as we think. The Flash, the Green Arrow, Batman, Superman, Supergirl, Iron Man, Spiderman, The Hulk, Daredevil, they’re all great and all, but they’re fictional. They’re not going to save you from a failing exam grade, a daunting group interview, or a heartbreaking break-up with your boy/girlfriend. Let’s face it, while these shows are fun to watch for escapism and hoping for a better tomorrow and a better world where heroes stand up and fight for the little people, don’t you reckon it’s time that we look toward the everyday heroes of our lives? The ones without superpowers. Like our family or friends who give us unconditional love and support no matter what.

And this brings me to the question I posed above. What is your favourite TV show growing up, or even now? It may be in the superhero genre, which if it is, then cool. But during COVID-19, as we look up to our everyday heroes of nurses, essential workers, teachers, and those who are right now keeping the economy going while the rest of us work from home, and as we are waiting on whatever is our favourite TV show to return… let me briefly speak about one favourite show of mine which I never failed to catch up with, no matter what was going on in my life. It was a show that promoted comradery, that promoted individuality, that promoted love and family and quirkiness and never-say-die friendship. This show that I’m talking about is Legends Of Tomorrow. Yep, the very same DC show that sometimes takes itself not that seriously enough, that most of the time makes fun of itself, and the show that on the surface looks like the most disorganised. Yep… that one!

The last time I reviewed Legends Of Tomorrow was a couple of years ago, when I wrote about seasons 1, 2, and 3. You can read that review here… so there’s no reason for me to go back in depth to talk about the show, is there? You may find superheroes a bit unrealistic… but what I find authentic, honest and vulnerable about Legends Of Tomorrow, is that the never shies away from the hard issues and the difficult situations. The concept of changing for the better and truly becoming a better person? Explored through Leonard Snart’s sacrifice and Mick Rory’s continually development into a multilayered character. The concept of identity and figuring out who you really are? Explored multiple times. Through Ava’s self-identity crisis as a clone, and Zari’s time loop experience to bond her to the team specifically. The emotions of loss and how we as a people deal with tragedy? Explored through Martin Stein’s unexpected death, the bittersweet end to Nate and Amaya’s relationship, as well as Rip Hunter’s noble fatal sacrifice. And while there are many, many other emotional and heartfelt moments; seasons 4 and 5 really amp up the character development. To the very max!

When I last reviewed Legends Of Tomorrow, we were presented with wandering nomad, crafty sorcerer and egotist John Constantine dropping a magical creature’s head in front of the team in Aruba where they were on holiday. And as you all can read from my review of the first season 4 episode, it’s a pretty crazy way these guys get back to fixing up the timeline. Fast forward two seasons till now, and our favourite makeshift family have in very different places than they were before, and have grown in leaps and bounds. Constantine, in particular, has been thrusted into the team dynamic (and he himself has to curb his ‘lone wolf’ tendencies) and has had to deal with the demon Neron gunning for him while trying to rescue his boyfriend Desmond from the clutches of hell [Season 4] while also trying to save Astra (from NBC’s Constantine!) from hell and from the deadly influence of ‘mentors’ Lachesis and Atropos, by also trying to resurrect her mother and give her the family she’s always dreamed of and deserved [Season 5]. One of the surprise yet welcomed additions to the team; Constantine’s presence means that LOT is now more spiritual and magical… but that gloominess and depressive nature is still balanced out by humour and heart. Sara has also dealt with insecurity issues (culminating in her being blind for the latter part of season 5, resulting in a more assured and confident Sara), while Ava, on the heels of discovering that she’s a clone, deals with identity issues too, however her appointment as co-captain of the Waverider in Season 5 isn’t surprising, given that Sara and Ava have been in a steady relationship for the better part of 2 seasons.

Though Amaya left at the end of season 3, Maisie Richardson-Sellers stayed on, this time as the shapeshifter Charlie (this time using her own natural English accent!), and within two seasons became a favourite character of mine, as Charlie butted heads with the team multiple times, yet displayed true courage in season 5 when she stood up to her sisters Lachesis and Atropos (the very same hell-dwelling ‘gods’ that were ‘mentoring’ Astra. Mick came into his own as well, with his stint as a romance novelist being very out of left field, yet his endearing role as a father in season 5 super heartfelt, inspiring and downright emotional. It was also bittersweet to see Ray and Nora Darhk (Brandon Routh and real life wife Courtney Ford) leave the show in the middle of season 5 yet their love story in season 4 was delivered with professionalism and power, with poise and raw emotion. Zari Tomaz’s fate is one that I won’t spoil for you here (as that’s the character who grows the most during the past couple of seasons), while Nate Heywood reconciles with his absentee father in season 4, and also deals with an unforeseen change to the timeline in season 5 (and that’s all I will say on that matter!). And with Sara being abducted by aliens at the end of season 5… let’s just say that things are about to be even more wackier and crazier by the time the show comes back in May 2021!

Even though there are a revolving door of characters over the past 5 seasons; the legends remind us all that even though they all bicker, even though they all get on each other’s nerves, and even though they’re not related by blood; what we are shown is still a comradery, a sense of family, with these guys having each other’s back. They’re a team of misfits who fit so well together- and because Legends Of Tomorrow is so out of this world- there’s no denying that the storylines, the weird and wonderful ways certain characters can provide comic relief, as well as the chemistry and friendship all of the characters have with each other (even though some are supposed to be heroes and others villains!) makes me love the show even more. In fact, can I assert that Legends Of Tomorrow is my favourite TV show of the Arrowverse? Even though this makeshift family are indeed based in the superhero world- they remind us so much like ourselves… and so much like the everyday heroes of today. And that’s partly why I reckon many of you will like this show very much if you do give it a chance!

Did all 82 episodes of Legends Of Tomorrow leave a lasting impression on you? Did any themes in the episodes speak to you, and which was it? What elements of the show are you enjoying- Zari and John’s new relationship, Astra’s heroic redemption arc, Ava finally being co-captain of the ship, or the inevitable exploration of out-of-this-world caricature aliens in season 6? Will you be tuning in for Season 4, now that Ray, Nora and Charlie have all left the show? Let us know in the comments.

RIYL: Doctor Who, The Flash, The Tomorrow People, Constantine, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly, Terra Nova, Continuum

Rating: 5/5 (based on 5 seasons aka 82 episodes)

Legends Of Tomorrow aired every Monday at 9/8c on CW in season 4, and Tuesday at 9/8c in season 5, however will be airing season 6 at an unspecified date and time in 2021. You can now buy the DVD/Blu Ray of the whole 5 seasons at digital and physical retailers everywhere!

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