Friday, October 3, 2008

Laugh When They Pee Themselves. It's Healthier

Sometimes no matter how hard you try to talk yourself out of something - you just aren't going to win. I've ended up writing about this.


Dear Warner Brother, The CW, All Other Idiots,

* [ insert prolonged, rolling on the floor, near peeing myself laughter here, with giggling hiccups ] *

So basically what you're saying is, you want ONE TREE CREEK VILLE, where for some reason, Dick Grayson is not eight, or ten years old and a sudden orphan. But is instead a teenager who can have a first love, in a time period where the whole damn world knows his parents are gonna bite it and he's gonna end up traumatized and angry and malleable enough to end up as 'THE BOY WONDER', Batman's brightly covered, moving target, decoy, sneaky little backtalking, drive the Joker crazy, tie you up for stealing wallets, sidekick.

* [ insert prolonged, rolling on the floor, near peeing myself laughter here, with giggling hiccups ] *

Kalinara mentions already hating Dick, and thus possibly enjoying the train wreck.


Smallville ruined Superman for me too. Ruined him so well and so badly that I forgot, until reading Kurt Busiek's Samaritan that I had ever liked him. Then, spurred by this seeming new love for Superman, I started reading more and more and stumbled back into Lois and Clark and suddenly I was looking up Superman the Animated Series and going 'But wait, I used to adore this guy!'.

So I start again, I don't hate Dick Grayson. I love Dick Grayson. I wanted to be Dick Grayson. I figured parental divorce could take the place of being horribly orphaned. But being Batman's sidekick? Being trained to fight crime? Becoming a cog in the wheel of Batman's mission? I was all for that. And I was all for Nightwing and Dick striking out on his own and figuring out why he did what he did and if he still wanted to do it.

Dick Grayson's life before Bruce Wayne is something precious and warm. It's family, and light and laughter and death defying stunts. It's the heart of Nightwing sailing over rooftops and essentially doing perfrance art: Violence Ballet On A Criminal In 4 Minutes.

Dick Grayson's life before Batman is the stability of a loving family as towns change around him; the smell of sawdust and pancake makeup and animals. Though in this day and age it's more likely to be mortor oil and gas from death defying bikers, Manderin or Cantonese from a signed troupe, amazing clowns, lots of dogs, and those cool folk who spin while hung up by their hair.

Still, as wonderful and interesting as it is and as wonderful as it is to get stories about Dick going back to the circus for time to clear his head, or to visit - a show about Dick Grayson before his life changes forever, is freeze framing the moment before a cold bullet enters his heart. It's bullet-time torture.

When I combine the thought of that, with how hated Clark Kent became in Smallville (that I couldn't even watch past Episode 4, I believe way back in Season 3); When TPTB didn't ever concieve of making the show an AU where Superman either was an alien overlord or a babbling idiot directed by an overseeing presence and Lex Luthor was the hero - to play on Rosembaum's charism, chemistry and popularity - all that mixed with these frozen memories of Dick's before his life became shadows and lies and deceptions and freedom only behind a mask...

It's like watching a small child scribbling in crayola over a piece of - nay, watching a grown adult who actually should know better, adding flaking bits of plastic to a masterpiece of form, vision and movement and then going "I Made It Better! See!"

But I've discovered The DCAU Trades. So really, I'll just watch the rest of the world go "But What The Hell Is This Cursed Thing". Sort of like I watched the WB/CW mess up Tarzan.


  1. I think they want a tv show about the Chris O'Donnel Robin pre-movie. Which means I'm gonna blame Schumaker. Damn you batnipples! DAMN YOU!

  2. Lurker:

    There's just no end to the evil Schumaker's done. It keeps going and going...

  3. They did a TV show of Tarzan? I'm nervous... I liked the Weismuller movies and the film, Greystoke especially, and it's a thing where I see the potential for harm with a big red flashing light on it...

    - a show about Dick Grayson before his life changes forever, is freeze framing the moment before a cold bullet enters his heart. It's bullet-time torture.

    YES. I hate character death; I hate bereavement; I don't like angst used as titillation. And while I know that comes from my personal situation and it's not true of everyone, something about the way death and bereavement are used in a lot of movies and TV feels sleazy to me.

    And purely from a script standpoint, I just don't know how they'd spin this thing out into a series. I could see it as a feature-length special, maybe, or if it was the Batman story in general from Robin's POV, but to do a substantial amount of the series from the "before" point of view feels redundant, since he'll still be defined in viewers' minds by an event that hasn't happened yet.

  4. Angeline:

    The Tarzan TV Series, which I watched a couple episodes of until I couldn't take the suck anymore was back in 2003.

    It's been a shock to realize it was 5 years ago. The suck is still so strong in my memory. It starred Mitch Pileggi of X-Files fame and Lucy Lawless of Xena fame as the dueling relatives of the long lost John Clayton 'Tarzan'.

    His aunt who wanted, seemingly, to protect him and help him acclimate to city life again. And his uncle who, seemingly, wanted him declared incompetant or insane, take over his shares in the family industy and lock him away forever.

    I say seemingly because of what I remember about the show, we were forever being tilted one way or another to suspect that both relatives had ulterior motives and camoflauged ways of caring for Tarzan while feuding with each other.

    It should have been so interesting. Especially with Jane being an NYPD detective caught up at first in tracking down Tarzan in the city and then protecting him from a) situations where he could be taken advantage of b) situations that set him up to look criminal, thus playing into his uncle's hands to have him declared incopetant etc.

    Unfortunately it was the most boring thing since watching shades of pink dry on a wall in summertime while you knew the circus was in town parading down mainstreet three blogs away but you were grounded and not allowed to move from the corner.

    Half of it was the script and dialogue, a fourth was one particular premise that just made Jane too stupid to live. And the last fourth was, as did happen with Birds of Prey, the network trying to hedge its bets. It wouldn't committ to being a Speculative Fiction story with detective elements. And instead tried to sledgehammer in angsty emo, almost teenager love-story (even though the chemistry between the two leads was palatable and needed absolutely no purposeful scenes to make you believe it).

    It was really, really sad. To this day I don't know if Travis Fimmel (the model turned actor) could really act, or would have grown into a good actor in that role. But there's no way he could work with what they were giving him.