Let's keep the TV and Cinematic Universes of DC separate

Contrary to popular belief, I think it would be disastrous to integrate DC's TV Universe with DC's Cinematic Universe and here's why

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By Sentry - 12/26/2013


In starting off, I'll admit it, I do not like superhero TV shows, I liked a few as a child as a bit of fun but as an adult I fail to see any serious value to them, I have found them to be mundane, formulaic, predictable and above all else, the TV show format simply lacks the ability to provide a big enough stage for all their larger than life characters, the budget is usually too miniscule to provide convincing special effects so unfortunately, every dollar is on screen and let's face it, TV shows get TV actors, I'm not trying to diminish their abilities as actors and I know there are some quality movie actors that have gone to TV but they usually headline a TV show, by and large a TV show is filled with TV lifers.

And while some people today say that this is the golden age of TV with shows like Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad and previous classics like The Wire and The Sopranos reinventing what TV shows could be and do so TV can certainly be a respected format but that format works best on largely character driven shows, special effects driven TV shows can and usually do suffer from scope restrictions, talent and budgetary limitations.



Arrow was born out of the vacancy left by Smallville, another superhero TV show that reinforced why I just don't like superhero TV shows as a serious and justifiable thematic endeavor, I was sick of the never ending Kryptonite macguffin by season 2, the predictable romance and high school story lines were mind numbing and the emergence of the justice league before Superman had even donned his iconic suit was wrong on so many different levels but if I was forced to pick one credible superhero TV show, I would probably choose Arrow but even that show falls into the same traps and cliches that every other superhero TV show does albeit in a (sometimes) more subtle fashion.

Now imagine that DC announced that they would merge Smallville with Christopher Nolan's Batman universe to set up the justice league universe, that is basically what fans of Arrow would like to see who constantly lobby for DC to incorporate Arrow and its universe into the Man of Steel universe, the continuity problems and narrative limitations that would arise would be creatively crippling.



Smallville used almost every major Superman villain including Brainiac, Zod, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Bizarro and Darkseid, the problems that would arise from merging that Smallville universe into DC's cinematic universe would be overwhelming and stifling, Arrow faces these same problems, Arrow has already used Deadshot, Black Canary, The Huntress, Deathstroke, China White, Merlyn, Amanda Waller, Barry Allen, Vibe, Bronze Tiger, Solomon Grundy, Nyssa al Ghul and by extension Ra's al Ghul, Talia al Ghul and The League of Assassins and they're still only on season 2, imagine who they'll use when they're in season 3 and 4 and so on, there's a lot of iconic Batman and DC villains in there already which would provide a lot of substantial continuity issues and I would like to see at least some of those villains and heroes to be portrayed by a higher caliber of actors with a different approach to their characters, no offense meant to their current actors.

That means the characteristics and attributes of these villains and heroes would need to carry over seamlessly into the cinematic universe along with the actors themselves while at the same time fulfilling their TV show obligations and this works both ways too, the cinematic actors would need to transfer seamlessly into the TV universe while fulfilling their cinematic obligations as well and they do do other jobs besides their superhero ones plus you have other heroes like Barry Allen who is also getting his own TV show which will coincide with the Arrow universe, you merge Arrow and you merge The Flash as well, maybe it's just me but I would like someone with a bit more stature and maturity to play The Flash, I know Barry Allen is a jokester but he is also very accomplished in his profession.



There is really no conceivable reason to consolidate their TV and cinematic universes at this point other than the sheep mentality, Marvel is doing it so let's do it too. The cinematic universe just taps a deeper well of talent including directors, producers, writers, visual artists, actors, production values, special effects and budgets combining the two universes may very well raise Arrow up but at the same time may inadvertently bring the cinematic universe down, it's not a fair trade in my opinion.



Now I'm not saying Arrow is not a decent superhero TV show, it's probably the best of its kind but it really needs to stay separate from the DC universe, merging Arrow with the Man of Steel universe would cheapen everything in my opinion, Agents of Shield has done no favors for Marvel and Agents of Shield was designed to amalgamate itself into the Marvel universe from the start, Arrow was never created or designed to fit within the Man of Steel universe, talk about trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Not to mention, if you combine the universes, every talking point suddenly becomes, when are we getting cameos, when's Superman going to show up or when's Batman going to show up and these expectations can overshadow the TV show itself, instead of a good show resting on its own laurels, it becomes an incessant tease of 'bigger things' to come, which is what has already been happening with Agents of Shield, viewers tune in every ten or so episodes when a rumored 'link' between the movies and TV show will appear, the entire success of the show seems to rely on the tantalizing prospect of some cinematic cameos ie Thor, Iron Man or Captain America and it ultimately detracts from the show itself although with Agents of Shield, that is probably not a bad thing but Arrow doesn't need those gimmicks.



And ask yourselves, would you rather a combined universe where most characters would remain off limits, not to mention the difficultly of getting the big name actors to cameo on a TV show, they are already incredibly busy people, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) to use a couple of examples, if they can't appear on the TV show because of scheduling conflicts then their characters are totally off limits, it restricts and constrains both universes or would you rather separate TV and cinematic universes that are not beholden and obligated to each other.



Arrow could cast their own Batman or Superman on their show, Batman is very closely linked to Arrow and he has already been hinted at after all and with DC releasing and planning Arrow, The Flash and their Gotham TV show which may or may not feature Batman, this is starting to become a very cohesive TV universe and DC could still have their own team rocking the big screen, it's a win-win to keep them separate, keep them winning on both fronts.
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12 Comments
BenjiWest - 12/27/2013, 12:02 AM
Terrific article. I agree with all your points. I once stated combining Arrow with Man of Steel would be like combining Smallville to The Dark Knight. By being separate the show does have extreme flexibility and freedom. Anyone from DC's stable could be brought in, including D list characters who can be better fleshed out and expressed in a show like Arrow.
QuestiontheAnswer - 12/27/2013, 3:14 AM
Since when has it become a pooular belief that the tv and movie will interact well?
GinjaNinja - 12/27/2013, 6:21 AM
I think the netflix shows will tell us if it can work well. I feel AoS is decent (To me) but clearly it has a lot wrong with it. Granted if this is a Vision origins story I wouldn't be to mad. But anyway, the Netflix shows will have heroes themselves. Which means it will be way easier to make a good show. Like arrow, so therefor we will see if the movie universe can tie well to TV.
GliderMan - 12/27/2013, 7:13 AM
Arrow is very different from Smallville.
GentlemanlyBatman - 12/27/2013, 7:35 AM
It's likely not going to happen anyway... it's a shame cause I'd love to see Arrow/Flash connected to the Man of Steel Universe just because it means more characters will exist in that universe... makes it feel bigger y'know
JoeMomma29 - 12/27/2013, 8:46 AM
Wow I would agree with you if we were rally talking about Smallville, but this is Arrow and it has been solid and on another level for the one and half seasons. This show could fit perfectly into the Movieverse. At this point they are just waiting to see how the Flash turns out before they make any official announcements.
Nomis - 12/27/2013, 9:29 AM
I used to think this way but ARROW is just too damn GOOD for it not to be included in the DC movies!
feedonatreefrog - 12/27/2013, 4:15 PM
It would help the ratings of the TV shows,

but it could harm the potential of the movie franchises.
megabatfan - 12/28/2013, 5:24 AM
1. Keep them separate please
2. Expand the tv universe. (I kinda like the idea of introducing other characters in an established episode, then if they are well received, they get their own tv series)
3. Not interested in a Gotham TV series. I want Batman straight up. Everyone already knows his origin. So don't let in be an origin tale like Arrow & Flash. Instead, have him already established... Introduce Robin. Possibly Tim Drake, that way Nightwing can co-incide with Colton Haye's Roy Harper
jaysin420 - 12/28/2013, 10:07 AM
Arrow is totally different than Smallville.....everyone online thinks Arrow is the best thing ever, but it gets awful ratings.

Everyone online thought Smallville was the worst thing ever, but it got huge ratings by comparison.

And that was way before the CBM boom.
Brainiac13 - 12/28/2013, 2:47 PM
Agree....keep them separate.
EpitomeofAwesome - 12/29/2013, 9:40 AM
I wanted them in the same universe, but after reading this article I agree; they should stay separate. I just think it may be a little confusing to have two live-action versions of the DC universe at once

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