Why Supergirl merging universes with Arrow & The Flash would be a mistake

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The DC comics that these television shows draw on as source material has a history of “Crisis” events, wherein different universes are split apart from one another or merged together; typically, it’s an attempt to streamline continuity, although it’s debatable as to whether or not it really does make things simpler. As such, then, there are a vocal group who are clamouring for a similar such event to occur now, moving Supergirl into the same reality as The Flash and Arrow, positing that the slated crossover special should be used to reset Supergirl, and essentially reboot it to better fit with the other superhero programmes currently airing on the CW.

To my mind, though, this would be quite the mistake – both in terms of the story, but also from a business point of view.

Despite now being in a position where it has to move networks, Supergirl’s viewership on CBS did in fact far outstrip the ratings that The Flash maintains on the CW; this is, of course, because CBS itself has a far wider reach than the CW, but it’s also a certainty that the CW is hoping that a large number of these viewers follow the show to the CW. It makes little sense, then, to try and change what is essentially the more popular show to ‘fit’ the more niche one – why would the CW consciously alienate the fans they’re trying to attract?

A new Yahoo article from me, all about why I think a Supergirl reboot to fit in with Arrow and The Flash is, essentially, a terrible idea.

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The Big Bang Theory and the Terrible Sitcom Paradigm

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It represents some pretty standard sitcom fare, of course; the back and forth pranking is a staple of these shows, and I’ve no doubt there are variations on a similar theme in Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and so on and so forth. Certainly I know that Community did it, and it’s not exactly outside the realms of possibility for Seinfeld to have done it either. So, yes, it’s somewhat derivative, but that’s not exactly a problem specific to The Big Bang Theory.  Few of the above shows, however, rely on such utterly lazy jokes throughout their plots. In this particular episode of The Big Bang Theory, we were treated to the ‘hilarious’ punchlines of “Indians like snakes”, “Jews are liars”, and “women have periods”. It’s simply bland humour aimed at the lowest common denominator, and reliant pretty much wholly on stereotypes and clichés. At best, it’s vacuous and vapid nonsense; at worst, it’s bordering on the offensive.

Further, though, the show demonstrates the worst excesses of self-entitled “nerd culture”, to the extent that I’d read it as a genuinely intelligent satire if I didn’t doubt the abilities of those involved to pull that off. Alongside the lazy jokes, it propagates every toxic idea which is so entrenched in “nerd culture” – the idea that they’re still the little guy, that they deserve to come out on top at the end, and that they’re better than others because they’re not like those guys. Because they like Lord of the Rings, or science, or because they’re “nice guys”.

I really, really dislike The Big Bang Theory. And now, I’m writing about why I dislike it. That’s perhaps futile, given it’s a cultural giant – and yet, at the same time, because it is such a cultural giant, I think it warrants this sort of discussion and suchlike.

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