So the 18th episode of Arrow aired recently, capping off an extremely long and awful run of episodes for the show. In this episode, a bunch of story lines all tie together in a somewhat eventful manner, and the audience finally learns who was in the grave that was teased in the first episode. That all sounds pretty cool, except for the fact that the show is so balls deep in its own mediocrity that I’m not sure I even care any more.
I’m not sure if this is a platitude I heard somewhere else, but my basic definition of good writing is when you’re enjoying a story – whether that’s a movie, a TV show, a video game, a book, or whatever – and you forget that the characters are fictional. When I watch Black Sails, I often forget that I’m watching a TV show and not a real event in history. The writing is so good, and the performances so hypnotic and intoxicating, that the very idea that some guy wrote this down just slips away into the aether.
And then there’s bad writing, which is when you’re all too aware of the fact that some guy is writing that shit down, and is probably giggling to himself at how amazing it all is.
Ten episodes of “Gotham” have aired, and the entire experience has been extremely underwhelming.
I can’t I’m surprised, really. I didn’t have any expectations about the show, beyond that it would be competently written enough to get on TV in the first place. What was I thinking? The show is garbage. It suffers from a number of problems, which I’ll outline here, but first I want to discuss my biases.
[Note: This post contains spoilers regarding basically everything about “Batman: Arkham Origins.”]
Batman: Arkham Origins
If I could express my thoughts and feelings on “Batman: Arkham Origins” in one sentence, it would be that “Arkham Origins” is a game of false advertising and empty promises. Quite literally nothing the developers, WB Games Montreal, said about the game was accurate or factual, leading many people, myself included, to buying a very different game than what was advertised. Everything from the gameplay, to the story, to the multiplayer, was misrepresented in some way, either erroneously or on purpose, to create the idea of a product that simply does not exist. And while I certainly believe in the concept of not giving the audience what they expect, this game is akin to paying to see “The Dark Knight” in theatres and instead being shown “Batman Returns.”
To say that I was excited for “Arkham Origins” was an understatement. Despite the bad press of WB Games Montreal essentially creating their own spin on Rocksteady’s fantastic Arkham franchise, and the fact that a single player experience was going to have multiplayer jammed in, I remained hopeful. WB Games Montreal assured us that yes, we are getting slammed for not being Rocksteady, but we’ll earn your trust. I wanted it to be good. And while I’ll cover my disappointment in the following paragraphs, I want to speak to WB Games Montreal directly: you may have created a competent product, but it is a soulless husk of a great franchise. You robbed it of everything that made it great in favour of your own suspect idea of art. You have lost my trust irrevocably.