DC made a massive push this year to show off what many believe they’re best at: TV. Not only did DC Universe premiere with 3 brand new shows, but they also had a handful of shows on other networks on. They don’t come in uncontested, however. Dark Horse, DreamWorks, and Marvel also came to play.
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is one of Netflix’s biggest hits so far this year, and for weeks it seemed like it was all anyone could talk about. With it’s unique style, talented cast, and surprises around every corner, The Umbrella Academy proved that Marvel and DC no longer have the monopoly on superhero comic adaptations.
Being the first show on DC Universe, Titans had a lot riding on it’s shoulders. For the most part, it delivered. Epic world building, great fights, and even better characters made this show an instant hit, despite a lack luster finale.
From start to finish, this was not only one of the best season’s of superhero television this year, but one of the best in the last 20 years. The cast, the writing, the overall tone, and even the wide range of diversity among the characters were all top-notch. Its strong message about overcoming adversity and facing your inner demons helped this show connect with audiences in a way we haven’t seen in a long time. Hopefully we’ll get to see much more from this particular band of misfits.
Unfortunately for this fantastic horror romance series, it was canceled before it even had a chance to capture our hearts. Capture our hearts it has, though. With horrifying imagery and gore to be expected from James Wan, Swamp Thing creates a fantastic atmosphere separate from the rest of the DC Universe…universe…god we’ve gotta get a better name for that.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Seasons 1 & 2)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina adapted the comic of the same name and for those only aware of Sabrina through the Sabrina the Teenage Witch show on ABC it was a shift in tone. This new Sabrina fit more with the tone of a dark story about a half-witch, half-mortal making her way in the world. It will be great to see where this series goes with the character of Sabrina and where she will end up–good or evil?
Not much was done with the history of Krypton except in regards to Superman and Supergirl’s origins at the end of the planet’s history. Meeting Seg-El, Superman’s grandfather, and bringing life into a new world of DC is great fascinating. Krypton introduced a lot of the same themes and characters, while fleshing out the House of El.
Cloak & Dagger (Seasons 1 & 2)
While technically two seasons have now come out for this show, the first was too late for last year’s awards so we’ve nominated both seasons. While this might give it a slight advantage over the other shows in this category, the first season was also significantly better than the second, so it’s up to you how it evens out. That said, the themes of classism and racism that are explored under the guise of superheroics elevated this show from being just another high-school-superhero drama.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Seasons 1 & 2)
A great animated series from DreamWorks, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power provides a new take on She-Ra’s story. With fleshed out characters, especially of Adora and Catra, it really is a positive story about hope. She-Ra also is good family programming with good LGBTQ+ representation and themes of gender.
Who came to play harder? Did DC’s many new shows capture you, or maybe you prefer some of the other new treats from this year?