I watched the 1997 live action pilot for Justice League of America last night, and I now know why there isn't a JLA tv show. What I don't know is why there isn't a Global Frequency tv show. While we're on the topic of what I don't know, can somebody please explain to me who in Hollywood was willing to give some script writer money for that piece of garbage that they put together for JLA? The only decent thing about the league was the way they had Green Lantern's ring work, which was actually kind of cool. Otherwise the whole thing was low budget, high school drama club. Obviously they weren't given any of the A-list to include, so we didn't get a Superman or a Batman or a Wonder Woman, but I wasn't disappointed with the roster. I was very disappointed with the writing though. I can't even blame the actors, that's how bad it was. Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Flash and Fire were all completely misrepresented as characters, and The Martian Manhunter looked like a special effect that somebody made in their basement.
Why can't I get a job writing for Hollywood again?
Even I could do better than that crap.
I also got myself a copy of the Birds of Prey series, but I haven't started watching any of it. I'm hoping it doesn't come anywhere near the corniness of JLA, and treads a little more gently on the mythos of the comics. I'll let you know when I've seen some. Speaking of comic related television, which in case you haven't caught on yet is exactly what I'm doing today, I've been watching season 1 of Jeremiah, by comic writer of fame J. Michael Straczynski. Luke Perry is well cast as a bit of a tough, rough around the edges guy with a heart of gold, and an annoyingly whiney voice, while I really like Theo Huxtable in this show. The overall premise seems pretty solid, an so far the episodes haven't become completely formulaic, with some continuity flowing from show to show. It's an alright way to kill some time at night.
After the conversation we had recently about movies that will never get made, I've spent some time reflecting on the difference between movies and television and I think that if television ever got the ball rolling properly they could just dominate the comic book genre. The format is so well suited to replicate the monthly, episodic basis of most successful comic books. It used to be that there was a financial reason for not doing it, but Heroes survives without running its budget out of control. Do we really need any more than they can give us on that show? Hell Parkman's telepathy is effective and simple to demonstrate. Anyways, the other argument has always been that not enough people would watch. Again I say; HEROES.
What people won't watch is bad tv.
Knock out the corny approach and get rid of the cheese. Take a serious look at some of the best story-telling comics ever and you could have yourself an substantial winner. Y The Last Man would work wonders, as would DMZ or Global Frequency, and I can't tell you how much I would like to see 1 season of Planetary.
Maybe one day soon we'll be lucky enough to see some network exec figure it out.
Just not the guy who gave a green light to the JLA script.
That guy should never work again.