The Arrow, "Spectre of the Gun" S05 E13 - superhero fantasy tackles reality

The Arrow has been a longtime fav of mine -- its cheesier than the Flash, has excellent archetype characters (supersoldiers, nerds, alcoholic cops, vile despicable villains, and kung fu), a unique present/past flashback format, and the ongoing moral quandry about killing bad guys.  (And I love Vigilante, looking forward to him joining team!)

I also forgot to mention there are a lot of minorities -- even though the main stars are white.

*SPOILER FOR EPISODE*

Recently Oliver Queen became Mayor, which makes the entire show far less plausible (if thats possible), but it runs parallel to the Batman mythos pretty closely.

Last episode, something different happened.  Something I had never seen in Superhero TV shows, and I've been watching a lot of them.  The moral dilemma of the show was gun control, multiple sides of the argument were presented, actual FACTS were included (Curtis, "I'm black and three times more likely to get shot."), and the issue was resolved in a (vague) legal compromise.

Curtis and Felicity had the most awkward, but excellent discussion, about debate and argument between friends, how rudeness is destroying political discourse.

Rene's story was perfect for the episode -- who knew he was married with child ??? - where he shoots an intruder with his gun (locked and loaded in a safe), but the intruder's stray shot kills Rene's wife.  Wow.

The villain, a man who's family was killed by gun violence so he was lashing out at the city that had failed him (by not controlling guns?), that was a bit more awkward.

The show was awkward, a big departure from the norm, and it stuck to it's guns (intended metaphor).  And somehow, it sure felt like they were taking a shot at President Rump, even if they never said Trump, Orangutan abortions, mysogynist racist douchebags, or Hitler's protege.

Keep up the good stuff, Team Arrow!!

Flawed Google Play Store & Apple App Store

I've been meaning to write this for years now.  The concept of having a software store built in to a device is genius.  The inability to find great software, coupled with a tidal wave of junk and spam and horrible f2p p2w IAP stores with mediocre games, has damaged the genius concept, making it mediocre.

The two biggest mobile app stores (Google & Apple) are horribly, painfully flawed.  Is it deliberate or negligent, or some mix of the two?

Both mobile app stores need:

  • a method of filtering out junk apps,
  • a method of filtering out specific developers,
  • better review methods, and perhaps showing app ratings from respected review sites,
  • an expanded wishlist where users can leave comments & notes,
  • a method of denying certain apps unnecessary permissions while still allowing use,
  • a variety of methods for users to evaluate apps, share those evaluations, and annotate their experiences to the community (*without being forced to go to the devs forum*)
  • a simple method to block foolish reviewers, spam reviewers, and trolls,
  • enhanced search so users can find specific apps with specific features & functionality.
It seems like an opportunity for another developer to disrupt by creatimg an alternative app store interface, monetizing it with subtle ads, and building a strong user community.

AppZapp did this for IOS, although I've been Android for awhile now so I haven't followed their progress -- but I was very disappointed with their Android version.

If anyone can recommend a great appstore alternative, please post a comment!

‘Supergirl’ - ‘Flash’ -‘Arrow’ - ‘Legends’ Crossover Review *Spoiler*

*Spoiler Alert*
I just saw the finale Legends episode, not the strongest ending.  Disappointing is an understatement, however the overall crossover was great fun.

I didn't see the Supergirl episode, but I liked her character in the other shows.  I particularly liked her interaction with the Green Arrow.

The Flash episode was very solid, but while keeping the latest "Kid Flash" storyline, lacked all of the new "Team Arrow" heroes except Dig (aka Spartan), and Felicity Smoak (aka Overwatch) were absent.  Kid Flash also was absent for the other crossovers.  That made me sad, but at least Team Arrow did show up in the Arrow episode, and they were great: Wild Dog, Ragman, Artemis, and Mr Terrific (Curtis, who I erroneously thought was named FairPlay).

The Arrow episode was my fav, bc it features the Arrow cast locked in a mind control device where they got to live their lives in an idealistic way, meaning all their loved ones were alive.  This hit me hard -- it was far more emotional than I expected.

The Legends episode, which I just watched, was by far the weakest, but had some good parts: it resolves the pathetic Cisco / Barry friend breakup, allows Prof Stein to embrace his child, let's Cisco & Felicity time-travel AND save the day (Yay!), and resolves the strange dynamic between Arrow and SuperGirl.

I definitely noticed the Hall of Justice showing up repeatedly, which was very exciting BUT seemed so strange without the DC "heavyweight" heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.  Makes me wonder just how bad will DC botch their arrival back into TV?  I hope they'll reboot the Wonder Twins and remember Martian Man hunter, but the funny part about DC is its such a mixed bag -- awkward writing, lack of commitment to the comic material, and (deliberate?) two dimensional characters -- I'm always happy when an episode doesn't implode on itself.

Which is where my gripe with Legends finale is strongest: the final scene features Flash and Arrow having a drink at a bar.  It's horribly awkward, essentially out of character for both heroes, and makes no sense.  I felt that someone writing the team up was eager to get to a bar and celebrate that they hadn't f-d up all the shows when the crossover ended.

Extra gripes:
-- general party scene at end with "Agent Smith" resolve was awkward, weak, and felt so strained.  No one cared about Smith, that was a thread no one needed resolved.  Would've rather seen Digger's wife Leila there to congratulate the heroes.
-- the awkward Dominators "let's all flee bc the metabomb was stopped" resolution.
-- not enough Legends hero time on the Legends episode.  One guy got a new outfit (and powers?) but didn't even get their name mentioned, while the animal-channeling heroine barely got a line.
-- "the new President is hot, right?" WTF?  The muscle head really gets too many lines, while so many other heroes got neglected.

Lastly, I have to compliment the crossover bc it tried it's best to honor all the heroes, and they respected the vastly varied hero power levels when fighting the Dominators (SuperGirl really shined in that finale battle). 

Now that it's over, I'm relieved.  Whew!  I want to say "let's not do THAT again", but you know they will.  Let's hope the quality remains at this level or better!