Batwoman/Legends & The Walking Dead: A Tale of Two Fandoms (BCTV DD)
Saying that this has been a rough week for fans of The CW's Caity Lotz-starring DC's Legends of Tomorrow and the Javicia Leslie-starring Batwoman would be an almost insulting understatement. Even with Twitter campaigns that burned so hot & bright for so long that even the social media gods couldn't help but notice. But sadly, the deck seemed stacked against them once neither was included in the rundown of early network renewals. And trust me, there will be folks above, below & looking-at-me-eye-to-eye on the mental pay grade scale over the next few weeks who will offer their thoughts & feelings on why things went down the way they did. My surface gut reaction? I think it's rather "weird" to see two shows that wore their acceptance of diversity & representation on their sleeves be the ones to get cut, Especially while Warner Bros. Discovery & Paramount Global (new names, same nonsense) continue dancing their little dances to sell the network to a company that already owns a crapload of CW affiliates and slants seriously to the "right (and that's putting it nicely).
But as eyebrow-arching impressed as I was with the #RenewBatwoman and #RenewLegendsOfTomorrow, it was the way the shows' respective communities came together once the news broke on Friday. Not just with the shows but between the shows, offering the kind of support system you need during times like these. Because this shit hurts. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. The shows we love and the folks who make that magic happen? They become a pop-culture family that we build bigger & bigger "homes" with over the years, which is why it hurts so much when it's time to say goodbye. We know they can't stay forever, but that's always something that's "down the road." Until it isn't. And it hits you in ways that you thought you saw coming but didn't. So as someone who's been there way too many times with shows of my own, my heart goes out to the DC's Legends of Tomorrow & Batwoman fans. You chose to rage, rage against the dying of the light even in the face of overwhelming odds and demand to be heard, and there will never be anything more "Arrowverse" than that.
And then we have The Walking Dead fandom. Specifically, the small but very loud & toxic segment of the fandom that's more concerned with their favorite characters, pushing personal agendas & believing that a show's creative team is fully beholden to fans' wishes. I'm not going to rehash the toxicity, but let's just say some folks think Norman Reedus and others have an agenda against Melissa McBride and that's why she's not going to appear in the TWD spinoff. And they went after Reedus so badly that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, AMC Networks, the producers behind the show, and others had to go public with their defense of Reedus. But unlike "Legends" and Batwoman fans, TWD fans were actually given answers- they just didn't like them so they decided to make up their own.
So on Friday night as I was getting ready to smoke & catch FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia mini-marathon, I did a final scroll through Twitter- and you know what? I've got a message for my fellow TWD fans: stop taking shit for granted and start appreciating how good you have it. A long-running show we love is ending after 11 seasons on its own terms and telling its own story. But even in its wake, there's still Fear the Walking Dead as well as this summer's Tales of the Walking Dead to lean on. And then there's the Morgan & Lauren Cohan-starring Isle of the Dead and the Reedus-starring still-unnamed spinoff. And let's not forget the upcoming Rick Grimes films, too. That's the kind of future that "Legends" and Batwoman fans would love to have to argue about. Now here's a look at the news hitting our screens you might've missed for Saturday, April 29, 2022:
And don't forget today's BCTV Daily Dispatch "long-distance dedication": Bush "Machinehead":