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NYCC’15: WBTV Preview Night Screenings

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Last Thursday, early afternoon, I perused the lower level halls of New York Comic Con. Autographings and photo ops were running nicely, and the Queue Hall (aka “the stockyards”) was mostly empty, as the morning crush had long subsided, and most of the Main Stage events in Hall 1-D had already occurred.  Out of curiosity, I checked the giant message board to see which events still had space open.  That’s when I noted the evening’s event: Warner Brothers’ television previews still had wristbands available. Since there was nothing on my agenda after the show floor closed, I decided to sit and watch.

For the third year in a row, Warner Bros. Television offers advance viewing of pilot episodes of three of the most highly anticipated series of the 2015–16 television season — Supergirl and Containment — as well as a sneak peek of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Supergirl: In the vast DC Comics Universe of super heroes, the rich mythology of Superman and the planet Krypton is perhaps the most famous and instantly recognizable. Enter Supergirl! Born on the doomed planet Krypton, the preteen Kara escaped at the same time as the infant Kal-El, but didn’t arrive on Earth until many years later. Now age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be. With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her foster sister Alex and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO) and its head, Hank Henshaw, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world.

Containment: When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, forcing those trapped on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials desperately search for a cure in Containment. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors confined within the cordon must fight against not only fatal infection, but also isolation, fear and the disintegration of society around them. But as they begin to gain each other’s trust, hope remains and on either side of the cordon unlikely heroes will rise.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat – one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. From the creators of The Flash and Arrow comes this super hero team-up unlike anything that’s ever been seen on television before.

I was about halfway back in line, but got a decent seat about 15 rows from the screen. There were a few empty seats near me, but there was a good crowd.

Legends of Tomorrow had a brief trailer, which teased lots of easter eggs. I couldn’t help think it was DC’s version of The Avengers. Now that I think more… it’s reminiscent of “Justice League Detroit”. Of course, it should be noted that while DC is developing Justice League for movie theaters, the current Arrowverse has only introduced one of the primary members of the Justice League.

Lucifer was also screened, which was a savvy move, as I’ll detail below.

Supergirl

The synopsis:

In the vast DC Comics Universe of super heroes, the rich mythology of Superman, the planet Krypton and the House of El is perhaps the most famous and instantly recognizable. Enter Supergirl (Melissa Benoist)!

Born Kara Zor-El on the doomed planet Krypton, the preteen Kara escaped at the same time as the infant Kal-El, but didn’t arrive on Earth until many years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Protected and raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin.

Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be.

With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO) and its head Hank Henshaw, who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world. Her foes include both a sinister extraterrestrial menace and the high-tech terrestrial threat of clever villains with powerful weaponry.

Produced by Berlanti Productions (Arrow, The Flash, Pan), this one-hour drama is an epic action-adventure for the entire family. Combining the heart, humor and spectacle of a super hero series, with the week-to-week intrigue of the DEO’s investigations, Kara’s childhood memories of her time on Krypton and the sophisticated workplace dramedy of her secret identity at Catco, Supergirl is charged with true epic storytelling—bringing a strong female hero to television screens at long last.

I enjoyed the episode. Everyone is introduced organically, there’s good chemistry between the principal characters, and there are just enough easter eggs to keep fans happy and guessing about future storylines.

The series premieres Monday, October 26, 2015, at 8:30/7:30C, on CBS.

Lucifer

Here’s the official description:

Lucifer is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar has resigned his throne and retired to the City of Angels, where he owns an upscale piano bar called Lux. Lucifer is enjoying his retirement and indulging in a few of his favorite things—wine, women, song—when a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered outside of Lux.

For the first time in roughly 10 billion years, he feels something awaken deep within him. He’s not sure whether it’s his suppressed desire to punish the wicked or something deeper and more confusing—is he actually capable of feelings for a human being? The very thought disturbs him—as well as his best friend and confidante, Mazikeen (aka Maze), a fierce demon in the form of beautiful young woman.

The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective Chloe Dancer, who finds herself both repulsed and fascinated by Lucifer. As they work together to solve the pop star’s murder, Lucifer is struck by Chloe’s inherent goodness. Used to dealing with the absolute worst of humanity, he begins to wonder if there’s hope yet.

At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to Hell. But with the City of Angels at his feet and a newfound purpose, Lucifer’s having too much fun to go back now.

Sexy, dark and irreverent, this one-hour drama from Jerry Bruckheimer Television, based on the characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, offers up the concept that everyone might have a chance at redemption… even the Devil.

Okay… I have a small quibble about confusing Lucifer (a fallen angel) woth the Devil (primal evil). But Lucifer himself uses that description, probably because it’s easier all around. Your beliefs may vary, so I’ll just let it go.

The show? Remember that show “Moonlighting”? This is as well written, and even more fun! Tom Ellis is delightfully cast as Lucifer! As described above, he is soon partnered with an LAPD homicide detective (who, in her previous career as a young actress, flashed her breasts in “Hot Tub High School”). Lucifer’s most interesting power is that he can compel people to tell the truth, which, of course, creates all sorts of humor. The only exception: detective Chloe Dancer.

There’s a great supporting cast, including Rachel Harris in a very funny and sexy scene, involving Lucifer’s charismatic power!

The pilot sets up the various conflicts nicely, and I expect it to be a fan favorite once it begins airing next winter on Fox.

Containment

The synopsis:

When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, forcing those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials desperately search for a cure.

Trying to keep the peace on the streets is police officer Lex Carnahan, who has quickly risen through the ranks of the Atlanta PD. But Lex’s job becomes even harder when he learns that his longtime girlfriend, Jana, and his best friend and fellow officer Jake, are trapped within the cordoned area.

Also quarantined in viral ground zero is 17 year-old Teresa, who is eight months pregnant and now separated from her boyfriend on the other side; Katie Frank, an elementary school teacher now placed on lockdown with her entire class, including her young son; and CDC researcher Dr. Victor Cannerts, the doctor who initially made the controversial call to quarantine the area and is now racing to find a cure for the virus.

On the outside, Dr. Sabine Lommers is leading the government efforts to contain the outbreak, and has asked for Lex’s help in enforcing the cordon– which grows increasingly difficult as the public trust deteriorates. And the public has reason to be wary, as journalist Leo begins unraveling a conspiracy, finding that something doesn’t add up in the official story being told. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors trapped within the cordon are fighting against not only fatal infection, but also isolation, fear, and the disintegration of society around them. But as they begin to gain each other’s trust, hope remains, and on either side of the cordon unlikely heroes will rise.

Containment stars David Gyasi (Interstellar); Christina Moses (Starship: Apocalypse, Starship: Rising); Chris Wood (The Vampire Diaries); Kristen Gutoskie (Beaver Falls); Claudia Black (The Originals, Farscape); George Young (Casualty); Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Spartacus: War of the Damned); and Trevor St. John (One Life to Live). Based on the original Belgian series created by Carl Joos for Eyeworks, Containment is produced by My So-Called Company in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals) and David Nutter (The Flash, Arrow).

It’s almost a prequel to The Walking Dead on AMC. An Atlanta inner city neighborhood is placed under quarantine as a bioterror plague is unleashed.

The episode flashforwards to Day 15, showing chaos on the streets. We then rewind to Day 1, as we see Patient One’s symptoms, and the police begin searching for Patient Zero. Matters escalate quickly, while everyday people go about their lives, introducing us to the main characters and the general plot.

It might take a few episodes for this to become interesting, but it’s not my cuppa.

Expect to see it next winter on the CW.


 

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