There are a LOT of potentially great shows coming out on television this season. Part of me wants to write about each and every one of them, and in time I hope to. Another part of me is trying to figure out the how and when to cover each. Tonight another episode of Gotham will air, tomorrow the Flash will zip onto the air with it’s first solo episode (if you missed Barry Allen’s many appearances on Arrow last season I do not anticipate you will feel you missed anything, that being said, I do recommend them as the show did more than merely give the Flash a backdoor pilot, but rather took the time to give a sense of the man and his personality so he would be a familiar persona when his own series hit the air) and Wednesday Arrow will launch it’s third season on the CW.
One of the truly great things about Arrow, is not just that the show sparkles on the screen, with the hero taking down those who have “failed” his city, but the lead actor Stephen Amell has a passionate and good heart, and is helping his fans find a way to fight for what they believe in — helping people with Cancer and Cancer research currently being the primary beneficiary of all that good intent.
Many actors talk a good game, and put on a good face — but Stephen Amell, during the month leading up to the Season 3 return of Arrow, raised, with the help of his fans, roughly one quarter of a million dollars (yes, as in $250,000) for a Cancer charity by selling shirts, hoodies and other items featuring a design Amell had challenged his fans to design and vote on. According to the site 21354 items were sold, with 100% of the funds raised going to the charity.
At Fan Expo in Toronto when talking about a Raffle Stephen Amell had run to raise money for a family whose young daughter is battling cancer, Amell was very clear about the fact it is his fans raising the money, his fans doing this good deed, his fans who deserve the thanks, and that he feels very fortunate to be a part of all this good work — but he is aware that without the fans none of this would be possible.
Amell’s mother went through Breast Cancer, I believe while the actor has been on Arrow, and after her experience this is clearly a very personal cause to him, but he also has a very clear understanding that people dealing with Cancer want to take back some power in their life, want to embrace their victories, and he is rapidly becoming a fierce champion and Hero to those with Cancer in their lives, or those of their loved ones.
Superheros have long been near and dear to the hearts of those who needed a champion, someone to help them fight the battles that seemed impossible, or more than they could handle alone. With these raffles, and the Represent.com campaign Stephen Amell has embraced some of the best qualities of his hero character and brought them out into the real world.
For two seasons we have watched Amell play a publicly irresponsible playboy who was privately fighting for what was right, and along the way learning a great many lessons about what it means to be a hero, and in the process he was as an individual coming out of a dark place.
The Flash is a show that, from the beginning, looks like it will be following an idealistic man who believes in doing the right thing, in wanting to be more than he is and using it for good, which as a show may serve as a counterpoint to Gotham which seems to feature a great many villains and what, based on the behinds-the-scenes and first look materials released before the show, appears to be an almost Al Capone-ish era of Gotham City.
Don’t mistake me, I believe Gotham and The Flash will be equally entertaining shows, but with vastly different color pallets and feels to them, showing different periods and aspects of life DC Universe, and the three shows combined may well remind audiences that while Marvel is currently dominating on the big screen, the DC Characters have more to them than many recall when put on the spot and first asked to talk about them.
The Flash features: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, Candice Patton as Iris West, Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, with Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells, and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West.
Arrow features: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Arrow, Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Colton Haynes as Roy Harper, John Barrowman as Malcom Merlyn, and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance.
Gotham features: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Detective Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, and John Doman as Carmine Falcone.
Make sure to give a listen to the joint PopArtsPlace.com and ComicBookPage.com podcasts for Season 1 and Season 2 of Arrow, and let us know what you think, and if you are interested in podcasts about Gotham, The Flash, or any other shows or movies.