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Blog: Echo and Gen V

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I have been watching TWO (2) superhero TV shows of late, which have in some ways EXEMPLIFIED the different approaches such shows tend to take.

The first of these is "Echo", which to my surprise I really liked. It is one of those "Gritty" and "Realistic" shows, which is a way of saying "Really Quite Violent" without actually doing so. I always find it DERANGED when programmes like this are called "realistic" because they are utterly and entirely NOT. I am very happy to say I have NEVER been in a situation involving gunfire, NINJAS, high-powered kicks to the face or leaping/being thrown off tall buildings, whereas the kind of daft decisions, humorous confusion and awkward interactions you see in supposedly UNREALISTIC shows like "She-Hulk" is pretty much my ACTUAL LIFE.

I did watch "Jessica Jones" and the first couple of episodes of "Daredevil", for instance, but in the rest of the Netflix Marvel shows passed me by completely, with the general rule being that if I want to spend time with something dour and humourless I can go and read HR policies. THUS it was, as I say, a surprise to find myself really quite enjoying "Echo". Maybe it was the fact that it started with a mighty big chunk of MYSTIC WOO (technical term) that made me think it wasn't ALL going to be people frowning and hitting each other, but once it got going it was Quite Good. I was also RELIEVED to see that they'd actively involved the Choctaw Nation in it, rather than MAKING STUFF UP, and so perhaps that made me relax into it more than I otherwise would. Superhero Comics have a VERY DODGY INDEED history of making non-Christian religions part of origin stories, so knowing this one was at least grounded in the people themselves made me less trepidatious to see it on-screen.

The only problem remaining was that it was still a show where Very Unpleasant People do Very Unpleasant Things to each other. I usually get turned off these because the shows in question always try to make you sympathise with and applaud characters doing horrible things to innocent bystanders, so here it was ALSO good that the solution to the whole series would not have been out of place in SQUIRREL GIRL i.e. some actual healing, without saying "No no, it was fine that you beat up and murdered all of those people, because you did it all for your own child."

These issues and FEELINGS are pretty much the OPPOSITE of what I've got out of "Gen V" which, for them who don't know, is a spin-off from "The Boys", the FAMOUSLY violent and messy comic series in which pretty much EVERYONE is a complete arsehole who goes around doing horrible things to EVERYBODY. This big difference here, I think, is that it is all done for LARFS and THE SATIRE. "Gen V" is not quite like that as the main characters are Actually All Right, which feels a bit WEIRD sometimes as the world they exist in is STILL "The Boys" with VERY VERY VERY graphic scenes and MAD uses of super-powers for intensely gory scenes, but once you get used to it it's quite NOVEL to actually care about how they get on, and it makes the EXPLOSIONS OF GORE more unexpected.

It also remains ACTUALLY FUNNY, which is weird for a show where everyone seems to spend half their time covered in other people's blood. It is in fact a very 2000AD way of doing this sort of thing, which I guess isn't surprising because the original writer Garth Ennis did lots of his early work there, but it's still nice to see that it has made it across into another media intact and THEN into a spin-off too.

Maybe the biggest TAKEAWAY from all of this is that there ARE two such different superhero series a) on at the same time b) being GOOD, especially in what must be at LEAST the tenth year of every Media Twit Everywhere telling us that "Superhero Fatigue" has set in and nobody wants to watch them anymore. This is ALWAYS said because the aforementioned Media Twits think we should be watching either Boring Documentaries, Dreary Dramas About Posh People OR Yet Another Gangster Film, but it's still good to know that good, honest, plucky artisans like (checks notes) Disney and Amazon are still carrying on with the genre. More power to them I say, and also another series of both please!

posted 1/2/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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Comments:

two entirely different tv shows at the same time? Boy, did you get Barbenheimer wrong.
posted 2/2/2024 by Echo is objectively worse than Secret Invasion

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