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Black Lightning - season 1 (The CW)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, May 18, 2017.

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  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    BlackLightning_S01_001.
    The latest DC live-action superhero show from Greg Berlanti is coming to the The CW at midseason. Black Lightning made his debut in the pages of DC Comics in 1977.

    Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.

    Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.

    "We do not intend to do a five-way crossover." CW President Mark Pedowitz told reporters. "'Black Lightning' at this point is not part of the Arrowverse."

    However it's something star Cress Williams wouldn't mind exploring eventually. "I think it would be interesting down the line," he told ComicBook.com. "Eventually we’re going to have probably three superheroes on our show with me and the daughters. Once we become some kind of team, it would be great to go as a team onto another show. It’s going to be fun developing that, because with every good thing, there’s going to be a lot of wrinkles."

    One obstacle to crossovers: "Arrow", "The Flash", "Supergirl" and "Legends of Tomorrow" are all shot in Vancouver. "Black Lightning" is being shot in Atlanta. In the comics, Garfield High is in one of the worst neighborhoods of Metropolis, so it would have made sense for this to be set in the same universe as "Supergirl" (Earth-38). But in the show, Garfield High is in New Orleans. Warner Bros. Television already has extensive New Orleans sets built in Atlanta for "The Originals". Presumably the two shows will share exteriors.

    Here's the trailer:
     
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  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    James Remar and Damon Gupton added as series regulars

    Remar will play Peter Gambi, the titular superhero's oldest friend.

    Gupton will play Inspector Henderson, "a detective who butts heads with Black Lightning at first, but soon finds common ground with the vigilante."
     
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  4. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Going to give this a try.
    Arrow is the only CW superhero show I don't watch unless they are crossover episodes.
    I may do the same for this show if it doesn't appeal to me.
     
  5. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    "BLACK LIGHTNING” MAKES ITS SERIES PREMIERE TUESDAY, JANUARY 16 ON THE CW
     
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  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    A friendly reminder that the newest DC comics television series premieres tonight on The CW at 9/8c, following the midseason premiere of "The Flash".
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    After watching the pilot, I can see why. Though it's from Berlanti's production company, it's tonally very different from any of the other CW superhero shows.

    Even in its grittiest, most grounded early seasons, "Arrow" never dealt with the reality of urban violence and crime with this specificity. Freeland may be a fictional place, but its problems aren't. The real world intrudes into this show a lot more than it does any of the others.

    Nothing in the pilot precluded it from being set on Earth-1 (or Earth-38). At one point, it's even explicitly mentioned that there are other superheroes in other cities. But tonally, it's a pretty large chasm to bridge. At this point, it's difficult to imagine Black Lightning taking a pause from taking down drug dealers and sex traffickers to tackle the kind of pulpy comics villains that crossovers usually center around.

    There are a few other things this show is doing that none of the others are: The main character is a grown adult, with grown adult responsibilities. The Flash and Supergirl are still very much young adults, and the Green Arrow was raised as a billionaire playboy. I also don't think we've seen how metahuman powers work intergenerationally before. Jefferson Pierce has had his powers much longer than any other metahuman we've yet encountered, and presumably already possessed them with his wife gave birth to their oldest child twenty something years ago. That's an interesting thing to explore.

    I don't love the costume for Black Lightning, but I did enjoy the visceral quality of the fights. Jefferson Pierce may take the high road, but Black Lightning leaves bodies in his wake. The only bit that felt questionable was him using electricity to suspend his daughter's would-be rapist in midair.
     
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  9. ponset

    ponset Second Unit

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    I like the pliot and the actor playing BL.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    For a pilot episode setting the table, it was okay. Hope the family drama between the sisters doesn't get too bloated.
     
  11. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    I liked how the pilot worked out. I am hoping that Black Lightning will be working with the police before the season is over. I am tired of our heroes working underground being hunted by the police.
     
  12. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    As a debut, it was impressive. It took a minor comic book character and made a mature show that's relevant to today's headlines. I'll keep watching, hoping they keep up the good work.
     
  13. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Enjoyed the second episode. It's definitely harder-hitting that the other DC CW shows. It's like an Arrowverse show with a healthy dose of The Wire thrown in. I definitely will tune in for the remaining shows this season.
     
  14. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    I sure didn't expect to see the events at the end of the episode. Very hard hitting.
     
  15. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I don't really like any of the other DC shows on the CW, but I really enjoyed the first couple of episodes of Black Lightning. I've always liked Cress Williams, who played drama on Friday Night Lights and comedy on Hart of Dixie.
     
  16. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Have seen both episodes, i'm feeling kinda middle of the road. The acting is pretty good, I like Cress Williams, but the "bad guys" seem a little too much like a caricature. Somehow, reminds me of New Jack City.
     
  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Jill Scott was terrific in her brief appearance as Lady Eve. Sweet on the surface, yet terrifying enough that someone as nasty as Tobias Whale stands respectfully at attention while she ruminates on non sequiturs.

    Clearly Gambi has a vested interest keeping Black Lightning from knowing that Tobias is still in the picture. Whether he thinks he's protecting Jefferson, or for reasons more nefarious, remains yet to be seen.

    It continues to be a fun game trying to figure out what Earth "Black Lightning" is set on. It's an Earth where DC Comics exist, and the Outsiders are just fictional characters. Supergirl was also name dropped, which would seem to rule out Earth-1 from consideration. But is Supergirl being name dropped as a real hero or as a comic book character? If the former, there's a good chance that this show is set on Earth-38. If the latter, it must be a different Earth than both Earth-1 and Earth-38.
     
  18. ponset

    ponset Second Unit

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  19. ponset

    ponset Second Unit

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    I thought tuesdays episode had quiet a few things that interest me.
    Jeff showing pride in his daughter Jennifer for holding her own against the the other girl.
    Jeff getting backlash from using the suit with headaches.
    Backstory of Tobias Whale and his sister with the abusive Step-Father.
    Anissa going on a shopping spree for a hero custom. She was looking good in her new threads.
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I admit, the angle in this show of the hereditary passage of super powers, is really an interesting take that I think is way better realized than in Fox's X-men series (that disappeared?) anyway, this show's take on it is really interesting.
     

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