Thursday, August 29, 2019

Legends Of Bone-Headed Ideas

Sigh... more bad news for genre fans this week.

Just one day after Sony announced it was pulling Spider-Man from the MCU, the producers of Legends Of Tomorrow revealed that actors Brandon Routh (who plays Atom) and Courtney Ford (who plays Nora Darhk) will be leaving the series sometime in Season 5.

Routh has been with the show since the very first episode, and as Ray Palmer, aka the Atom, he's brought a real sense of fun and wide-eyed innocence to the show. 

Ford joined the series in Season 3, and her character, the villainous Nora Darhk, turned over a new leaf and became a regular in Season 4. Routh and Ford share a breezy onscreen chemistry, no doubt due to the fact that they're married in real life!

In a press statement, executive producer Phil Klemmer stated, “Brandon and Courtney have been invaluable members of the Legends family. They have always brought a level passion and collaboration to their characters and to the show— both on and off the screen– that we deeply admire and for which we are eternally grateful." Wow. Rarely have so many words amounted to so little meaning.

To add insult to injury, this departure doesn't seem to be Routh or Ford's idea. That's right— for reasons known only to the increasingly erratic writing team, they're being forcibly written off the show!

Routh in particular seemed peeved by the situation, and took to the internet to vent his frustration— “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring the big-hearted and humorous Ray Palmer to life for our fans over the last 5 years, but unfortunately, his storyline is pointed in another direction. I’m saddened to see Ray’s journey end for now but wish my Legends family well.”

Ford echoed his comments, saying, “Nora Darhk is very close to my heart. If it were my choice, I’d play her for years to come. But I understand that stories run their course, and I’m grateful for the time I did have bringing Nora to life on Legends of Tomorrow.”

To put it succinctly, THIS BLOWS. Atom's always been one of my favorite Legends characters. In addition to being the main source of comic relief, he's the heart and soul of the show as well. And his bromance with Nate Heywood, aka Steel, is nothing short of joyous.

The addition of the reformed Nora Darhk as a love interest for Ray was a welcome development as well. I've always been a sucker for villain redemption arcs, so her presence on the show was right up my alley. 

This news couldn't have come at a worse time. Season 4 of Legends was extremely uneven, as many episodes came perilously close to being unwatchable. After the triumph that was Seasons 2 and 3, the sudden drop in quality was jarring to say the least.

Why the hell would the writers jettison these two characters just when their storyline's getting good? Please tell me it's not to give more screen time to Gary Green and Mona Wu. Much like radioactivity, those two characters are fine in small doses, but too much exposure to them is deadly.

The absence of Atom and Nora is gonna blow a hole right through the middle of the show, and I'm honestly not sure it can survive the wound. After the poor quality of Season 4, I was actually on the fence as to whether I'd keep watching the show or drop it. The news of Routh and Ford's mandatory departure pretty much seals the deal for me. I'll probably watch it until they leave, but after that... outlook not so good.

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