Brainiac On Banjo #025: Is It Over Yet? By Mike Gold

I see The CW picked up all its comic book-based teevee shows for their 2019 – 2020 season, and they’re shooting the pilot for their new Batwoman series. This means we’ll be watching them on broadcast channels at least until the next presidential debates.

That’s amusing. The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has yet to air its 2018 – 2019 season. Then again, ABC renewed Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for 2019 – 2020 season without having broadcast this year’s output either. In business terms, those are genuine acts of faith.

Captain Marvel opens in a theater near you in one short month. Yes, this is February and this is a short month. The Brie Larson flick already has broken all advance ticket sales records. Shazam! opens one month later, followed by Hellboy one week after that. The Avengers: Endgame starts pushing popcorn three weeks after that, X-Men Dark Phoenix follows a month after that, Spider-Man Far From Home a couple weeks after, the New Mutants opens the beginning of August (assuming they ever finish the reshoots), and The Joker comes forth Bat-less the beginning of October. 2020’s schedule appears to be just as overloaded. As Lenny Kravitz sang, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Why is this still happening? Shouldn’t it be over by now? 

This is happening because “Hollywood” wants to shove it up Bill Maher’s ass.

Just kidding. Well, let’s make that “just wishing.”

We know why it’s still happening. This stuff makes lots and lots of money. They’ve been doing character-driven heroic fantasy movies at least since 1916 (William Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes, a silent black and white movie once thought lost but is now available on Blu-Ray). The Scarlet Pimpernel, a movie that is still lost, made his film debut in 1917. Tarzan got his start in movies in 1918. Zorro started flickering across bedsheets in 1920. The only thing separating these seminal films from today’s costumed fare is a $200,000,000.00 budget.

“Hollywood” has been making Western movies since 1894 (Fun Fact: Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill played themselves), and that genre was the mainstay of the industry for its first eighty years. Of course, they’re still making lots and lots of Westerns for movies, teevee, home video, streaming, and soon your tooth fillings. One can argue that there isn’t much difference between these Westerns and other heroic fantasy movies.

Clearly at some point in the future “Hollywood” will stop inundating us with so much cape-and-cowl content. All things must pass. Yet – and, yes, I’m squeezing these metaphors until they scream – what goes around comes around. Our entertainment media always has adapted such material for their brands of commerce. It’s been a bona fide thing ever since Thomas Edison invented New Jersey. The unending evolution of technology guarantees heroic fantasy will continue to maintain and entertain an audience until society has grown too jaded and cynical to enjoy the stuff.

And, speaking about “too jaded and cynical” … Bill Maher, pull the stick out of your ass, clean it off, shove some weed in it, light it up, and grow down for a while. Maybe eventually you’ll enjoy yourself. Trust me, it ain’t real. We’ve got organized religion for those fantasies.

But if you won’t, we are going to send a DVD of your 1991 movie Pizza Man to Ann Coulter. Maybe next time the two of you can play dress up.

Thoughts?