The CW is going through some huge changes after the Warner Brothers and Discovery merger. I knew some changes were bound to happen over at the movie studio, however not once did I expect it to leak over onto CW shows.
Since its launch in September of 2006, The CW provided consistent nerdy television, easily accessible to geeks like me who couldn’t afford comics or to go to the movies on a regular basis. Shows like Smallville, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural were the earliest memories I had of adult niche entertainment. This was the start of a long relationship I’ve had with the CW, as it remains my most-watched station on cable television.
At least, it was until the recent bloodbath that occurred leading into The CW Upfronts. Mid-May brought news that a plethora of shows from their lineup was being unceremoniously canceled. Something that had seemed so stable in my nerdy kingdom was changing drastically. I am in shock, mourning the loss of lost stories, of what could have been. So while The CW is alright with letting go of these series, for me, I need one last chance to say goodbye to the legacies gone too soon.
The Arrowverse Limps to its End
The CW is known for many remarkable series, but when they introduced Arrow back in 2012, the station began something extraordinary. What began as a single show grew into a connected universe of no less than seven shows. The shows would crossover at least once per year and what happened in one show impacted stories in another.
The Arrowverse did to television what Marvel Studios did to film. The way that each show created a bigger and more enriching world was something to be envied.
I worried when they announced the end of Arrow. It felt like a chapter was closing, no way this world could continue without Stephen Amell. However, the Arrowverse continued to persevere without the show that started it.
We didn’t have the Green Arrow to save the city, but Flash, Black Lightning, and Supergirl were there to save the day. The recent cancellations of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman felt entirely different. Where once the Arrowverse was seven shows a season strong, it was now dwindled down to three.
Of those three that are left, Stargirl is set on another Earth (Earth-2) and could easily move beyond the Arrowverse. It has never crossed over with the other properties, with the only connection being a flash during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The Flash feels like it’s entering into its own personal endgame, and Superman & Lois always felt disconnected from the bigger picture. A universe that once felt connected now feels like it’s completely gone.
Stargirl and Superman & Lois could transition to HBOmax exclusives, continuing their individual stories without the need for the connected universe. This would leave the Arrowverse ending with the finale of The Flash.
Improper Endings for Legends, Batwoman, and Naomi
Adding to the anger over this unceremonious death to the Arrowverse is that Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Naomi all ended on cliffhangers. These shows deserved proper conclusions for those on the show and the fans who watch them.
Looking at many of The CW shows, outright canceling the programs has not been their pattern of behavior. Most times, they would give shows shorter, abbreviated seasons to wrap up the story. Even perhaps a movie-length special allows the stories to wrap naturally. Instead, these shows ended abruptly. Each show ended on varying levels of cliffhangers, leaving fans to guess what happens next.
Batwoman ended with the Bat-team reclaiming Wayne Enterprises and working together once again. The show ended on a hopeful note that Gotham was safe for the moment, a great sentiment for a series finale if the creepy skeletal figure didn’t show up hinting at what is coming up next.
Naomi saw the titular character learning the truth about her adoptive parents and flying away. This twist came as such a shock and provided a lot of excitement for what was to come. This moment between Kaci Walfall, Mouzam Makkar, and Barry Watson brought me chills and provided one of the best scenes of the entire show.
The biggest crime was the cliffhanger of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. After stopping the evil Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton), the Legends returned to the Waverider and were subsequentially arrested by the Time Masters for their crimes.
Factor in Sara’s (Caity Lotz) pregnancy and the introduction of Booster Gold (Donald Faison), fans were cheated out of the awesomeness that season eight would be! All three of these shows pushed the envelope on representation for PoC and members of the LGBTQ population. That loss hurts a lot as well.
Beyond the Arrowverse
The sad reality is that the Arrowverse was not the only world impacted by the cuts made at the CW. While it may have lost the hardest, fans of Dynasty, Roswell: New Mexico, and Charmed are also left with the grief of shows ending too soon.
I didn’t watch the first two, but I felt the pain when Charmed, which is still airing its fourth season, was cut, knowing the ending that is coming isn’t the one fans deserved. Charmed is currently reinventing itself, with the introduction of a new Charmed one, after Madeleine Mantock left at the end of season three. This season dives into the world history and lore of the Charmed Ones, which has been fascinating and one of the best seasons of television I have ever seen.
There is always a chance that any of these shows may receive new life on another channel or service. For those that I was an avid fan of, I hope that to be true.
A new season of Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Charmed, or Naomi would provide the closure that I and all the other fans need. Seeing fans like the ones behind the Save Legends of Tomorrow campaign, working hard towards another season brings me comfort, knowing I’m not alone in the hurt and pain caused by the dumping of these fantastic shows.
The people in front of and behind the camera worked hard to create stories that brought about more representation and joy to people during some dark times. Let’s hope that our voices as heard and that The CW or some other avenue helps fans find the closure we need.
What do you think of the many cancellations from The CW? Were you upset to see them go, or did you think it was time for the Arrowverse and other shows on the channel to end? Let us know over on Twitter @MyCosmicCircus!