6 Thoughts on the First Season of Peacemaker
Welp, here we are. After all the movies, all the drama, all the weird plans and random spin-offs. After all the acting controversies and reboots and new directions. After all that stuff, we finally have the best thing to come out of the DC Expanded Universe, and it’s a TV show about Peacemaker. How did this even happen?
TV Show Rating: 10/10 – Fantastic!
I’ll be frank, I’m not the biggest fan of the DCEU. I don’t particularly like Zack Snyder’s various Justice League movies, and I endlessly chortle at DC’s failure to ape the winning formula of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I’ve watched it all, because I’m a sucker for superheroes, and I can confidently declare that Peacemaker is as good as it gets. There’s even a very strong chance that I’ve enjoyed Peacemaker more than every Marvel TV show so far. Blasphemy, I know, but Peacemaker is that damn good (I’ll probably walk back that claim pretty quickly in the long run). Peacemaker is damn fine TV and I’m so glad more seasons have already been ordered.
Join me after the jump for my full thoughts and review of the first season of Peacemaker. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the series as a whole. And feel free to share your own thoughts/review in the comments!
6. Great fuckin’ show
Peacemaker was a perfect balance of everything it was trying to accomplish. Humor, drama, action, crudeness, philosophy; Peacemaker had it all and I loved every part of it. I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t enjoy. I liked all the characters, I loved the song choices, pretty much every joke landed and I was more than happy with the ending. I loved the character development for every character, I loved the progression of the story, I loved the awkward relationships built between everyone, I loved the wider commentary on the DC Universe; this show had it all.
You start with a great James Gunn comedy, using crassness and character-based humor to build your foundation. Then you add diverse and interesting characters, each with their own brand of style and humor. You add awesome action, from cool fights to gunplay to explosions. You add character drama, as everyone goes through an arc this season, everyone is on a journey — especially Peacemaker himself. The show built perfectly out of Peacemaker’s fall in The Suicide Squad to give him more depth and greater character growth over the course of his show. I thought John Cena easily carried the whole thing, always staying the main focus and always having the best character development. And that’s what I love about a show like this. I want characters who are people first and superheroes second, and Peacemaker delivered in spades.
Again, how wild is it that Peacemaker, of all random choices, is the best developed character in this big, stupid DCEU?
5. Stars all around
Everybody was great on this show. There wasn’t one bad apple in the bunch. I liked all the characters, I liked all their plotlines, and all of the acting was superb. John Cena has been chasing the Rock’s success in Hollywood for a while now, but Peacemaker is a really strong argument for surpassing Dwayne Johnson. The Rock has become a trope at this point. The dude has contracts written so that he maintains his status as “The Rock”. Like, he can’t be seen losing a fight. That’s a real rumor, right? But John Cena gets down, dirty, personal and tearful in Peacemaker. John Cena inhabits a character that isn’t just himself.
Everybody else was just as good. Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Chukwudi Iwuji were all phenomenal as Operation: Butterfly. Harsh, funny, friendly, human; this was a stellar main cast all around. And the smaller roles were just as good. Major props go to Annie Chang as Detective Sophie Song. What a shocker/twist when she got taken over by the butterfly. She was a great character. And then Chang easily and expertly switched from the detective to the butterfly. That’s good stuff right there.
I’m also definitely looking forward to see who Iwuji is going to play in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. I kept watching his scenes and wondering how he’d be as Silver Surfer, who is my guess.
4. Vigilante was my favorite, though I wish we had more somber scenes
Vigilante was my favorite character, I just wish he had more scenes like the end of episode 4, when he’s in the car with Harcourt. I love when comedy characters get some real dramatic scenes, when they get to be real people. Vigilante was hilarious throughout the whole show, his specific brand of psycho/socio-pathy putting him shoulders over everyone as weird and funny. But then we got episode 4, where he goes into the prison and just wrecks house against those racist, Sloth-from-The Goonies-looking motherfuckers. That was cool as hell! Then he gets picked up by Harcourt and he actually opens up to another person, actually shows some sadness and depth. I was hoping that would lead to even more…but it never did. Oh well.
I also thought that was the start of a Vigilante/Harcourt fling. I thought she was being uncharacteristically open and responsive to another person, let alone to Adrian. I thought that was the start of something more…but nope! Oh well.
3. That opening dance was fire!
What has happened to people that they don’t wild, musical comedy anymore? People were bitter about the Hawkeye Broadway post-credits scene. People don’t like the opening dance number in Peacemaker. Have these people lost their souls? Do they not comprehend joy anymore? I loved the opening theme song/dance number for Peacemaker and watched it with every episode. It was a genius bit of physical comedy and a rocking song at the same time! I loved the blank, emotionless faces. I loved the small roles for the bit characters. I loved that fun camera twist over Det. Song. The whole thing is perfection and I will never get tired of this sort of awesome dance creativity in my superhero projects!
2. In James Gunn I trust
James Gunn is at the height of his career right now, as far as I’m concerned. Turns out that getting temporarily fired from Marvel was a great boon to his career! Warner Bros. snapped him up and gave him even more freedom before, leading to The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker going for broke and letting the full Gunn shine. I am 100% behind Gunn’s sense of style and sense of humor and I’ve loved both these DC projects. He’s very good at balancing the rude, crude and funny humor with touching character moments and depth. And he clearly loves taking obscure characters and enjoying the freedom. I cannot wait to see all of this energy brought to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3!
1. Bring on the Peacemakerverse!
Once upon a time, DC and The CW made a little show called “Arrow” about the Green Arrow. It was a really good show! And then it spun off into The Flash. And then Supergirl showed up. And Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman; there’s even a full-on Superman and Lois TV show going on right now. But after all these years, I think we can all agree that…none of these shows are all that good? And that the Arrowverse was nice for a spell but has outlived its welcome? At least that’s how I feel about it.
So how about we start again with Peacemaker as the foundation! It’s already been said somewhere that another The Suicide Squad character is going to get their own TV show. Let’s let James Gunn be the mastermind of a whole new corner of DC entertainment!
And may it never connect with Matt Reeves’ The Batman coming out in two weeks.
Honorable Mention: Gag Reel!