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  1. #21
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    I don't see how the verdict was out. Didn't the production team intentionally stop doing two-part episodes to not burn a good thing? Creatively animation does work in a one-hour format. There is nothing that separates animation from live action dramas in this regard.
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  2. #22
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    Lighthammer is offline Bringer of the Light
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob T. Paschal View Post
    I don't see how the verdict was out. Didn't the production team intentionally stop doing two-part episodes to not burn a good thing? Creatively animation does work in a one-hour format. There is nothing that separates animation from live action dramas in this regard.
    I don't know if there was ever any kind of official statement to this affect, but every interview I ever read from the production team on this matter was that they "decided to go in a different direction" without much more explanation beyond that.

    Reading between the lines a bit, I've always taken this to mean that CN was looking for something that felt like it would work better in the Saturday Toonami format and Justice League may have been dumped if they didn't fit that bill. CN under Jim Samples seemed happy with Justice League in the one hour format but pressure mounting to pull in bigger numbers never felt compatible with the goal.

    As far as one hour animation vs one hour live action goes; I'd certainly argue there are a TON of things you need to consider between the two formats and they don't directly compare; paramount of which is expense. We a lot of this debate back as far as the Star Trek TAS series, which the first patch of episodes (the first six I believe) were scripted as 1 hour episodes. I'd wager some of the debackle with that series and playing with the tort between one hour vs thirty minutes still resonates in executives heads even though it was 40 years ago last year. Its probably still a case study for communications students.
    Last edited by Lighthammer; 01-18-2014 at 05:37 PM.

  3. #23
    CyberCubed is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthammer View Post

    That being said, I don't think Justice League was a screaming success, but it certainly wasn't a failure. I think it IS a little too easy to pick out the really good episodes and separate them from the "less good" ones (not to be confused with bad ones, because I don't think any of the Justice League 1 hour episodes qualify as "bad").
    The War World episode was terrible, and was definitely a bad episode. That episode the first proof that the 1-hour format had ridiculous padding, because that entire story could have been condensed into 22 minutes and nothing would change.

    As a half-hour episode it would still be a rather bad episode but it would be, "quick and to the point." Instead we had a horrid plot stretched out to an hour to make the episode stand out even worse than before.

    What a horrible episode that was. I usually don't like episodes where, "main character is forced to fight to the death in a tournament" to begin with as they all follow the same formula, but that one managed to make it even worse than humanly possible.

  4. #24
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    War World was bad because Superman was boring and the directing was awful. There were no questions asked. From the get-go Superman was the moral authority and Mongol was the complete opposite. When your series is about repeatedly shoving the square peg of justice into the round hole of evil you are not going to have particularly riveting storylines. Superman entertaining what lies in the middle of the spectrum was never even entertained. The death tournament concept was hardly explored, nor was the concept of Draaga, who thrived and lived for battle. These shows always advocate that fighting for fun is bad, but they never entertain the idea that fighting for fun or as a way of life isn't bad. It's dry dialogue between characters without a drop of poison in their body.

    War World isn't a mark against the one-hour format, it's a mark against Stan Berkowitz and Butch Lukic. Forty-four minutes is plenty of time to ask interesting questions about the premise while also including stellar and lengthy fight scenes, especially on the budget this series had.
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  5. #25
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    Bobbywoodhogan is offline I Will Find Him!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    1. The one-hour format to the show just didn't work. Most of these episodes had tons of padding and filler scenes so they could make 1-hour shows instead of the usual half-hour seen in B:TAS, S:TAS, Batman Beyond and JLU. Instead of these stories being long and drawn-out, they could have cut the filler and done most of them in half-hours like the other shows.
    I think it was a mixture of things, they were just finding their feet and look at the colour tone of season one. They went for a more realistic look with the look of the buildings etc and I think it made for an overall dull look. I liked the two-parters myself but maybe they should gave done some single episodes for stories that didn't need more than one shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    2. Superman's bad design and voice. Superman was recasted and his voice in the first season was off. While he improved tremendously in Season 2, during the first season Superman had a dull voice and a bad design with a "tired" look on his face. They tried to make him look older and it didn't work. Superman was also shown to be terribly weak in this season constantly failing so the other JL members could step in and save the day.
    Newbern took a season to find his feet and I don't really think he can be beaned for that. Once he did find his feet he nailed it. One of the best Superman voices of all-time. The design in season one was off but I was more bothered with the way the character was written than his look. This us something else they rectified in season two along with his design. At least they admitted their mistake but again they were finding their feet.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    3. No origin stories for the villains. Unlike the other shows, this is where they just stopped caring about giving the villains origin stories. The early "Injustice for all" episode introduced a ton of new characters we never saw in DCAU before like The Shade, the Ultrahumanite, Cheetah, Copperhead, etc....and we were given no reason to care about them or where they came from. I remember when I was younger wondering who the hell these characters were and why they existed.
    I didn't mind the no origins, infact I don't think they're always necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    4. No origins or "out-of-costume" episodes for the heroes. Hawkgirl was a completely unknown and underdeveloped character in Season 1. We never saw Flash without his costume, nor did we see any Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. We didn't know why Green Lantern changed from Kyle to John Stewart off-screen. Wonder Woman's origin was rushed and completely glossed over.
    Again I don't think these things were needed, every hero got their moments/character focused episodes throughout so these things were touched on throughout.

    We did see their alter egos on later seasons but only briefly and again I don't feel it was needed

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    5. Too many characters. 7 heroes, more than half of which were underdeveloped heroes. Going with above, we just simply didn't know enough about Wonder Woman or Hawkgirl in the first season. Where did Wonder Woman live? Why didn't we see more of the Amazon island before it was destroyed? In Season 1 we didn't know what Hawkgirl did or what her face looked like. This improved as the show progressed, but in season 1 we knew nothing about half the team.
    Too many? What about JLU they had less time and even more characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    6. Secondary characters we loved disappeared. Lois Lane wasn't used at all despite there being tons of eps in Metropolis, we didn't see any Nightwing/Batgirl/Robin, etc.

    While Season 2 of Justice League was a vast improvement and most of JLU was great....it's just a shame Season 1 of JL was such hit or miss. Thoughts?
    Again were they needed? Season 1 had to focus on the main scene characters as it was the first season. They were only just discovering how to do a a team up show like this, they certainly couldn't look back to Superfriends for any inspiration.
    Consider Yourself Impeached - Superman to Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)

  6. #26
    CyberCubed is offline Senior Member
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    The cast of characters all having the same stoic personality didn't help:

    - Martian Manhunter had no personality outside of going "aaaaah" when he was attacked.

    - Hawkgirl had little to no personality in Season 1 aside from getting angry and hitting things with her mace.

    - Superman Season 1 had no personality.

    - Green Lantern was an odd mix, his personality was usually stoic with the same serious expression on his face, but he did have a lot of moments of compassion and sympathy.

    - Wonder Woman could sometimes feel bland.


    Not sure why they chose a cast where half the team has the same stoic and/or bland personality. It was only Batman and Flash that balanced everyone out. Green Lantern was good depending on the episode though. The others didn't improve till Season 2.

  7. #27
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    Lighthammer is offline Bringer of the Light
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    Maybe its because I watched and discussed these episodes so many times (thanks in part to this forum, thanks in part to working with geeks and nerds that this sort of thing WAS our water cooler discussions) but I'd certainly, absolutely, blatantly disagree on the sentiment that these characters were bland in season 1.

    The episodes I'll easily concede were "less then stellar" in season 1 were:
    02 - In Blackest Night
    03 - The Enemy Below
    05 - War World

    (Mind everyone, in my episode list, I have season 1 listed as 12 episodes with all relevant episodes combined)

    Running down the list of mains (in designation order):

    01 :: Superman - My major disappoint with Superman was it felt like the events of Legacy had already been forgotten. Even though DCAU operated under "peanuts time" and we're to assume a "sufficient amount of time has passed" to get over it, we're reminded like a rock to the face in "A Better World" (S02E06) The scars are still there and really relevant. Superman at the beginning of Justice League felt like we pushed the reset button on Superman TAS Season 3 and really; THAT'S my biggest problem with Superman at the start of Justice League.

    02 :: Batman - My only complaints about Batman, which I can concede as a finical issue and attempt to mitigate turning into a crutch, was the lack of ANY sort of backup from the rest of the bat family. Batman felt like Batman at the end of the joint Superman & Batman Adventures, but we had a lack of cameos where other members of the bat family were either trying to help or visuals of Batman handing off "lesser issues" to members of the bat family, which I think would have made very meaningful cameos and fillers for some of the spots that felt as if they were slightly rougher then they needed to be.

    03 :: Wonder Woman - I think the critics who say we didn't get enough origin story for Wonder Woman are reaaaaaaaaally off. Between "Secret Origin" (S01E01), "Paradise List" (S01E04) and "Fury" (S01E07) I think we got a really great in depth splattering of her origin. I won't deny it would have been really great to see something that explained her conflict with Cheetah or even her sparing with Ruby Sapphire she has done muchly in the comics, but for the time they had available, it worked.

    04 :: Green Lantern - Though "In Blackest Night" (S01E02) was really supposed to be John Stewart intro episode, I think many would agree it came across as a really weak episode. It wasn't till "Brave and the Bold" (S01E06), "Legends" (S01E08) and "Metamorphosis" (S01E11) we really started to learn a lot about him. "In Blackest Night", IMHO, set a bad pace for John Stewart that it really DID take a long time for his "hard ass" attitude to show through the dynamic of his character.

    05 :: Flash - Wally West is DEBATABLY the ONLY main character to show through with his original cameo in DCAU (In Superman TAS: "Speed Demons" S01E18). His personality easily came through from the beginning IMHO and probably why he was considered to be one of most people's favorite characters.

    06 :: Martian Manhunter - Martian Manhunter is a bit difficult. I think he came off as intended right off the bat, but it wasn't easy to see because most viewers weren't easily able to identify with him. It was this that I think made it hard to keep a beat on the character, but he easily flowed from the same front right from the start. It's hard to associate with someone who has lost his planet and has had eons to coupe with that fact, but still has a deep seated depression of it. It was only through his interaction with humans that he realized how much he missed his own people.

    07 :: Hawkgirl - Is a similar case to Martian Manhunter, but her emotions are closer to the surface. What I've always wonder, personally, is if they intended for the finally to end the way it did. The progression of her character makes so much more sense if we acknowledge TPTB intended for the Hawk Invasion all along. If not, then her attitudes in Season 1 are much more suspect.

    08 :: Aquaman - I throw Aquaman in because he IS a traditional founder and WAS in one of the immediate follows to the premier. To me, Aquaman was a bit jarring because Superman TAS's "A Fish Story" (S03E14) just a year and a half before depicted a very different Aquaman. I'm honestly still not sure exactly how to react to this. Some changes between previous DCAU installments are very easy to forgive, this one always 'got me' more so then others.

  8. #28
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    BigFatHairyDeal is offline Defender of the Universe
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    The War World episode was terrible, and was definitely a bad episode. That episode the first proof that the 1-hour format had ridiculous padding, because that entire story could have been condensed into 22 minutes and nothing would change.

    As a half-hour episode it would still be a rather bad episode but it would be, "quick and to the point." Instead we had a horrid plot stretched out to an hour to make the episode stand out even worse than before.

    What a horrible episode that was. I usually don't like episodes where, "main character is forced to fight to the death in a tournament" to begin with as they all follow the same formula, but that one managed to make it even worse than humanly possible.
    Yeah, the bold part seems like a bad argument. Don't blame the format, blame the writing. The show had seven primary characters, SEVEN, and you have to dedicate some percentage of the airtime to action scenes. If you can't fill an hour long episode with enough plot, you're doing something wrong. Blaming the length of the episode for padding sounds like a bad writer making excuses, especially when 1) a lot of shows with fewer characters managed well in the one-hour format and 2) the second season was just fine with the one-hour format.

    Granted, I haven't posted on many forums dedicated to specific TV shows, but I can't remember the last time any show other than Justice League got blasted for being one hour instead of thirty minutes, which seemed to happen a lot when the show got cut to 30-minute episodes for the Unlimited run.

    The only thing that would've bothered me by the first season's hour format is that it was always split in half, so most episodes took two weeks to complete, which can be kind of annoying. Second season didn't have that problem.

  9. #29
    CyberCubed is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatHairyDeal View Post
    Yeah, the bold part seems like a bad argument. Don't blame the format, blame the writing. The show had seven primary characters, SEVEN, and you have to dedicate some percentage of the airtime to action scenes.
    But this is false, the majority of episodes didn't use all seven characters. Most Justice League episodes only used 4-5 heroes at the most. In War World for example both Batman and Wonder Woman weren't even in that episode. From what I remember it was just Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl and Maritan Manhunter. That's only 5.

    In fact after rewatching Seasons 1-2 I realized only very few episodes had all 7 heroes. Most of them always excluded 1-2 of them. That's proof right there the writers didn't want to use so many characters at once.

    [/I]The only thing that would've bothered me by the first season's hour format is that it was always split in half, so most episodes took two weeks to complete, which can be kind of annoying. Second season didn't have that problem.
    Some of them could have still been 1-hour. But others could have been condensed. Like how the Christmas ep in Season 2 was only a half hour.

  10. #30
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    BigFatHairyDeal is offline Defender of the Universe
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
    But this is false, the majority of episodes didn't use all seven characters. Most Justice League episodes only used 4-5 heroes at the most. In War World for example both Batman and Wonder Woman weren't even in that episode. From what I remember it was just Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl and Maritan Manhunter. That's only 5.

    In fact after rewatching Seasons 1-2 I realized only very few episodes had all 7 heroes. Most of them always excluded 1-2 of them. That's proof right there the writers didn't want to use so many characters at once.
    Seven, four, five, two... regardless of how many characters the writers used or wanted to use, that shouldn't be an indictment of the one-hour format. If it were a slapstick show, then maybe I'd agree.

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