The CW has been churning out TV shows for a while now, but ‘Black Lightning’ was one of the newer ones. Originally it was being sold as another ‘Vigilante’ show, but with the success of ‘Arrow’, I knew that ‘Black Lightning’ would have to do something a little different.
The first season of ‘Black Lightning’ introduces us to Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal who is more than adored by his pupils. However, it transpires that several years before this, he was none other than the vigilante Black Lightning. As the violence in his city begins to spread once more and the lives of his family are placed at risk, he steps up to his mantle once more, ready to defend Freeland. Alongside this, there is the return of his nemesis, Tobias Whale, a man responsible for the death of Jefferson’s father. Black Lightning realizes that he can’t fight this crusade alone, and when his daughters begin to exhibit powers, he finds himself with a family unit capable of saving the Freeland City.
I thought the character development through this first season was pretty good actually. They really focused on not only Black Lightning as a hero but the good accomplished by Jefferson in his public identity too. His daughter Anissa also has an interesting character arc which I can only imagine will grow with future seasons. The show kept the villain Tobias as a villain in the background for most of the season, which I thought was good in a way, as we were left waiting for the moment that hero and villain squared off.
Even though the CW shows aren’t particularly renown for their acting, I didn’t think that the capabilities of the actors were bad in this show at all. In a way, starring as characters that few people were aware of, ended up being an advantage for them because their iteration would be the first seen and remembered. I thought in particular, James Remar, as Peter Gambi did a fantastic job.
Admittedly there were bits where I felt like the cinematography did lack, especially with some of the graphics, but at the same time, because the show is so grounded, despite tackling characters that are essentially metahuman, it did a pretty good job at being dark and gritty.
Overall, I thought this wasn’t a bad show. There were moments where I felt myself a little bored, but never at the point where I wanted to quit and not watch the show. I think it does show promise and with the ending of ‘Arrow’ on the CW, ‘Black Lightning’ might just be the show that we need!
Integral vs Filler Episodes: ★★★