Do You Really Wanna Do You Really Wanna

After running out of episodes of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City to binge — the season is continuing, but we caught up and now find ourselves restricted to one episode a week like commoners — Chloe and I have moved on to our next television obsession: HBO Max’s Peacemaker.

It should come as little surprise to anyone who knows either of us that we both loved The Suicide Squad last year; nevertheless, I know that I went into Peacemaker with no small amount of nervousness. Sure, the character had been entertaining enough in the movie, but did I really want to watch him be at the center of a show for eight hours? Was there really enough there for the series to be anything other than a bunch of meathead jokes made to diminishing returns, over and over?

The answer for both questions, as anyone who’s seen the show is already aware, was a resounding “yes.” I’ve been consistently surprised by the heart the show has, and the way in which it wants to examine what’s going on underneath Peacemaker’s annoying, none-more-bro shield (as well as others, but predominantly its title character, understandably); I’ve also been impressed by the kindness shown by the series when it calls him out as a bully and asks us to have sympathy for the reasons he is a bully at the same time.

The empathy at the center of Peacemaker was, of course, one of my favorite things about The Suicide Squad, as well as something I really love about another HBO Max/DC show, Doom Patrol. I know that snarky one-liners and far, far too many character in one story are the in-thing for Marvel right now — which is to say, the actually popular superhero movies and TV shows — but, the more I think about it, the more I realize that what I want out of my superhero stories in 2022 is that feeling of empathy and kindness towards those that deserve it. Isn’t that superhuman enough for you all, dammit?

One Reply to “Do You Really Wanna Do You Really Wanna”

  1. I’m so excited for this show (I’m waiting for the right opportunity to binge it all under a free trial), but The Suicide Squad was my favorite movie of 2021. The action and humor were great, and the real empathy for the characters underneath all the bluster and cynicism was terrific. It made the sacrifices feel much more weighty, more meaningful, even if the cynical blockbuster watcher would argue only the disposable characters were ever in danger. I totally fell into the world of the story – the twists and reversals were so satisfying. And for a blockbuster superhero comic book movie to actually present some casually smuggled-in criticism of the US in its role creating Starro… to actually have a point beyond the ever-reactive, ever-maintaining-the-status-quo-unquestioningly Marvel model of storytelling… *chef’s kiss*

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