Saturday, 28 December 2013
TV Series: Arrow
Now that my favourite television series, "The Almighty Johnsons" and "Dexter", have finished I need to pick a new favourite. Just in case someone asks. It's not really necessary to have a favourite, but it's good to have an answer ready when someone asks me what my favourite film or tv show is, rather than indecisively mumbling around. To me it's very unsatisfying when I ask someone what his favourite film is and the reply is "I like a lot of things". Sure, I like a lot of things as well, but I like to have a quick answer ready so that people can make a quick impression of me and my tastes. After they get to know me better they'll realise that I'm more complicated.
After watching about half of the first season, I have to say that "Arrow" stands head and shoulders above every other current television series. It's much better than "Agents of SHIELD", which I admit is good, but it doesn't live up to the high expectations I had of it. Why is it that Marvel makes the best films, but DC makes the best tv series? The recent "Man of Steel" film looks pale in comparison with most of the episodes of "Smallville", despite their smaller budget. None of the Batman films since the 1980's live up to the Batman tv series. In my opinion DC should give up making films altogether and concentrate on what they do best: television. The excitement and suspense of "Arrow" is incredible, and the action scenes match and even excel most current films.
Nevertheless, take a look at the screenshot of the legal blurb from the end of the "Arrow" episodes. It's embarrassing, isn't it? They should learn how to spell. Another issue is the final paragraph, concerning the authorship. In the last few years it's become common for films to name a company as their author rather than the real screenwriter, in an attempt to extend the coverage of the Berne Convention. In the case of films and motion pictures there might be some validity, because the copyright expires 70 years after the author's death. I say "might", because some legal experts doubt that the transfer of legal authorship to a company is recognised by the Berne Convention. However, television broadcasts are treated differently to films under the Berne Convention; the copyright expires 50 years after the first broadcast, so the question of authorship is irrelevant. The USA has formally signed the Berne Convention, but in practise it tries not to apply it, especially in recent years when the copyright for many films and television programmes has officially expired. The film and television studios want to retain the ownership, even though they are legally in the public domain. I predict that if the Berne Convention is not overhauled in the next few years the USA will formally leave the treaty, causing chaos in the film world.