Aquaman: Sucks to be you!
Presuming that you’re ever required to create a list of the lamest superhero’s ever, know that you can complete said list with one name and one name only: Aquaman. Yet despite the fishy character’s inescapable suckyess I have to admit that I’m more than a little surprised that The CW (the ‘new’ television network which spawned from the merger of The WB and UPN) are not picking up the Aquaman series developed by Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.
In what was apparently just a case of bad timing, the show (which was to be titled ‘Mercy Reef’) fell between the cracks as the networks merged, and two schedules were shoehorned into one.
Like anyone else who heard about the development of the series, my first reaction was, “What the hell?” and then to rattle off a list of other comic book characters who I’d prefer to see get their own series ahead of Aquaman. I even made a few up, like Yeros Jones and Doners Davis, but even I concede that there are only so many crimes that can be thwarted with the use of salty lamb and garlic sauce. However after my initial reaction It gradually dawned on me why an Aquaman series was actually a really good idea, at least from a marketability perspective.
Take a show about a superhero, any superhero, even one as useless and undeserving of the term ‘super’ as Aquaman, and you’ve got an immediate audience. Show’s like Charmed and Farscape prove that, no matter how craptastic they are, provided you include a supernatural or Sci-Fi element and provided that you don’t offend fans by stampeding over canon (yes, I’m looking at you Enterprise!), there’s a core audience that is pretty much a lock.
Now, take that show and set it, oh I don’t know… somewhere with lots of.. say… water and sunshine! Then cast a great looking, buff dude (for the ladies) in the lead and surround him with girlies in both bikinis and peril (for the lads). Slap some Arron Spelling style relationship ‘drama’ in there and, while we’re probably not talking about winning any Emmy awards, David Hasselhoff proved that this format (sans superpowers) is a winner.
To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of shows that use the slow motion running (well, unless Lee Majors is doing it), but I’m sure that TV execs love the stuff. So I’m left scratching my head as to what exactly Gough and Millar were proposing to CW. Or rather, I’m wondering what it was exactly that CW passed on. I’d like to think that Gough and Millar had something in their sights of a much higher quality than the smut that I outlined above… perhaps they did? I guess the only way we’ll know is if the Aquaman pilot episode finds it’s way onto the net. [source]