Small Screen Hero Fatigue: Are There Too Many Superhero TV Shows?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years, you are well aware that superheroes are taking over the world. Well, not really, but they are definitely the kings of entertainment. It seems that we barely go a month without DC or Marvel squeezing out another blockbuster superhero film. Let’s just look ahead at 2016: Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange. And the list goes on. It’s pretty crazy how inundated the film world is with superhero flicks. But, I don’t know if the big screen can even hold a candle to what the world of television has done. Nearly every major TV network has a superhero TV show now. And it’s not like this has been a growing process like it was with movies starting in 2008. No, we got Arrow in 2012 and since then the silver screen superhero scene has skyrocketed. The CW is in a league of their own with DC material, ABC has got Marvel on lock and Netflix is bringing the heavy hitters to our streaming devices. But here’s a good question: is it too much? Are there just too many superhero shows on TV? Or maybe these shows are just opening the door for even more television comic book adaptations. That’s what Cody and Wesley are here to help you decide.

Cody: Too Many Superhero Shows

Okay folks, let me start off by saying that I don’t hate superhero shows. In fact, I’m a regular viewer of more than one. However, I’m kinda starting to get the feeling that television networks are like the weird kid who gets excited when he finds out you are into the same thing. “Oh, you like superhero shows? Well, let me give you all of theeeeeeese!”

Thanks CW, I get it.


But really, how can they expect an average television viewer to possibly have the time to watch all of those shows? It’s ridiculous. And honestly, it’s just exhausting. Let’s say I want to go catch a movie at my local cinema that has cheap tickets on a Tuesday. Of course I’m seeing the latest Marvel movie, probably for the second time! When I walk out of that awesome Marvel movie, my superhero experience isn’t over. Oh no, not by a long shot. Because it’s time for me to get home, buckle in and melt my eyeballs out with four hours of superhero television shows. Not to mention the plethora of shows that are on nearly every other night of the week. And when the seasons of these shows end, never fear! The next wave of new shows and new seasons will be here! And when all else fails, Netflix will hold me nice and tight and whisper sweet Daredevils into my eyeballs.

All joking aside, as an avid fan of all things comic books, it’s just become too much. At the very least, the movies are spaced out just far enough that I haven’t started to feel that superhero fatigue yet. But when I can’t flip through the channels or scroll through streaming without coming across a half dozen superhero shows, I just start to lose interest. The sad thing is, there are some really great shows in the mix. The Flash is a favorite of the whole NerdSpeak crew, but it gets out of hand when I have to watch Arrow the next night to see the conclusion to a huge plotline. Or watch a whole new show in Legends of Tomorrow to see what happened to some of my favorite characters. How am I supposed to keep up? And really, how am I supposed to care about all of these shows when I barely have time to watch the few shows that I do?

Superhero TV Shows

MS Paint masterpiece by yours truly

I know it’s too late now, but I think the television networks have gotten themselves into a bit of a quagmire. As more superhero shows are produced, others are going to start to feel the same way I do. It just gets too hard to keep up. Look at all the times the networks have failed when they try to strike oil twice and produce a ton of shows that are different but not so different from NCIS and CSI. Was anyone really asking for CSI: Cyber starring Lil’ Bow Wow? Eventually, people’s interest start to wane. And I fear that this is the path that superhero TV shows are following, which is a damn shame. I know not every hero really deserves their own movie, but maybe they don’t all deserve a show either.

Wesley: Too Many? No Such Thing.

There are a lot of superhero shows on TV and keeping up with your DVR recordings can get frustrating, especially if you’re a comic book fan. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe there’s a reason? Most of these shows are just really freaking good. I can think of about 7 or 8 superhero shows that I watch regularly and I can honestly say that I haven’t gotten tired of any of them. This could eventually change, but who said they all have to be winners? There are bound to be a few duds with all of these networks trying to get in on the action, but that’s television for ya. Who can blame them for wanting to cash in? If I was an executive at ABC, you can bet your ass I would be greenlighting a Squirrel Girl pilot on my first day.

Sure, it might get overwhelming trying to keep up with all of it, but the same can be said for any show. There are dozens of courtroom shows, hundreds of reality shows and probably close to 1,000 different cooking shows on the air, but you know someone is watching them.

FILE - In this May 4, 2011 file photo, TV personality Guy Fieri poses for a portrait Wednesday, May 4, 2011 in New York. Fieri, who hosts the NBC game show "Minute To Win It," talks about how he transformed the fixer upper into a sprawling ranch-style home with a 900-square-foot kitchen. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, file)

                             How else would this guy be the host of 6 different shows?

It’s possible that people will start to get burned out on the whole superhero thing, but it’s not likely with all of the different shows you have to choose from. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is nothing like Daredevil and The Flash is nothing like Gotham. Meanwhile, Survivor is still using the same formula it’s been using since 2000 and they’re on their 32nd damn season. I think superhero shows are gonna be okay.

It really boils down to this: watch whatever makes you happy. Your parents only had four TV stations and had to stand up to change channels, but you live in a world where you can watch Jessica Jones while taking a shit at Subway. I say keep the superhero shows coming. It might be too much of a good thing, but it beats watching a whole bunch of the bad that’s out there.



So, those are our perspectives. What do you think? Are there already too many superhero shows, or should the networks keep them coming? Let us know in the comments below!

Cody Seymour

Creator of NerdSpeak. Writer, filmmaker, nerd and lover of good food.

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