How To Ruin A Second Season

I want to use the TV show Young Justice as an example for this article. Young Justice is a DC comic’s based show about the Justice League’s sidekicks forming a new team to aid the league. The show started off very well. There was the introduction of a core group of characters that each got their own storylines in some episodes. Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash, Ms. Martian, Artemis and Aqualad were the core group of heroes. There was a main plot that got deeper as the show progressed. Each character evolved and changed as events transpired.

The creators started off the show great. There was a deep enriching storyline. A solid group of characters that all had a big part of screen time. Any filler episodes served to deepen your understanding of the characters. The season ended in a cliff hanger. The final episodes showed the Justice League being controlled by an unknown evil and forced to fight their once sidekicks. You find out that 6 members of the League went into deep space with no knowledge of what happened. Also in the final moments you saw who the main villain was.

They ended the season solving the problem and setting the tone for next season. So what is the problem? I can answer it in 3 words “5 years later”. The new season started off 5 years later from the previous one. Everything changed and the season was mostly trying to answer the questions the audience had.

Robin, a young boy at the time matured quickly and is in charge of the team. He is now known as Nightwing. Superboy and Ms. Martian started a relationship that seemed to abruptly end. Kid Flash and Artemis became a couple and quit the League all together. Aqualad’s one true love died and he became a supervillain and teamed up with Black Manta….who you later find out is Aqualad’s father.

Instead of building to these storyline, the writers decided to ignore all that and just make you accept their idea. You also find out in the first season that the character Red Arrow, who was once team member, was a clone and the real Red Arrow was captured. So the clone Red Arrow set out to find the original. So he has been searching for 5 years and found nothing. Oh yea, he also had a kid with a supervillain that was randomly sprung on him.

There are a huge number of additional team members added to season 2. None of them you learn how they ended up there. The season starts with the new members combating a bad guy. There is no introduction about these characters. It’s just “Here is Blue Beetle and everyone else”.

Not only did each character in the first season get their own episode, you got to learn about their pasts and how they got to where they are now. There is a new Robin and a Batgirl. Along with a handful of other “main characters” to the show that just spring up like they were there all the time.

It the difference between “showing” vs “telling” story writing. One is just “accept it” and that’s it. The other is take it step by step. Show me how Robin became Nightwing. Show me how he took charge and became the leader.

There aren’t simple little changes. These are series changing events that were just sprung on the audience. Good writing is showing not telling. 5 years is 5 seasons worth of material they could’ve put in to the show.

More importantly the second season had a lot of twists and turns, but they were only twists and turns because the audience didn’t know better and you had to just everything as it was presented. That’s not a twist, it’s a lie.

So after a solid core group has been assembled, season 2 diluted it and sometimes you never saw all the heroes. When I write, I make sure all characters are given their proper time in the spot light. One story I wrote had 7 different characters in different parts of the United States.

BUT I cycled through them repeatedly so there wasn’t a long gap between seeing all the characters. More importantly I even had some characters interact with eachother and go on joint storylines. Book 2 I added a lot more characters, but still had the small numbers of storylines because I combined characters and it didn’t spread the story to thin.

Young Justice was a great show, but the writers ruined it by first making the outrageous time gap and then by adding so many new characters without an explanation. Shows can’t that. First of all it’s unfair to the audience and more importantly it is just bad writing. Season 1 was never like that so going off the blue print into season 2 is just an odd idea. This is how you ruin a good show.

Joe Reyes

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