Okay. I’ll try to give a quality spoiler-free answer for you here. I hope it helps.
Let me start with a pair of quotes from Producer Giancarlo Volpe and another from Writer Jim Krieg, which sums up what I believe is at the core of what this show does incredibly right.
“You have to know that my approach to making shows is to make shows with mass appeal. The goal is to tell a very intelligent, well thought out story that holds up for adults, and then sprinkle in comedy here and there for the kids. You also have to tone down sex and violence so it’s safe for a 5 year old, of course.
I think where a lot of action shows can go wrong is they approach it from the complete opposite vantage point: They make a frivolous, goofy story that they think kids will like, then try to sprinkle in an occasional grown up joke or reference to “wink” at the adults. The problem with that thinking is that if the show is crap, the parents you’re catering to won’t even be in the room to hear your lame 80’s pop culture joke.”
— Giancarlo Volpe [source]
“Fortunately, Bruce, Giancarlo and I all shared a single vision to make this much more than just a superhero show (as much as we love those), I believe we all saw it as a chance to make something truly epic. We certainly tried. Only time (and the fans) will tell us if we succeeded.”
— Jim Krieg [source]
This show, and I believe you can feel it from episode one, isn’t trying overly-hard to be specifically edgy or kid oriented or pointed at the superhero fans. You do not have to know anything about DC Comics to enjoy this show. It’s telling a good, solid story. There’s an epic narrative in there you can feel building from the first moment you learn about Frontier Space and the Red Lanterns, and that over-arcing plot is built into every episode of the series without making single episodes unapproachable for a new viewer. There’s a sense of building towards bigger things, and that telling this bigger story was the primary goal, not simply catering to fan whims. Even the episodes that seem like one-shots (with one exception) have elements and characters that come back into play later.
This show resulted in a couple of characters that are brand new to the DC Lantern mythos who go through huge character developments over the course of the first 13 episodes and it’s handled in a paced and believable way over a 9 month (in story) period. These two have been the breakout characters of the show, and the fandom is head over heels for them because of the quality with which their narrative has been executed.
For long-time DC Comics fans, whether you love or hate previous incarnations of Hal Jordan, GLTAS’s Hal is everything “Earth’s Mightiest GL” should be that isn’t always accomplished in the comics and movies. He’s imperfect, and called out on it when he is, headstrong, honest, excited to be a hero, inventive, determined, a little silly, inspiring at key moments, and ultimately a good man. He’s been re-invented with a strong dash of Captain Kirk, and it sits well on him.
Even if you don’t come to like GLTAS’s Hal Jordan, the cast is played as an ensemble. Hal doesn’t save the day every episode by virtue of being the lead. In fact, he’s the one being saved on multiple occasions. The crew of the Interceptor (the ship) is a cast of (mostly) equals.
Another thing the show does incredibly well is the women. As a female fan of the superhero genre, I’ve gotten really used to women being fridged, sidelined, and reduced to damsels in distress. While I would love to see more female characters in regular roles on the show, nearly every female who has had a role has been strong in one way or another, either in brains or in ability to fight, if not both. When a female features primarily in the conflicts, (most of the time) she is the one to do the rescue. In fact, one thing I loved was that there are a couple of cases where women are allowed to be take charge, strong characters without having to be superpowers, or that they are allowed to be physically strong while still having feminine traits. Not to say we have no women in refrigerators in GLTAS; there have been a couple. What is important to me is that the men in GLTAS never seem to be shocked that a female could do something powerful nor are they embarrassed to be rescued due to the gender of the person doing the rescuing. I go into some spoilery detail about my interpretation of it in my talk about sexism and the Star Sapphire episode.
Aside from that, Saint Walker makes an appearance or two, and if you don’t know and love this character already, you are in for a treat.
That’s what my favorite aspects of the show are. WITHOUT SPOILERS, do the other Fanterns have anything to add?
Our show’s fans are brilliant.
Here’s another reason: Actual Bruce Timm quote regarding Green Lantern the Animates Series that he personally told me this morning:
“I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass, but this is one of the best projects I’ve ever been a part of. Period.”
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