When I found out that a non-superhero comic book show was coming out, I was more than ecstatic but episode after episode Deadly Class grew to be a bit tiresome. It sported an immensely talented cast some of who are well known: Lana Condor (To All The Boys I Loved Before) and Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange and The Martian) but somehow the show just didn’t work, here’s why:
- There’s a fine line between being dark and being vulgar: Deadly Class immediately tried to show us how the world view of it’s main protagonist, Marcus Arguello, is skewed because of all the terrible things that have happened to him but sometimes the show does things within the story not to progress it or to add to a character but to just remind us that this is a ‘dark’ show but sometimes its trips into the ‘darkness’ just come off extremely vulgar.
- Unlikable protagonist: To say that Marcus’ character was not well received because he is too unrelatable would be a huge lie. Marcus is just unlikable because he’s all over the place not just emotionally but also his thoughts can come off not just pretentious but slightly douche-y. But I think the worst of it is that we don’t actually see growth in the character and that gives us no incentive to continue watching.
- Saya Kuroki was not given a strong enough story: Saya is supposed to be one of the few women who are leaders of their respective groups and instead of showing her as a strong character, the show can’t help but soften her into merely being a spy for the principal or involved in a love triangle with her best friend and her pledge. I think that it was a waste because the scenes we did get to see Saya fight were some of the best and the show should have done something more with it.
- The pace of the show was ludicrous: How much better would the show have been if the season finale was set around the death of Chico? I mean the show seemed like it was on speed, one minute its about getting acquainted to the school, then it’s Saya’s family attacking the school, then Chico’s death and then the Fuckface killer plot. It was too much and then blowing up the group of people we have become acquainted with in the show was downright unnecessary. How are we supposed to understand and come on board with the whole idea of a school for assassins if you never gave us enough time to?
The tone of the show was clearly drawing inspiration from films like Watchmen but even if you think about how long of a film Watchmen was then you understand how slow-building films/shows with dark tones have to be. I think that maybe a TV show like this would have done better if it was set up more as a gangster movie – more action and lighter tone.
Here’s hoping Netflix, or some other network, decides to reboot it and make it better.