In terms of comics lore, Suicide Squad’s roster of anti-heroes boasted an embarrassment of riches: Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Rick Flagg, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, and Amanda Waller. Its bench is nearly as deep as Game of Thrones, and yet it attempted to introduce them all in the span of two hours, instead of six-plus television seasons. It’s no wonder the end result was chaotic, overstuffed and is only getting 26 percent of positive feedback on Rotten Tomatoes, despite some fan efforts to the contrary. But there’s a simple solution: follow the Game of Thrones model and make the film a television show instead.
It wouldn’t be groundbreaking to parse a superhero universe this rich out over the course of an entire TV show; The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and Jessica Jones are all thriving right now. But instead of airing on the CW, it would have been best served by going a step further and airing on a cable network like that Watchmen television show HBO has had on the back burner for ages. Such a format would have allowed Jared Leto’s Joker, who had many scenes cut, better show off his “method” efforts, and give us the opportunity to see these evil villains actually being evil.
The medium would also allow it to give each character’s origin story its own episode and come up with a villain who is more thought out than a dancing with who throws black goop and wants to end the world because, well, she’s just evil, that’s why!
Television is filled with memorable villains: Kilgrave, Joffrey — hell, even Ramsay Bolton had more presence than the ill-conceived Enchantress. And if Suicide Squad was a show, Harley Quinn and the Joker could get an entire episode for their tumultuous relationship rather than a handful of rushed scenes, while we could get the origin story of Captain Boomerang’s unicorn fetish.
Suicide Squad’s story and characters have the potential to be intriguing, but cramming them into two hours was bound to feel overstuffed. So bring on Task Force X the show . If David Ayer is too busy, Nic Pizzolatto can emerge from his HBO cave and write it.