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Is This 'The Real World'? Or Just 'Legends of Tomorrow'?

By Craig Wack | TV | January 22, 2016 |

By Craig Wack | TV | January 22, 2016 |

This is the story of nine strangers, picked to live in a timeship and travel though history to stop the evil Vandal Savage from taking over the world. We’ll see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. This is The Real World: Recorded History.

Nah, just kidding. It’s actually the pilot episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which finally premiered on The CW after a half season of setup on both Arrow and The Flash.

However this first episode of this limited run show did have the feel of one of those Real World seasons back in the day. Instead of setting up how this hodgepodge of personality quirks will live and work in a T-shirt shop in Miami, we get a first glimpse of this rag-tag group of wannabe heroes and villains to see if they can come together and save the future from a cruel fate (Though one detail has us worried about their chances for success. Despite knowing they were going on an indefinite mission, not a one of them thought to pack a bag).

And like The Real World, the cast of characters on Legends fit into easily digestible archetypes, prepackaged for your amusement.

Rip Hunter

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With a name like Rip, you’d think he’d be the surfer dude with the membership in the Young Republicans. In fact, Rip is the foreigner with a secret agenda. Before joining the cast, Rip was a London-based Time Master, a group from the 22nd century in charge of preserving history. Hunter develops a personal vendetta against Savage and the Time Masters, so he jacked a ship, gathered a team and sought to correct history on his own.

Ray Palmer

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Ray is the nerdy dude with an inferiority complex. See, after an accident during a sciencey experiment, Ray was presumed dead for a while. Despite all the money he made and stuff he invented, nobody cared. Even his old girlfriend Felicity started shacking up with her ex-bf. This hit Ray pretty hard once he got back to normal size, so the prospect zipping across history to achieve legendary status both tickles his intellectual curiosity and properly re-inflates his deflated ego.

Sarah Lance

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Sara is the cast’s hard drinking, sexy dancing, bar brawling bustier enthusiast wild child. More importantly, she is the obligatory cast lesbian, because it is federal law that every Real World cast have at least one member who identifies as LGBTQ. Sara also carries a lust for something other than pretty ladies, thanks to the fact that, unlike Ray, she actually was dead and came back with a tinge of evil bubbling inside of her. She joins the team because she thinks going on a manhunt though time and space will somehow make her a nicer person.

Kendra and Carter

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They are the show’s power couple. Despite meeting only recently, it seems like they’ve been together for eons. Despite their relationship ups and downs, these plucky kids always manage to work out their differences like warriors. Of course we’re shocked to learn that Kendra and Carter had a baby so secret that neither of them knew they had one - or that he was a college professor who was in his mid-60s in 1975. These star-crossed lovers are destined to be full of more surprises as the season wears on.

Leonard and Mick

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Leonard Snart and Mick Rory are the resident bad boys of the group. They’ve had a few brushes with the law before joining the cast, and their motives aren’t exactly pure. But they pack a punch and will have your back in a fight. We can’t wait to see the sparks fly when Rip catches Mick eating the communal peanut butter with a spoon straight from the jar.

Martin and Jefferson

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It’s just not a Real World season unless white privilege clashes with “urban” culture. Like any stereotypical fratboy dudebro, Martin Stein isn’t afraid to use a roofie or two to get his way and has no problems with abandoning his BMW convertible with the top down in an empty lot in Pittsburgh when something new and shiny comes across his path. Jefferson Jackson is a former football player turned auto mechanic, so you know he’s from “the streets.” Fate has thrown these two together and they’ll need to find a way past their cultural differences if they are going to make their partnership work for the good of their castmates and … The Future.

For discussion of other comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Pajiba commenter Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes.