Howdy ladies and gents, continuing with my look at TV shows that started in the Fall of 2014, it’s now time to take a look at The Flash. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Gotham being pretty good shows, I just had to talk about another great comic book show that has quickly established itself as one to be counted.
Straight from the pilot this show quickly establishes the main character, his team his friend/love interest, his father-figure and how they all fall into place with the plot from then going forward. The stories in the episodes so far are not So far The Flash has established itself as comic book show with all the familiar codes and conventions like:
- Barry having a traumatic experience earlier in life that helps shape his characteristics later on in life
- Barry has a love interest who he loves and must protect, but also can’t reveal his identity to as well
- Barry has a select number of people who know who he is
- Barry has to learn what it takes to be a hero while adapting to his new powers
What I like about the stories so far is that they are familiar and yet done with enough style and unique elements that make it different. There’s enough balance between action, drama, humour and mystery to keep you interested and wanting to know more. Plus because this universe was already established back in Arrow season 2, it is cool to see characters and story elements from that show crossover into this one too.
The tone of The Flash is very different from Arrow, where things are all dark and brooding over there, this show is way more fun and light-hearted. The also show doesn’t hide its comic book aspects, in fact in embraces them and it is done in a way which feels familiar, but also overly generic. There is a nice balance between the fictional comic book elements, but also the more realistic side of things that you get from Arrow. What’s great about the way the stories play out is that it reminds me of a Spider-Man origin story, I mean the show’s very light-hearted and humorous and then there’s the way that Barry Allen is personality-wise, how he adapts to his powers, the lessons he has to learn about being a hero, the secrets he has to keep, it all screams of a Spider-Man style of growing up crime-fighting. And that’s definitely not a bad thing, in fact that’s one of the aspects that drew me to the show in the beginning.
When it comes to the cast I think most of them do a great job of bringing these characters to life, well for the most part. Firstly there’s Grant Gustin who is great as Barry Allen/The Flash. Barry is a good, well-mannered, funny and odd kind of man, he experienced pain at a young age and believes that there is more to life than what is the norm and after gaining superpowers he realises that he is not only right, but that he has a duty to save people from these dangers. Now at first I wasn’t sure if Gustin was superhero material, however after only a few episodes I’ve seen that he has the charm, wit and emotional chops to pull of the role as the main character. Candice Patton as Iris West, she is Barry’s long-time friend and eye of Barry’s affections. She’s not interested in Barry and has an obsession with the Flash with her blog. Patton does a fine enough job as Iris, but honestly I don’t find her character that compelling, there’s nothing about her that makes me care like some of the woman in Arrow in Oliver’s life like Laurel, Helena or Sarah.
Jesse L. Martin is awesome as Detective Joe West, he is the father to Iris and adoptive father to Barry. Joe is always trying to look out for Barry and protect his daughter from danger, however he begins to notice that there are things that he can’t protect them from. Martin brings a nice sense of realism and drama to the show with his presence as his acting talents work really well here and he plays a very convincing father figure to not only Barry but also to Iris, I especially like the bonding moments between Barry and Joes as Martin and Gustin have great chemistry together. Then there’s Tom Cavanagh who is fabulous as Dr. Harrison Wells, Wells serves as the main man behind S.T.A.R. Labs and is a mentor for Barry. He is also a man who believes in the powers and usefulness of science but after the accident with the particle accelerator, he gets a little down, however once Barry’s powers come into play he becomes active again. Cavanagh is magnetic, cool, sometimes even creepy and has some great lines of dialogue in this show. And then there’s Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, these two are great acting as Barry’s science friends, helping him from S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin is fine, but Cisco is where it’s at as he is super charismatic and funny. Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne, he’s Joe’s partner and Iris’ boyfriend, Cosnett’s decent but not overly memorable. And finally shout out to Wentworth Miller who plays Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, after all these years Miller is still a badass and has done a great job with this role so far.
One of the things I appreciate about the show is the presentation. Visually the show is really good, like Arrow, the show has a good production values and makes great use of their budget. The CGI, while looking questionable at times, for the most part is great. The visual effects used for the Flash’s powers and the other super-powered beings affected by the storm is nicely done, also the way they depict the Flash’s speed and movements is interesting having a mixture of quick scenes, slow motion and close-ups on Barry’s face.
In conclusion The Flash is pretty good, even though there’s only been like five episodes so far, it has made quite the impression. There is a great balance between realism and the fictional comic book elements as well and luckily the show moves at a good pace, delivering fun and interesting stories that work individually but also collectively too. I hope to see more great things from this show and some cool crossovers with Arrow too.
So have you been watching The Flash and if so what do you think? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀