The Flash: Familiar Formula that Works!
The CW Network’s “The Flash,” which was a spin-off from their “Arrow” series incorporates the superhero formula to the nines, which could have been as disastrous as letting Solomon Grundy handle fine china – but hasn’t been so far.
Why the Flash is Getting Rave Reviews
One reason for the series initial success is the nonthreatening likability of actor Grant Gustin, who plays the title role of Barry Allen/ The Flash. Barry is a nerd and he is cute (according to my eight-year old daughter) who is transformed by lightning when a particle accelerator explodes and endows him with an amazing
supercharged metabolism – allowing him to run faster than the lightening that struck him. This show is great. I love that my entire family can watch it and are thoroughly entertained. I am also not afraid that what is happening on the screen is inappropriate for my kids. The themes and situations presented on other superhero shows like Gotham, Arrow and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are simply not appropriate for kids under 13. The Flash is obviously a CW production, that is, the style and direction is familiar.
Barry, like so many superheroes before him, is an orphan (so to speak). His father sits in prison, convicted for the death of Barry’s mother, who was really killed by some mysterious yellow and orange lightning thingy. Barry is taken in by his parents’ best friend, Central City Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). As a grown man, Barry now works as a crime scene investigator for the cops. He’s also secretly in love with Joe’s daughter, Iris (Candice Patton), but since they have grown up together, as siblings almost, Barry keeps his true feelings for her to himself.
Once Barry regains consciousness after being struck by the lightening, and realizes his new super abilities, the particle accelerator inventor, Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) wants to “help” Barry figure out the limits of these powers. Along with his assistants, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Dr. Welles agrees to help Barry use his abilities to help those in need in Central City.
The Flash: What to Look Forward to
“The Flash” might be lighter fare in comparison to the other super hero shows currently being offered, but it has an overall appeal which will most likely hook both young and mature viewers alike. The special effects are convincing and there are well conceived super villains.
As a comic geek, I am very satisfied with the program thus far, especially with the introduction of so many rogues from the Flash’s neck of the wood: Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Gorilla Grod
and so many more! And although each episode seems to have a singular focus, other plot lines are still being explored and re-visited throughout. The introduction of other heroes, most notably Firestorm (a favourite of mine) is also an exciting trend the CW is often repeating. The Atom is among the heroes to be making appearances in the near future, and it is also rumoured that such villains as Killer Frost and the Trickster will be showing up soon.
Hopefully The CW – and other networks – will continue to invest the time and money needed to bring our favourite heroes to life, and doing each character justice in the process.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8PM Eastern time on the CW.