Is This the Best Superhero Show Yet?
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Flash is awesome. It is fantastic, it’s fun, and unlike its companion show Gotham, it actively knows what it is. It’s a fun, pulpy drama that quickly establishes that it’s going to be dark at times, but only appropriately so. There’s a balanced tone to the entire affair that feels calm and soothing, in comparison to Gotham’s crackpot of tones. The first hour is a fairly good pilot, even though it does introduce a bit too many people and doesn’t allow scenes to always breathe with the time necessary.
Barry Allen, played with gusto by Grant Gustin, is a scientist at the Central City CSI. His appearance as the eventual Flash was teased last season on Arrow and he more than lives us to expectations. DC is ubiquitous with angry, brooding men and while that in and of itself isn’t a problem since I prefer dark to light, it’s nice to see Allen whiz about with a sort of geeky glee. His backstory of seeing his mother murdered in front of his eyes and having his father framed for it is deservedly darker, even though it feels like the show is only doing that as a sort of necessity. It feels even more so considering how colorful and boisterous the pilot otherwise is.
The necessary origin story is given an extra clever boost as it’s revealed that Allen wasn’t the only one struck with the power from the lightning strike hitting the chemicals at STAR Labs. That burst of energy hit several people, and not all of them have that dizzying geeky quality Allen embodies. Several of them are, shall we say, less than desirable and it’s quickly notable that this single sequence of originating villains saves the show a lot of time down the road. It’s sharp and wonderful. In a bit of a short, the villain Mardon doesn’t really get much to do, which is fine considering how stuffed the rest of the hour is. But it is a bit disappointing that he comes across as such an incredible amateur. The series, at the very least, can only go up from here.
The pilot is largely fantastic, whipping along at a dizzying speed (pun intended) and quickly distinguishing itself from other comic book pilots for being incredibly entertaining, exciting, and polished. Not that there aren’t problems. The visual effects of when the Flash is running are quite rudimentary and hopefully will improve with a higher budget (the show’s rating for CW certainly promise that for now). There is an obligatory love triangle because of the channel that it is on but there’s not a necessity that the show can’t handle it well. There are some well-placed hints that if carried through well will prove to be a good handle for the show. The acting all around is generally well done and outside of Mardon, no one really sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s a good thing, certainly. This is a gripping pilot and I look forward to covering the fastest man alive on a weekly basis.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+The Flash’s costume is pretty rad.
+This conversation was so Princess Bride it mad me smile:
Nicolas Pike: “What are you? And where did you come from?”
Flash: “I came from you, Pike! You made me when you killed my brother.”
Nicolas Pike: “I killed a lot of men’s brothers.”
+Julio Mendez: “I’m switching you to decaf.” Blasphemy.
+Allen to his nephew Shawn: “Any time you need me, I’ll be there for you. I couldn’t run like your dad, but I’ll be there in a flash.”
-Fecal excrement? Come on Allen and the writers, you’re better than that.
-Shaky cam close-ups are a no no
Episode Title: City of Heroes
Story by: Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
Teleplay by: Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
Director: David Nutter
Image Courtesy: Reviews @ Real TV Chat