Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Flash

   I finally got a chance to watch the new TV series The Flash (I love you, DVR!), and thankfully: it's good!

   The series starts with an origin story and uses (more or less) the most recent version of Barry Allen's story.

   And I think that's one reason why it's so successful - it sticks to those original concepts.

   It shows us the backstory for Barry, as mysterious events when he's a boy result in the death of his mother - and his father is accused of the murder.

   That brings us to the present day, and "Police Scientist" (Forensic Scientist) Barry demonstrates his intelligence as he helps solve crimes - and what a delight to have an intelligent hero!

   After losing his parents, he was raised by Police Detective Joe West, who also happens to be the father of Iris West, who Barry is obviously in love with - but she considers him more of a brother. (Romantic conflict: check!)

    A strange scientific accident combines with a lightning strike to give Barry super-speed, and much of the episode is dedicated to him learning about his powers - often in painful ways.

   The series manages to provide a great explanation for the powers of the Flash and the Rogues Gallery of villains who will no doubt be popping up as the season goes on, and gives the hero something he hasn't had in his own comic in years - a solid supporting cast. And that final teaser scene is a real treat.

   The visuals are strong - the effects they're using to capture the Flash's super-speed are sharp, and I think they've done a good job bringing the costume into the real world. I also like the "look" of Central City.

   The acting is also quite good. Most of it rests on Grant Gustin's shoulders, and while he's not exactly the macho / he-man type, he is likable, sympathetic and believable as the clean-cut hero. The rest of the cast is solid, and they've sown the seeds for future allies and opponents.

   It's a strong start for the series - you get the sense that the creative team behind the series "get" what makes comics work, and they've made a good start at bringing one of my all-time favorite characters to life. Good on 'em!

Grade: A-



El Vox said...

Yes, I had a few reservations about the Flash program as well, but I guess that's to be expected when a character has been around that long (and when you play armchair director). Even so, it seemed like a good start, and I'll continue to watch it because at least I can agree with most of the way they're handling it. Good review, Chuck.

Anonymous said...

I also thought it was terrific. And, as a bonus, my 7YO and 14YO now want to watch it with dad every week. This comic book lover could not ask for anything better than that.