Hi, friends! Had hoped to address this premiere yesterday, but, per usual, my weird schedule decided to kick me in the butt and take away all of my time and energy. However, this is one I’ve been eager to see and discuss. Though I haven’t done a series write-up for The CW’s Arrow yet (and I really should get around to that some time), I think I’ve made it pretty clear on here that I’m a fan. Naturally, when The CW announced that they’d be tackling another DC Comics superhero, I was curious to see how the new series would fare. So how was the premiere of The Flash? Time to get down to the particulars.
What I liked:
- Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash. He’s this sweet, brainy, nerdy guy, and that’s kind of refreshing to see after an intense, no-nonsense hero like Arrow’s Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell)—though, don’t get me wrong, I do quite love Oliver (see the top of this list).
- All the cool action/slow motion sequences. There are a lot of pretty awesome moments in this. Barry’s test run, for example, is fun to watch. There’s also a nifty scene involving a tornado…but that’s all I’m gonna say because no spoilers!
- Tom Cavanagh as Barry’s mentor, Harrison Wells. I can’t explain why I like him exactly, but I do like him. I’ve seen Wells on a couple of shows, and he always has this charm to him. It works. Plus, I think Harrison could end up being a pretty interesting character.
- The introduction of a couple of interesting mysteries. The strange death of Barry’s mother, for instance, which he’d already referenced on Arrow. This episode goes into a little more detail about her death, and I’m sure it’s something that will unravel bit by bit throughout the season. There’s also a pretty unexpected twist right at the end of the episode. Can’t wait to see what’s up with that!
What I didn’t like:
- Barry has a crush on his kind-of-sister, Iris (Candice Patton), which is…a little awkward. It’s like in Clueless when the main character ends up with a crush on her stepbrother. Part of you can’t help being like, “Um. Guys? Is this okay?” Also, the last time we saw Barry, he had a little thing for Arrow’s Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). What the heck happened to that?!
- As an Arrow fan, I enjoyed the opening, but I think it was a kind of rushed for anyone oblivious to the world of Arrow. I think The CW is assuming that anyone watching The Flash has already been watching Arrow, but that could be a dangerous assumption. I’ve talked to a couple of people who have expressed uncertainty about the first 10-15 minutes.
- There’s a series of scenes where everybody acts like a jerk to Barry, and it’s a bit much. We get it—the guy is having a bad day. Isn’t having everybody gang up on him a little heavy-handed? Especially when their reactions seem somewhat over-the-top. Reign it in, actors (and writers, for that matter).
- As much as I appreciate Oliver’s cameo (because, yes, he does have one), it’s fairly corny. On Arrow, and he speaks so, so differently than he does in this episode, and that seems like lazy writing to me. If there are going to be crossover episodes, the characters still need to stay themselves. And since we’re talking about crossovers, I’m a little concerned about what’s going to happen when the tones from these two shows come together. Arrow is consistently dark and dramatic while The Flash is more lighthearted and cheesy. How well is that going to mix?
The Potential: I have a few minor reservations about The Flash (and I don’t think it’s quite as good as Arrow), but I still really enjoyed the premiere. So, yeah, there’s a lot of potential! As I said, compared to Arrow, this is much more lighthearted, which I think is a really nice contrast for The CW. The tonal difference could cause problems when the crossover episodes pop up, but I think the writers will be able to make it work. These could be the first baby steps toward a TV Justice League, and that’s pretty darn exciting.
My Grade: A-