Where The Arrow must be the Dark & Gritty, The Flash must counter with being Light & Cheery, just as Batman/Gotham is to Superman/Metropolis. If I had to choose between them, I’d say my experience with The Flash was more Positive than Arrow. The Arrow is nice, but there was so much angst and relationship drama happening I lost interest. I’ll pick up season two again eventually as the cross over episodes of the two were amazing and Felicity is best.
Barry Allen’s mother is killed in front of him when he is young by red and yellow blurs, but his dad is the one that takes the fall for it. Being a friend and neighbor to the Allen’s, Detective Joe West takes Barry in as his own and raises him with his daughter Iris. Time passes and Barry is obsessed with finding out the truth of his mother’s death and engages himself in crime investigations and forensics. Socially awkward = A+ Cutie nerd. One night during a lab’s unveiling of a particle accelerator, it malfunctions and creates a lightning storm and bathes the city in radiation. Barry is struck by lightning within his own lab and he collides with some chemicals and is comatose for nine months. He awakens to discover he has superhuman speed. Doctor Wells, now ostracized as a failure for his particle accelerator, offers to help Barry with his “metahuman” abilities. Comes to find out that in the nine months that Barry has been gone, he’s not the only one that is feeling the effects of the accident. Believing he was given his speed for a reason, he chooses to use it to protect the city against those that want to use their powers for evil and Dr. Wells and his team of scientists become the team to help.
Along the way he finds clues that get him closer to the truth behind his mother’s death and sort out his feelings for his childhood friend, Iris.
The Flash is a series I believe anybody that likes a good hero story. I can’t claim to know much about The Flash, so no nitpicking about canon from me, (other than Iris now being African-American, but that’s not a bad change, just surprising at first at best), so I was able to enjoy blissfully ignorant. It begins as a Monster-of-the-Week format as he gets the hang of his powers, but like how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended up being more connected than originally thought. It keeps a good pace, light and rolling all into the climaxing episodes of the season and before you know it, it’s over. We purposefully waited a few episodes to watch in chunks so the wait would be less painful once things got intenser. Fantastic writing and I was genuinely impressed with the special effects. The first time Barry takes to speed, it was gorgeous.
Like anything on the CW there is bound to be D R A M A~ As much as much denial as there was between Iris in Barry I didn’t find it nearly as annoying and soap opera-y like Arrow. The most frustrating thing is is that I know they get together, so you’re meant to pity whatever guy comes around that she dates because she can’t admit her feels for her childhood friend and Barry is far too nerdy and self-sacrificing to admit. So there’s that dance to deal with if that’s your cup of tea.
My favorite part of the series is the relationship Barry has with Joe. Obviously he lost his father to prison, so Joe has had to be his father and there is so much warmth in their shared scenes and there are many times I cried and hoped to goodness that Joe wouldn’t die. So far his life has been spared. There’s a season two and who even knows! Speaking of crying, I did that a lot in the finale, too.
As a whole I quite enjoyed this cast. I love that CW can take these no-name or C-actors and bring them together to make something great. From the moment I say Grant Gustin (Barry) in costume in promo shots I was already excited. Not quite as witty as what I’m used to as far from various animation interpretations, but enough to be convincing. Candice Patton’s Iris was a joy up until the love triangle stuff happens (but that’s character issue, not so much the actress!) Tom Cavanagh (Dr. Wells)… I never trusted him from the beginning and bravo to to that because that’s exactly the point. Watch it and tell me he doesn’t scream “Don’t Trust Me.” Jessie L. Martin plays a wonderful paternal and authoritative figure. Carols Valdez was great comedy relief. The series was fairly light on its own, but when it turned to darker territory, he was there!
I’m not going to spoil it because this is one where a lot of the twists and turns and time travel (yes, super speed does this, I at least know this from canon!) but it was a well done series and I can easily recommend it. If you’ve liked The Arrow or any other comic series, definitely check this out and watch as DC rolls out its own TV universe. Why can’t DC let the people that are in charge of their television programming do their movies? 😐