6 Thoughts on the First Season of The Flash
With the first season of The Flash TV show complete, I think we can all declare that live action superheroes, complete with comic book craziness, are the new amazing. Arrow started small and kept things simple, but The Flash threw caution to the wind and burst out of the gate with everything from the Speed Force to Gorilla Grodd to a real, comics accurate costume!
I really enjoyed the first season of The Flash, and I’m very excited to see where they go next year. It wasn’t my favorite comic book show this year, but The Flash is nonetheless an accomplishment. It proves to audiences and executives that these sorts of superheroics can be amazing. The Flash wasn’t dark, grim or gritty like the DC movies, it embraced the friendlier, more colorful aspects of the character, and we all benefited.
So like I’ve done for other comic shows, I wanted to share my thoughts with you all on the first season of The Flash. I’ve got more than a few nitpicks. Join me after the jump! And beware of SPOILERS!
6. I like it, but it’s no Arrow
I still prefer Arrow over The Flash, even after Arrow‘s third season. I think Arrow is just a better made show, with more interesting characters and emotional depth for the star. Granted, Arrow has had more seasons and more time to grow, but still. Arrow kicked off this new trend in superhero TV shows, and first is still the best.
But The Flash was a solid, enjoyable show. They went all-in on the superheroics and the special effects, and it totally worked! The Flash looked great, and the effects never looked cheesy or bad. The characters were all likable and well-acted; this was a great cast. And they did a good job building up the central mystery of who killed Barry’s mom and why. The Reverse Flash made for a great first villain, as did the betrayal of Harrison Wells in the end. The Flash’s first season was solid TV, there’s no doubting that much. Lead actor Grant Gustin was great in the role, and they gave him a fun supporting cast to keep things entertaining.
I suppose I don’t have much to say about the general quality of the show, other than I liked it. But I did have more than a few nitpicks…
5. Not telling Iris the truth reached ridiculous proportions
I get that secret identities are a big thing in the comics, but letting everyone else in on Barry’s identity and keeping only Iris in the dark was a ridiculously stupid thing to do! Not only did it greatly hurt the character, but it hurt the whole show! They even brought her boyfriend Eddie in on the secret for no good reason! What did Eddie contribute at any point after they revealed Flash’s identity to him?
It’s not like Flash really did much of anything with the love quadrangle aspect of Iris liking the Flash. She became an extraneous character, doing weird things like getting a newspaper job because of her blog. Heck, there was one scene in the final few episodes where Iris thought it was a big revelation that all of the metas were a result of the explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs! I didn’t even know that was a mystery! But Iris said it with such conviction that the only recourse was feeling sorry for her. Everybody else knew that in the first episode.
Candice Patton was great in the role of Iris, but the show struggled to keep her relevant while keeping her in the dark about Barry. But they can’t have it both ways. When every other person in the cast knows his identity and remains perfectly fine, there was zero reason to keep Iris out of the loop.
4. The dialogue is cheesy
I don’t have any examples, because I didn’t think ahead to write them down, but the dialogue in The Flash was pretty cheesy at times. And I don’t mean Cisco’s naming of the super-villains, because Cisco’s dialogue was usually on the ball. But scenes between Barry and Iris, or anything that dealt with the police department, or really any social situation, it was all a bit bad. Not up to snuff, is what I’m saying.
3. The villains were great!
How amazing was Gorilla Grodd? The effects, the danger, the sheer power of this telepathic, psychotic gorilla was brought to vivid life on the screen! And there was no reason that should have worked! Not on Network TV. Not on a superhero TV show. Heck, Gorilla Grodd would have been hard to pull off in the movies! But The Flash made it happen and they made it awesome!
And Grodd wasn’t the only bad guy done well. We had Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Golden Glider, even Rainbow Raider! The Flash knew what they were getting into when they decided how to make their super-villains, and they went for it full speed ahead. Nothing was too silly or campy. It was all well done, with realistic, grounded characters, even with fantastic powers. And they didn’t rush into The Rogues either, which is cool. How much you want to bet they’re going to be a season 2 thing?
Although Captain Cold and Heatwave are off to become Legends of Tomorrow, which is weird.
And speaking the weird treatment of Flash’s villains…
2. That home-made prison is insane
This was the worst part of the show and made absolutely no freakin’ sense! I don’t care if they started to address it in the Con Air episode, it was still insane! From the very beginning, the Flash and his allies were running an ILLEGAL PRISON! These ‘heroes’ violated some of the most basic human and CONSTITUTIONAL rights! I don’t care if their opponents were meta-human and the regular prisons couldn’t hold them. YOU DON’T SECRETLY IMPRISON HUMAN BEINGS IN YOUR BASEMENT! EVER HEAR OF DUE PROCESS?! That is way more villainous than bank robberies or whatever other minor crimes some of these people were locked up for (though maybe not the murders, maybe).
And it just kept getting worse! Barry locked up the new Weather Wizard before he even did anything! And they locked up Everyman even after they showed the district attorney that he existed and had been taken into the Flash’s custody! Did she just look the other way? Did she not care that this vigilante was collecting people?
There was a comedic deleted scene at one point that revealed how the prisoners were fed, but what about when they pooped? Those little cells didn’t have toilets! Nor did the prisoners get outside time. And what about when Caitlin and Cisco go home in the evening? What if one of them suffered a medical emergency in the middle of the night? They would probably just lie there and suffer until Caitlin had her morning coffee.
1. Barry is constantly wasting the element of surprise
Not as big of a deal as the prison, but still kind of insane: every time the Flash confronted a villain, he stopped in front of them, made some kind of declaration, then slowly started walking towards them. Every. Single. Time! The Flash should be the master of the element of surprise. If he’s arriving at a bank robbery, why not show up and capture the bad guys without saying a word? Why reveal himself at all?
Yes, obviously he does this so that there will be a TV show. I get that. But in the world of The Flash, there’s no reason for Barry Allen to give his bad guys a heads up. If you give Captain Cold enough time to point his gun at you, he’s going to point his gun at you!
What did you think of the first season of The Flash? Is it better than Arrow? Is it going to lead the way to a whole new, amazing world of superhero television? Let me know in the comments!