Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TV Review: The Flash

Rating: 3 out of 5 Star (after three episodes)

Bottom Line: So far The Flash has delivered a straight-forward superhero romp with a dose of fun.

So last season on The CW’s Arrow we were introduced to Barry Allen who every good comic book fan watching knew would eventually become the superhero the Flash.  And now this Fall the network has spun the character off into that expected Flash series which expands upon the DC Universe that has already been building up on the parent series (but which has no connection to the Smallville version of the DC milieu that we previously saw on the same network).  In this series, Barry becomes the Flash in a similar manner to the comics which involves a lightning strike and spilled chemicals.  But they throw an interesting twist at us with the lightning linked to a super-collider malfunction which is also responsible for creating other super humans like the Flash.  So thus you get the title character as well as an instant rogue’s gallery of super villains, and perhaps some superheroes to partner with as well.  Then you have the STAR labs team who we responsible for the super-collider malfunction who are helping Barry get up to speed (sorry, couldn’t resist) with his new powers and to use them judiciously.  This series also gives us a welcomed call-out to the much-loved 1990 Flash TV series that aired for one season on CBS as that show’s star John Wesley Shipp is onboard to play Barry’s father (and I understand that Amanda Pays will be making an appearance as well).  There is a side story with the senior Allen that looks like it will carry through much of the season, which is good because I like have Shipp around.  And so far this show has avoided going dark like the DC live action adaptations typically do, which is a nice change of pace.  Plus, there is very little in the way of the soap opera side steps that derail Arrow from time to time.  I’m not too thrilled with what they are doing with Professor Xavier stand-in Harrison Wells (played by Tom Cavanaugh while channeling Jeff Goldblum) as that could likely lead to plenty of unnecessary, copy-and-paste angst-filled stories at some point.  But for the most part the show has been a fun watch and I will keep tuning in for now.  I wouldn’t rank it above the 1990 Flash series just yet, but it has a much lower camp quotient and could develop into a fun little show.

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