TV Review: The Flash (Season 1, 2014-2015)

After a brief introductory cameo in season two of Arrow, forensic CSI officer Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) awakens from a coma with new powers, making him faster than a speeding bullet… by several multitudes. But before he becomes the household hero we all know, he has to learn to harness his powers, and try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all his life.

+ Grant Gustin is absolutely perfect as Barry Allen. He plays the speedster as happy, intelligent and sometimes overwhelmed, but can switch between cocky Flash and awkward Barry Allen easily. Such a shame he won’t be in the DC movie-verse, but perhaps not letting the films taint the TV universe is better
+ Tom Cavanagh was the best thing on TV over the last year as Dr Harrison Wells. He is both charming and terrifying, sometimes at the same time, and plays the role of mentor to Barry and the STAR Labs crew
+ Dr Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) were also highlights, each given fully fleshed out personalities and stories of their own, and able to save Flash from defeat several times
+ Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne and Jessie L Martin as Joe West are a pair of policemen that work with Barry Allen, and both are helpful in different ways. Thawne in particular is another fantastic character, and Cosnett plays his role with such glee it is hard to not like his infectious smile. Joe West early on becomes an ally to The Flash and provides the real world experience that Barry Allen has not encountered yet
+ the CGI for this show must have been on a high budget, because it consistently looks great
+ the wide array of enemy characters keeps the plot strong and constantly forces Barry to evolve and learn new tactics, and many great actors were used, such as Doug Jones, Liam McIntyre, Wentworth Miller and Clancy Brown
+ the cross over episodes with Arrow are my picks for the best things on TV this last year
+ perhaps most importantly, this show was simply not afraid to show Barry having some fun being a superhero, and embraced it’s comic book roots rather than trying to ground the show in reality

– much like Arrow, the inclusion of a stupid love story ruins otherwise perfect episodes. Of course, if we are following the comics, Barry Allen will end up with Iris West (Candice Patton) but Patton’s Iris West is just so annoying and acts like such an idiot in a world full of super powered villains it was hard to feel anything for her other than disdain. It certainly doesn’t help that Patton and Gustin have such little chemistry together

> It is so telling that Caitlin Snow was the best female character on the show (if not the entire DC CW TV universe), and she was also the only one not to be forced into a romantic relationship with a main cast member.

Should you watch this show: Absolutely. This was definitely one of the best TV shows last year, and does not rely too heavily on comic book knowledge to make sense. Every character is relatable in different ways, the special effects are surprisingly good, and the plot will constantly keep your interest. Do not miss this.

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