Friday, October 31, 2014

First Impressions: The Flash

So it's ridiculous how much good television is out right now. How could any normal human being possibly have the time to watch it all? It is completely impossible to keep up. The problem is that while some tv stations have figured this out and make sure that the entire current season of their shows are available through On Demand or Hulu or something legal, CW is not one of them.

Which basically is why I will never try to keep up with Supernatural's actual airing schedule (plus being four seasons behind) and last year we totally gave up on trying to keep up with Arrow because the show is good, but we couldn't watch it for a few weeks and then we couldn't catch up legally and we gave up. Seriously CW, stop it. Just stop.

Unfortunately The Flash just looked too darn good to give up without trying to watch it.

So basically we ended up doing a couple days marathon watching Arrow in order to catch up just in case there were some cross-over stuff. Really, we only needed to have watched the two episodes with Barry Allen guest starring, but I wasn't sure. So I'll review the second season of Arrow later.

But for now, I'm all about The Flash instead because wow, do I like this show. And it's almost 100% because of Barry Allen/actor Grant Gustin. When we watched his guest star spot on Arrow, I told my husband, "Barry is my new favorite." His reply was, "well, I've got good news for you."

I'm actually excited to watch it every week, because Barry is the kind of character I love to see, and that I feel like we're running low on guys like him. Oliver Queen is great and all, but he's still tortured (literally), troubled, and all Broody McBroodface most of the time. You know, like half the heroes on television aimed at the younger crowd. Stuff aimed at adults these days are almost entirely stocked with anti-heroes and what I simply call "terrible people being terrible." And I'm tired of it. I want optimism, I want good people trying to be good.

And that's what Barry is. At his very core, he's a good person. He's super smart, and mostly unapologetic about it. The only reason he ever regrets being smart is if it leaves somebody out. He's funny, sarcastic, charming, and definitely very nice to look at. He is, in short, one of my ideals when it comes to male characters. Sure, you want to watch Oliver Queen training but you'd want to actually get lunch with Barry.

It doesn't hurt that his mentor and adopted father Joe is amazing. I like pretty much every moment Joe is on screen, and the two of them play off each other perfectly, the actors were paired perfectly for this set of roles. And Dr. Wells is such a perfect mix of motivations that you can't get a read on him, which I think is exactly what they're aiming for.

The rest of the cast is good, though some of them need to find their feet a little more than others. But I suspect that will come with time. The villains are okay, but honestly I don't care if they never got any better, because I'm just in this for Barry and Joe (and I'm sure the rest of the cast will win me over, I'm not worried).

I also love that The Flash and Arrow fit so perfectly together as two sides of the same coin, they're very clearly the same universe but from different perspectives and that's something that I think might be missing a bit in the way that comics are transitioning to other media. One critique of the Marvel movies is that they all look and feel the same, and that's pretty true. But the world doesn't all look the same, and people see it differently.

So in short, The Flash gets an enthusiastic recommendation from me, and as annoyed as I am with CW's system for on demand, I'm too anxious to see the next one to notice it might expire.

I wouldn't mind being able to go back and rewatch later though. So CW, if by some slim chance you see this, I still think you should keep the entire current season up on some free streaming service like xfinity or Hulu because I would be watching episodes again and again and you could put whatever ads you want on it, I don't even care.