The Flash is coming to the CW this fall. It has already been picked up by CW and will be airing alongside its brethren show Arrow in the fall season. If you’re an avid Arrow follower, you’ll have noticed that Barry Allen portrayed by Grant Gustin has already appeared in an episode that shares a scene with the pilot. I have had the chance to watch the pilot episode, creatively called The Pilot and have some thoughts I’d like to share with those who are interested in the show or those potentially on the fence.
First off, I have not watched Arrow. Not a single episode of either season. I don’t expect this to change either, so my thoughts going into this are strictly for The Flash. Secondly, as everyone knows by now, I’m primarily a Marvel man. This doesn’t mean I’ve not read DC comics, but my favorites include Green Lantern and the Flash. They fall into my favored genre of science fiction, therefore I have the most knowledge of those two characters. With these two facts laid out before you, I shall give you the thoughts and feelings, not spoilers, of the episode.
The show starts off feeling very much like a Spider-Man movie. There is a voiceover throughout the show that resembles the Sam Raimi films, while also giving us a city thats very much alive and ignorant to the fact that ‘meta humans’ could be out there. This innocence and whimsical charm instantly had my attention in the show. Taking the Spider-Man approach is definitely different than a dark, gritty appeal (I’m looking at you Gotham), and the show will definitely benefit from it. To add to the Spider-Man approach, the main character is a nerdy, down on his luck guy who happens to be friend zoned with the girl of his dreams. Grant Gustin gives off the Andrew Garfield looks and confidence, while striking the nerdy and intelligent appeal that Tobey Maguire had all those years ago. This makes me like and root for Allen/Gustin and kind of give me hope in the show.
If you’re wanting a show that I could liken this to, I would say it is closer to Smallville than anything else. In that show, one event (Superman’s arrival) kind of set off the heroes and villains in that show on a path that has them cross each other over time and probably makes them more intimate than just a gallery of rogues. The Flash’s initial action that grants Barry his super powers, also sets in motion events that create the characters we see in the show. From STAR Labs workers who assist Barry in his transition to the Flash to the weather manipulating villain, all events and characters have been directly affected by a particle generator explosion. Although some of the scenes progress the story along quicker than expected, this still adds weight and motivation to every character in the show. I hope to see how many more people were affected along the way.
My only complaint about the show, and this is probably a moot point, is that the effects seem rather rushed and cheap. I understand this was an early release pilot episode so I can’t hold the quality to high standards, but its enough to cause concern depending on the show’s budget. Will we be seeing more of these mediocre effects or will they be able to keep up to par with how Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD changed how I thought TV shows looked?
At the end of the show, I felt satisfied with seeing the pilot but there was nothing huge to have me come back and see more episodes. It was an excellent episode that definitely sets up a great show, surpassing my expectations I had already placed. The very last scene in the show, however, was intriguing enough to actually give me a question in my head and setup a mystery that I now have the need to find out. Its like Agents of SHIELD introduced a blue alien, changing my perception of how everything played out. The ending makes me want to come back and I’ll most likely have this on my rotation this Fall.
This fun and uplifting show is a change of pace for the typical dark, cynical offerings for super heroes out there right now (and possibly what will be showing this season as well). My recommendation is to catch the pilot episode when it airs this October 7 on the CW.