The Flash is one of the most popular shows on TV today. It has the young, science-like feeling of Kyle XY and also the magic of DC Comics all put together with its combined, grounded universe with Arrow, another hit CW TV-show. Not only does it have a wonderful score, and some “flashy” special effects (no pun intended), it has a wonderful cast that includes Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/Flash, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Rick Cosnett, Jesse L. Martin, and Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Wells. They really excel in every scene of every episode they are in. I also can’t forget to mention the amazing guest stars they have: notable names are John Wesley Shipp (from the former same-titled show back in the 1990’s), Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People), Wentworth Miller (Prison Break), Greg Finley (Secret Life of the American Teenager), Mark Hamill (Star Wars IV-VI), and Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead). This show might have the best overall cast on television (even better than NCIS). Not only do these specific people just bring credibility, but also build upon the wonderful, already-existing chemistry that this show has. Without a doubt though, Grant Gustin (Glee) and Tom Cavanagh (Ed) are the definite lead actors in the show, and it wouldn’t be able to sustain such high ratings and viewers without them both. They are perfect for the roles they play, and bring a presence and personality that makes viewers ecstatic.
The show was created by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who have both written every episode so far, and probably will the rest of the first season. Geoff Johns – Chief Creative Writer at DC Comics – has also been involved with the writing process, having helped written 11 of them so far. That’s a huge plus when it comes to knowledge and familiarity with the characters in the comics, and helps a lot when it comes to bringing those characters onto the screen. The Flash has a long list of directors so far, but David Nutter and Glen Winter have both directed two episodes so far, and have a pretty good resume and reputation in the business when it comes to directing television. One of my favorite parts of the show is how they have universal themes tied into each episode and keep the story flowing very smoothly, keeping good continuity. With those themes come the dialogue that are also brought into the show that deal with speed in some sort of way. It’s another nice touch when it comes to adding depth to the show (and just makes it sound that much more awesome – in my opinion). In addition to that comes the sunny, brighter lighting that contrasts really nicely with Arrow – which we will discuss in further detail below – and also resonates with the WB/CW show Smallville, which ran ten seasons from 2001-2011.
Another area it excels is in its storyline. Each week adds a new villain for Barry and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs to face, and without doing the whole villain-of-the-week quota where they disappear after that episode – they re-introduce them in other episodes that tie-in together with what’s currently at hand. This allows Barry and the gang to keep learning more not only about Barry’s potential with his powers, but also something new about themselves. Another element included in the mix are the suspenseful plot twists that each show unfolds – particularly in the ending scenes of each episode – that really carry the story on to the next episode successfully and in a way that makes the viewer (especially me) want to watch the next one right away. Of course, these kind of scenes usually involve one specific person: Dr. Harrison Wells. The particle accelerator which he developed was supposed to be a big advancement in the field of science, but instead the core lost control and ended up sending that matter into the sky. That ultimately created havoc throughout the city and led to the loss of S.T.A.R. Labs employee Caitlin Snow’s fiance (portrayed by Robbie Amell – cousin of Stephen Amell from Arrow), and also gave Dr. Wells paralysis . . . or so everybody thought. With little hints dropped in and major plot twists in every episode, The Flash evolves more and more into a must-watch spectacle of action, science, drama, romance, mystery, and even a little comedy.
Many people are probably wondering how does this particular TV-show fit in with Arrow? It’s a really interesting question to answer, and will be my pleasure. On Season two of Arrow, they introduced Barry Allen as a CSI for the Central City police force. He was visiting Starling City and while there ended up becoming close friends with Felicity Smoak, who is Oliver Queen’s right-hand girl at the helm in the Arrow-cave. She came to Barry when Oliver’s life depended on Barry’s ability to save him. He then left for home intent on keeping Oliver’s secret identity of being the Arrow, when it’s shown that he is zapped by lightning in his room. Now ever since he woke up, he has been going to Oliver for advice and even to team up in the two-episode crossover between the two series in both of their eighth episodes in their current season. The first one was titled “Flash vs Arrow”, and the second “The Brave and the Bold.” Both were spectacular, earning a 9.5 rating (out of 10) on IMDB, and also a 9.1 rating. Another interesting fact they incorporate into both shows is how they add little “Easter eggs” into the background of scenes that involve the other show. For instance, I just re-watched the first episode of Season 2 of Arrow recently, and in one of the scenes you see a television showing the news and before it gets into the intent of what’s being shown (Oliver returning to Starling City), the broadcaster tells how the particle accelerator will be up and running soon. Another example is in the follow-up episode to the last crossover titled “The Climb,” when Felicity is seen sitting in the Arrow-cave at a computer and the very first thing on the screen is a picture of the Reverse Flash, which is a reference to The Flash‘s follow-up episode to their crossovers called “The Man in the Yellow Suit.” Plus, Felicity Smoak and a new character on Season 3 of Arrow named Ray Palmer (a.k.a. The Atom, portrayed by former Superman Returns star Brandon Routh) have been and will continue to cross over independently into episodes here and there as well.
One last cool thing before I turn you loose to go watch The Flash: the blended, incorporated small references to the DC Comics and also the DC Cinematic Universe. In one of the early episodes, Dr. Harrison Wells and the rest of the crew at S.T.A.R. Labs discover a meta-human whose skin is metal-like strong. Wells next words once Barry describes his encounter with this meta-human were “‘Interesting . . . a man of steel,” which is a reference to not only the full-length film Man of Steel, but that main character well-known in the comics known as Superman (the king of all superheroes, and my favorite superhero). Dr. Wells in a different episode also referred to Barry as “The light and hope to inspire people” in the city (referencing Superman again), and also when speaking about the Arrow arriving in Central City made it sound like he called the Arrow “Batman,” although he said “That man,” which is an indirect reference to the allusion of The Flash and Arrow being the TV-universe’s version of Batman and Superman, which is a cool image juxtaposed to the sequel to Man of Steel titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Now with all this mentioned, I think it’s time to stop questioning the show based upon a first glimpse of seeing or hearing about it. It has one of the highest ratings of any TV-show and one of the most-watched shows on screen. Even if you have no clue who the Flash character is or what the show is about, I suggest to start from the beginning and follow along. It’s the kind of show that you can talk about for hours on end. Thank you for reading my article, and I have plenty more coming in the future. If this hasn’t helped make you want to watch The Flash, I’m not necessarily sure what will. Go watch it!