I believe in the impossible. Not just because Barry Allen asks me to during the opening moments of the CW’s new series, The Flash but because I believe in happiness. I do. Don’t laugh. Sure, there’s something about grim and gritty TV that’s very attractive. Perhaps watching people have a miserable time makes us feel better about our own lives. DC Comics has been banking on grim and gritty for years. Nolan’s Batman series was pretty dark by necessity. The CW’s Arrow has been very entertaining but grim in nature. Even Man of Steel, the latest Superman movie was ridiculously depressing. There just isn’t any joy in being a superhero. No happiness. This is where The Flash makes a left turn at lightspeed and reminds us why we enjoy the fantasy of super-heroics. Because having incredible powers is FUN! After a few fumbling attempts with his new abilities, Barry Allen gives us a smirk, tears down an alley at the speed of sound and runs headlong into a new type of superhero TV show. Barry Allen is a forensic scientist working with Central City’s police. There’s a bit of CSI dabbled throughout the opening episode and I hope that continues. He’s a smart guy and that is portrayed perfectly. This first episode has the burden of telling Barry’s origin, introducing the cast, introducing a villain, and developing their visual effects language. It doesn’t feel too heavy but I’m very much looking forward to episodes that are more character driven. A hero who works with the police will be a nice change. I’ll save all the spoilerific, fanboy moments that The Flash gave me (and there were many) for next week. We’re going to be together all season so there’s plenty of time for mutual geeking out as the weeks go by. Suffice to say that I was impressed with every tease they gave us. The cast is solid. Grant Gustin was fantastic as Barry Allen. I believed him and never noticed he was acting. There’s a real energy to his style and the role suits him perfectly. Candice Patton plays Iris West. In the comics, Iris is Barry’s love interest. In the TV series, they grew up together and Barry is stuck in the friend zone. Candice does a fine job and I’m hoping she has more to do than just react to the situations and the men around her. Iris’s father, police detective Joe West is played by Jesse L. Martin. Originally, I was a bit disappointed by his character arc but that was resolved by the end and I love the direction the writers are taking him. In grand CW style, our hero is surrounded by a cadre of helpers. Danielle Panabaker is Caitlin Snow, the dark, brainy scientist with a tragic past. Carlos Valdes plays Cisco Ramon, the gadget guy with a sense of style and a quick smile. Then there is Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells, a wheelchair bound genius who is a victim of his own hubris. He’s the one to watch, people! Every scene he’s in goes up to 11. The show does have its dark moments. The villainous Weather Wizard (they don’t call him by that name but that’s his analogue in the comics) played by Chad Rook has a God complex. The tragedy surrounding the death of Barry’s mother (not really a spoiler) and the false imprisonment of Barry’s father, played by the 1989 TV Flash, John Wesley Shipp, has a disturbing resonance in this otherwise bright show. At the end of the first episode, I felt relieved. In a cinematic culture where darkness prevails and Superman kills, the Flash is a bright light. He’s a guy who can smile in the face of terror and outrun the demons that haunt other heroes. I’ll be here every week, believing the impossible. Advance Review: The Flash 1.01 "City of Heroes"4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.