The Flash Season 1 Mid-Season Round Table

The Flash Round Table

One of the most successful TV shows of the 2014-2015 TV season has been The CW’s The Flash, the epic spin-off series of the equally impressive Arrow. Since its premiere back in October, The Flash has become a major hit for The CW, and although we are still a few weeks away from the mid-season premiere, we here at TVOvermind wanted to give our thoughts on the first half of Season 1.

The Flash became a huge hit very fast (no pun intended) for several reasons: what has been your personal favorite aspect of the show so far?

Andy Behbakht: It’s hard just picking one, but if one is the rule, it’s without doubt the glory that is Grant Gustin and what he has brought to the character of Barry Allen. After having learned so much about the character from the comics for the past year, Gustin captures so much of Barry and it makes you love this protagonist so much. Along with that, he has one of the best casts assembled around him on television from new star powers like Candice Patton and Carlos Valdes to legends like Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanagh. But I also love that this is the first TV superhero that I can relate to, something that I haven’t been able to do for a while.

Blaise Hopkins: I think my favorite aspect of The Flash has been how well they have nailed the nature of the character and the show. The Flash is an awesome hero, but everyone loves him for his relaxed, less serious approach to being a superhero. He’s fun-loving and always a clown to his villains, similar to Spider-Man. The show knows when to get serious and knows how to create suspense and mystery (with Wells & Reverse Flash), but for the most part has nailed the character perfectly thus far.

Chris King: Grant Gustin and the character of Barry Allen. Gustin does a fantastic job at bringing this character to life and making him so real and believable, and I love that the writers can still give Barry conflict and personal problems he must handle without ever compromising how good of a person he actually is. Put simply: Gustin and Barry are just so likable–it’s impossible not to root for both of them.

Even though we have seen similarities between the two, what things do you feel have carried over from Arrow to The Flash? And what separates The Flash from Arrow?

Andy: I have seen a few similarities, although they are so small that it’s not really worth bringing up. The biggest similarity though is seeing how much they are embracing the source material while making it work so well for television which isn’t the easiest task sometimes. But I think something that we can see here is that the writers are avoiding some of the mistakes they did in Season 1 of Arrow and making sure to focus on things that they know work for The Flash‘s first season. The biggest difference though is that The Flash made sure to establish exactly what type of show it is from day one, while Arrow had somewhat of a struggle with that when it first premiered.  It’s difficult to compare the two because they are so different from each other. Arrow is the dark show while The Flash is the bright one and it’s good that they are so heavily different from each other. Otherwise, we would be watching the same show twice per week.

Blaise: I think they are different because of the reasons I mentioned in question 1. Oliver is a much more serious character. I mean, just look at what he went through to become who he is. Oliver takes a much more brutally intense and long path to become a hero so he never sees it as being a gift but more as a duty. The Flash has a relatively quick transformation and also gains powers rather than skills, so he can find more positives in his super speed and see it as something fun. The tone of the shows are completely different (they need to be), but they are similar in how they have near perfectly translated the comic book style and feeling onto TV. In both shows we are seeing actual super villains in costumes and with powers, which is extremely fun to watch without attempting to make it overly realistic. It’s easier in The Flash because a character like Cisco can provide every major villain with their classic name because he’s a fun loving fan boy like the rest of us, and in Arrow, while it might not be as apparent, they sneak stuff in like the boxing glove arrow.

Chris: I don’t know if I see too many similarities between the shows–mainly I look at The Flash as the Arrow creative team getting a second chance to get things right quicker and easier. For example, Barry is given his own team to work with (Cisco, Caitlin, and Wells) in the show’s first episode, while we had to wait for over a dozen episodes between the amazing trio of Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity was fully-formed. I also think that The Flash has done a better job with making Iris a more important figure in the show’s overall story than Arrow has ever done with Laurel.

Photo via The CW

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