The world of TV is filled with spin off shows: The Originals, Angel, Teen Mom, Maude, The Legend of Korra, NCIS, NCIS:LA, NCIS:New Orleans. . . etc. OK so NCIS kinda got out of control, but the others show that the love people have for some shows and the desire to see more expands into a whole new series. Sometimes this is great (Angel) and sometimes you end up with L.L. Cool J. licking his lips while solving crimes and Chris O’Donnell trying to forget that he ever played Robin.
The CW had most recently had the spin off of The Originals which is an even more melodramatic version of The Vampire Diaries so although I had high hopes for The Flash because of what I’d seen on Arrow I was somewhat wary that they might take a more early Smallville teen soap opera-y vibe instead of a balls to the wall all the way superhero series. I’m happy to say that I feel like they are going with the second option. Barry Allen has a real reason and motivation for being a good guy that is out there helping people. The actor is cute enough to be a great leading character, but not so good looking that he’s distracting. We’ve gotten to know him a bit on Arrow so there isn’t a lot of awkward getting to know you crap mixed in the pilot. There is some unrequited romance (plus the promise of the full story of him and Felicity Smoak) and a mystery to be solved in what happened to his mom as well as who Harrison Wells really is.
I’m not going to pretend that I know everything about The Flash comics so I know there are a ton of Easter Eggs in this episode that I didn’t get, but I do have a few subtle (or not so subtle) things that I appreciate.
- They took the time to really tie into Arrow by having him become a reoccurring character months before The Flash so when he tries to decide how to use his abilities it doesn’t feel strange that he would run to Oliver for advice. Crossovers between the shows look like they are going to be awesome.
- John Wesley Shipp is playing the dad. For those 5 people that are unaware JWS played the Flash in a doomed (but good) 90’s series. Think Lois and Clark, but without the viewers (really it was a good show and shouldn’t have been cancelled).
- The surrogate dad Det. Joe West is played by Jesse L. Martin who was a cop on Law and Order for years which I feel like adds a level of legitimacy to his role. Many people will tune in and recognize him as a cop. I know it’s not a big thing, but I like it.
- Lastly superhero costumes can be comical. What someone draws on a cartoon character is often hard to translate into real life (as cosplayers all over the world know). So the firefighter uniform makes sense and the lightening bolt accents although they could be cheesy are played off as an overly excited tech maker’s signature on his device. Plus it ties into how he got his powers.
I look forward to seeing where this new series is going to take us and unlike the rather slow start that Gotham is having for me The Flash will be a show that I not only want to watch, it will also be a show I want to watch live (which isn’t something I do much).
What did you think?
I have previously posted about how Arrow is worth the watch, but the show has taken another big step forward this season. The first season had the issue that a lot of CW shows have, it was over dramatic and focused too much on the love story. However the further we got into the season the more the characters were allowed to develop and the actors became more comfortable in their roles.
Fast forward to Season 2: We’ve established a pretty thorough back story with most of the characters and if they don’t have a back story they are interesting stand alone characters.
We have Oliver who is working through his crazy
Diggle who is inspired by the good that The Arrow is doing in the city (aka the OTHER guy we can count on to take off his shirt).
Felicity who is
in love with Oliver Oliver’s assistant. She’s a great strong female character, but doesn’t throw it in your face every five minutes that’s she’s a strong female character. She’s the glue that holds it all together.
Laurel who is about 15 shades of crazy and self absorbed. She also looks super weird this season for some reason I can’t explain.
And that brings us to Sara. Sara who does scream HEY I’M STRONG AND I’M A WOMAN every chance she gets. AKA the Black Canary. She also is super crazy and has her own island issues. However she’s less annoying than Laurel so she’s got that going for her.
Plus she can do this which I have to respect– even if I don’t want her and Ollie together.
Roy Harper has gotten a larger role this season as well prepping himself to become Ollie’s sidekick of sorts. Right now he’s having some issues, but he helps humanize Thea (Ollie’s sister) and is an interesting part of this broken team.
We also have a whole slew of bad guys and secondary characters. John Barrowman being one of them which in and of itself is amazing and Deathstroke who has been pretty scary the last bit of this season. I won’t go into all of them, but I’ll say that I’m very glad that Arrow looked toward Supernatural as a model CW show instead of any of the others. Arrow in season 2 is where Smallville was in season 8. I’m so happy they are going all out and upping the ante every episode. I don’t feel that any of the characters (with the exception of Ollie) are safe which I love in a show. You can’t be concerned when someone is kidnapped/in danger/hurt if you KNOW they won’t really die.
So bravo Arrow! I’m excited to see how this season ends and I’m looking forward to what you’ll bring to the future seasons. I also appreciate how much time and effort Stephen Amell spends posting on his Facebook page. It adds a whole new layer to watching a show when you know that the actors are just as excited about filming it.
To show my appreciation I’ll post one last GIF of Ollie doing his thing. Why you ask? Oh wait, no you didn’t ask, you understand.
OK so I’m a little late on this bandwagon, but I’m finally trying “Arrow.” After giving “The Cape” a chance in 2011 and being disappointed I didn’t immediately give “Arrow” a chance. Then I found out that John Barrowman was in it. Yeah so then I had a nerd obligation to try it. However it was seven episodes in before I set my DVR to record it. I figured I’d record them anyway and surely there would be a marathon soon so that I could catch up. Well there wasn’t. However this week the network aired the pilot again so I was finally able to give it a chance.
My verdict? WARNING: Some light spoilers beyond this point
It has a lot of potential. I like the set up for the hero character. What I have seen so far makes it believable (in that “someone could actually be a superhero” kind of way) that Oliver (Stephen Amell) would have the skills, motivation, and cover to assume this role. The flashbacks did a good job showing how big of a douche he was pre-shipwreck and I’m sure that future episodes will begin to explain his ninja skills. Just surviving five years on an island though would give you mad survival skills and also some insanity (which would help with that whole thinking that becoming a superhero is a sane thing to do idea). He obviously knows some really bad crap on a huge list of people in charge back in civilization which has given him motivation to right the wrongs that his father felt responsible for.
I found the montage of the stuff that Oliver gets done setting up his bat cave (oh wait— wrong billionaire) to be unbelievable. Did he have all those supplies in the two bags he carried into the warehouse? Yeah I don’t think so. Maybe there was a Home Depot close by… and a Best Buy. Plus there was time left over to workout (not saying I didn’t appreciate watching that) and do some target practice. Dude, I have trouble having time to work out if I have to add a trip to Wal-Mart to my schedule. Then in his spare time he went to threaten the bad guy of the week.
Also on the unbelievable list is the fact that Oliver has had so much contact with Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) who just so happens to be the girl that died during the shipwreck’s father. Yeah I don’t see any police department allowing someone with that history to help with the investigation of Oliver’s kidnapping attempt. Surely there was someone else to send, but it did set up the precedent that Detective Lance would get to run point on all cases having anything to do with the Guy in the Green Hood.
Other than all that though (it was just a little rushed— maybe if he’d only accomplished half of those tasks in one day I’d have bought it) I like the characters. The spoiled friend gets on my nerves, but I think he will develop into a character with more depth. He has a good unrequited love story which as I’ve said before is needed in any show. The body guard Diggle (David Ramsey) is great. He seems like an honest upfront guy that I’m assuming will become Oliver’s assistant (I’m trying to avoid the word “sidekick”) in the future. The sister Thea (Willa Holland) is a convincing troubled spoiled rich teen that isn’t so far gone that she can’t be saved by a great older brother or driven away by a judging controlling brother— we’ll see which route they take.
I hope that they explore the mental issues that Oliver would have after seeing and experiencing what he went through. I’m interested to see how they handle the brother/sister relationship and the friend that obviously knows something is up. Oh and I really enjoyed the surprise twist at the end.
I’m bummed that I have to wait until next Wednesday to see the next episode, but at least once I get to the seventh episode I can marathon it.