The Flash: Can Spin offs ever be any good?

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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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

Become A Star For A Day

DragonCon is over.  Another year of costuming, staying up too late, getting up too early, exposing my son to something that is somehow both awesome and inappropriate at the same time, and what is most amazing: feeling like a star.

I had someone ask me why do this.  Not just why I go (even though I think that they had doubts about that as well), but why I spent so much time and money on making costumes for this event.  At the time I didn’t really know the answer.  After seeing the amazing creations last year I thought that I had the ability  to create something amazing so I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  That may have been my reason for starting, but I know my reason (and I think other’s reason) to continue.  It was amazing to have people stop me in the halls and ask for my photo.  It’s what I would imagine being famous feels like, except at the end of the day I got to shower and turn into myself again.

OK so Steampunk Supernatural went over well.  I had more people “get” it than I thought I would (I think a whopping 10 people that didn’t have to ask who we were– which was about 8 more than I expected) and had a lot of compliments just on the general awesomeness of it.  I got recognized by someone who reads my Tumblr which made my day and then I also got to do a CNN photo shoot about rule 63.

However, it wasn’t until I was dressed as Snow White that I began to feel the awesomeness.  No explanation was needed here.  In a sea of Ariels, Auroras, Tinkerbells and Cinderellas it was easy to stand out of the crowd.  It took me twice as long to get anywhere, I got called the wrong princess’ name numerous times, but I loved every second.  While on the Walk of Fame I even had “Once Upon a Time” star Raphael Sbarge ask ME for a picture!  Yeah that was pretty awesome.

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When I walked by small children I could hear there excited whispers and I watched them gather the courage to talk to me.  It truly was magical.  To them I was  Snow White just like for my son every Spider-Man or Captain America we passed was, in his eyes, THE superhero.   It’s an amazing feeling and I can see why people go to numerous cons a year and spend thousands on costumes.  Do I think it’s as competitive as “Hero’s of Cosplay” portrays it– no, not for the average congoer, but it’s crazy the things people can construct. create and imagine that makes cosplay special.

So if you still don’t understand why I recommend you hit up the nearest con (a larger one to guarantee that you’ll get to see some awesome costumes) and do some people watching.  Maybe you’ll get it then.

Check out some of the highlights of my weekend: