“To understand what I’m about to tell you, you need to do something first. You need to believe in the impossible. Can you do that?” That request opens one of America’s favorite TV shows, The Flash. The CW Network’s smash hit, which debuted in 2014 to 4.8 million viewers, has lovable characters, a highly engaging plot, and is a very fun ride.
The series, which is based on comics published by DC, follows Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a forensic scientist who was struck by lightning during a particle accelerator explosion and is gifted with incredible speed. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one affected, and many of the new “metahumans” aren’t using their powers for good. With the help of Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), a genius engineer who provides great comic relief and codenames for the metas, and Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), who lost her fiancé in the accident, Barry stops supervillains and saves lives. Perhaps the most valuable asset to Team Flash is the enigmatic Dr. Harrison Wells, the director of S.T.A.R. Labs, and the mind behind the particle accelerator, who is played phenomenally by Tom Cavanagh. Barry’s adoptive father and co-worker Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and his daughter Iris (Candice Patton) are great additions to this wonderful cast. The actors all become their characters so thoroughly that you forget that it’s not real.
The Flash’s remarkable visual effects are so convincing that it’s easy to believe the CGI you’re seeing is reality. The costumes look great on screen, making the superheroes we love look very stylish and the villains frightening and intimidating. The fights are performed or animated with expertise, throwing you into engrossing action sequences; the excitement you feel when you first witness two speedsters battling is incredible. The enormous sets are beautiful and feel real; for example, the police department and Team Flash’s headquarters in S.T.A.R. Labs are wonderfully designed. The music in this show is also brilliant; whether it’s dramatic and epic to make you feel the gravity of a dire situation, or the awesome themes of the villains, it never disappoints. The crew of this show go above and beyond with their budget, and put incredible devotion and effort into this series, and you see it in each episode.
As much as I love this show, amidst all the strengths there is one minor weakness that should be addressed. The Flash deals with science fiction concepts such as time travel, and naturally this leads to much confusion. Especially later in the series when things get very complicated, it becomes difficult to understand everything. It can seem like the writers may not really know what they’re doing themselves. Sometimes things are explained, sometimes they aren’t mentioned, and sometimes the fans don’t consider the explanations too great. However, if you’re not incredibly bothered by slight inconsistencies that don’t hurt the plot in any notable way, it’s easy to just go along with it and enjoy the fun. If breaking your brain trying to explain different timelines interests you, this show is perfect for you.
The Flash makes you cry, laugh, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. More likely than not, if you decide to give this show a try, you will enjoy it, even if you’re not extremely into the comic book genre. Regardless of the superhero aspect, this show has more than you could ask for in an astounding television series. With an excellent plot, which includes riveting mysteries each season, and characters you grow attached to, it’s no wonder this show is so successful. It has won several awards, including a Saturn Award for Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series and a Leo for Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series. As Dr. Wells would say, “Run, Barry, run!” or run, reader, run and watch The Flash, currently in its third fantastic season, Tuesday nights on The CW!