As a spin-off from Arrow, The Flash is the TV-show featuring the story of Barry Allen and his new found abilities. It has all of the right ingredients to work…cool name, TV-level superpower and great costume. But in the age of MARVEL superheroes owning the public consciousness—can a DC hero thrive? More importantly can a SPIN-OFF work?
Spin-offs are tricky to pull off.
They can be successful and the perfect companion a la Angel (nee Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Torchwood (nee Doctor Who), and Legend of Korra (nee Avatar: The Last Airbender). However, a spin-off can tarnish the name (and perception) of its parent show like Joey (nee Friends), The Lone Gunman (nee X-Files), or The Cleveland Show (nee Family Guy).
The FLASH IS DIFFERENT however and the buzz is high! I am most excited for Flash, so I am thinking this series will fall in the success column but for some very valid reasons. 1st, the CW is familiar with producing successful spin-offs to existing shows like the Vampire Diaries and will make any new show a different style of content while maintaining established characters. 2nd, there will be plenty of crossovers with Arrow throughout the season, which tend to dwindle if the series continues. 3rd, Flash will have a lighter tone than CW’s hit ARROW—a combination of heart, humor, and Americana– which should rescue it from the dark and numb “Nolan-style” DC films (even Arrow). 4th, as a concept, FLASH is a superhero that can convincingly offer both crime/ superhero stories as well as a bit more a sci-fi vibe. Executive Producer Greg Berlanti has said the inspiration and tone of the show is modeled after Dick Donner’s Superman — which may or may not be a good thing (why can’t these guys focus on the comics and less on Donner or Nolan’s version? — FReditor note).
So far, the special effects of Flash seem as if they are going to help to elevate the show and be good for television. The effects in the trailer are legitimately promising and it excites one to think about on the potential of this series on a longer, serialized scale. This could be an issue should the effects or budget be slashed but the CW is definitely pro-Flash (at the moment) so money and support should not be a problem. The cast also includes recognizable names to some but will not be household names by any stretch of the imagination. This is good as I have faith in the cast so far and think most will nail it!
Grant Gustin is the perfect dorky yet capable Barry Allen. As a nod, the original Flash TV star from the 90’s, John Wesley Shipp, is playing Barry’s father. Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes will helm STAR Labs as Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon with Tom Cavanagh as Dr Harrison Wells, head of STAR. And in a bit of post-modern racial diversity, Jesse L Martin is Detective Joe West and Candice Patton will play his daughter, Iris West (originally in the comics–Iris was white).
DC’s Co-Chief Creative Officer (and former FLASH comicbook writer) Geoff Johns said, “The Flash is probably the most faithful DC adaptation ever.”
With the back-door pilot episodes during last season’s Arrow, the Flash will overcome the slow start of most shows to introduce characters and establish the environment. Also, the DC Universe also helps to build upon the foundation and mythology. There is already confirmation that FLASH will deliver most of the characters 40+ year canon of characters including some of the best Rogues galleries of villains outside of Marvel’s Spiderman and DC’s Batman.
The first season’s arc will end with the Flash known from the comics. The season will follow the character’s emotional and physical transformation into a superhero for Central City. The mystery behind Nora Allen’s death will probably loom with the series for awhile and there is the HUGE expectation that ZOOM: The Reverse Flash will appear.
FLASH IS RACING TOWARDS OUR SCREENS—let’s hope it’s a worthy challenger to TV’s growing geek empire. Let us know what you think in our FORUMS!
By Kasey Michael-–a lover of all things entertainment. Born and bred in North Carolina, she can usually be found in front of a screen.