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FlashTVNews Roundtable: Looking Back at Season 1

The FlashTVNews Team discusses The Flash’s stellar first season.

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What worked best about Season 1?

FLA121_SG_049.020.001CRAIG: Obviously I’ve established that I’m a comic book fan, and a fan of comic book TV, but what I think really worked about The Flash is that it was a show that could appeal to non-comic book fans as well. A good friend of mine pointed out to me how he’d watch with his wife, who doesn’t know comics, and she saw how excited he’d get when Ronnie Raymond was first name-checked. Yet, being not so knowledged in comics lore, she STILL got that that name was a big deal and something important. A big part of that, I think, is the attempt more times than not to create the character before the gimmick. Yes, Firestorm is exciting, but the notion that the character was built on the show is what made him special. The same thing goes for the show’s regular cast, starting with Barry. This show would not be as good if we weren’t so invested in Barry.

MATT: What really worked is that they turned into the skid; they fully embraced being a science fiction show about people with extraordinary abilities. More than that, they went full-bore into the comic lore.  Names, abilities, costumes.  Sure, it bordered on kitschy at points, but it had enough sense to have fun with that. I mean, this is a series that not only had the audacity to bring Gorilla Grodd to live-action, but actually pulled it off in a plausible and relatable fashion. What’s more is they took their experience from two seasons of Arrow and didn’t hold back on letting the story go to places we never would’ve guessed they would attempt in the first season of a show. Time travel? Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom? Mentioning Crisis? They went for broke and it paid off immensely.

FLA102a_205bSTEPHANIE: What worked best about this season was the instant team element that Barry, Wells, Caitlin, and Cisco created. It made it appear as if the writers knew what they were doing right off the bat, so they didn’t have to waste any time figuring out when and who to tell about Barry’s secret. It also helped that Barry learned about his ability alongside the audience.

DEREK: It was an exceptionally well-plotted season. Everything moved along quickly and naturally, but it never felt like they were burning through storylines too quickly. Characters who didn’t quite click at first very quickly fulfilled their potential — Cisco is a great example of a character growing without losing his initial appeal. And there’s remarkable consistency in the season, with a slew of great episodes, only a few that are less-than-good, and no outright bad ones. Lots of foresight, and no fear of holding back.

What didn’t work so well in Season 1?

CRAIG: Some of the one-off villains weren’t the greatest. I also hated waiting between episodes, but that’s the spoiled TV viewer in me who is jealous of those who are going to get to binge the DVD or on Netflix.

FLA122A_0351bMATT: There are a lot of people who give her guff, for some reason, but I like Iris and I like Candice Patton in the part. She felt a bit superfluous throughout the season, and having her work at Picture News (a name I didn’t care for in the comics and certainly hate in live-action) didn’t really offer up a great media angle that it could have. I’ve never been completely keen on the Freak of the Week style storytelling, and the nature of the show kind of lends itself to that at points. Some end up great, others not so much. The one thing that worked in its favor is it did set up the Rogues as a group okay. I wouldn’t mind seeing less villains but have them around for two- or three-episode arcs to better tell their stories. I’ll always be a champion for more serialization in a show, though.

DEREK: Remember when The Flash was being called The Streak? That was terrible.

FLA111B_0406bIn all seriousness…like Matt, I really dig Iris as a character and think Candice Patton is lovely in the role, but there were problems integrating her. It seems like Iris was conceived to eschew problems other characters conceived as love interests like Lana Lang or season 1-era Laurel Lance had, as Iris was conceived more in line with season 1-era Felicity Smoak — spunky, youthful, funny, and ambitious. But even with those characterization adjustments, they still had the problem of competently fitting her into the plot. I don’t think she was ever written badly in any scene, but it was frustrating to basically see her get progressively more passive as the season went along; she suspected Harrison Wells of harboring secrets and her partner was killed, and she didn’t really do anything about either. Props that she wasn’t unnecessarily shoehorned into stories the way Lana often was in Smallville, but they went too far in the other direction here. Of all the things the season seemed to have mapped out, Iris tended to be thrown in to see where she’d stick, and it wasn’t until the tail end of the season that it finally worked. Luckily, I don’t think there will be the same problem in this next season with her in on the secret, not to mention plenty of emotional baggage to deal with.

STEPHANIE: Like Matt and Derek said, integrating Iris into the plot was the season’s biggest issue. While the journalism aspect is almost necessary in a story where there’s a new superhero in town, it didn’t add much to the series, cause many problems, or help solve the cases of the week.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tatiana

    September 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    So many great points being made here. I love how close Flash sticks to the spirit of the comics, and the episodes where they parallel the personal relationships to the scifi elements are golden. I’m also so happy that Iris knows the truth now and can be integrated into the main plot. I feel like Westallen as the romantic backbone of the story can only get better from here, but like you said, it doesn’t overwhelm the plot of the story which is so important.

    • Craig Byrne

      September 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Personally speaking, now that Iris knows what’s up, I think there’s nothing stopping that if that’s where they want to go… obviously being The Flash, it’ll happen eventually.

  2. Rei

    September 30, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    This was a great round table. It’s awesome to see everyone’s opinions laid out. I’m all about Barry and his relationships with the Wests, so my favorite episodes are the usuals: 1.09, 1.15, 1.20, 1.21, 1.23. But if I had to pick an underrated episode… I know the crossover in 1.08 isn’t that exactly, but I think it was the best use of Arrow characters in The Flash all season long. The two worlds clashed beautifully and seeing some of Barry’s subconscious resentments (against Joe for ‘imprisoning’ Henry and against Eddie for ‘stealing’ Iris) was both enlightening and shocking. Even though his anger was unfair, of course, it helped to make him more well-rounded.

  3. Halberdier17

    October 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    There was a point where Arrow got three weeks ahead of the Flash. The episode when Oliver joined the League of Assassins they did a three week time skip because Oliver was training.

  4. Wintgster55

    October 2, 2015 at 9:49 am

    See, I think that some of the writing for Iris was off..and it would’ve been nice if they had her in the main plot more…but I liked that she had her own arc throughout the season with journalism. Showed character development which is more important. Plus if she was in the A plot more she would have been a supporter of Barry’s story instead of his equal

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Speculation: Does The Arrowverse “Armageddon” Event Take Place In The Future?

FlashTVNews’ Craig Byrne speculates that the “Armageddon” Arrowverse crossover may take place in The Flash’s future…

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In 1991, DC Comics had a crossover that went through all of their comic book Annuals. The event was called “Armageddon 2001” and took place in the then-far future of the DC Universe. We got to see different outcomes for many characters, and the villainous Monarch was revealed to be one of DC’s heroes.

Today, The CW announced this year’s crossover event that kicks off The Flash Season 8. It’s called “Armageddon” and some old favorites are back to join Barry, Iris, and Team Flash against whatever challenges they face – challenges that include Damien Darhk and Eobard Thawne/The Reverse Flash. Do note that both of those characters are known to travel through time — and that one of the returning heroes, Mia Smoak-Queen, is currently in the year 2040.

Who else is from the future? Recent Flash visitors Nora and Bart, the children of Barry and Iris. They were still in the present when we last saw them at their parents’ vow renewal.

So, here’s a prediction: What if this is an adaptation of “Armageddon 2001” but is instead “Armageddon 2051” or something like that? It would be a way to tie up loose ends like William’s kidnapping from Green Arrow and the Canaries without actually having to see it. Likewise, we don’t know for a fact that some of these guests are the 2021 versions; perhaps, for example, Black Lightning is an older Jefferson Pierce from the future, no longer retired?

But this also brings up another question: Where’s the Superman & Lois representation?

If it is the future, could the Superman there be Jordan Kent? Or, like DC’s recent “Future State” event which in many ways was like “Armageddon 2001” in previewing the future, a Jonathan Kent with powers? Being 20+ years older, it would necessitate a recasting for sure, so that would explain not being in the original announcement.

Surely, we’ll know more between now and November when the event premieres. It is a bit weird that, if there is time travel, the Legends of Tomorrow aren’t present aside from Ray Palmer who is no longer on the team. In any event, we’re very, very curious….

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Could Kid Flash Be Moving To Titans?

FlashTVNews makes some speculation about the future of Kid Flash, and whether or not it involves the Titans series.

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Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) appeared to have departed The Flash at the end of the third episode of Season 4. However, the character is still a series regular and he will be back in the seventh episode of the season, as revealed by Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg in a Q&A today. Kreisberg also stressed that Wally is “not gone from the Arrowverse,” which makes us wonder….

“It was difficult having two speedsters on the show, just creatively and financially,” Kreisberg admitted at the press Q&A. “You know, there’s a lot of times where either Barry had to get knocked out so Wally could save the day, or Wally had to get knocked out so Barry could save the day, and just even knocking them out, that cost a lot,” he said, also pointing out some of the creative challenges.

He did promise that Wally will be back, however. “Wally is not gone, certainly, from the Arrowverse, and he’ll be back on Flash, and more exciting stuff about Wally will be revealed as we move forward,” Kreisberg said.

With these words, we here at FlashTVNews are starting to wonder: Could Wally West be moving to the Titans show on the DC Comics streaming service? After all, Wally has been an important figure in Titans lore, and while it would mean The Flash loses a speedster, it would give Titans another icon.

So far, no announcement has been made in that department, nor has it even been confirmed that Titans is in the same universe as The Flash. It is worth pointing out, though, that Arrowverse producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are involved with Titans.

Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

(It’s also interesting to note the characters on the Teen Titans comic book shown with this article. With the exception of Kid Flash, and of course a different Robin being represented, these are the characters from the upcoming DC Titans show. Hmm.)

Visit our Titans hub TitansTV.net for more on the project!

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Blu-ray Review: The Flash: The Complete Third Season

Review of The Flash: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray set

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The Complete Third Season Blu-ray and DVD sets for The Flash speed our way this Tuesday, September 5, and we’ve gotten our hands on an early copy to review! Before we cut into the review, though, here’s how Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (provider of said review copy) describes it:

Just in time for the fourth season premiere of the #1 show on The CW, catch the fastest man alive as he zigzags through the action-packed release of The Flash: The Complete Third Season from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-rayTM and DVD on September 5, 2017. Delivering 5 million Total Viewers per episode, The Flash is a Top 10 series on all broadcast with Men 18-34 (#7) and Men 18-49 (#10)⃰. Fans will be able to revisit all 23 electrifying episodes from the third season, including the DC-crossover episode, plus over two hours of extra content, including behind-the-scenes featurettes on the “Invasion!” cross over episode and the “Duets” musical episode, a conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith, deleted scenes, and more.

*Source: Nielsen National TV View Live + 7 Day Ratings, excluding repeats, specials, and sports

Struck by the supercharged fallout of a particle accelerator explosion, forensic scientist Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive: The Flash! With his newfound time-warping speed and help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team – Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon and Harrison Wells – and his adoptive family, Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter Iris, the Scarlet Speedster runs circles around other metahumans set on wreaking havoc in Central City, while traveling between alternate universes and protecting our world from otherworldly threats. Last season, new dangers arrived from a parallel earth known as Earth-2, under the direction of an evil speedster named Zoom. In Season Three, Barry faces the unknown – as he irrevocably alters the timeline by saving his mother from the clutches of the Reverse-Flash. The only question now is – as he wrestles with the consequences of his own Flashpoint Paradox, including the wrathful Speed God Savitar – will he be able to find a way out?

“After three seasons, The Flash continues to score in ratings and ranks as the top series for The CW,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, TV Marketing. “Loaded with both in-depth and exclusive new bonus content, both fans of the show and DC fanboys will be eager to add the Blu-ray or DVD release to their collections.”

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, The Flash: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 4-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 23 episodes from season three.

The Flash stars Grant Gustin (Arrow, Glee), Candice Patton (The Game), Danielle Panabaker (Justified, Necessary Roughness), Carlos Valdes (Once), Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent), Tom Felton (Harry Potter films), with Tom Cavanagh (Ed, The Following), and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order). Based on the characters from DC, The Flash is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Supergirl, Blindspot, Riverdale), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Aaron Helbing (Spartacus, Black Sails), Todd Helbing (Spartacus, Black Sails) and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Riverdale, Supergirl).

So how is the set? Let’s get into it.

The Episodes: I won’t lie: Season 3 of The Flash was… not my favorite. Season 1 of the series, especially, showed us what a great guy Barry Allen is, as played so well by Grant Gustin. For Season 3… Barry does something arguably selfish at the start of the season (actually, the end of Season 2) that sets off a chain reaction that makes things miserable for his friends. And that’s not even getting into who Savitar is; sadly, Savitar was another storyline I wasn’t that invested in, though I was curious to see how Iris would be saved, of course.

That’s not to say there aren’t gems in the season, and the production value in the season is unparalleled. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy!) is in the season and involved in a story with a Philosopher’s Stone and he goes to the Planet of the Apes! Two great connections right there, right? There are also some really good performances in the year, and of course, stories like the musical “Duet” keep us running home to you — err, this show. It’s just sad when you can’t get behind Barry and usually happy characters like Cisco are miserable.

With that said… we get to see Kid Flash! And honestly, Season 3 goes down a lot better when you know where it’s going. On Blu-ray, it looks beautiful, so there’s a plus.

Graphics and Sound: As I said, it’s worth springing for the Blu-ray just because it looks so damned good.

The Extras: Of all the CW superhero shows, it seems The Flash is the one that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment goes “all out” on, at least in the extras department.

There are at least a half dozen extras on this set. I was particularly enamored with the “Rise of Gorilla City” feature that showed all the work that Armen Kevorkian and his team put in to creating that world. On Blu-ray, as I mentioned, the effects look fantastic, and I’m now sad about two things: One, that The Flash has not yet gotten an Emmy for VFX; and two, why is it that mediocrity like The Inhumans can get on IMAX but stuff like this doesn’t hit the big screen? This is high quality stuff.

There are a few featurettes on the musical and the impressive work behind the scenes with Blake Neely and his team. I was a little bummed Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom wasn’t interviewed, though I’m sure she’s pretty busy. It was fun learning things, for example, that Victor Garber wanted to be a part of it even though Stein wasn’t a part of The Flash at that time.

Deleted scenes are available for several episodes which, of course, expand the world a little bit and make one wonder why The CW can’t forego a few in-house promotions in an hour and extend the episodes a little bit.

I really liked “Allied: The Invasion Complex” featurette on The Flash portion of the 4-show crossover though I’m forever annoyed that the entire crossover isn’t available in one place for those who want to see it. I get Supergirl not being included since that scene was reprised on The Flash, but even a recap would’ve been nice. Or, a separate release with the entirety of “Invasion!”

Yes, there’s a gag reel. Yes, there’s dancing. Yes, there’s a Malfoy joke.

What’s not so good? A featurette on time travel took the subject way too seriously and put me to sleep. And I LOVE time travel. I didn’t love that featurette. Sorry-not-sorry.

Is It Worth It? Between the increased video quality and the sheer number of extras, The Flash: The Complete Third Season is absolutely worth owning on Blu-ray. You can order your copy from Amazon, where you will get a discounted price and support KSiteTV in the process!

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