Live-action super hero shows on TV have a mostly bad history. From decades ago through today most of them have been mediocre to terrible. I'm working on another post about that history, but today I thought I'd spend a minute praising a show that (surprisingly) is pretty good: The new Flash TV show. Why doesn't it fail when so many others do?
- Origin knocked out in about half of the first episode - Thankfully we're not trying to make the entire first season or a multi-part arc about how Barry Allen got his powers.
- Supervillain with super powers present in Episode 1 - We're not dealing with the tired, tired trope of the main character being the only one in the world with powers, fighting only thugs and corrupt rich people. Nope, here we have another super-bad guy in the very first episode, and open discussion that there are more.
- Superhero in costume in the first episode - Yep, he looks like the Flash before the first show is over. That matters when you're promoting it as a show about a known super hero.
- Writing is fine - They're treating it seriously without a bunch of winks and nods or making it more serious than it needs to be.The tone so far has been refreshingly straightforward, and the characters in general are not stupid.
- It doesn't look like a low-budget, cheap effort to play on the name. The locations are varied, there are quite a few supporting characters, and the effects are good. I actually like the super-speed effect and to me that's always been a tricky one to make look "super" on a screen.
- Overall, it's not embarrassed to be a superhero show! This is key as so many other shows of this type want to claim the "superhero" connection and trappings but are afraid of tackling it straight-up. It has to be a sci-fi story or a psychological drama or have some other spin on it. So far this show is not trying to do that, and after 14 years of continuous big-time superhero movies I think it's high time.
So yes, I am, somewhat surprisingly, a fan of the new show. I didn't like what I saw of Arrow but I may have to give it another chance as this show sort of spun off from that one. That one is more "closeted superhero" while this one is openly and triumphantly a full-on colorful superhero production. I'm looking forward to more.