Over the summer, there were a couple of new shows that received the most critical acclaim. They both involved superheroes and they were both CTV imports.
The first was FOX’s Gotham and the Batman prequel has certainly lived up to its hype after its first three episodes.
The second series debuts tonight and is The CW’s Arrow spin-off, The Flash.
We were first introduced to Barry Allen in the DC Comics and the character played by Glee‘s Grant Gustin appeared in a couple of Arrow episodes last season. After witnessing his mother’s murder and his father being wrongly accused, Allen is taken in by Detective West and his family in Central City. As he enters adulthood, Allen begins to work for the Central City Police Department and while researching cold cases (hoping to find his mother’s true killer), Allen uncovers Harrison Wells’ particle accelerator and is struck by lightning at the same time. After being in a coma for nine months, Allen awakes to find that he now has the ability to move at lightning fast speed and wants to use his new power to protect his city.
Tonight’s premiere episode is, in a word, flashy (pun intended) and perhaps the most resonating takeaway note is that it is very different from its sister series. While Arrow is dark and mysterious, The Flash is hip and self-aware. Initially, the ability to differentiate itself from its highly successful predecessor was the main issue that many thought might hurt The Flash, but this is certainly not an issue based on tonight’s show.
The show features a strong cast, led by Gustin in the title role. Gustin is the embodiment of Allen, combing a geeky charm with a childhood curiosity. Whereas Oliver Queen sometimes feels like he shouldn’t use his skills, Allen knows that what he can do is cool and this makes him much more relatable. Imagine if you were the fastest person in the world. How cool would that be? Allen sees what he can do for what it is.
The writing is also sharp and funny. The Flash doesn’t take itself too seriously and celebrates the fact that it is based on a comic.
While the popularity of TV series based on the superhero phenomenon cannot be understated, The Flash isn’t like the other shows and it is for that reason that it works.
Earlier this summer, I caught up with The Flash‘s Grant Gustin to discuss the series. I asked him if it had sunk in that he was now the face of such a popular character and we also discussed why superhero shows are the most popular genre in television right now.
Check out the video above!
Tags: CTV Upfront, murtz, Murtz Jaffer, The Flash