When I first heard that there was going to be a spinoff from the CW show ARROW, and that it was going to be called THE FLASH, I had no idea what to expect. But upon being introduced to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) in his 2 key episodes last season on ARROW and getting a chance to preview the first 2 episodes of the new series THE FLASH, I can attest that I am head-over-heels in love with the show. I am not alone in this view. All my hardened, jaded TV critic friends have also fallen under its spell. Just go Google it. You will see all the rave reviews. But keeping it simple here, I wanted to offer a few reasons why I fell in love with the show.
It is hard to resist Barry Allen’s natural charms. The guy nearly stole Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) from Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), after all — and just might yet with upcoming crossover episode coming up early in the season. Plus, after being struck by lightening, he has the ability to break sound barriers. That may not sound exactly sexy, but it is when he can fetch ice cream from the grocery store in seconds, change into a suit and be at the restaurant on time for every date, and he can outrace the guy who stole your purse every single time, it begins to take on a more sexy side. Trust me. There’s a lot of great things about a guy who can travel that fast for whatever the occasion. In addition, when he is that cute, it is impossible to resist.
A superhero is just not enough these days. It takes a team to save the world on a daily basis. After all, even superheroes have to sleep or keep up appearances at their day-jobs. Barry may have gotten a cushy day-job working as a crime scene investigator for Central City P.D., but that takes up more time than you would expect. So helping out Barry and watching his back is his “dream team” of Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh). It is their job to help keep Barry on track as he multi-tasks who to save and which job he has to be at. They also manage to whip up some nifty toys and tools of the trade to keep Barry from shredding every piece of clothing he owns and so no one recognizes him as he flashes right by them or gets caught on camera in a world where everyone has a smartphone and every street corner has a security camera. Plus, they may have a secret or two of their own. Gotta love a good mystery to solve!
Just like a hero needs a team to help him out, every hero needs a girl to dream about too. In Barry’s case, that girl is Iris (Candace Patton). It doesn’t help that he practically grew up with her as her quasi-adopted brother, or that Iris has a dashing boyfriend (who inconveniently is the partner of Barry’s boss). Yeah, you heard that right. Iris’ dad is Barry’s boss. If that doesn’t sound a little too close to home, then you have not connected all the dots yet. Barry grew up with his boss and his dream girl, and now his dream girl is dating his boss’ partner. There is a lot that is wrong with that picture. But the good news is that Barry skates through that sticky situation very smoothly every day. For one, it helps that Barry is great at keeping secrets. For two, Barry’s boss Joe (Jesse L. Martin) knows about his supernatural speed abilities. So Joe doesn’t suspect that Barry is keeping the secret of Joe’s daughter dating Joe’s partner. Though eventually that dirty secret is bound to come out. And Barry will be waiting for Iris to see that her “dream guy” has been right there all along.
Unlike the world of ARROW, where THE FLASH cohabits, there are a lot of supernaturally-gifted folks in Central City. Not only is there Barry with his super speed, but there are such folks who can control the weather or create instant replicas of themselves. Apparently, Barry was not the only one struck by lightening that fateful day, and not everyone has the golden good heart like Barry does. Altruism doesn’t come naturally to most people. If you woke up one day and had a supernatural ability, would you automatically choose to save people; or would you be tempted to use it for your own personal gain? Most folks make the latter choice. They just don’t have the heart to help out others. So THE FLASH will make sure to introduce and swiftly dispatch with anyone similarly blessed, but who needs a reality check on what is the right thing to do in the world.
Barry’s best bud is none other than Oliver Queen. That’s right. Barry is friends with a billionaire — a billionaire who is none other than the Green Arrow. It really helps to have a friend that really understands how tricky and tough it is to give up your everyday normal life and put on a mask and take on the world’s problems. Barry’s journey began in 2-episodes on ARROW Season 2 and as a special treat, Oliver Queen returns the favor and pops up on occasion in Barry’s world on THE FLASH. Frankly, that is pretty damn cool. It is great to see superheroes having friends and relying on each other when they need advice and an extra hand. Never in a million years could we have imagined Oliver Queen and Barry Allen having anything in common and a reason to be friends. But the universe had other plans and it was a masterpiece. It brought Oliver and Barry together. It is a friendship that will surely endure a lifetime. And it promises to be mighty exciting along the way.
With those top reasons as to why I love the show, I am hopeful they will be some of yours soon too. So be sure to tune in for the premiere of THE FLASH on Tuesday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m. on the CW. Barry is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet too!
SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER | Tiffany covers events such as San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon and press junkets, as well as covering events at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. She has a great love for television and believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored. Tiffany is one of the newest members to the prestigious Television Critics Association and is happy to be able to share her passion for television shows with an even wider audience of fans and her fellow critics..