Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Flash

Here I go again, watching another superhero television series. I told myself (and I think I wrote it on this blog too) that I would only watch the first season of Heroes, which I finally finished. So, I needed a new show to watch while I walk on the treadmill. I looked through what was trending on Netflix and I got a variety of shows: dramas like Grey's Anatomy and Blacklist; comedies like Jane the Virgin and Family Guy; and some action shows like Daredevil and The Flash. And... I picked The Flash. 

The Flash is about a man named Barry Allen who is hit by lightning in a freak accident (involving a particle accelerator, because why not?) and goes into a coma for nine months. He wakes up in Star Labs, the company that was responsible for the particle accelerator mishap, and he is incredibly fast. Soon Barry begins working with Dr. Harrison Wells, Dr. Caitlyn Snow, and Cisco Ramon to find other "meta-humans" that were affected by the particle accelerator.

The show begins like any classic superhero show where the protagonist narrates within the first two shots: "Do you believe in the supernatural? Blah, blah, blah. That's me; I'm the fastest man alive. Here's my life story. Then this happened, and now I am changed forever!" As much as I love a good superhero tale, I'm sort of hitting myself for watching this. I can't tell if the show is trying to be funny, trying to make fun of other superhero stories by making Barry extremely down to earth, or a combination of the two. 

When Barry first wakes up from his coma, Cisco tells him, "You were hit by lightning, dude." To which Barry responds, "Lightning...gave me abs?" Then Caitlyn jumps in: "Your muscles should be atrophied, but instead they're in a chronic and unexplained state of cellular regeneration." 

In another scene, Barry agrees to go with Dr. Wells, Caitlyn, and Cisco to test his speed. Cisco gives him an outfit to wear and as he exits the trailer he changed in he says, "It's a little snug." And yes, it is a little snug and goofy looking.  

Perhaps this type of humor is just a convention for CW shows, or, like I said, the show is making fun of other superhero stories (like Captain America for example). It is true that one of the creators, Greg Berlanti, also worked on the movie Green Lantern (2011), the television show Arrow (2012), and the pilot episode of the new CBS show, Supergirl (2015). Maybe this is a convention for DC Comics characters. Maybe I am comparing it too much to Heroes, which did not have as many comedic moments. Or perhaps I have seen more superhero movies than tv shows and the two platforms have to treat comedy differently. For now, I'll keep watching and let you know if this type of humor is used in more than just the pilot episode. 

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