Tonight’s the night! Yes, we’ve been talking about it all week long, but the wait is over. The Flash, The CW’s exciting new show that’s set to bring Barry Allen’s exploits to life debuts tonight at 8 o’clock. (Or 7 p.m. if you happen to live in the Central Time Zone.) Ever since we got our first glimpse of the premiere episode, we’ve been itching to talk to some of our fellow Flash fans about it. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot we can’t discuss. Not until after it airs. But we think it’s the perfect time to clue you in on some of the things to expect from tonight’s exciting premiere.
A Lighter Take on Super Heroics
Much has been made of the difference in tone between The Flash and its companion show, Arrow, and for good reason. The Flash is more brightly lit and lightly paced than its Starling City-set counterpart. This is apparent from the pilot’s opening, which much like Arrow, begins with some voiceover narration by its protagonist. But that’s where the similarities end. While Oliver’s narration is driven and serious, Barry’s is much more lighthearted.
This tone is maintained through much of the show’s dialog, which contains some great banter. The result is a show that delivers what many fans have been clamoring for—a live action DC Entertainment project that isn’t quite so gritty or grim. Families looking for a DC super hero they can watch together won’t go wrong with Barry.
Of course, this isn’t to say that the show’s a comedy. There’s plenty of weight just beneath the surface. After all, the show also begins with the murder of Barry’s mother. Speaking of which…
A Mystery Pulled Straight From the Comics
While Arrow was forced to create a mystery for the first season, The Flash comes packaged with a great mystery built right into its hero’s origin: Who killed Barry’s mother? Of course, just because the mystery exists doesn’t mean the producers were obligated to use it. We’ve seen super heroes needlessly reinterpreted before, and it feels really good to know that’s not what we’re seeing here. Especially since the mystery is such a good one.
Even more heartening is that the writers seem to be sticking fairly close to source material when it comes to the identity of the murderer. While even casual comic readers and DC fans likely know who that is, it’s nice to see such respect paid to storylines that fans consider canon.
Of course, we need to think of the brand new Flash fans as well. So let’s go on record as saying that for the time being, we’re not going to spoil the mystery here (at least not behind a ton of spoiler alerts), and we urge longtime Flash fans to follow suit. Not everyone watching the show is going to know what those yellow blurs mean, and it would be nice if many of them could experience the mystery of Nora Allen’s tragic demise as just that—a mystery!
The Flash is unique among DC’s current live action TV shows in that it’s the only one that regularly and unabashedly features super powers, starting with our hero. That means the premiere episode has to serve as something of an origin story. Watching it unfold, we realize that while common in movies, super hero origins are fairly uncommon on TV. (Smallville had one, but Arrow’s origin is technically still playing out in all of the show’s flashback sequences.) Well, we’re happy to report that The Flash handles the origin of its titular super hero masterfully. The pacing doesn’t feel at all rushed, and the episode ends exactly where we’d want it to—with Barry Allen sporting the Flash’s name and costume and ready to kick some bad guy butt. And best of all, while you’d have to wait for the second film in a cinematic franchise to see what happens next, in the small screen world of The Flash, you only have to wait a week.
Characters That are Primed to Explode
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about The Flash is the depth that dwells within the cast. While you couldn’t fault the producers had they made the show exclusively about Barry, they’ve given the show a very eyebrow-raising supporting cast. Caitlin Snow, Eddie Thawne, Cisco Ramon, Ronnie Raymond… Every single one of them has the potential to expand into some very interesting directions. Where the strength of the TV medium comes into play is in pacing. If those developments do take place on the show, they don’t have to take place right away. Executive Producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti have demonstrated this to some extent on Arrow—this season we’ll see Roy Harper as Arsenal for the first time, even though the character was introduced back in season one. But The Flash gives them the opportunity to really take it to the next level, ultimately resulting in a show that grows and evolves over time.
Also, we’d be neglectful if we didn’t mention the casting. The Flash team has really done an amazing job giving the show a diverse cast that truly understands their characters. Over the past week, we’ve been getting to know The Flash’s supporting cast through a series of fun, insightful interviews that shows they truly understand their characters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to read what Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker and Rick Cosnett had to say. You’ll be big fans before the show even airs!
Easter Eggs Galore
It’s probably not surprising, but the premiere episode of The Flash is full of Easter Eggs that are sure to give comic book readers a huge smile. Some of these have been discussed or glimpsed in the show’s trailers, but we suspect there are still a few that’ll surprise you. And if Arrow has taught us anything, it’s that they’re not likely to end after the premiere.
Even better, for the first time you won’t have to worry about any of them going over your head. We’ll be recapping each episode’s references to comic book mythology here on DCComics.com in a new feature we call #DCTV Secrets. We’ve been pointing out the “secrets” in each Gotham episode since the premiere, and you can look forward to us doing the same with The Flash, Arrow and Constantine as well.
There you have it! Now, in the words of Barry, we’ve “gotta run!” (Okay, okay! He doesn’t say that, but c'mon, he should!) We hope you’ll be joining us for tonight’s premiere, and look forward to reading your thoughts on The Flash below and on our official show page.