‘The Flash’ season 1, premiere review: Grant Gustin, effects part of the story’s charm

The Flash -Two years ago, we made what sounded like a pretty egregious statement when we claimed that “Arrow” was one of the best new shows of its fall season. Now, we may be going out on even more of a limb here: “The Flash” is the best new show of the fall.

Where there some imperfections in the pilot? Sure, mostly in the form of the show trying too hard to be cute. We don’t need to hear Barry Allen tell us how he wasn’t fast enough to take on bullies, and some of the other on-the-nose statements telling us where this is going. Barry Allen’s powers don’t have to tie thematically with his childhood or anything else.

Still, if that is one of your weakest problems with your pilot, that is not a bad thing at all. The show wasted little time showing us that this is going to be the bright, fun little brother of “Arrow,” and it included an Oliver Queen cameo to boot. The origin story was told in a quick, interesting manner, and we enjoy most of the supporting cast right now very much. Cisco Roman is every bit as fun as we expected him to be, and Jesse L. Martin is so perfect as Joe West, we don’t know where to even start. Candice Patton also proves to be a capable Iris, and the show sold her friendship with Barry very well along with her being one of those people who doesn’t quite get fully how her friend thinks about her.

If there is a character we’re still unsure about, it is Caitlin Snow. Trying to sell 27-year old Danielle Panabaker in this role at STAR Labs is a little tricky, most because the character just looks a little young. However, we also didn’t get to spend much time with her beyond the obligatory “she’s cold” references that seem to pave the way to what she could someday become. Harrison Wells, meanwhile, was one of the best new characters we’ve seen in the universe; with all of his attributes, he actually felt very much like someone who could have come straight from the comics. Plus, that twist regarding the future and the newspaper is very interesting, and we’ll have to see where that plays out.

Perhaps the biggest MVP of all right now when it comes to “The Flash,” though, are those responsible for crafting some of the special effects. from start to finish, this legitimately felt like it could have been a movie, even though it only had a TV budget. We’ll see if they can keep this up throughout the series, but it showed that you don’t need to go crazy with effects to make a great superhero.

In the end, there’s a whole lot to like here about the premiere of “The Flash,” and the one major think that we’re hoping for at the moment is that there are many more great things still to come. Grade: A-.

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Photo: The CW

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