Report Card: Why ‘The Flash’ season 1 is superhero royalty

The FlashGoing into “The Flash,” we thought that it could be the fun little brother of The CW’s “Arrow,” and deliver an end product that was lighter, funnier, and entertainment that we’d enjoy, but probably not on a fanatical level. We were wrong about the last part. What we had at the end of the day here was something that further encouraged and embraced our love of superheroes, and was so well thought-out and conceived, we wonder as if executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has been waiting his entire life to do this.

There was so much about the first season that we loved and enjoyed, it makes some of the minor deficiencies here and there almost nonexistent. By the time the finale aired, we were completely immersed and ready to hate life while we sat around and waited for whatever is coming up in season 2, which is unfortunately still oh-so-far away.

What worked – Let’s start here with Grant Gustin, whose extraordinary performance as Barry Allen / The Flash sets a great standard for future movie and TV heroes. He has brought to the table someone you can look up to, but not just because of his powers. It’s also because he is a real, relatable human being who makes mistakes, thinks impulsively, and is protective of those he loved. He had us buying into almost everyone from the start.

Now, add to that an excellent villain in Tom Cavanagh’s Eobard Thawne / Harrison Wells, who was made so interesting largely because he was not just an adversary. He was also someone who claimed to be Barry’s mentor, and was operating with a very specific mentor in mind. The fact that we had so much time with him made the story all the more engrossing as the writing slowly built towards the season 1 climax.

Even the supporting villains were fun, from the Rogues to Gorilla Grodd to even General Eiling, one of the few adversaries without any sort of powers at all. These people gave the show consistent stakes, even when Barry was dealing with more minor issues such as trying to handle his feelings for Iris.

What didn’t – There were some times where the romantic subplots felt somewhat forced, but given the destiny that is here for Barry and Iris, we also understand somewhat why. Also, it probably took a good six or seven episodes for the show to really find its rhythm completely, and show that the entire ensemble has something going on and brings a uniqueness to the table.

Overall – That is really the worst thing that we can say about season 1, since it may be the best first season of any superhero show to date. It may even be better overall than “Arrow” season 2 when it comes to great storytelling and planning out a wonderful arc from start to finish. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but name a 23-episode series that is. All we know is that right now, this is a version of the Flash we’d chase to the ends of the earth, provided we’d still be able to watch his story. Season 1 Grade: A-.

Head over here if you want to see some other entries right now in our Report Card series! Also, you can sign up here to get some other TV updates on all we cover, courtesy of our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: The CW.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!