Actually, this blog hasn’t been updated in a LONG time. I’m thinking years and I AM SO SORRY–so maybe not a flash per say. Maybe more like that time Rick stepped into a portal to get Morty a serum to fix his broken legs, but ended up in a universe where they’d cured aging and he became a celebrity and had tons of sex. I’m not saying I became a celebrity, but I am saying I got distracted. Like real distracted, like I think I got married.
The good news is, I’m back and I plan on updating this baby. Even if I have to do it myself. So what’s on the agenda for today? The Flash.
Good ol’ Flash is in its third season and despite its bizarre acceptance of its own corniness (saved solely by Cisco. Geek Gods bless your glorious geeky references) I’d say overall, the show isn’t totally bad. You might be thinking: “Curious wording there, WaterRaven …” and you are right. Curious indeed.
On this fine fall day, I am going to draw out a good ol’ pros and cons list for The Flash. As a 60% optimist and 40% wtf I don’t know what’s going on, let’s start out with cons and end with the pros.
Cons-light: The Diet Coke of Cons
The aforementioned corniness. Example: Snart AKA Captain Cold. If you don’t watch the show, you might think Captain Cold is something I made up (and frankly I’m insulted), but he’s real and it’s true. It’s so sadly true. Captain Cold is first introduced as a villain, but has the cheesiest lines and is hard to take seriously. At first, I cringed at Snart’s horrible one liners and snarty (forgive me) come backs. Snart is so corny, he’s a meme generator:
Snart is a thief and a smart ass, but not a metahuman and not a homicidal maniac like many of the other opponents Barry Allen faces. Captain Cold is however, still set apart from your run of the mill, everyday common thief. Why? Because he has a cold gun and it makes things cold–and he wears a parka?
Apart from the parka, the gun is what really turns Snart into Captain Cold. So take away the gun, and you take away his power, which happens often in the show… and yet somehow he always manages to get his gun back or get a new one; continuously turning a character who is clever enough to find other means of doing bad things, back into the same cliche villain we see repeated in comic universes.
To make things worse, he has a friend that has a hot gun (sets things on fire. I bet you were surprised) and his sister, Lisa Snart, has a gold gun. Yes, a woman who has a gun that makes gold. If it makes gold, you might be asking yourself, why would they steal anything ever? Great question. Although, admittedly, it is revealed later that Snart steals for the joy of stealing.
In his defense however, Snart is intelligent and when he wants to, he can make things very difficult for the Flash. And despite my eye-rolling every time I see Snart, the truth is, Captain Cold’s character and his sister’s have developed throughout the series and become anticipated aspects of the Flash universe for me. I have to admit as well, it’s gotten to the point where I actually look forward to Snart’s one-liners and want Lisa and Cisco to have a sweet, sweet lover affair.
Does Snart stand alone in the cheese though? Sadly, no. Take Queen Bee for example. Similar to Captain Cold, her name pretty much says it all: Lame. I was excited when the bees turned out to be little hive-mind robots, but the moment I saw her outfit and lair, I was like: Come on! But the bee jokes…
There are many more cheesed-out villains to accompany these two winners, but I can’t possibly cover them all. Sad to say, it seems this show’s corniness is here to stay. Whether you can embrace the show’s acceptance of the classic super villain humor might make or break whether you enjoy it, but the cons don’t stop here.
How much time travel is too much time travel? In other words: WTF is going on!?!?!
I was solid with the Reverse Flash and all the time travel, and I even allowed them the time loop, but Barry has altered the timeline so insanely by the time I saw season three, episode one, I literally said out loud, “Again?” I strongly feel third season should have taken a step back from time travel and given us a breather. I get that time travel is huge within the Flash universe, but it feels like they’ve beaten it to death and it’s just another excuse to push back his inevitable relationship with Iris (which I don’t want anyway) or a way to bring back old villains (The Reverse Flash).
I’m no time-travel newbie and for all those Whovian’s out there, I think we can all agree on something: FIXED POINT. Without fixed points in time, time travel is one hell of a headache.
Speaking of headaches, how many times are they going to reset the development of Barry and Iris’s relationship to make up for the lack of her character? While there is some debate on whether people’s hatred of Iris is racial prejudice because Iris’s character is white in the comics (having not read the comics, I was unaware of this), I strongly feel the real issue is poor writing. Out of all the characters, Iris’s character is written the worst and I am not alone on this (Here, Here, and Here).
Everyone else is written incredibly well. Barry’s relationship with his guardian for example, is beautiful and inspiring. Joe has proven time and time again that he is a strong man, a great father figure, and a bad ass detective, but he’s also imperfect–which is so important for growth. A character that doesn’t grow and change is a dead character and that’s what Iris is.
She was a server/barista turned blogger–turned professional journalist? Where did this dream job come from? Where were the hurtles? How did she grow?
What about the massive contrast between Iris as a child, growing up with Barry, smart and simple looking and then how she somehow becomes this glamazon Iris, who just stands around and poses? Sure, sometimes she’s useful (more so later on), but it took her WAY too long to figure out Barry was The Flash and it didn’t come from hard-hitting journalism, it came from a static shock.
How about Iris’s narcissism? “I don’t want to be with Barry, but I don’t want him to be with anyone else.” The way she flaunted her relationship with Eddie in front of Barry and insisted he be happy for her, and then went as far as accusing him of making her the bad guy ? It’s textbook narcissism.
At first I wanted to argue that with such a host of well developed supporting characters, there’s no reason that Iris should be such a crap shoot–they’ve done so well with everyone else, but as a writer, I’ve had some second thoughts. I believe the writers of the show were trying to build up tension with Iris’s denial and make her this magical, unattainable goal that Barry finally reaches, as a focus on his growth (finally telling her how he feels etc) but instead, they’ve sadly made her look aloof, self-centered, unrelatable, and honestly, somewhat of a bitch. In focusing on Barry’s growth, they sadly left Iris behind. In addition, I feel her character encourages friend-zoning fantasies, which is another complaint post entirely.
Enough griping though. I do actually enjoy the show and plan to continue on watching it, so here’s a little love:
Who do you love?
Barry. Barry is a consistent and yet growing character. While he faces hardships that test his character, he remains true to himself and builds inward and moves onward. Apart from the new Superman (Man of Steel), Barry has to be one of the purest heroes I’ve come across. He’s truly inspiring and I root for him constantly (save for my undying love for Zoom, but we’ll get to that later). Needless to say, he’s well written and his actor is visibly connected to his character.
Cisco. Love him. He’s adorable, definitely cheesy, but exceptionally so. When I thought the Reverse Flash had killed him, I almost cried.
Dr. Caitlin Snow. As a woman who reads a lot, watches way too much Netflix, and writes my own books, there are too few good women written on T.V., so I cannot express how important it is to me that this character exists. I appreciate that she’s human, that she’s incredibly smart, and that her character is relatable. I was totally over Ronnie (like kill him already–oh, thank you), but I was in FULL SUPPORT of her connection and romance with Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon. In fact, I mourn it.
Zoom. The Reverse Flash was scary, fun, and precise. He was/is a good villain, but I am hopelessly devoted to Zoom. Like a sick, pathetic groupie following him on tour. He was terrifying when he first appeared. The writer’s did a great job at creating a sense of hopelessness, at misdirecting the watcher, but even more so, at confusing you with compassion for a character that as a fan of The Flash, you should hate.
I hated how he broke Barry’s back and beat him within an inch of his life, and then dragged him through the city, publicly humiliating him, but I loved it too. What a villain! We all had our suspicions about Jay Garrick when he first appeared, but the writers had him in too many places at once and it didn’t add up. There were too many differences as well, such as no blue lightning when he took Velocity 9 and how Jay saved people, but still they kept us guessing.
Once Zoom’s identity was revealed, it could have crashed, the mystery was gone, but the writers kept us interested. As Zoom was revealed, so was his complexity. He wasn’t just another power hungry mobster or thief, he was psychology disturbed from a childhood trauma and being orphaned. In addition, he had dual personalities. He was the villain AND the hero on his home earth and that duality followed him to Earth I with his love for Caitlin Snow.
And so, while the show might have cornball characters like Captain Cold and bore and anger fans with a failed love story, what it lacks in love triangle, it makes up with in a lovable, strong superhero, a relatable and competent team, and larger and complex supervillains.
I wont say I’m 100% sold on The Flash, but then, we’re never going to be completely sold on every season and every character of any show, that’s the nature of fandom. There are good seasons, bad seasons, plot holes, good character development, and piss-poor excuses for characters such as Iris, and that’s how it goes, and that’s why blogs like this (and the entirety of tumblr) exist, so we can rant and rave about what we love and what we hate.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back to rant again soon.