It’s such a shame that I have to write this review because I used to love The Flash. In fact, I still love the concept, I love the character, I just don’t live what they’ve done with it. And this is pretty common with Greg Berlanti shows recently, which again, really sucks because I love his shows… at least at the beginning, before they all fall apart.
So exactly what went wrong with The Flash this year? Let’s get into it below the fold.There is just so much wrong this year, it’s hard to know where to begin. Well, I think the first problem is obvious, we’ve seen it all before. This is the third season that we’ve pitted Barry Allen against a rogue speedster. Enough already! The first time was against Reverse Flash, which was novel enough at the time because we hadn’t seen it. Plus, who doesn’t love Tom Cavanagh? Then we got a second season with Zoom and that wasn’t nearly as good, the evil speedster thing was getting old. And third season, we got Savitar, yet another evil speedster, and I was through. I had no interest in it whatsoever. Can we rent some originality, please?
And it was painfully obvious early on who Savitar was. After all, every single one of these super baddies turns out to be someone within Team Flash. They’re going to run out of characters to stab them in the back at this rate!
I know I just said I love Tom Cavanagh, but this is getting a little ridiculous. We really don’t need him playing a brand new version of Harrison Wells every single season. I was glad he came back in season 2. I was a little less glad with season 3. I really don’t want to see version 4 of Wells next year. I just don’t.
Just like Arrow, Team Flash is just too large. There are too many characters to keep track of and more are being added all the time. And of course, like most Berlanti superhero shows, all of the characters spend all of their time wandering around in public very loudly talking about Barry being the Flash. Secret identity my ass. It’s just ridiculous. If it wasn’t bad enough that there are too many characters, the majority of them are speedsters. Why do we need 3 speedsters on the team? Well, three plus whatever speedster baddie they have running around. It’s becoming a one-trick pony.
But having a ton of speedsters means that they use time travel way too often. It’s almost a weekly thing, especially this year where Barry’s Flashpoint was the central focus of the season. I was really looking forward to seeing Flashpoint, but they ruined it and all of it’s potential. When you can just run through time and fix things, it takes away all of the suspense in the series. Either he can do it and the stories are pointless or they come up with some ad hoc reason why he can’t do it and, well, the stories are pointless.
And as much as I liked the idea of Barry and Iris, after all, it is an important part of the comic book, the actuality of the relationship is just awful. Instead of a vibrant series, we’ve got Barry and Iris moping around all of the time, having fights and generally bringing the quality of the series to its knees. Yes, I know, this is CW, where mopey millennials are their bread and butter, but if you’re going to do whiny relationship drama 90% of the time, count me out.
I don’t know who is writing this drivel, but I want them to stop. Stop making the characters act like morons. Stop throwing absurdly predictable “twists” into your plots. Put a moratorium on speedsters for at least a couple of seasons. The vast majority of Flash’s classic rogues gallery are not speedsters, but instead of fleshing them out into season-long villains, they’ve been used as throw-away baddies-of-the-week. Nothing says they can’t stray into other DC villains too. Be original. Do something new. Stop repeating yourselves.
I hope they learn their lesson for season 4. Of all of the Berlanti failures this year, this is the one that I hate the most because this is the show that I used to love the most. They need a revamp. They need to stop with the teen drama. They need to come up with some better villains. They need to write better stories. And maybe more than anything else, they need to have those stories make sense. Just because Tom Cavanagh is a fan-favorite doesn’t mean he has to keep showing up if it makes no sense for him to do so. Let the stories dictate your casting, not the other way around. Make good television. You’ve done enough of the other.