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Positivity: What The Show Gets Right

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Over time every show starts to gather criticism.  It's a natural evolution and totally okay.

 

When the time comes (or even already when I notice some BS) I'll chip in as much as anyone in the regular topics (and we have a "Science Fail" topic in particular).

 

But I also felt it might be cool to have a central place to catalog the things the show really gets right.  Obviously subject to change if they STOP doing those things right, but as we see 'em... post about 'em here.

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The team dynamic (one of the good things they brought over from Arrow) is really working for me. With Barry/Caitlin/Cisco I'm never thinking: "Ugh, why is this person here??"

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One big area for me: I LOVE the many aspects of the show that "feel" like the comic book (the classic Silver Age and Bronze Age Flash books in particular).  I don't mean plots. I don't mean characters even (since they've changed somewhat).  I mean the comic-bookisms that are often being dealt with on the show in a very straightforward way.  Not making them look wink-wink cheesy overmuch, just laying them out straight--even if they're not always all that real world.

 

For example, the silly Flash goes around making people's day better stuff.  In the Flash vs. Arrow episode, for example, there's the neat intro where we just see Barry speeding around doing random good deeds that aren't particularly (pardon the phrase, and the small "f" is deliberate here) flashy.  This is totally in line with the kind of "square" do-gooder Barry is in the comics (Barry was a truly nice guy in a way even Clark Kent didn't even manage).  Showing that aspect of Barry in this way is totally a comic book thing.

 

Some of the Science Fails fall in this category for me too.  When we had The Flash run up the side of a glass windowed building earlier this season, I fully admit it was ridiculous.  At the very least, if it was being "real", even if he could do it, the windows would break (and they didn't). But I DIDN'T CARE!  Because it was such a fun totally comic booky moment.  Science Fail?  Sure.  Comic Book TV Win though....

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I like the topic. I feel myself getting a bit overly negative over some of the more ridiculous use of comic book tropes.

 

But things that seperate this show from a lot of supernatural/superpowered centered tales.

 

I like that Barry has crime scene assessing skills because of his job. I like that he has a job that isn't based around his alter ego. I like that his team feels natural and not like they are always pandering to him or blaming him for everything that goes wrong but bounce between the middle because they care about him as a person and as a science experiment.

 

I like that Barry has friends and isn't an anti hero loner hiding his actions under the cover of night. I like that Joe Barry and even Iris feel like a close if unusual family.

 

I like that the villains fight back in creative ways...

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Most of mine are character based.Cisco gets more entertaining each week, especially when combined with the Arrow characters. Iris is sweet and smiley and oblivious and not at all fake or annoying. The sidekicks get opportunities to save the day or themselves and I love it.

 

Barry and Joe: My favorite guardian/kid relationship since Ryan Atwood and Sandy Cohen. In present day or flashback, I love the relationship.

 

Wells's general creepy vibe: I have no idea what's up with the guy and yet I'm still not convinced he isn't truly on Barry's side. I have no preference on whether or not he really is evil because I trust the show to handle it well either way.

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I do like that in this latest episode it was dropped that the boss is gay and it was no big deal. It was just a throwaway moment where 'boyfriend' and 'wife' would have been interchangable, there was nothing about his grumpy complaint that was specifically 'GAY! GAY GAY WE HAVE A GAY GUY HERE!' just a 'this better be good to interrupt my sandwich' and we moved on.

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Barry's powers- They are visually stunning.

Casting - They have a great main cast.

Barry and Iris relationship - their long time friendship feels real and  believable, the actors/characters have chemistry, they will make a great romance one day.

Family - The closeness and love feels real betweeen Barry/Henry, Barry/Iris/Joe, Iris/Joe even Barry/(dead) mom

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Family - The closeness and love feels real betweeen Barry/Henry, Barry/Iris/Joe, Iris/Joe even Barry/(dead) mom

I'm having a brain fart here, since I didn't even remember us meeting dead mom yet, other than the scene where we just see her being surrounded by the speedster or speedsters (its not clear if its one or two) running around her.  Did she get actual lines in the Pilot?  I'm forgetting.

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The casting.

 

Grant's having a blast as Barry and it shows. It'll be fun to see him further develop the character.

Everybody mentioned Tom and he's killing it as Wells.

Jesse's pretty much playing a variation of his law and order character, but it hasn't become stale in his hands yet.

Carlos is fine when he's fan-boying as long as they keep him in that box his shortcomings should be easy to ignore.

Danielle and Rick aren't giving much to do so far so it's hard to judge.

Candace takes what should be a boring one dimensional love interest character and adds depth to it.

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Candace takes what should be a boring one dimensional love interest character and adds depth to it.

The problem is since the ONE place the writing has broken down with is with her character (predictably--these shows NEVER get this kind of character right), she's coasting on charisma.  Which thank god she has, unlike Kristen Kreuk or Katie Cassidy (or for that matter, the one in Gotham, Erin Richards).

 

I don't know how they fix it.  How do you more involve her in the stories?  I suppose eventually they'll give up on keeping the Flash's identity secret from anybody (like they have with Arrow), but by then it may be too late for her character.

Okay, back to positivity (I didn't mean to even START to slide off of it).  It's great that she's good enough to make us not totally CARE that the writing isn't working for her.

She doesn't suck the energy out of scenes she's in, like a lot of those other actresses in their lame versions of this role.

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Well they could fix Iris by including her in the loop and she could be either his PR manager for his Flash exploits, help by working with the criminal metahumans in that super prison (she's doing criminal psychology?) to work up a profile thereby becoming a valuable member of the team by helping Barry to deal with these criminals or at least help in providing an idea on what to expect when he confronts them.

 

It's not that complicated, if they take away the baggage of being the clueless super hero Love interest and do something more novel she could get more screen time and agency.

 

Also it'd definitely help Iris see Barry as a man and all those late night working together to keep Generically named City safe from criminal metahumans may drive an incidental wedge between her and Eddie organically without Barry coming across as a weird stalker.

 

I mean... um ... Grant Gustin is hot when he burns off all his clothes and funny when he incidentally strips others with super speed.

 

The actress playing Iris manages to sell a personality even though her motivations at times are unclear.

Edited by wayne67

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I think once Iris gets a real job that actually shows her doing real reporting, a lot of this might actually go away. IF she's out on her own investigating, etc. that will naturally draw her into The Flash's orbit and hopefully at some point she'll be let in on the secret.

I for one don't mind how Iris is being written - I love the character - Candace is doing a great job.

I do think some fans have baggage from other shows and it makes them really intolerant to the Iris character because she (rightly or wrongly) reminds them of other characters they hated. I wish this wasn't the case, but...

Hopefully Iris will get more opportunity to grow - I'd love to see her become a reporter - quickly. Part of what helps Lois Lane not be so damseled (even though she is) is because her job is simply a dangerous one... it's prime for getting her in trouble. Iris is ultimately supposed to become an intrepid reporter - so they need to move that along for her...

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Going back to the sense of family: I like how the show does a great job with showcasing supportive dads, especially dads that usually have negative depictions in television: the deadbeat black dad and the prison dad. Both Joe and Henry are open, loving and protective of Barry and are a unified front in raising Barry.

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I really like the relationships that Barry has with his father and with Joe.  All of their scenes together really get to me and I think that the actor that plays Barry is at his best when he's with his dads. 

 

I'm actually really happy with how the show is writing Iris.  I was really scared about her being one of those perpetual damsels-in-distress types that has to be saved every other episode.  (Funny thing about that is, she's not really written as a damsel in distress despite the fact that everybody around her treats her like she's made of glass--her dad, Barry, the boyfriend.)  I was also worried about her not having much of a point-of-view or existence outside of being the love interest for the hero, but I think that she is a pretty well-rounded character with a lot of potential.

 

I'm also enjoying the romance angle between Barry and Iris.  I really feel for Barry and his unrequited love and I have hope that they won't throw too many tv tropes at us--they've already given us a love triangle that I don't think was necessary.

 

I think the casting is excellent, too.  Jesse L. Martin is great, as always, and I think everyone else is a really good fit, too.  As far as the characters are concerned, the only character I don't really like or have any interest in is Iris's boyfriend/Joe's partner.  I kind of wish they hadn't created him.  It's as if his sole purpose is to be an obstacle for Iris and Barry--in which case, he isn't a character so much as he is a plot device.

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the only character I don't really like or have any interest in is Iris's boyfriend/Joe's partner.  I kind of wish they hadn't created him.  It's as if his sole purpose is to be an obstacle for Iris and Barry--in which case, he isn't a character so much as he is a plot device.

Talking too directly about that character sadly gets heavy into comic book spoilers. I do think it's probably on the side of "what's clearly publicly known" though to state that the character wasn't created for the show, but he was vastly altered in his circumstances for it--which I guess lands him in much the same place of possibly being a plot device.
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Firestorm - They really nailed him. He is arguably the trickiest DC superheroe to adapt on screen.

 

Villains -  Grodd, Reverse Flash, Cold, Heatwave, Golden Glider. They are building an impressive Rogue of supervillains

Edited by Conell
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Cisco/Caitlin friendship: At first I thought they were just going to be another FitzSimmons, but I've really come to love their friendship. There's a trust there that really works - they back each other up even when they think the other's wrong, e.g, Wells is evil, Ronnie's alive. They talk about weird science stuff together. They get ice cream and slurpees and alcohol together. They bail on work to play hooky in Starling City together. They marathon The Walking Dead together. They comfort each other. They tease each other. Caitlin backs Cisco up the second someone else criticizes him. And I like that it's something I feel the writers have consistently gotten right, ever since their introduction on Arrow.

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The show manages to keep it's villains mostly sympathetic and gives them pretty good motives for being the way they are.

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The show manages to keep it's villains mostly sympathetic and gives them pretty good motives for being the way they are.

Especially since the show humanizes them, but doesn't diminish the evil of their actions. (I'm looking at you, Once Upon a Time)

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I adore the cast of this show. Among the main cast, there is not a weak link. Even the minor characters, and the one shot`s, are played by talented actors. Its one of the reasons I think the villains work out so well. They are able to give their characters more of a personality then just "evil". 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Good things about this show. Well, they mostly manage to keep it light and fun which is more then I can say about that other show. That I do enjoy. 

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I think the costumes have been pretty on point. Both the superhero and supervillain outfits, and the civilian clothes. I mean, they're either really good, make the actors look good, or at least aren't distractingly bad.

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The show manages to keep it's villains mostly sympathetic and gives them pretty good motives for being the way they are.

 

Especially since the show humanizes them, but doesn't diminish the evil of their actions. (I'm looking at you, Once Upon a Time)

 

This is a hard line to walk; either your villains become anti-heroes, or they lose motivation and become...cartoonish.  Also, the guest stars really seem to be enjoying the ride, but often that's in character as well.  (The Trickster, for instance, seems to really enjoy the mayhem he's causing, and I hope Mark Hamill is having as much fun as he appears to with the role.)

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The score.

 

This^!  In fact, there were a couple of times watching Daredevil this weekend when it sounded like they swiped the beginning of Flash/Barry's running music.

 

I also like that Central City seems like an inviting place to visit, despite the odd, weirdo criminals that have popped up lately.

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I'm really impressed at all the special effects they've pulled off on a TV budget. Clearly they knew up front that's where they need to throw the the money, and the results have been great.

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I have to give this show credit for pulling out a telepathic gorilla without making me think "This is stupid" once during the entire episode. Other episodes, yes, but not when he actually showed up and had real time.

 

I also love how I've never been disappointed when they put two characters together and we get to watch new friendships develop, whether it comes from the main cast or interactions with the Arrow cast. Joe and Cisco? It's like a weird buddy cop movie. Caitlin and Iris? Yay, Bechdel test pass! Cisco and Laurel? Holy crap, he actually made her smile.

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After watching the full season, other than the Barry/Iris/Eddie triangle, I can't think of anything the Show didn't get right, or at least, horribly wrong.  Even the B/I/E wasn't as bad as TheCW can get at times, but it did get convoluted when throwing in the (buried very deep and hardly touched on) potential of Barry/Caitlin and then the short-lived Barry/Linda; which, of course, ended because of the B/I dynamic.

 

  • The cast was superb.  Each and every main character's cast member brought it in every scene.  I found that if a character seemed a bit 'underwhelming' at times, it felt that it was most likely the script, rather than the portrayal.  Case in point, Rick Cosnett's 'Eddie'.  That guy seemed like a dumb jock, who just happens to be good looking, pretty much all season; nothing there to really make someone care about him or his appearances.  But given the right material, he pulled it off really well.   Even most of the guests/villains were believable and seemed to put forth the effort to make their characters genuine.

 

  • All the emotional moments - of which there were many - all felt believable and palpable.  They made me "get" what was going on, on a sympathetic level.  Crazy good acting for a comic book show.  That said, I really hope they scale back on the heavy emotional scenes, just a tad, going forward.  I don't mind the really heavy stuff it in season premieres, mid-season finales, and season finales, but Show did it a lot this first season.  There were wet eyes and/or tears pretty much every episode.

 

  • Yes, there were plenty of nitpicks and plot holes (science-y or otherwise) in the episodes this first season, but never once did I see/hear something and felt like I didn't want to watch the rest of the episode because it totally jarred my belief in how much the script/writing failed from a real-life practical standpoint.   Show was so good it was real easy to over look such things.

 

Have to say, the SFX at very end of the S1 finale, "Fast Enough" was like watching a multi-million $ blockbuster film.  I could totally see that black hole effect being used as a catastrophic cinematic effect sequence, like a CBM.  *stands up and applauds the SFX team on a job very well done there*

 

 

The Flash team, in one season, actually made me fall in love with a CW show.  What is the world coming to..........

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The fact that the show is so good at all is probably due to the producers leaning what worked and what didn't on Arrow and the failure of the Green Lantern movie.

 

Interview with Berlanti in 2010 while the movie was being filmed where he talks about the script for the Flash movie he was working on with future Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim:

 

Though Barry Allen was a little lighter in the comic, I think because of the nature that he was a CSI and moved in this world of crime before this stuff happened. I think it’s tonally somewhere in between ‘GL’ and ‘Dark Knight.’ It’s actually a little bit darker than when we were working on (‘GL’), because you’re dealing with somebody who is already a crimefighter in a world of those kinds of criminals and that kind of murder and homicide. I find you talk a lot about different films when you’re working on a film, and we spend a lot more time talking about ‘Se7en’ or ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ as we construct that part of Barry’s world, then I thought when we got into it. It helps balance a guy in a red suit who runs really fast.

 

That idea is so incredibly wrongheaded, it's no wonder the Green Lantern movie was a disappointment.

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The fact that the show is so good at all is probably due to the producers leaning what worked and what didn't on Arrow and the failure of the Green Lantern movie.

 

Interview with Berlanti in 2010 while the movie was being filmed where he talks about the script for the Flash movie he was working on with future Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim:

 

 

That idea is so incredibly wrongheaded, it's no wonder the Green Lantern movie was a disappointment.

 

Comparing Flash - quite possibly the most light-hearted comic caricature in the DC universe - to "Se7en" and "Silence of the Lambs"?  Seriously, peeps!?  No, no, no, no, annnd NO.  From the ways its turned out, its looking like that type of 'planning' and 'thinking' is why Arrow is as so much dark and gloomy as it (usually) is.

 

And yes, its no wonder we're still waiting on Flash for the big screen and GL stinking, with those statements.

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I'm sure someone's said it already, but this is the first adaptation of anything where I've seen them actually take existing, canonical comic characters, and made them black - and even making one Jewish, as I think is implied by Martin Stein knowing Hebrew greetings. It's sad, but 5 years ago I would never have imagined that sort of thing, at least not in an official thing.

 

I mean, 2 or 3 years ago I wouldn't have even thought of this as a possibility. Hell, it was just this year that Marvel released a film that made two of the most iconically Jewish characters (gentile) volunteers for neo-Nazi experiments. Plus, I mean, the ridiculous lack of screentime for their 2 black (supposedly main) characters, it's not like this has become what's expected for something to make money. They did this 'cause they wanted to. And that's kind of mind-blowing.

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made two of the most iconically Jewish characters (gentile) volunteers for neo-Nazi experiments

 

Are the twins no longer Jewish?  The movie didn't say, and we know modern Hydra has non white members and at least one Jewish member in Gary Shandling's senator, so I always assumed they were still Jewish but had decided that taking part in Strucker's experiments was a necessary evil so that they could protect Sokovia and, once the opportunity presented itself, go after Stark.  It would be nice for confirmation, as my head canon only takes me so far.

 

I agree that it's fantastic that The Flash made a choice to move away from the expected all white cast.  I am so glad they cast Candice Patton and Jesse Martin as Iris and Joe.  Martin's casting was what made me decide to start watching and Patton hooked me from the pilot.  I don't know that I would enjoy the show as much without them, so bravo Flash producers. 

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I think Cisco made out the best this season:

  • The overall development of his powers, and getting a superhero code name;
  • Got a superpowered love interest - Kendra/Hawkgirl;
  • Participated in the two-part crossover;
  • Traveled to Earth-2, and got to interact with his doppelganger;
  • Renewed his relationship with his brother;
  • Gained a new friend/science bro - Harry;
  • His powers generally being used as a deus ex machina to solve problems all season.
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Because the season finale still has me unhappy, here are some things I thought the show did right.

*Wally-- he was a stranger who became family. Granted, he had relatives he didn't know about until the mid-season break, but Keiynan Lonsdale won me over as Wally. The understated younger brother/ older sister vibe between Wally and Iris was nice to see develop in fits and starts. The scene between Iris and Wally after Francine dies was quietly lovely. I hope that Wally gets his powers to kick in next season. He could bring back lighter Barry, possibly.

*Cisco's journey into Vibe-- Our Francisco started out thinking his powers were a curse from Thawne-Wells and ends up finding a new gear in their use, which doesn't scare the bejeebers out of him. He's had a flirtation and a mild romance. He's been the one to remind everyone that Caitlin exists ( with some help from Harry from time-to-time).

*Harrison Wells of Earth-2-- He can be even more grumpy and less talkative than Thawne-Wells, but he's the Harry we need and deserve. The man may make snap judgements, but he a) makes a decision without emotional hemming and hawing and b) he keeps others on point as to why decisions need to be made now. He couldn't totally turn on these people he came to call friends, even at the expense of his very beloved daughter. Tom Cavanagh's performance as Harry when he admitted to the team that he was working for Zoom got to me.

*Henry Allen-- He didn't get as much screen-time this season, but what he time he had made story impact. If not impact, emotional impact. JWS is giving us more than just super-hero  dadness, but a humane POV in the midst of all the run,run,run and stop the Bad Guy action. Not that no one did that, but it tended to fall to Mr. Shipp when he was around this season. I could also believe, if I was a young kid, that they were related. There was an easiness between Grant and John that felt real. Thank you to you both for that.

*Iris-- Yes, a Berlanti show tends to skew male-dominant if male-led, but Iris, while not utilized to the best of her abilities, didn't really seem to go backward in characterization. Iris got to actively investigate stories, stood her ground with a work superior, found and lost her mom, helped her new-found brother through the loss of his only known parent, helped facilitate Joe and Wally becoming closer, grieved (mostly off-screen, granted) Eddie, and came to a place where she could see Barry as more than just a friend who had bad girlfriends.  She strengthened her relationships with Caitlin and Linda. (I hope Iris can become friends with Tina McGee; branching out reporter-wise would be good for Iris too.)  Iris is the one who stood firm on the no-opening-breaches policy everyone agreed to before the Big Plan That Almost Worked. Iris protected folks, or tried to, where she could. Iris and Caitlin taking on a meta when Barry was sight-seeing and single white male-ing himself on Earth-2, was fun!  Like Barry, Iris' connections to the team are her strength. ( There could have been more Iris with Cisco and/or Harry scenes, but I liked what we got.)

*Caitlin-- Dr. Snow punking Cisco, then schooling him on compartmentalizing and "going evil" was great. It was also a great reminder on a show where there has been so much emotional trauma. Getting through the emotions in order to function is hard, but Caitlin's need to help and contribute was greater than the shock and grief. 

*Tina McGee-- The woman is a scientist at one of the foremost research labs in the country.  The woman is observant for her job, she isn't going to not be for your practically non-existent secret, Barry. Plus, it's two seasons in and she only let you know she knew because you personally saved her from certain death. Thank the nice scientist. Also, she kept Caitlin employed and employable while you were whatevering between the black hole thing and getting the bequest from Thawne-Wells.

*Bringing in Lyla-- She brought Dig with her this season, but Lyla Michaels, as head of ARGUS now, can drop in almost anywhere and bring story and action with her. Please do, Show! Lyla facing off with a meta or General Eiling would be delicious, but this season with her overseeing the recapture of King Shark was a fun hour. Lyla's stoicness and matter-of-fact leadership is nice and works with what we in the audience know of Lyla as a great-hearted mom and wife in addition to her dangerous day job.

Yeah, Grant is a big reason why I've stayed with the show, but I would be unhappy that I'd miss time with a great cast as well.

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I am very glad that they had Tom return because so far he's my favorite. I also like Violett Beane. The relationship with Harry and Jesse has been very sweet-- even if there have been some bumps along the way.

I love that Lyla is a strong character (even though she's from Arrow).

I also love that Dr. McGee finally was brought into the loop (albeit, she already knew that Barry was the Flash). I do hope they can get Amanda Pays and JWS on screen again together.

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The Valentine's episode and the musical are exactly the light-hearted fluff the show needs to do more often! (But not too often.) With the musical, it was just great to see the cast play different characters, and interact in new ways.

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There were a lot of legit criticisms of the show in Season 3, but there were more than a few good things about the past season:

• Grant Gustin did a great job convincingly playing at least four different versions of Barry. MVP!

• The 'lighter' episodes ("Attack on Central City", "Duet", "Cause and Effect") that reminded us of the fun in Season 1, and what the show should and could be again. Unless a person was already biased against musicals, "Duet" was almost universally praised, despite it being mostly filler. Even if it was gimmick-y, I'm glad the showrunners were bold enough to go ahead and do the musical episode. (And they might even get an Emmy out of it!)

• Caitlin got an arc that wasn't focused on a love interest. I have issues with the execution, but it was her own story.

• After teasing in Season 1, and mostly ignoring it in Season 2, I'm glad the show committed to Barry and Iris being together as a couple in Season 3. We saw their first date, make-out sessions, their loft set just for them, multiple love confessions (from both sides), a 'true love's kiss', an original love song for them, and two proposals! And the reiterations that Iris is a necessary part of Barry's hero journey. (Also some issues with the execution, but they were together much more than not.)

• Love interest for Joe. Now he has something outside of STAR Labs/Flash stuff. I also liked that they introduced several female hero/good guy characters (Jesse Quick/Gypsy/Tracy Brand). Now let's see them get fleshed out and used effectively next season. 

• The costumes/wardrobe and visual effects were impressive. (Too bad it's hard for the show to get recognized for it, since there are great costumes and VFX everywhere on TV these days.)

Edited by Trini
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• Tom Felton was a good addition to the cast; although I thought they should have let him play antagonist a bit longer. And he managed to convince Grant to do a convention!

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  • The Caitlin/Cisco friendship continues to be strong despite Caitlin's brief turn to evil. Their friendship has been solid since their first guest appearance on Arrow, so I would hate for anything to break them apart. 
  • I like how they've transitioned Cisco from support to superhero this season. 
  • I liked Gypsy. She's a good love interest/foil for Cisco.
  • I appreciated HR's sacrifice to save Iris.
  • Caitlin killed her psychotic ex-boyfriend and saves Cisco from Savitar and Iris killed Savitar, the main villain of the season, after he failed at killing her. After all the "save Iris" stuff, Iris saved Barry. After the boys think they need to save the girls, they step up and save them instead. It's nice to see them getting some agency.
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2 hours ago, bettername2come said:

It's nice to see them getting some agency.

I don't know if I'd go as far as true agency.  Time will tell.  However, it was a nice change from "Help us, Barry-wan, Help us.  You're our only hope."

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I had issues with Amunet, but I did like that there were two women as recurring villains is Season 4. I'm glad that Marlize got a redemption arc.

I liked that that they introduced the Devoes and gave them some backstory earlier in the season.

I liked that Cisco and Cynthia got a proper breakup scene, even though I wished they had stayed together.

I'm glad that they kept Barry and Iris' love and partnership as a constant throughout the season.

Iris' return to journalism, and the and the addition of 2 black women (Nicolet, Parker) as regulars I think is a positive sign for Season 5.

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I forgot...

I really appreciated that Season 4 ended on a happier note, instead of a life-or-death cliffhanger like previous seasons.

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There was more, but one of the best things about S4?

They didn't saddle Caitlin - and us - with another 1-season only 'romantic connection' for her that would only end in heartbreak again.  Made for a nice change. 

Honestly, they should just simplify it for everyone.  There's WestAllen and Joe/Cecile, so keep it lowkey like a lot of the WA and just put Caitlin & Cisco together.   Its tiresome watching both of them gain and then lose PLIs in heart wrenching fashion.


Except..... since Dibny survived and (I'm assuming) is back next year, there's always the fear that they'll pair him & Caitlin up - which will, again, end with her in *gasp* heartbreak, yet again.

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Season 4 likes:

  • Nora Allen II is well cast and is written very believably as the offspring of WestAllen. Constantly lying? Check. Screwing up the timeline to rescue a parent? Check. Totally a nerd who babbles when nervous? Check (very season one Barry). She also has a fun energy that I like and the finale had a good setup for her storyline next season. 
  • I thought Cecile being more on Team Flash felt very natural and I did get a few laughs out of her gestational mind-reading. 
  • The number of interesting/less evil metahumans introduced this season. I mean they killed most of them off, but there was less of a dropoff between superhero and supervillain and more of a morally gray sliding scale. 
  • Iris fought Nazis with Felicity! I love that perhaps more than I should. 
  • Danny Trejo!
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I am doing a re-watch of season 1 and I have to say that this is the one season they got the big bad arc exactly right.  The pacing was great.  I loved how they handled the parallel (yet out-of sync) reveals to the viewing audience vs.the in-story characters about Wells. 

To the audience, they let us know fairly early that he was a bad guy while the characters were still entirely clueless that they were even working against a big bad foe. I like how they still managed to keep the audience off kilter by still keeping him a nurturing figure for Barry even though we knew he was bad.  But why?

Then to us they peeled back a layer to let us know he was the Reverse Flash whereas the characters had only just learned that another speedster was responsible for Nora Allen's death.  And then slowly they allowed Joe to begin to get suspicious, but everyone else was still completely in the Dark about Welles.  And even with what we did know , we still didn't know why either.

And then again, the audience gets  another layer peeled back by showing us Eobard Thawne's face telling us a little bit of the why, but we still don't know how Welles fits in with all this.  Meanwhile the characters one by one begin to get more and more suspicious until they get just about caught up with what the audience knows -- except for his real identity.

The episode where they flashback to how Welles died followed by the episode where Cicos/Joe find the remains and of the real Harrison Welles and then Barry/Cisco/Caitlin discover the secret room is a one-two punch of excitement and the classic storytelling structure where the rising action peaks and starts toward the climax of the story.

A lot of the credit goes to Tom Cavanaugh who did a fantastic job of making Wells by turns sinister and sympathetic.  There is this one conversation he has with Joe in 1x19  (right after Joe finds the body of the real Wells) about them both losing their wives.  There is this great line he delivers with such pathos: "We are members of an exclusive club where the entrance fee is much too expensive." Cavanaugh makes Wells sound sooo sincere in wanting to connect with Joe on their similar loss.  He's playing the scene very straight but Joe knows he's lying and so do we, so it comes off a little bit like a mind fuck.  The show hasn't been able to recapture this level of pacing and excitement when it comes to the main villain arc in any of the last three seasons, but man did they do a great job in S1.

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The show seems to have listened to complaints and have made an effort in Season 5 to have more scene take place outside of STAR Labs. I was really glad that the last episode had very few scenes using that main set.

I also commend them on the complete turnaround with Ralph Dibny, who is now a lot more likeable and useful, and an appropriately supporting player.

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23 hours ago, Trini said:

I also commend them on the complete turnaround with Ralph Dibny, who is now a lot more likeable and useful, and an appropriately supporting player.

I agree with that. I was very disappointed when I first heard that he would become a series regular, but this season they managed to tone down most of his annoying qualities.

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