Friday, August 2, 2013

Brain Splatter on Why The Flash Series Could Be Solid But Instead It'll Be CW'd

Earlier this week Deadline broke the news that the CW would be introducing Barry Allen sometime in season 2 of Arrow and then spinning the character off into his own show.  The Flash getting his own primetime show should have been thrilling news, instead it was pretty meh, at least in my eyes.

So we are all on the same page here I will tell you that I absolutely love the character of The Flash.  As a kid I was just flat out sold on his super speed; didn't matter that his rogues sucked.  As an adult, and as a Physics teacher, I am stirred to think about just what laws he bends to do the things he does.  My students will always get a heavy dose of comic book examples in the Physics room, something I was inspired to do after reading an absolutely awesome book by James Kakalios called, The Physics of Super Heroes.  Kakalios is a college professor and uses comics as a springboard for his lessons. 

Now a Flash TV serial should just kill it.  Some decent special effects, some physics-bending feats and you've got something.  But the thing that I have long thought would make a Flash series a hit is the fact that Barry Allen is a CSI and if there's one thing that people CLEARLY love it's CSI TV shows.  The market is seemingly saturated with CSI shows but they all do well and we keep getting more.  Barry Allen the CSI could carry a show.  Throw in the fact that he's a speedster and have him use his super powers to help solve the crimes and you have a winner.  In this world his mostly lame rogues aren't all that bad as each brings a unique problem for Barry to solve.  I've long thought that this formula would make for a good show.

So when news hit that it was about to happen I was pretty happy...until I remembered it was on the CW.  This type of show belongs on a non-drama queen network and, truly, it does not need to be prettied up for 18 year old girls.  Barry is a CSI and as one he's going to walk into some ugly situations.  I'm not saying we need the "gritty street" feel but I'm saying that fits more into what kind of things would exist in this series than not.  To be fair I don't think CW did a terrible job with Arrow but instead of watching a super hero series I mostly got the feel I was watching a mix of Lost and Days of Our Lives and that was not what I was looking for. 

So maybe the CW will get it right.  They do say they want to expand the footprint of DC on screen so hopefully they don't stick with the same format and make a show in a different genre, one that is proven to work: the good ole' CSI genre.