The Flash s1 ep 1

Let’s just see what we have here.

A parent/parents lost in tragic circumstances? Check. An unsolved mystery and/or terrible injustice haunting you for your whole life as a consequence? Check. A girl you think you love who thinks you’re a lightweight yet is dim enough to be fooled by an embarrassingly skin-tight costume and excuses that’ll get worse as the season progresses? Check, check and check!

Congratulations, Barry Allen, aka The Flash, you’ve passed Superhero 101! And with Distinction, since you also have a sinister Svengali-type funding you, a couple of science-y sidekicks with some cool toys, and – dude – you were struck by lightning. Not everyone can say that, hey?

I note, however, that despite the current trend towards doom-laden angst in superhero studies, your first adventure seemed, on the whole, to be cheery, cheesy and brightly-lit. With plenty of smiling! Good for you, my friend. I’m not sure your show is something I’ll want to watch every week, but you do need something to distinguish you from that moody Arrow fellow and the rest of the current comic-book pack; keeping things light worked for the New Adventures of Superman, so who knows? This happy hero-ing lark may just catch on once again….

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Public Service Announcement 48 of 2014: The Flash, Arrow, Dominion

First, a confession. I had myself convinced for some reason that the 28th was a Wednesday and The Flash would therefore make its UK debut at 8pm on Sky 1 tonight. The 28th was, of course, a Tuesday, however, which means that The Flash started last night and I’m an idiot who can’t read a calendar. Episode 1 is going to be repeated at 7.30pm on Sunday, though, and it’s also on Sky Go so you can still catch the “high-speed adventures of the fastest man alive” if you so wish. Based on the comic-book character – like just about every tv show and 3/4 of the movies these days – it’s a spin-off from the Arrow stable, it’s doing great business for the CW and advance reports (and unpopculter e) suggest it’s silly but lots of fun. I’ll check out ep 1 and report back in due course.

Talking of Arrow, meanwhile, the green-clad Batman-adjacent vigilante also swings back into action himself this week as season 3 kicks off on Sky 1 tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm. On the basis of the appalling pilot a couple of years ago, I had thought Arrow might be the worst tv show in the world, but people absolutely love it so I went back recently and tried a few season 2 eps and…. it’s not the worst show in the world. I still think the flashbacks are the pits (Oliver’s wigs – OMG) and Oliver’s secret identity is so blindingly obvious that everyone in the country, let alone everyone in Starling City, should know it by now. But Oliver’s tech whizz Felicity is charming, their relationship is UBER-shippable, and it’s developed into perfectly watchable stuff, if a little bogged down by Oliver’s endless angst and everybody trying to take over Queen Consolidated – the Meade Publications of DC TV shows – all the time. Anyway, I’m not a regular viewer so I’m unlikely to be even an occasional reviewer but if you’re at a loose end, you could do a lot worse than try an ep. Fastforward through the flashbacks, though. Life is TOO short.

And finally on the genre front (for this week, anyway), we have another tv spin-off in the form of Dominion, starting on Syfy UK at 10pm tomorrow. A sort-of-sequel to 2010 film Legion, it’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy series about humanity being under attack from angels. Yes, you read that right. In fairness, Giles from Buffy, Jim Robinson from Neighbours/Caleb from Ugly Betty/Alan Dale from every tv show ever made and, er, Louise from Hollyoaks are all in it, so that’s something. But on the other hand, it’s had some truly terrible reviews (our own e being one of the many unimpressed) and the trailer – the trailer looks really bad, you guys. Really bad. If I can bring myself to try it, I’ll let you know…