The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

City of Heroes (SPOILERS)


Let’s be real, the only reason I’m watching this show is because it’s about a superhero and the actor who plays him is attractive.  But “The Flash” turned out to be much better than I expected.

In the pilot, the creative team explained that Barry was not the only person affected by the S.T.A.R. Labs explosion, providing a reasoning for any supernatural phenomenon that may occur this season- something that I usually have a big issue with when it comes to superhero stories.  With the explanation already provided, I was able to suspend all disbelief and immerse myself in the world of the show.  On top of this, I’m glad that Barry isn’t the only meta.  I’m excited to meet the rest of them as the season progresses.

I’m glad that the Flash has a team behind him.  He’s not a single hero, but the face of a group of heroes.  This makes the show more realistic- no one goes at it alone; everyone needs a little help.  And it makes the show more interesting, providing more characters and character interactions.

My biggest complaint about “The Flash” was that it was extremely clichéd. It was as if cheese was oozing from the film reel.  In the beginning of the episode, young Barry came home after a run in with bullies.  After seeing his state, Barry’s mother said, “you have such a good heart Barry, and it’s better to have a good heart than fast legs.”  We’ve seen this happen time and time again, especially in superhero tv shows/movies/comics.  This scene made me cringe due to its lack of authenticity.  Other scenes that evoked this were most of the scenes with Barry and Iris, most particularly in the beginning of the episode when Barry was attempting to profess his love to her.  This happens all the time: the nerdy guy in love with his best friend since childhood, but she doesn’t seem interested.  This storyline is hackneyed and boring.  I hope the next episode is more fresh and original.

Grant Gustin, who plays Barry, had an exceptional performance in “City of Heroes.”  A poignant scene was when Barry visited his father in jail.  It was one of the only touching scenes that wasn’t clichéd.  Barry fought back tears while expressing his trust for his father.  The scene was raw and realistic because of Gustin’s performance.  I was impressed.

I was not expecting the twist at the end of the episode: Harrison Wells was lying about his medical condition and might even be evil.  That raises the stakes of the show, causing more tension to push us forward into the season.

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