The Flash: The Complete First Season
On the list of impossible things to happen in my life—sitting between me being drinking buddies with Anna Kendrick and having my own Daily Show-like program where I talk about geek news—the idea of having a television show based around The Flash would have been sitting there like a tiki idol a couple years ago. The biggest reason is that after years of failed adaptions (with the only exception being the animation department), Warner Bros. wasn’t able to pull off a true superhero show that didn’t turn out to be a pile of camp. One need look no further than shows like Lois & Clark, or the original 1990 Flash television show to see what I mean—and don’t get me started on the teen-drama hell that was Smallville…
But in 2012, the company turned things around with the successful launch of Arrow, bringing a B-list hero to the small screen and turning it into one of the biggest shows on the CW Network. By its second season, it already had a spinoff planned in the form of The Flash. In one episode they created a successful launching point and jumped into their first season a few months later. What resulted was one of the most insane shows I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch as a fan. Rather than taking things slow and trying to build some kind of lengthy nostalgia based around the “hero’s journey,” they dived right into the idea that you’re seeing a man run faster than sound, and here’s the awkwardly named villains he has to deal with. How many shows can get away with having a giant talking gorilla, a man with a cold gun in a parka, and a noisy tech nerd who goes by the name Pied Piper? They pulled it off and actually made things awesome.
The end of the season brought about a heart wrenching conclusion with a number of fantastic possibilities that only my 6-year-old self could have imagined or even seen when I was flipping through my monthly comics. The Flash left me wanting more, which is the ultimate sign of a great TV series. So I was thrilled as hell when The Complete First Season landed in my lap. Every episode pops with color, which helped make the series a standout in the eyes of the causal viewer. You’re not living in a grey world caked in dirt, you’re living in a metropolitan city with amazing people who have superhuman abilities—why wouldn’t this universe pop?
The special features are hit-or-miss, starting with the commentary section that only covers one episode: the pilot. You got a blu-ray disc and a ton of people who could have talked about this series over various episodes, and the only one worth talking about was the pilot? You get features that show how they created items like Flash’s blur, the history of the character, a nice send-back to Mark Hamill’s appearance as The Trickster, and a look back at the 2014 Comic Con. The deleted scenes are alright, but there isn’t a lot to them that make me think that having them was any more important than not having them. And finally the gag reel which is pretty funny to watch as Tom Cavanagh keeps having the worst time navigating around the set in the wheelchair.
Overall, yes, you must buy The Flash. Sure, you could stream the hell out of it when it hits Netflix in a few years, but this is definitely a series where, even if the following seasons complete suck, you got a great first season to a longtime superhero done right without any major hiccups. That in itself makes The Flash a gem for your collection.