Fall TV First Impression: The Flash

The Flash Casting Girder Villain

The broadcast networks have more than two dozen shows debuting this fall, including a new Shondaland drama, Katherine Heigl‘s TV comeback, a third NCIS and a trip to Gotham. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

PHOTOS Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to What’s New!

THE SHOW | The CW’s The Flash (Tuesdays at 8/7c, premiering Oct. 7)

THE COMPETITION | CBS’ NCIS, NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Selfie (new)/Manhattan Love Story (new) and Fox’s Utopia (new)

THE CAST | Grant Gustin (Glee) as Barry Allen/The Flash, Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) as Detective West, Candice Patton (The Game) as Iris West, Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries) as Eddie Thawne, Danielle Panabaker (Necessary Roughness) as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes (Broadway’s Once ) as Cisco Ramon and Tom Cavanagh (Ed) as Harrison Wells.

THE SET-UP | ‘Member the lightning bolt that zapped Barry Allen back in Central City at the close of the Arrow episode “Three Ghosts”? Well, let’s first rewind a bit to show you Barry’s mild-mannered life before visiting Starling City, and then we’ll fassssssst-forward to months later, when Barry finally emerges from his coma and embarks on a, um, speedy recovery.

RELATED The CW’s Fall Schedule Opens in Early October, Flash Gets Big Boost

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | The bright ‘n’ bubbly cousin to dark ‘n’ brooding Oliver, The Flash affords effortless entry into Barry Allen’s world, efficiently introducing father figure Det. West and his daughter/Barry’s unrequited crush Iris, “pretty boy” cop Eddie Thawne and S.T.A.R. Labs super-genius Harrison Wells (whose haywire particle accelerator is to blame for the pulse of energy that not only made Barry fleet of feet but spawned other metahumans within its radius). On the casting front: Anyone who perhaps fretted that Gustin was too slight for the lead will promptly have such concerns quashed; Patton has the requisite crackling chem with her TV “brother”; and Cavanagh-as-Wells was a rather inspired call. (Future episodes promise to shed greater light on Panabaker and Valdes as Wells’ wonks — and at least one had better follow up on a certain and infamous “escapee” from S.T.A.R. Labs!)

Turning to the non-human effects, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns had promised a “fresh and exciting… cinematic” approach to the scarlet speedstering, and while the close-ups flirt with being a touch too comical, the longer-range and in-profile views of Barry’s booking are quite electric and jibe with the series’ overall feel, which is one of fun, fun, fun.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | With NCIS obviously skewing older, ABC trotting out untried comedies and Fox’s reality series Utopia a wild card, the biggest obstacle in The Flash‘s path is perhaps The Voice. But if the Barry & Co. can manage half of what another comics-inspired series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., did versus NCIS and The Voice — a possibility, given the plan to encore early episodes out of Arrow — The CW can chalk up a quick win.

Watch a video preview for The Flash, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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71 Comments
  1. sara says:

    I liked the pilot its really good. All the characters are great. Just hope the do more with Iris than simply making her a love interest.

    • A says:

      I hope I like Iris a lot more than I like Laurel

      • Lena says:

        Iris is the complete opposite of Laurel. The writers are not making the same mistake.

        • sara says:

          Iris and laurel or different…though I prefer laurel. Iris needs more emotional depth IMO. Cute actress though.

          I think Caitlin will get the drama and emotional baggage that they usually give to laurel.

          • Lena says:

            I prefer Iris. Also, it a little premature to state Iris has no emotional depth based on one episode and yet you assume Caitlin does. How interesting. Also, what is your interpretation of “emotional depth”? Asking someone to pee in a cup and looking unhappy? A character can have emotional depth in many ways WITHOUT looking like she is ready to go to a funeral.

            However, you are entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. I think we do not know what direction the writers will go with each character unless you are in the writers room.

          • Lena says:

            Had to respond to this also: ” I think Caitlin will get the drama and emotional baggage that they usually give to laurel.”

            As I stated before. Hopefully, the writers will not make the same mistake. You are obviously a Laurel fan, but there are tons of fans who don’t like Laurel’s particular brand of demonstrating “emotional baggage”. In fact, she is not that popular on Arrow. Another difference…IRIS is the lead female of the Flash, not Caitlin.

          • Ally Oop says:

            Hopefully there’s at least one or two well-written likable female characters. If that’s the case I might actually keep watching. But please no more Lana Langs or Laura Lances on The Flash because I couldn’t put up with it again.

    • Lena says:

      I also saw the pilot and enjoyed it. I love Iris already. She is fun, sassy, intelligent, and she is a very supportive friend to Barry. I do hope however that the writers do give her a decent storyline and not have her wandering around each episode just to chat once in a while with Barry. The character has so much potential and Candice did a great job in the pilot.

      • sara says:

        So its not premature for me to say iris needs depth. She does based on the pilot. She needs some baggage and depth to make her well rounded and not so Mary sue

        And what does pee in a cup have to do with anything? Caitlin lost everything and doesn’t smile throughout the pilot until the end giving you hope she will find happiness…but we know she becomes killer frost so that makes her story heartbreaking.

        I don’t care if u hate Laurel. Her character in the pilot is more well rounded and had a storyline outside of romance than Iris.

  2. Eli says:

    Loved the pilot too, made me even forgive the slightly-too-young-this-is-UPN/WB/CW-after-all-cast.

    • Moment says:

      Grant(24), Candice(26). How are they too young?

      • Boston2AZ says:

        Because Grant looks 15?

        • Moment says:

          That’s irrelevant, it makes for a great origin story, to have a young guy evolve into The Flash and really make himself known. I prefer a mid 20s Barry Allen for that reason, by the time the show finishes its run, assuming everything goes well for it and it gets 6-7 seasons, he’ll be 30 pretty much by the end anyway.

  3. wordsmith says:

    It doesn’t take itself as seriously as fellow DC properties Gotham or Constantine, but given the central hero, that makes sense. Feels closer in spirit to Smallville than Arrow, for better or worse.

  4. CBWBDK1 says:

    Can’t wait!

  5. wordsmith says:

    I am curious to see whether/how introducing metahumans into Flash will spill over into the (somewhat) more grounded world of Arrow.

  6. BrittBrat says:

    I can’t wait until the fall!!!! However it does scare me that it’s going against The Voice and NCIS.

  7. RD says:

    Not dark enough for me. Way too fizzy and peppy-geared to a younger audience. After watching the pilot,i’ll pass.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Now while i am like you and like my entertainment dark and gritty….not everything is dark and gritty. I mean this is Flash…hes not Batman…he is light, and positive and “fizzy”. I dont think something can be less good because its not dark and gritty.

      So many of you have said “I’ve seen the pilot, it was ______”….where have you seen the pilot?! lol.

  8. Drew says:

    I think that DC seems to be hitting it out of the park in the TV department. And what is great is that these don’t all come across as cheap webisode-style tie ins, simply meant to promote the movies.
    In fact, I WANT them to use Arrow in the JL movie, but the odds seem slim.

  9. Any show that is willing to tease Gorilla Grodd as a future character in the show I will happily give a full season to. Also amazing what a difference not taking itself too seriously can make…

    • Nyree says:

      Ok so I wasn’t the only one who noticed this. I cant wait to see what they do with Grodd. I really loved the pilot and will definitely be watching the full seasons.

  10. There are exactly three shows I’m interested in checking out in the Fall, two of which are no brainers in my book – The Flash and Gotham. So excited!! Additionally I’m curious about How to Get Away With Murder.

  11. Grunt says:

    Yeah… I’ll pass. I’ve already given 10 years to Smallville, I’m not ready to repeat that mistake, especially when all the red flags are there : love triangle between a bland heel, a bland friend of him, and bland boyfriend of said friend ; cute nerd girl already more interesting than said love interest ; CW-grade sfx (and remember, it was a pilot : the sfx can only go down from there, budget wise) ; villains-of-the-week, all tied to the hero by one same incident ; and last but not least, hints of the bigger DCU here and there, to keep the comic geeks hooked, in the hopes the show will bring characters that they’ll never be able to afford more than five seconds in the shadows.

    Been there, seen that. Also, that Arrow cameo was cringeworthy : dialogs were rough, interpretation was stilted… Ammel is better in his show, I don’t know what happened here.

    • Moment says:

      Arrow has love triangles too though. I think it’s unfair to judge before watching the pilot. Give it a go and see what you think, you may be surprised.

  12. Justin says:

    How have so many people seen the pilot already?

  13. Boiler says:

    Another show to drive the older folks away. Yet HoD seems to hang on by a thread. TV Networks…older people watch TV too at least for now

    • Moment says:

      Older viewers do watch The CW though, The 100, Reign, Arrow(I’m sure there’s more), all attract an older audience.

    • Charming's Kiss says:

      Really? Didn’t they just say that the show will be airing opposite NCIS (NoChildrenItsforSeniors?)on CBS , the official network of the elderly? i mean, what do you want, the return of Murder She Wrote? (NBC almost made it happem)

      • Boiler says:

        Thanks for your very insightful comment:) I don’t like NCIS either and don’t watch a lot of CBS shows anyway. This is typical TV, killing a genre with too much of it. Oh and I am 60.

    • TinLV says:

      Well, I’m 60, and the show I’m most looking forward to is “Gotham” but I plan to check out Flash too. My generation grew up on comic books. My husband and I love the movies based on them and the TV shows.

      • Mehvash says:

        I hope when i’m 60 i’m just like you TInLV! i’m 35 almost 36 and love Arrow and am really looking forward to Gotham as well. :)

  14. Gail says:

    Flash seems more pre-52 Wally West than Barry Allen but we will see what happens.

  15. MD says:

    The Pilot was very entertaining. Count me in.

  16. DavidSask says:

    It is no Arrow, I found it boring and his powers are not intriguing to me!

  17. Ian says:

    I do think Grant is a bit of a young/gangly-looking fit to this, but the pilot works, so it should be fine. And besides, there are PLENTY of these shows fronted by teenagers (The Tomorrow People, anyone?), so it’s not much difference.
    I too love that there’s a black romantic lead for the hero, I would watch the show just for that tbh. Iris does need more of a purpose outside of that though, I agree. She had argument with her father about her wanting to be a cop, so maybe that’s her path, proving she makes a brilliant detective or something.

  18. GoT Snow says:

    I’m really worried about the Iris character. From the pilot, she seemed way too clichéd to be an interesting leading lady. I also don’t like these main relationships where the guy and gal already know one another. I like to see these things progress.. first meetings, first everythings, etc. Caitlin Snow, with the emotional baggage she’s bringing and the possibility of her turning evil and whatnot, affords a much more interesting character so I hope they make some tweaks or play up what they have. Just please, PLEASE, no annoying destined to be together Laurel-ness. Can’t stand that on TWO shows I really want to watch.

  19. Justin says:

    Again, where are people seeing the pilot already? Where is it available?

    • Moment says:

      No one can answer that, it wasn’t leaked legally. Wait for the CW airing.

      • Justin says:

        Then it doesn’t make sense for people to be broadcasting that they’ve seen it if they don’t want people who haven’t to start asking questions.

        • Moment says:

          I’m sorry you see it that way but it does make perfect sense. Most reputable websites will allow people to discuss what they’ve seen but won’t allow people to link or tell people how to find something illegally for obvious reasons.

          • Justin says:

            You’re making zero sense. If something was leaked online, people should be smart enough NOT to talk about it if they do not want inquiries about how to see it.

      • Actually we don’t know how it was leaked. The source is apparently one of the “not-for-review” copies that was sent out by the network. There is some suspicion the network facilitated the leak so as to get some online buzz going in advance. That has happened a few times that I know of in the last 6 or 7 years. So far though three pilots have leaked in recent weeks so I suspect its someone in the industry letting them out.

    • The p u r ple l ime w as stored i n the r efrig e rator.

  20. Jared says:

    Grant makes Barry Allen so cute and likeable that I have to watch The Flash.

  21. Jon says:

    Enjoyed the pilot alot. Same breakneck pace as Arrow but definatly a lighter tone. At times the pace was almost too much, Perhaps a 2 hour premiere would have allowed some more character development. As it is, only Harrison Wells and Detective West of the supporting cast managed to stand out somewhat. Hopefully they’ll find something for Iris to do other than be damsel in distress.given certian shall we say…lack of information.

  22. Joey Padron says:

    Good review of pilot. Excited to see show this fall. Glad they’ll have encores after Arrow for more people to check out

  23. Tran says:

    Hope CW’s version of The Flash is going to be way better than the early ’90s version that starred John Wesley Shipp (wasn’t he on Dawson’s Creek during that time?).

  24. cycworker says:

    I wasn’t interested in this show at all, but I’m willing to give it a chance. I like that it doesn’t seem too dark or gory.

  25. nothanksjeffrey says:

    I liked the pilot. I hope that the following episodes will get even better.

  26. Ally Oop says:

    The trailer was impressive but the characters haven’t really hooked me. I will watch the pilot but this seems like a bubble show for me.

  27. Ella says:

    I REALLY want Felicity to guest star on The Flash.

  28. Manas Kj says:

    I have already seen the pilot. It is good. Thank god Iris is not like Laurel, moreover the lead Grant Gustin does justice to the Flash. Do watch this atleast once before judging. I really liked the pilot and I hope you like it too. Heres hoping that Arrow and Flash fight few criminals together- it will be awesome.

  29. Rick Katze says:

    The survey is obviously biased since people who are interested in this show would be much more likely to read this article and therefore vote positively. This said, the show does seem to have promise. I hope that it will not turn into a procedural new villain a week but has continuity like Arrow.

  30. kevb62 says:

    Matt, why didn’t you say, “DC Comics Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns”…? You left out his name in the article!

  31. n8frogg78 says:

    Just so everyone knows the pilot is already leaked. You can find it at just about any torrent site.
    I haven’t watched it yet as I need to catch up on Arrow first. I’ve heard good and bad reviews of it so I guess it comes down to each persons own tastes.

  32. milton wedman says:

    MAYBE NCIS can pick up the 2.67% not interested in The Flash
    I am not interested in NCIS – the stories are older than dirt now and not interesting. What Bishop didn’t bring in the young uns ? Shocked. NOT

  33. Jen says:

    I watched the pilot and I really enjoyed it. It has a very Smallville-y feel to it, which I love.

  34. Not watching another first run show on the CW so they can cancel another one on me. Remember, ratings don’t matter for the CW.

  35. ron erickson says:

    Time to buy a DVR. Can’t miss Flash OR NCIS.

  36. meatwad says:

    i have no doubt this will be another hit for CW

  37. herman1959 says:

    I’m still keeping my night free to catch up since I wasn’t interested in any of the “live” programming. But now I think I’ll catch The Flash on Hulu Plus just for Jesse L. Martin. I always loved him on Law and Order; it’ll be interesting to see him play a father-figure.

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