Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

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Tag Archives: Grant Gustin

ANCC: The Flash – Season 3

This week, Nick and guest host Cousin Charles discuss the latest season of the fastest man alive, The Flash! What do they have to say about this Flashpoint-inspired season and about its big mystery villain, Savitar? Come check it out!

To listen to the episode, click here or on the image below!

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The Flash’s Second Season was Awful

Talk about a sophomore slump.  The first season of The Flash was light, fun fluff.  It wasn’t game changing, but it was enjoyable with enough character beats to keep me invested.  The second season took a crap on all of it making it such a trying experience by the end.

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Where to begin?  The season starts out okay with an interesting premise introducing the concept parallel worlds (allowing for a creative way to keep Tom Cavanagh on the show), the classic comic book character Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), a terrifying new villain known as Zoom, and a new love interest for Barry (Grant Gustin).  All good stuff that made for a promising season of ideas.

But the show’s writing slowly began going downhill at a steady pace.  First, they ditch Barry’s girlfriend in the most awkward and unconvincing way ever.  Then the team of supposed scientists continue to make awful decision after awful decision.  They are supposed to be smart, but they cannot concoct a scheme to take down this season’s villain when they have him directly at their mercy.  These people are stupid.  More on that later.

The biggest sin is in this season’s villain, Zoom.  We are never given a clear idea what exactly he wants.  Does he just want Barry’s speed because he wants to go faster?  Or because he’s dying?  Don’t know. It is later revealed that he wants to destroy the multiverse.  Why?  What does he gain from this?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  He kidnaps Caitlin (Danielle Panbaker) for “reasons” and then later lets her go for “reasons”.  His motivations and desires are all over the place.

Even more maddening is that the basic idea behind Zoom is exactly the same as the villain from last year.  A mentor figure to the team is really the villain who is helping Barry to get faster in order for him to ultimately steal his speed.  Did the writers and/or producers not see that they were already repeating themselves?

As mentioned above, these characters are stupid.  And Barry is incredibly selfish.  The season ended with Barry, feeling bad about himself because his father just died, goes back in time to save his mother from being killed.  For starters, this plotline was resolved a year ago.  Second, how dumb is Barry?!  He knows that if he saves his mom, he is destroying the future.  And, on top of that, he should know that changing the past like that has the potential to wipe out existence as it almost did at the end of last season (which subsequently set-up this season’s problems).  And even further, it goes completely against the lesson he learned a few episodes prior that Barry needs to work through and accept the tragedies in his life.   And finally, did he conveniently forget the time wraiths who go after speedsters for messing with time – the very thing that defeated Zoom?

And don’t get me started on the nonsense “time remnant” plot point or the over-the-top narrative gymnastics/fan service with the John Wesley Shipp reveal.

This show had turned into garbage.  There are some bright spots still with some fun interaction between the characters and some good additions to the case.  But, overall this show has fallen.  People love to give the Batman prequel Gotham a lot of crap, but at least that show is consistent.  The Flash’s producers really need to reconsider what they are wanting to do with this series.  I’m not going to give up on it yet.  I think it is recoverable.  Hopefully the third season will give the writers to iron out whatever issues they are having.

~N

Speed Watching! – The Flash: Season One

Tonight was the premiere of The Flash’s second season, and the CW was really promoting it like no other. And I cannot blame them. The Flash was a runaway hit for the CW with critics and audiences last year. No wonder they are giving it all the pomp and circumstance they can muster.

flashBut why was this show so popular? Obviously, I watched it (I’m a fan of the Flash), and the leading reason why The Flash has caught on is that it is a lot of fun. It is a show with relatable characters that you actually like. It has the hook of a superhero (which, like it or not, are really popular nowadays), but it adds in healthy doses of humor, romance, adventure, and heart. The show is light and breezy making it good for families, but with just enough edge. It makes for a pleasurable viewing experience.

And, on a personal note, last season had an underlying them of father/son relationships. Seriously! Barry had three father figures on the show, and each brought something different to the table. While I have always appreciated of a father/son dynamic in storytelling, having lost my father just before the show premiered last October, this element of The Flash spoke to me.

Because all of the above worked within the show, The Flash was really able to embrace its comic book origins. The Flash and the extended elements of that character’s world are incredibly goofy, but the show managed to incorporate it onto the show. The writers and producers didn’t shy away from it at all. They were even able to pull off a giant, telepathic gorilla. While I find that other comic book based shows and movies tend to downplay the more fantastic elements so it can better connect to viewers easily, The Flash says “Pfft….more gorilla” to that.

The writers are smart. They knew they had to have characters that worked and storylines that resonated with viewers. They did. That’s how they can get away with the fantastical.

I know it sounds like I am fawning over it (and I suppose I am), but don’t mistake my tone. The show is good and a lot of fun, but it is far from perfect. Some of the plot points are suspect (illegally imprisoning the villains without any due process and none of our heroes care) and a couple of characters here and there can be trying at times or perplexing added at times (tell me, what was the point of character-actor Chase Masterson’s guest spot), but everything else really worked with the show, so that stuff really didn’t bother me.

The Flash isn’t going to win any non-technical awards. This isn’t Game of Thrones or Mad Men. But, it isn’t trying to be. And, unlike those shows which can be dour and depressing, The Flash is a ton of fun and a breath of fresh air. I am looking forward to the second season. Here’s hoping it maintains its momentum!

~N

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