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A Flash of Annoyance

We’ve started watching The Flash this evening. It’s my first foray into the DC live-action multi-verse.

1) The DC Multiverse is very confusing. Meta humans are a thing. Or might be a thing. At least, Green Lantern is a thing. Or not. The quality of Marvel’s integration between all of their properties isn’t always great, but at least I know what happened when.

2) I find it really difficult to believe in a modern super-hero story where the characters aren’t even a little genre-savvy. Barry fights a guy who can clone himself and he gets his ass kicked. Because he can’t fight, and he doesn’t learn to. Peter Parker knows all of the dangers that come with being a super-hero, and tries to address them even if he doesn’t do a great job. Barry just jumps straight in…

3) This show is full of smart people doing stupid things. When Barry was getting his ass kicked by the clones, he tried to fight them all at regular speed. Other times, people are doing that “I know what you’re going to say… “.

4) Barry’s powers are really inconsistent. At some point, someone jumped out a window, and fell to their death – Barry couldn’t save him, but he could have made it to the ground in time to catch the dude. Barry has a suit to allow him run really fast, but when he runs really fast in his regular clothes, nothing bad happens to them, or his hair. This was a major part of the origin episode of the 90’s show.

5) We have the main science-guy Dr Wells (or as I keep calling him “JD from Scrubs’s big brother”). He is continuously referred to as Dr Wells. Then there’s the woman who does the actual doctoring, who is consistently called “Caitlin”, not Dr Snow. Say what you will about the quality of female representation in the MCU (it is woefully inconsistent), but I’m 3 episodes in and not a single episode of The Flash has passed the Bechdel Test.

I’m also a little conflicted here – I remember a friend of my dad’s had the 90’s version of The Flash, possibly on LaserDisc. When we’d visit, I’d get to watch a couple of episodes. I was about 10 when this happened, so I’ve no clear recollection of whether or not it was any good, but then I’m not sure this incarnation is any good, so I’m not sure what it brings to the table.

I have a few notions about where the show is going to go, but I don’t know that I care enough to watch it all the way through and find out. I care more about Jessica Jones based on a couple of two minute trailers than I do about Barry Allen based on two hours of full-length episodes. And I think that probably says everything I need to know about The Flash.

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