Review: Is CW’s ‘The Flash’ Worth a Watch?


Poster courtesy of the CW.

The Rise

The CW has had a long-standing and notorious reputation for ruining shows by their second season. This legacy is evident in multiple series, such as Supergirl, Riverdale, Arrow, and others. 

The Flash, one of their longest-running shows, has recently been renewed for its 9th season. As a show that’s been airing for eight years with more than 150 episodes, it’s seen its fair share of controversy. 

Many, along with myself, greatly enjoyed season one. It had a good storyline, a great main character, and an even better villain. The show even ranked the 118th best TV show and was the most popular series on the CW since The Vampire Diaries in 2009, according to the network.

The first season benefited by not unveiling the show’s “big bad” until the last few episodes.

Well-written plot twists also made for enjoyable watching. The show took its time to build up to the plot twists, and when there was a plot twist, it actually affected the plot.

The Fall

After season one, the show fell into the same dark pit as the other CW shows. The viewership started to decline, and the critics didn’t hide their opinions on the show. Eight seasons later, The Flash has become, in most eyes, inadequate. 

The storylines became boring, while the villains became bland. It was the same episode over and over again. The hero would struggle to defeat the villain but would finally be triumphant. If the producers wanted to shake things up, they might throw in a glimpse of the main villain. But that was only when we were lucky.

The past few years have been atrocious for The Flash, but saying it hasn’t been slowly improving would be a lie.”

Even with a large budget, the show still had to cut corners with things such as CGI (computer-generated imagery). Some scenes had to be less CGI-heavy, and because of that, it left some unpleasing eye imagery that the viewers had to watch. Fans have called this pitfall one of The Flash’s most significant flaws, and while I agree, The Flash has also had some excellent CGI.

Personally, I don’t believe the show’s CGI is its biggest flaw. I believe it’s bland writing and bad character development. For a show based on prodigious comic books, you’d think they wouldn’t have trouble putting characters on the big screen. Yet, they did, and it was unsatisfactory when they messed it up. Take, for example, Cicada, one of the most forgettable main villains in the show’s history. Cicada’s backstory had the potential to be great, but it fell short because of poor writing.

These faults don’t mean that The Flash has never had good characters—they have. A few examples of these characters would be Cisco and Harrison Wells. These are all characters that have had some really great story arcs in the show’s history and made a lasting impact on the show.

As someone who has watched the show since they were only seven years old, my opinion is biased in favor of the show. Still, I can admit that The Flash has been on a downwards slope, or at least was. 

The Comeback?

The past few years have been atrocious for The Flash, but saying it hasn’t been slowly improving would be a lie. While the CGI and writing might not be on par with Marvel, it’s been exceeding my expectations for a show that I thought would have been canceled by now.

If you were to ask me if I’d recommend watching The Flash, I’d say go for it. It’s definitely worth a watch—at least for season one.