May 15, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15 Trailer Review: CW’s “The Flash”


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(NOTE:  as of Thursday afternoon, CW had only released a 30-second teaser for its new JANE THE VIRGIN, and nothing at all for midseason shows iZOMBIE and THE MESSENGERS.  We’ll post reviews of the rest of the network’s trailers as soon as they’re available.)

THE FLASH:  Tuesday 8PM on CW

THE FACTS:  Viewers of Arrow have already met Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), nice-guy forensics investigator, and heard that he’d been struck by lightning in his hometown of Central City, putting him into a coma.  Well, Barry woke up, and he was really, really fast.  The series, of course, is about his superhero adventures, and the cast around him includes Jesse L. Martin as a local cop, and Tom Cavanaugh and Danielle Panabaker as scientists who help Barry become The Flash.  The series was created by Arrow-men Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, along with Geoff Johns.

WHAT IT’S SAYING:  Exactly what you’d think it would be saying, down to a cameo from Stephen Amell as the Arrow:  more of the same, only faster.  Lots of superhero-movie eye candy, not just Flash’s CG runs but overturning cars and explosions.

WHAT IT’S REALLY SAYING:  Don’t get used to those pilot production values (the initial hour was directed by David Nutter), which means that like Arrow, The Flash will have to provide strong characters and storylines in order to work as an ongoing series.  There’s a hint of mythology in the trailer, relating to the mysterious death of Barry’s mother when he was a child, and that will doubtless be part of the serialized story.  In Arrow, Gustin had a nice chemistry with Emily Bett Rickards’s Felicity, but since she’s too important for Arrow to lose, look for a different romantic angle to emerge.

THE OUTLOOK:  On paper, this is a no-brainer.  The creators of a hit show are behind a spin-off series completely in their wheelhouse, built around an iconic character and starring a lead who’s already been successfully tested on the air.  The Flash is even inheriting the Tuesday 8PM timeslot that worked so well in launching The Originals this past season.  Of course, as every network and just about any producer can tell you, nothing is ever certain.  Still, this comes pretty close.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."