Top List Thursdays – Top ten reasons why THE FLASH won us over this year

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I’ll be the first person to admit that The Flash is not a perfect show. But despite its flaws, it’s still one of the best super hero series on TV, setting a benchmark for not only bringing a hero to life, but embracing everything about that character on a weekly basis. It’s also the most fun I’ve had watching a debut season in a very long time, and with this week’s finale ending on one hell of a cliffhanger, I can’t wait for a second season to arrive.

So put on your spoiler-hats, and get ready, because we’re about to hit the top ten times that The Flash came in first place for us. Spoilers!

  • The Super-S.T.A.R.S

Flash (1)

At it’s core, The Flash has one hell of a cast. Sure, it gets schmaltzy way too often and the acting can go over the top, but this is one show that was built not only around one hero, but a team of friends and allies. And the show would feel that much emptier without a single one of them.

Maybe it’s the fact that Barry’s adoptive father Joe is the heart and soul of the show. Maybe it’s Caitlin being irresistibly sweet yet fragile while providing field support. Hell, even Cisco evolved from being an annoying nerd into the point-of-view techno wizkid of the show, while the enigmatic Harrison Wells was both a mentor and a surrogate father. Iris West may have been dimmer than Eskom’s long-term planning in the beginning, but she grew as a quick-thinking reporter with a smile that could light up a room. Hell, even seeing the original Flash as Barry’s real dad own every scene he was in, was some heart-breaking stuff.

The Flash TLT (1)

And then there’s Grant Gustin as the fastest man of the hour, a scarlet speedster who was effortlessly charming and a beacon of hope in a television landscape filled with heroes who are sometimes a touch too dark for their own good. And granted, some of these actors may not be perfect in their roles…yet. And that’s because they’re growing into them, while providing a hell of an hour of weekly fun.

  • Captain Cold

Flash (5)

If Grant Gustin is the fastest and most entertaining hero alive, then Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold is the perfect foil to the hero of tomorrow. That sneering delivery of every single line. The ability to deliver an ice pun without making viewers cringe. And the fact that Cold is an unrepentant criminal who wears his lack of a heart on his sleeve as he plots to rob Central City blind, is just perfect.

And I can’t wait to see Cold assemble his Rogues in the seasons to come.

  • Just who is Harrison Wells?

Flash (3)

Outside of being the worst older brother to ever plague an up and coming doctor, Tom Kavanagh wasn’t exactly a household name. After The Flash however, you can expect his star to finally rise to the heights that it deserves. As Harrison Wells, Kavanagh was a multi-faceted character. Simultaneously warm and conniving, Wells had an agenda to complete. And after being revealed as a time-stranded Eobard Thawne, Kavanagh dialled up the villainy with a master plan that had been set into motion 15 years ago, as Wells revealed the end-goal of his grand scheme: Home.

And that added another layer to a complicated villain. After all, would anything stop you from making your way back to your proper time and place in the universe? Kavanagh wasn’t just a great Machiavellian villain in a TV series. He was a benchmark for future villains, easily owning the smallest of screens and teaching big screen bad guys a thing or two in the process.

The professor of speed, was indeed in.

  • The Trickster returns

Trickster

Not too many of you remember the original live-action Flash series. And that may be a good thing, because that show is hella dated by now. After all, who would want to remember a series that starred Luke Skywalker running around in clown pyjamas?

Well this new iteration of The Flash certainly did. And not only did they embrace that campy villain, they totally owned it by bringing back Mark Hamill and reinvigorating him for a new audience. Deliciously over the top and channeling two decades of voicing the Joker in various cartoons, Hamill was a delight to see back on the screen, as the Speed Force was definitely with him.

  • The Flash vs The Arrow

flash-vs-arrow

You knew it was coming, the second these two met up. Brave and bold, The Flash and The Arrow were a tag-team made in heaven. When they weren’t at each other’s throats that is. But thanks to the Rainbow Raider laying down a mental whammy on the Flash, two friends quickly came to blows.

But how could the best archer in the world match up the fastest man alive, a speedster who could easily outrun a few arrows? Pretty damn well actually, as the fight pitted two of the best heroes against one another in a battle that ended in a stalemate.

  • A glimpse into the future

The Flash TLT (3)

With everything on the line, the Flash finally succeeded in breaking the time barrier on purpose, as he raced through a Speed Force made up of the past, present and future. And what a tease into the future it was. From the legends of tomorrow, to Caitlin Snow having morphed into Killer Frost and Barry apparently incarcerated, there were fleeting glimpses of events yet to occur.

Guess we’ll have to wait for the second season before we see what the future holds in store.

  • The multiverse revealed

The Flash TLT (2)

I’m not going to lie to you: When the Reverse Flash was preparing to ditch the past, and a winged silver helmet suddenly got vomited out of the time portal, I freakin’ fist-pumped the air. That’s about as clear as an indication that a multiverse is out there, a series of alternate realities where anything can happen. And apparently, one such reality includes a world where the fastest man alive is Jay Garrick, not Barry Allen.

Does that mean we’ll see a team-up of speedsters in the near future? I certainly hope so!

  • Gorilla Grodd

Flash (2)

Grodd bless you, The Flash. You had an episode that centered on a runaway super-intelligent psychic gorilla, and you nailed it. You freakin’ nailed it.

  • Eddie Thawne, a hero until the end

Flash (4)

Poor Eddie. In a cast of scientists, rogue speedsters and madmen, Eddie was clearly out of his depth. And that’s because he pretty much had the worst case of luck in the entire show. His love life was a mess, he was framed for murder, kidnapped and beaten on an almost weekly basis. And through it all, he was the nicest guy around as he soaked up both physical and mental levels of punishment.

But at the end of the day, Eddie finally got a chance to be the hero he always was, with disastrous consequences. Seeing that there was no other way to stop the Reverse-Flash from killing everyone at STAR Labs, Eddie made the ultimate sacrifice, before being sucked into a wormhole and presumably disappeared forever.

But I’ve got a feeling that he’ll zoom back into the show, one day.

  • There will be…a crisis…

Flash paper

And here’s where The Flash really upped the stakes. Most shows these days are content to not exactly stretch the boundaries of epic showdowns and events, preferring to ground itself in some sort of reality. But not The Flash. That’s one show that isn’t only embracing its kookier side, but running headfirst into it.

And a glimpse into that future includes the red skies of a reality being devoured by a certain cosmic threat, who may just require Barry to run one final time…

Last Updated: May 21, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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