TV Review: The CW's 'The Flash'

The latest comic book superhero show premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.
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Following up on the success of Arrow, the CW debuts superhero spin-off The Flash Tuesday at 8 p.m. Developed by the same writer/producers, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns — and existing in the same world as ArrowThe Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, who transforms into the costumed crime-fighter from the DC Comics. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Among the fall’s three new comic-book shows, Gotham and Constantine were both bound to go the dark and violent route. The Flash goes another way, which might not endear it to the comics fans but could attract an audience just looking for something fun.”
Mike Hale, New York Times

“And, for all its storytelling faults, the Flash pilot is never generic, and it makes plenty of strong choices—just a few too many of them. Crucially, if this pilot demonstrates anything, it’s that The Flash is going to be fun, and that’s just the kind of promise to make to audiences while the show still works out the nuts and bolts of its narrative formula.”
Alasdair Wilkins, A.V. Club

“But where The Arrow is dark, sexual and imbued with a pervasive sense of impending menace, The Flash is comparatively lighter fare. The special effects are convincing and there are well conceived supervillains, but the show has an overall fluffiness which should hook younger viewers without worrying their parents.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“The disclaimer would be that the further the show has to dig into the character’s playbook, the more opportunities there are for it to trip up. As we’ve seen in the past with superhero fare, what appears destined to survive for the long run, based on a pricey premiere, can indeed be finished in a flash.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“I like The Flash at this stage a lot more than I did Arrow after its solid but unremarkable pilot episode. [...] But the lighter and more optimistic tone is unexplored territory that could be tough to navigate at any speed. For the first hour, anyway, The Flash makes it look easy.”

—Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“If the show can maintain the quality of the pilot, that might be quite some time. Luckily, it's in good hands: Producer Greg Berlanti and director David Nutter have done an excellent job of shepherding Arrow, pleasing comic book fans while inviting in newcomers. That alone makes Flash seem like a safer bet.”
Robert Bianco, USA Today

“By contrast, Gustin's Allen is blue of eye and clear of conscience. Sweet and gentle, he's immensely likable but not particularly intriguing, unlike Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen or even Tom Welling's Clark Kent (at least in the later seasons of (Smallville.)”
Verne Gay, Newsday

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