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Old 8th-October-2015, 08:45 AM   #1
Cheeseumpuffs
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Default The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

Welcome to yet another episode of
CHEESEUMPUFFSOVER-ANALYZES SOMETHING DUMB
(usually pop culture related)

Jesus fuck that color bullshit was tedious.
Whatever
okay

Welcome to the only show where I, Cheeseumpuffs, wastes an inordinate amount of my and your time by going on and on about something that no one should ever care about.

In our last episode we looked at the Star Wars Prequels and how they might have been better stories if they had cast Palpatine as the primary protagonist.

In today's episode I dive into (and subsequently fix) a tv show of which I've seen two whole episodes.

CW's The Flash

While at a friend's the other day he put on this week's season premiere of the second season. After that he put on the pilot for the first season.


So the basic plot of the first season (as I've understood it) is thus:

The Backstory:(mostly explained by my friend)
1. Future Guy is from the future and has flash powers and hates The Flash for some reason (I dunno, it's what bad guys do fuck you stop asking questions)
2. He travels to the past, when The Flash is a child, and kills The Flash's mom by running back and forth in front of her or something (I don't know why he doesn't just kill Flash The Kid, especially seeing as Little Flash is fucking watching it happen, but that's not even the weirdest thing Future Guy does)
3. At some point in this time traveling homicide, Future Guy loses his powers and (apparently as a result) his ability to return to the future so he kills the Doctor Guy who eventually causes the disaster that gives The Flash (and others) their superpowers and then he uses a Future Gadget to assume the likeness and identity of Doctor Guy in order to speed up the timeline and get the magic power disaster to happen sooner.
4. His reasons for wanting to cause the disaster sooner are not, as one might suspect, to rejuvenate his powers so he can just hop back to the future, but rather he wants to give The Flash his powers so that he can use The Flash to get himself back to the future.

Don't ask me why he doesn't just use it to give himself powers and develop his own way to get to the future. I don't know. For some reason he needs his greatest enemy, The Flash, to help him. I dunno, that's poignant or something right?

Also don't ask me how he could know that The Flash would get his powers this time. By impersonating the Doctor and changing the time when the disaster occurs he could've changed all the circumstances and The Flash could've been in a totally different spot and never gotten his flash powers. Then what, you big dummy? Future Doctor is one lucky bastard.

The Meat of the Story:
1. Flash the Kid, after witnessing an orange-ish ball of lightning murder his mother (for which his father was convicted) is raised by his best friend's dad (they will be known as Black Girl and Black Cop for the remainder of this analysis because apparently I'm a racist). The Flash has a hopeless crush on Black Girl but she only thinks of him as a friend/brother.
2. The Flash is a 20something forensic assistant for the police department. He's kind of the stereotypical deadbeat jerkoff kid that every pre-superhero is. He's late showing up to the crime scene and makes lame excuses, he's single and immature about it, etc. But the show doesn't even do a good job about making him a deadbeat. In a Batman-like show of detective work, he uses a remnant of a tire print to correctly determine that the criminals are hiding out at a farm. This detective work is seemingly his usual level of operation and yet the police sergeant (or maybe just Generic Older Cop) discounts him as a jerkoff kid. Like seriously, show? Are we just supposed to believe he's irresponsible and unreliable just because you tell us? Because you've sure done a good job of showing us that he should be lead detective on like all of the department's cases. Fuck it, whatever, I'm not even that far into this.
3. He and Black Girl head to this big press conference thing at the Lab where Future Doctor is going to be turning on his particle accelerator that Flash has apparently been going on about for like forever. But then some random dude steals Black Girl's laptop which contains the only copy (seriously? No back up?) of her dissertation which was established in an earlier clumsy attempt at characterization. So Flash goes chasing after the criminal who beats the shit out of Flash and then White Cop is oddly and abruptly introduced by tasering the criminal. Cut to the police station where Black Girl and Flash are, because apparently they just didn't go back to the Lab even though Flash has been losing his shit about how cool it is. There's some clunky dialogue that shows that everyone thinks White Cop is a competitive prettyboy douchebag then Flash goes home. In his huge and awesome crimelab that's apparently in his home despite him being a useless deadbeat piece of shit he looks out the window and sees the Lab explode and is then struck by orange lightning.
4. Cut to nine months later. Flash wakes up in the inner sanctum of Future Doctor's lab. Here he meets White Girl and Vaguely Ethnic Over-excitable Long-haired Dude (I don't have a better name for him, fuck you) who, despite being 20something year olds are Future Doctor's closest helpers at the Lab (not like, y'know, a 40/50+ scientist that you'd expect to see at a particle accelerator)
5. Future Doctor explains that Flash was in a coma for nine months (which seems like a brain-damaginly long amount of time to be in a coma) and that his body was doing weird shit blah blah blah you're magic etc. He leaves and discovers that Black Girl and White Cop are going out (gasp! Who would've seen that coming?). Then his body starts freaking out and doing things super quick.

Here's a bit where I really was taken out of the show. There are instances where it's shown from his point of view and he's just moving at regular speed while the world is in slow motion but there are times where we seem him zoom by and crash into things because he can't stop himself even though he totally should be able to because he's just moving at normal speed from his point of view.

6. So then he practices his skills. Future Doctor becomes a mentor of sorts which I've already discussed is a weird motivation for Future Doctor who hates the Flash but doesn't just fucking kill him for some reason.
7. Flash discovers that there are other magic people and stops one who thinks it's his godly mission to rob banks and in the process Black Cop finds out that Flash has flash powers

The Rest of Season 1:(Conjecture based off how the pilot went and what things were like in the premiere of season 2)
1. Each episode probably follows with him discovering more people using powers for evil and stopping them. The B story in each episode is most probably random personal drama involving Black Cop, Black Girl, and White Cop (and the other people of various races from the Lab). And then there'll be C story sprinkles of clues involving his mother's murder and such.
2. Flash probably discovers that Future Doctor is evil sometime around midseason. This is a good time for TV shows to pull the twist. It gives them a ratings boost going into the last half and then it serves to focus the storyline for the remaining episodes, providing a break from the monotony of repeatable episodic stories (looking at you Burn Notice) and also gives our protagonist a primary antagonist (woo! buzzwords!).
3. Somehow by the end of season 1 Future Doctor has flash powers again and creates a black hole above the city but Flash stops it and kills Doctor but White Cop dies and is sucked into the black hole and also White Girl's White Boyfriend is sucked into the black hole.

whew! Season 1 is done.

In S02E01 Flash it's like six months later or something and he's all moody and doesn't want any of his friends to help him anymore because he doesn't want them to get hurt (unoriginal, but not necessarily inaccurate given events). Random one-off magic person does some shit and then dies but reveals the name of this season's antagonist (Zoom. Holy shit I am losing what little respect I had for comic book writer's naming abilities) in a scene that's oddly reminiscent of Cab Driver's "Moriarty!" from the first episode of Sherlock.

My predictions:
Flash hooks up with either Black Girl or White Girl and then whichever one he hooks up with it'll turn out that their boyfriend didn't actually die in the black hole and actually comes back (possibly as an antagonist but could still be an ally. Could go either way, really). This creates conflict (shocker!). Whichever girl he hooks up with will feel conflicted. Resurrected Boyfriend will feel betrayed. And our beloved, moody, generic, white protagonist will have ample opportunity to be moody and generic.
Also the rest of the show will follow the same pattern as the first season. Episodic stories of stopping bad guys, slowly getting closer to Zoom. Zoom is revealed midseason. Zoom is defeated in the end.


Why is this show so mediocre and predictable and casts 20-year-olds in roles better suited for people who're 30-40 years old?

Simple:
It's on the CW. Don't get your hopes up for quality tv. It's not bad, sure, but it's incredibly middle of the road. But that's what you should expect for a show marketed to the 15-30 demographic of childish, white comic-book lovers (not saying that comic-book lovers are childish, just that the CW markets itself a lot to young people who prefer to live in generic fantasy worlds).


But Cheeseumpuffs, you exclaim, you haven't fixed it yet! How would you do it better?

And my answer is this:
I wouldn't. I think superheroes are overrated/overdone and boring and this show really doesn't fail at anything it tries to do (it just doesn't try to do all that much) and also I got bored with this subject about two thirds through this post and only stuck with it as far as I did because it felt like a waste to spend that time and effort and have nothing to show for it.


Here's a tl;dr for you, because reading the above post is almost definitely a waste of your time.
The Flash is meh. If you want good tv don't watch it. If you're young and looking to be somewhat entertained by a show which occasionally throws in some high school level relationship pseudo-drama then this is probably for you.



Thanks for tuning in for this episode of
CHEESEUMPUFFSOVER-ANALYZES SOMETHING DUMB

Be sure to like and subscribe and leave a comment down below.


Also tune in for my next episode in which we'll take a look at:
Pokemon! (More specifically, which one would taste the best?)
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Old 8th-October-2015, 09:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

I've seen the first few episodes and yeah, dumb show, totally agree.

Oh wait there's a season TWO? The faüq. The exposition you lay out seems like it's another failed Spiderman in the making, with the 'I don't want my loved ones to get hurt!' trope.
---

The biggest problem I had with the show was the clichés (unrequited love, assistants, badly paced and badly acted/performed will to power). And then the stupid villains. Oh and not to mention the horribly tryingreallyhardbutreallyfailreallybad CGI. I somehow have this urge to compare this version of Flash with Power Rangers but that might be too much of a smack in the face. I'm not sure what the script writers were thinking as well, it seems like they were going for a younger demographic (or something).

Just as a personal aside: this whole superhero phase is going to die out soon..
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Old 8th-October-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

Quote:
Originally Posted by onesteptwostep View Post
Oh wait there's a season TWO? The faüq. The exposition you lay out seems like it's another failed Spiderman in the making, with the 'I don't want my loved ones to get hurt!' trope.
---

The biggest problem I had with the show was the clichés (unrequited love, assistants, badly paced and badly acted/performed will to power). And then the stupid villains. Oh and not to mention the horribly tryingreallyhardbutreallyfailreallybad CGI. I somehow have this urge to compare this version of Flash with Power Rangers but that might be too much of a smack in the face. I'm not sure what the script writers were thinking as well, it seems like they were going for a younger demographic (or something).
It's not quite as bad as far as the "loved ones getting hurt" trope, seeing as he learned his lesson by the end of the episode and decided he needed his team of crime-fighting youngsters (with token old guy).

The cliches are awful. The tropes they use are already tired and then poorly implemented on top of that. Story pacing is off and both episodes I watched felt like they ran 15 minutes too long because of the poor pacing. Dialogue is clunky and clearly written to be dumbed down and inclusive for a younger demographic of viewers. The problem of the CGI was that it was good enough that it wasn't campy (which would kind of be a plus) but not good enough to be realistic, so it fell into the zone of just awkward to watch which is sad because you can tell that some poor VFX artist really worked hard on it.

The acting though I don't think is to blame. I've actually seen a few of the actors in other roles and they definitely weren't bad. I'd say that the problem is almost entirely the writing. There's a trend with shows that target the adolescent/young adult crowd where the writing doesn't have much nuance. If something comes into play then it is spelled out and, conversely, nothing of note is left unsaid. The writing kind of belittles the intelligence of the viewer because it doesn't allow them to make connections of their own. It was the same story with another CW network show I watched called The 100.

I've kind of given the show a hard time in this post. It's not the worst show in the world (coughcoughbigbangtheorycough), it's just not good. It's the kind of thing where if you watch it then you go into it knowing what you want and what to expect and getting exactly that but absolutely nothing more. It's "moody young guy gets super powers and fights bad guys while trying to manage his social life."

It's peanut butter; it gives you what you want but if you're looking for something truly special then you're looking in the wrong place.
(Edit: Apologies to any peanut butter lovers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by onesteptwostep View Post
Just as a personal aside: this whole superhero phase is going to die out soon..
I'm so sick of it. I really hope you're right. I doubt it though, as studios have Marvel films planned for the next 10 years or something, not to mention the non-Marvel studios that want to get in on the action.

In all honesty the superhero phase is going to last as long as superhero movies keep making at least the tiniest of profits. And though the general population may get sick of superhero movies eventually, I think that superheroes are a big enough staple of "nerd culture" that people will keep going to see them much longer than they would for any other genre simply because they feel like not going to see them will make them fall behind the rest of the pack and they'll have their membership to the "I'm nerdy and smart and cool and totally into things that aren't mainstream" club revoked.
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Old 8th-October-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheeseumpuffs View Post
The acting though I don't think is to blame. I've actually seen a few of the actors in other roles and they definitely weren't bad. I'd say that the problem is almost entirely the writing. There's a trend with shows that target the adolescent/young adult crowd where the writing doesn't have much nuance. If something comes into play then it is spelled out and, conversely, nothing of note is left unsaid. The writing kind of belittles the intelligence of the viewer because it doesn't allow them to make connections of their own. It was the same story with another CW network show I watched called The 100.
I tried to watch The 100. I lasted about 15-20 minutes. And that was my thought too... it was targeted at a demographic I'm not part of, the adolescent / young teen market.

It doesn't mean teen movies can't be interesting; I liked the movie The Maze Runner, but it actually forced you to mentally engage to figure out what was going on. Some of these TV shows don't do that; they want to use some interesting ideas in their setups but the execution leaves it in the camp of people who don't want to or can't think in more complex ways.
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Old 9th-October-2015, 01:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

Yeah, fortunately (for the people involved in the writing and production of The 100) I am still part of the young adult demographic, so I sat through all two seasons despite my recognition of it's lackluster characters and odd writing choices. The way I described it was that it wasn't a good show, but the plot had just enough twists and turns to make me go "Oh fine, I guess I'll watch the next episode to see what happens."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywocky View Post
Some of these TV shows don't do that; they want to use some interesting ideas in their setups but the execution leaves it in the camp of people who don't want to or can't think in more complex ways.
Yeah, a lot of these shows start of with an admittedly solid "what if..." premise which gets destroyed by the limitations of tv.

Like with The 100.
"What if a bunch of 18ish year old delinquents got sent down from their space colony to a supposedly uninhabitable earth but then they found out it was habitable and, in fact, there are still humans living down there?"

Cool setup, you can do a lot with that.

What did The 100 do?

1. It wasted a ton of time on the high school drama factor. (ie "So-and-so kissed What's-her-face and now I'm going to sulk for an episode or two")
2. The way that the plot developed with the native people was weird, mostly because the show needed to build suspense in order to keep ratings in order to not get cancelled (it's seriously a bummer to me that every show needs to keep making decisions based around trying to not get cancelled. Just write a good season of TV and if you do a good enough job then you'll get another season)
3. Once the native people were established as basically being the same as the space people, the conflict between them immediately turned from "fighting for survival against mysterious tree people" to "more bullshit high school drama except now with people who wear clothes made of fur instead of cotton"


The problem with shows that are marketed to this group as that they focus a ton on dumb relationship issues (because this age group is the most insecure when it comes to personal relationships) and the potential of whatever premise they've established gets left by the wayside.
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Old 2nd-December-2016, 05:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Flash is a dumb show. TV is generic and predictable dear god someone save me from myself I waste so much time: The Movie

who cares the guy is hot and cute.

Most people watch TV for eye candy.
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