"The Flash" 1990 Live-Action Series Talkback (Spoilers)

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
Forgive me for not knowing if Toon Zone already had one of these but the Anime Superhero search function currently isn't working. I figured since the show became Arrowverse canon after last season's crossover "Elseworlds" we could talk about it. I just watched the entire show on DC Universe and my review is below.

Please forgive the double (triple)-posts, Mods, as my reviews were too long to fit into a single post.

The Flash "Pilot"

I don't know what I expected 30 years later, but I have to say I'm a bit surprised at how normal the series is. I had expected something super campy. And anyone who calls this show that clearly does not remember the tone of every single drama in 1990. All of them were over-the-top and unrealistic. The Flash is not an especially campy show for the era. It's refreshingly grounded, to be honest.

There are good and bad things. The best thing is the soundtrack. TV shows simply do not sound like this anymore. It is awesome and feature-film quality.

The time-elapsed motion effects are really quite primitive. They work, but it's a bit amazing at how expensive the show was, and how long it took to complete each episode. It looks absolutely bare-bones compared to modern standards.

I'm ambivalent on the molded Flash suit. On the plus side John Wesley Shipp actually has pecs, so I can at least buy the molded muscles on that level.

The sets are terrible. Granted, most sets during that era were not great, but I am very aware that this is a TV set. The biker gang's lair would be at home on the original Doctor Who. It's not bad, but it's also totally fake-looking, and you can tell it's a dressed up set rather than an actual area.

Noticed small roles for Richard Belzer and Twin Peaks' Eric DaRe.

I love that Barry feels like the heel of the year when Tina tells him the person who died at the lab was her husband, and likewise when he cluelessly tells her she doesn't know what he's going through. Because he IS a heel in those moments.

I felt like all of the prisoners pouring out of the cells at once upon them being opened was too Batman '66. None of the prisoners are sitting in their bunks, and they spend all day standing right up to the bars on the off chance all of the cells are opened at once? It's a detail I dislike because even the most incompetent of modern shows wouldn't do it.

I thought when Barry and Iris were in bed and talking about something going too quickly that they were talking about something else.

Continuity alerts: Nora Allen is still alive and married to Henry. Barry has an unheard of brother named Jay who is killed off. Iris strikes me as an alarmingly shallow and terrible person, and is clearly the secondary love interest getting the way of Barry and Tina, which is weird. The Asian reporter says her name is Linda leading me to think she's Linda Park. StarLabs is a major presence, although it strikes me as far more sinister than the one in The Arrowverse. The show takes place in Central City. It feels sort of chilling to watch this entire series and realize every single person in it was killed by the Monitor in Elseworlds. If I were a huge fan of the show, I would be super PO-ed at the Arrowverse producers. As it stands, it makes the series a little creepy to watch in hindsight.

This is no more bizarre than Quantum Leap or other shows like it. ***1/2.

The Flash "Out Of Control"

As a rule, second episodes of TV shows tend to be worse than the Pilots. This is especially true of GOOD TV shows. So I always treat the sophomore episode a little bit gentle knowing this.

This problem here is that this was outright awful. It's concerning it's this bad early in the show's run. The Pilot movie was fine. It had its flaws, but it was watchable and decent. This is just...

The acting is terrible. And the pacing in the show is far too slow. For The Fastest Man Alive, Barry always takes his sweet time in getting there. And this has nothing to do with how crappy the effects are (although CW Barry would simply vibrate the glass to shatter it, instead of scratching out a circle in a ridiculously slow fashion). If the CW's Flash had effects this primitive it would still work because the pacing is fast enough. The problem with the show is that Flash is going up against normal people who shouldn't be giving him the slightest bit of trouble, and they make him look bad that they are.

Also, it appears the cast is far too small for an hour long series with this premise. People decry the CW soap opera of The Arrowverse all the time. But the truth is the extra characters lift a ton of the weight off Grant Gustin's shoulders, and make the Flash's plots more manageable than if they had to stretch every single Barry / Iris dilemma to last an entire episode by themselves. And I'm thinking the show probably would have been better off as a half-hour series. Unfortunately in 1990, networks were not in the habit of creating half hour shows with no comedy and no laugh tracks. But this was far too padded.

And yeah, the acting is outright bad, even for this era of television. This is the era of sharp camera angles and "dun dun dun" music, (by the late, great Shirley Walker) but that only works if the actors convince me the scenario IS actually this crazy, and they aren't just bad actors. They're bad actors here. Amanda Pays was totally unconvincing, which is sad because she has definitely grown as an actress in her later career.

On the other hand, I would have bashed the dialogue in the scene where Barry and Tina get into a spat and she accuses him of being jealous, but the truth is, that was pretty much how dialogue between the Will They Or Won't They couple went on every single show, good or bad during this era. I'm not going to penalize this show for the exact same terrible dialogue as between Sam and Diane from Cheers, and David and Maddie from Moonlighting, while those two shows were showered with awards and critically loved. It's just something I have to accept about television back then. It was as a rule, terrible. It's not terrific now, but our standards have been raised by some terrific stuff, so even a scene where the characters are jealous and denying it would be done with some actual nuance. I see similar scenes between the love interests now, but they are written and performed in a more credible way. But yeah, 1990 was a rough era for television. And it was still more grounded (as a rule) than previous stuff. Writing on television tends to get better year by year, no matter what the critics think. It's mostly because shows like the Flash and every show that came before it have spent over 70 years of TV history showing current producers what does and doesn't work. I fully expect most TV in ten years to be more well-written than TV is currently too. That's just the way taste and society seems to work.

For the record, dumb stuff will always have its place in society. In reality shows. Scripted stuff for adults will simply never be as bad as it used to be ever again. And that's fine. I'll take decent dramas and comedies while the fools enjoy Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. But in order to get there we had to have shows like this one first.

Somehow I don't think the threat to "slap those guys' butts in prison" means what Lieutenant Garfield thinks it does.

Iris in Paris is this show washing their hands of her entirely. I don't mind. She wasn't memorable enough in the Pilot to merit a dramatic goodbye scene / dump. It's probably for the best.

Ultimately, I think even if this show is inferior to all of the other superhero shows that came around a couple of decades later, it's because of this show and rare other superhero shows like Lois And Clark which is why superhero shows are the way they are now. For good or ill, current Comic Book based television has learned what to do and what NOT to do because shows like this one were experimenting with the formula this early on. They set the tone and the learning curve. If I finish all 22 episodes and wind up thinking it's a crap series, I won't think less of it. Because the fact that it's a cr*p series informed better shows that came later about what did and didn't work. And as bad as this episode is, it's something I have to take into account whether it sucked or not. *1/2.

The Flash "Watching The Detectives"

Oh, man, I loved that.

I love how the series somehow manages to be both Noirish and hard-boiled. It's not exactly convincing, but none of hard-boiled Noir actually is, so it's consistent at least.

"Let's see how YOU look in red, Mr. Allen," was like the perfect way to end the teaser. SO great. I loved Megan Lockhart. Her actress was a knock-out too, which was VERY right for Noir.

For the record, Julio sucks at his job. While Barry is trying to interview the woman in the shop about what she saw, he's interrupting them with nonsense about the curios in the shop.

Dick Miller! Yay! I love the Flash using his powers to actually win 3-card Monty.

I felt less good about him using it to cheat a casino. That's actually against the law.

Seeing all of those huge fireball practical effects reminds me how totally unsafe Hollywood used to be. Nobody would ever use that much practical fire nowadays, much less let kids near it. What's weird is that current stuff seems less intense without it. But at the same time, I'll take more measured thrills for less dead stuntmen and actors, especially children. So, yeah. That was still pretty explosive. Literally.

I love that the firebug seems to be a Jesus freak. Tying the Flash into the devil felt appropriate too.

What a great episode. ****1/2.

The Flash "Honor Among Thieves"

I think the DC project this most resembles is Batman '89. It has the moody Noir city, the dark orchestrals, and the Flash mostly goes up against mobsters instead of supervillains. It's very clear they took the essence of Tim Burton's film and tried to translate it to television. As someone who has never believed either Burton film was actually all that good, they did a passable job in my book.

Ian Buchanan creeping like a 90's creeper.

Speaking of which, the topless woman falling into his arms reminds of something that most people don't realize is true. But television was a LOT sexier 30 years ago. This was slightly before NYPD Blue, but a scene like that happens almost as an afterthought with no fuss or no muss. The Arrowverse doesn't actually do too many sex scenes, but any time they do, they are clearly carefully choreographed to not upset the censors. Shows didn't actually have to do that back in 1990. They just showed random titillating crap and called it a day. There is no single person more responsible for ruining current television than Janet Jackson. It amazes me that because of her, this is such a freaking ordeal now. And that was almost twenty years ago. And it still hasn't gotten better since then. And this was an 8:00 PM family friendly show. Things have gotten WAY stricter in the meantime.

How is it that Julio still cannot tell Barry is the Flash? He's a dummy.

Is Celia Wayne related to Bruce? A black sheep if she is, for sure. "Fourth and Garrick" was almost certainly a comic book reference too.

I love the Flash stealing and then eating that whole turkey at end. It's just so random and funny that I appreciate it more than most of this show.

All in all, that was a bit dull. But on the other hand, I couldn't pick too much wrong with it either. Average episode in my book. ***.

The Flash "Double Vision"

The opening tracking shot of the Day of the Dead crowd at the beginning was very interesting because they went so long before they cut from it.

This episode makes it very clear to me why the series was over-budget and always running behind schedule. Take the scene of Barry eating that huge bowl of cereal in one go. Because they use time elapse photography for the speed effects, somebody had to sit in front of a camera and empty that entire bowl with a single spoon. Similarly, Flash stacking the Virgin Mary statues on the shelf would have also taken an amazingly long time and effort to film. There's not much benefit to that visually, is there? Unfortunately the only real speed effects they could afford was of Flash doing normal stuff really fast. And the stuff he seems to do is always so mundane.

This is Richard Belzer before he was in everything. I bet the dude's face was craggy in his teens.

Decent episode but I see why it only lasted a season. ***.

The Flash "Sins Of The Father"

The music during the chain gang scene at the beginning: Yup, that's a Shirley Walker score.

I found all of the tough guy talk very unconvincing and badly written and acted. They sound about as convincing as Saturday morning cartoon characters from the 1970's. No, you know what? The Flintstones. All of the crooks on The Flintstones sounded exactly like this.

One way the new show is vastly superior to the old, isn't because Nora is dead there. It's that Henry and Barry had an amazing and heartwarming relationship. I find Henry a bit annoying and jerkish on this show. John Wesley Shipp always struck me as a far more fabulous Henry than he was a Barry. And he was actually a decent Barry.

How can a blind guy recognize a ten dollar bill by feel? One of the most frustrating things about U.S. currency for blind people is that the bills are all the same size. You can't act like they aren't just to make a blind guy seem extra sharp. I doubt even Daredevil can read paper currency.

The thing with the dog and the glove was a bit tiresome. I sincerely doubt anyone would recognize the Flash's costume by a single glove. Has the Flash even been seen in public yet? Yeah, Henry gets a glimpse this episode but I hardly think he'd be putting two and two together. He is utterly nonplussed over Barry's ludicrous explanation as to why he's there. He doesn't strike me as the sharpest bulb. The episode is trying to make connections and plot turns that just aren't there.

There is something about Shipp's Flash that is very unlike Grant Gustin's. He acts a lot like Batman at times. The whole "urban legend" thing lends itself to that, but this Flash gets people to talk by threatening them with his freaky and scary-seeming powers. It's a very interesting dynamic. It doesn't strike me as off-key either, which is partly why I like it. It's just different.

Fun real-life factoid. Throwing knives at people from a distance doesn't actually work. Hicks shouldn't have been able to hit him, much less have the blade lodge perfectly in his spine. I suspend disbelief for Batman's sake. I don't do it for the human crooks.

I think Barry missed the boat in comforting his father about Donella's death. Henry believes Donella got killed because he involved him. Were Barry a tad smarter he'd point out that Hicks probably would have gone after the guy anyways, but at least he had a bit of warning. It's not much comfort because the warning didn't help, but it is something to say he was better off than if Henry kept this to himself.

Upon Henry's tantrum in the lab, I realized he was probably a really lousy police officer. Not just because he's too aggressive and doesn't understand modern police work. It's that he clearly has a hair-trigger temper, and doesn't do well under pressure. And what I loved is that Barry called him on it. How cool was that? It led to a bit of a (badly written) heart-to-heart, so it was clearly the right move.

Bad cop or not, he isn't useless. I really liked how in the scene in the dark he doesn't take Hick's bait to open up a dialogue and reveal his position.

I don't like the show wanting me to think Barry repeatedly beating Hicks in the face was overkill. I wasn't. If he had killed him, as far as I'm concerned, that woulda been a "clean shot". The guy refused to take his defeat for an answer, and kept getting back up and trying to kill the heroes while they are trying to wrap up. I do not think Barry is being unreasonable for making sure the guy is actually down. If he hadn't turned into Carrie's hand, we'd talk about police brutality, but the guy refused to take the hint.

Here is another problem: The thing with Henry and the bulldozer. Does Flash ALWAYS have to cut things so freaking close? The answer is no. Flash is the ONE hero who should never be cutting things close. I understand the need to make the character slightly incompetent because he isn't fighting supervillains outside of The Trickster. But Hicks never would have even GOTTEN into the bulldozer if Grant Gustin were on the job. Heck, he wouldn't even have gotten near it. It would have been a nonfactor, and we wouldn't even be talking about it. Shame, John Wesley Shipp. Shame.

The episode had a lot problems to put it mildly. **1/2.

The Flash "Child's Play"

Every generation you get one or two kid actors you see in EVERYTHING. Fred Savage was one such actor in the 1980's as were Corey Feldman and River Phoenix. Max Charles is a current example. Back in the early 90's it was Jonathan Brandis. He committed suicide later on, so I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but he did not have the raw talent Fred Savage and River Phoenix did. I need to be mindful that SeaQuest is not actually his fault, but I don't blame Wil Wheaton for Star Trek either, and thought his turn in Stand By Me was amazing. Brandis either never got a great role, or never turned a good one into that. But he was in everything in the early 90's.

Here is an observation about this episode and television in general back then: The kid is real zero. He's a loathsome little twerp. TV back then was so weird because whenever it had random orphans that the various heroes encountered, they were always this specifically unlikable and rude. And it bothers me that I don't see the selling point of any show doing that. Do the producers think we WANT to see Barry help a kid who treats everyone like garbage? He's a loser of a human being. Juvie is the best place for him. Why does the show want me to think differently? If they did, they could have you know, TRIED making me like the character. It's not hard. I don't understand why TV back then always made things with kids in them such a chore to watch. The reason people who watch TV hate fictional kids is because it's clear the writers do too and are taking it out on their characters. And I'm not going to say virtuous kids are more interesting or better than badly behaving ones. Wesley Crusher is proof that's not true (although I think that kid was a little more rotten than the producers intended him to be). But would it be too much to ask for a kid who isn't a total creep, and the kind of loud-mouthed person you always cross the street to get away from? There has to be a line between a profane, preteen smoker and Wesley Crusher. And the fact that TV back then didn't seem to even KNOW that which is why TV is much better today.

Here is a sad fact: It's not MUCH better. While kids on TV are more varied and well-rounded nowadays, this specific kind of twerp is still a thing. This kid is Joffrey before Jack Gleason was even born. It puzzles me the show is asking me to sympathize and root for Joffrey. At least I'm supposed to and allowed to hate Joffrey. I don't get television back then. At all.

As annoying as the kids are, it's not like the villains were any better-written. The writing in this episode was just lousy in general. Unfortunately, when you involve kids in a project that doesn't usually have then a SMART show will up their game in response. Believe it or not, that's what Star Trek usually did. Every other kid but Wesley was all right on that show. But the villains here are dumb too.

The Batman and Superman movies are playing at the local theater. The actual real-world movies. Nope, I don't accept that. I never accepted David E Kellly's meta b.s. over his characters in various shows that had crossed over referencing the shows themselves in unrelated episodes, and I don't accept this. This is Wookies on Endor for me: That Does Not Make Sense.

Is it just me or did that drug deal play out far too long? The undercover cop got far too beat up considering Barry watched the whole thing. As far as Speedsters go, this version of the Flash is awfully slow.

Since when does bean dip cause cancer? Pretty sure there's no cholesterol in it either. The writers on this show are outright dumb.

I can't tell what is the worse idea: Having the couple of sociopathic kids help out in a vet's office, or Barry thinking the best thing for a grieving widow's mental health would be to look after a couple of psychopathic nightmares. Did I mention TV back then was stupid?

For the record, there is no boy that age that would ever send away a hot young woman wearing that particular skimpy outfit. Particularly since the episode hints he's actually straight.

West? Related to Iris and Wally, or does the show merely not know what it is doing? I'm guessing the latter.

As far as villains go, I think hippies were even dated in 1990. No credible show back then would use them in this way. That's strictly Batman '66 stuff.

Speaking of Batman adaptations, it amazes me how much this show owes Tim Burton's first Batman film. The Dark Deco is the biggest thing it takes from it. The other thing is weird because it doesn't actually NEED to borrow it. But almost all of the Flash action scenes take place at night. That's a Batman specific thing. Most other heroes stop bank robbers in the middle of the day. But Flash takes on drug dealers and mob bosses in the middle of the night. Which is very strange to me.

Here's an unusual opinion: Shirley Walker's music for the prison fight was awful. The scene was awful, but the music helped nothing. If anything, it made it even worse. More bad music is during Flash giving Terry a "ride". Hearing the kid scream "Awesome!" is exactly as insufferable as you imagined it would be. Also terrible was Flash with the guitar and the kid punching out the woman. If this episode wasn't the lowlight of Walker's entire career, I'd be shocked.

Flash wrecking the dude's car: I can't help but remember what Batman once said to Alfred on Batman: The Animated Series: Between a couple of guys, that's REAL personal.

Two good things to note before I close the books on this lousy episode.

1. The show dealt with Flash being able to vibrate through walls for the first time, as well as the idea that his fast metabolism makes him immune to booze and drugs.

2. As awful as the villains were, I have to concede as far as evil plans go, turning the entire city into drug addicts did not suck. It's no blotting out the sun for sure, but it's actually a really good plan as far as a villain on this show goes. And even if I hated the rest of the episode, I'll give it that. Drug dealers creating their own mass market by force is a very clever and sinister plan.

But yes, I DID hate the rest of the episode. *.
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
The Flash "Shroud Of Death"

Julio is getting suspicious at the right time. I don’t think Barry’s jive at the end fully fooled him though. What I think happened is it made him realize Barry didn’t trust him so he dropped it. That’s kind of a bummer to think about and realize, especially for a show that lasted just one season and whose entire Universe was destroyed 25 years later on the Arrowverse.

It’s interesting that Julio is asking questions when he is. Because the idea that Garfield was going to go to Angel’s house and kill her never occurred to him. Maybe the real reason he’s been fooled all this time is simply that he’s not too bright.

I like Garfield and Mavis just because the both of them don’t take their screaming matches seriously. Which is most people and something television doesn’t usually get. I find him and Mavis bursting in laughter immediately upon calling the wedding off far more true to life than couple on modern shows breaking up and getting back together week to week to string the audience along. It’s kind of funny I saw this type of relationship on this show, which is much less realistic than the current DC stuff in any other respect.

But just in case you think all of the shipping stuff on this show is mature, it can’t help but have Barry and Tina act like sullen teenagers.

Walter Olkewicz got cast in everything in the late 80’s and early 90’s and I really enjoyed watching his fearful reactions to Angel. And his expression is resignation. She figured it out after all. To be honest, his dialogue in the episode about only illegal things being fun was quite clunky. The show does not have realistic talking criminals. In fairness to this show, none of the other shows back then, even cops shows, did. It’s more a problem of the era than the series.

The Flash is still far too slow. He should have been able to head off Garfield immediately and Angel slipping past him twice rankles me too. The producers have no idea how to write a character with his specific amazing power level. It’s a running joke how slow the Flash is to respond to a crisis.

Still it was an interesting episode. ****.

The Flash “Ghost In The Machine”

That was a little bit awesome.

I love the flashback at the beginning. It’s black and white, the sets and props are old-timey and the music is of that era. Very authentic and well done.

I feel like this episode was a bit ahead of its time. I imagine if it had been made ten years later people would have shrugged. But the central problem of the Ghost taking over TV’s and computers because of connectivity was pretty much theoretical in 1990 and not much else. The internet sort of existed (barely) but nothing real-world was as attached to it as it later wound up becoming. A few years later we became dependent enough on computers that Y2K was actually a fear. We weren’t quite there is 1990 so this episode is speculating on a future problem ten years early.

Speaking of which I love Nightshade. But the tranquilizer gun amuses me because it’s portrayed as nifty. Those are actual things now, and used by cops and bounty hunters and the like. The episode really did seem ahead of its time.

I liked seeing Ian Ambercrombie in his fifties. I liked the notion that the Ghost didn’t care that Belle aged and he didn’t. I like the idea that Ghost expressing his surprise that Nightshade was a colored man provokes Desmond to call him a relic. That more than anything else says how out of step he is.

I wish the show had let Barry share his secret. But superhero projects were a LOT stingier with the secret identities then than they are now.

Flash in the TV’s at the end was so cheesy. Terrible effects there.

Still this episode was a total gem otherwise. 5 stars. *****.

The Flash “Sight Unseen”

It’s really nice to get a villain with superpowers (in this case invisibility).

And the car was driving itself! Dun dun dun!

Quinn was so loathsome. I hated every inch of him.

I don’t just think Reg misplaced the Flash’s voice as Barry’s. I’m think he knows they are the same person. And if he didn’t before he sped off, he does now.

The pacing of the episode was unusually slow, even for this show.

Usually I talk smack about Barry being too late to save lives, but at least in Cartwright’s case he had a decent excuse. He was in handcuffs in his civilian identity. I don’t usually believe the Flash ever has a good reason to be late. But that definitely qualified.

The inftared effects were both low-tech and cool looking.

I felt like the episode’s pacing was so off, because the script was probably short. And the episode feels padded for it. Not my favorite. ***.

The Flash “Beat The Clock”

Honestly? This annoyed me so much that I was rooting against it the entire time, but I wound up sort of liking it by the end in spite of myself.

First off, this episode was obviously written by a white person. None of the dialogue feels authentic. But truthfully that's always been a problem with the show, and race sensitivity has nothing to do with it. White crooks on this show have dialogue equally as unconvincing as here.

I was mad that the incriminating tape got run over by the truck. Is Barry the Flash or not? It was right freaking there! Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

I very much doubt family members are allowed in execution chambers to give last minute hugs and fond farewells to the condemned. Here's my problem: Maybe they should be. I'd be madder at this fake turn if I didn't think it should actually be the reality.

I also think very little of the show with creating the unlikely idea of a temporary amnesia drug. Who would actually need that? Why would that even exist? Not even Cosby would.

But Barry smashing the guy with cymbals was a great laughline, and the climax had just enough curveballs and frustrations to be genuinely exciting. Technically, this was a bad episode. But I still kind of dug it. ***.

The Flash "The Trickster"

Mark Hamill still has a career. Despite the fact that he never had the movie career he wanted after Star Wars, he still gets work. In fact, it's arguable he is more famous for voicing the Joker than he is as Luke Skywalker at this point. Why does Hamill still get cast in a ton of stuff despite his movie career fizzling?

It's because he took on roles like the Trickster. It's frankly a crap role that Hamill makes all his own, and it's not only to Hamill's credit, but to the show's for taking this specific risk they did on him. And there is a fearlessness to Hamill's performance and a refreshing lack of vanity for the guy who used to head the biggest box office franchise of all time.

To be honest, not everything works. It is hard for the show to catch up with Hamill's manic energy with both pacing and visual effects on a TV budget, especially a 1990 TV budget. But this works a lot better than the boring Cesar Romero trying and failing the exact same shtick on the Batman TV show. The Trickster is everything Romero's Joker should have been but wasn't. The fact that Hamill quickly became known as the best Joker too is something I especially enjoyed, because I outright hated Romero in the role, and I especially hated how glowing his reviews from fanboys are. Hamill has the correct take in how to do this specific type of character. I also must point out that Frank Gorshin was amazing as the Riddler on that same Batman show, and nobody seems to put it together at how bad Romero was in comparison. It's a bit infuriating. Brent Spiner on Young Justice was a pretty crappy Joker, and got the proper level of bad reviews for that. But he was still 100 times the Joker Romero was. And Hamill shows it's actually possible to play this specific sort of role with enough of a lack of vanity to be convincing. Romero had so much vanity in the role, he refused to shave off his mustache to protect his masculine reputation. He was all wrong for that role and that show, and it cheeses me off that he's remembered fondly. Mark Hamill played the Trickster originally twice on this show, and he was far more memorable and convincing than Romero was in three full seasons and a movie.

I love the idea that Bellows is convinced Murphy is the Flash. It's not a terrible idea, but it presupposes that everyone not seen in the same room as the Flash is a suspect, which is stupid. But Murphy HAS been noticeably absent in some remarkably Flash-adjacent adventures. I get Bellows' suspicions. It's dumb, but I see why he has it.

I love that they couldn't get Richard Belzer for Joe Klein so they substituted Tim Stack for Jack Cline. It's lazy casting, but it works because it means Belzer can actually come back when he's available.

Wait, Barry has never run 150 miles? I keep saying Barry is pathetic. But in fairness, it keeps coming up.

I love that Megan is the one who gets the upper hand with the Trickster, because let's be brutally honest. There is an incel, rapist subtext to Jesse throughout the entire episode. I would have actually liked Batman: The Animated Series' "Mad As A Hatter" (which is terrible despite what deluded fans will tell you) if Kimmy Robertson's Alice had been permitted to knock Jervis Tetch's stinking lights out like he so richly deserved. Megan Lockhart is nobody's weepy victim. And I freaking love that.

I am also very happy with how the series handled Barry and Tina. I did not initially like the fact that Barry slept with Megan, because it is very clear early in the episode that Tina believes she and Barry are actually a couple in all but name only. And you can tell he knows she thinks this, and doesn't immediately disabuse her of that notion. What's cool is that as the episode goes along, Tina gets it and gives Barry her blessing, and Barry tells her how much her friendship means to him. I hate love triangles in fiction, and I love that this show went out of its way to avoid one. Frankly, as far as I was concerned, it went above and beyond the call of duty. I would have tolerated some jealousy. I wouldn't have liked it, but I'd like GET it. Instead the series gave me everything I ever wished about 'ships for Christmas. Well done.

It's easy to see why Hamill made such an impression with fans for this role in only two appearances. He's arguably the best thing on the show. *****.

The Flash "Tina, Is That You?"

Easily the worst episode of the series. Not even close.

I am a little perplexed in how I should review that. Ultimately the episode is worthless, and effects nothing in the bigger scheme of things. I could say, "It sucks" and leave it at that. I have done that for terrible episodes before. And as awful as it is, it's not as bad as some episode I've dismissed with a couple of sentences. Is this the correct episode to waste time doing an in-depth review for?

Ultimately, it's the way this episode failed which convinced me to go into a bit of detail here. And the way it failed is that it was a complete and utter mess. And the reason it was a mess is worth going into because it's probably the real reason the series was canceled, despite getting good ratings and favorable reviews from fans and critics. This episode showed why this show was not in it for the long haul.

The editing is absolutely terrible. The ADR is so blatant and noticeable I get the distinct impression they rewrote the entire script while they were filming it. The series was notorious for always coming in late, and being held back for production reasons. This is an episode that was rushed to air, that any other show would have either scrapped entirely, or put in another couple of months to fix. But because this show had so few episodes in the can, they had to rush to air everything they DID film, and if it's mess, you notice when it isn't fixed in post. Everything on the production side of the episode was completely unprofessional and looks like amateur hour in the production offices. It's not even getting into the fact that everyone was acting out of character and the plot made no sense. Those things, which are usually make-or-break for good television, are the least of the episode's problems, which says how bad things have gotten.

The best I can do in this review without obsessing over it, is to briefly write down the plotholes and bad writing that I objected to in a sentence or two for each mistake. I feel the need to comment on these mistakes, but not the need the dwell on them, as the episode had far larger problems.

Most annoying boners:

1. The Flash using a fan as a metal buzzsaw is stupid and a cartoon.

2. Lisa says that Barry explained everything about Tina's behavior, and she forgives her at the end. In reality, there is no explanation Barry could give that would satisfy a woman in Lisa's position, unless he directly revealed he was the Flash. Since he didn't, it's nonsense Lisa hugs Tina goodbye.

3. Speaking of which, the series takes to note that Tina didn't out Flash's identity when she could have. But that intent almost doesn't matter. She was so sloppy about baiting Flash and Barry, that if either Lisa ot the Black Roses were even slightly more observant, they'd realize they were the same person. She was playing things far too fast and loose for me not to believe Barry was NOT outed.

4. Barry dropped a construction ball on the crashing car, and Harley was killed. Do you know another word for that? Murder. It's hard to believe that not only does Barry as the Flash does not seem to have to answer for that with the authorities, but he doesn't even seem to feel guilty, or act like he did something wrong, or even made a mistake. Dropping that ball was liable to kill EVERYONE in that car, to be honest, so I don't know what Barry was thinking, or why he thought that would make a good end to a car chase of people who aren't actually a match for him. And it's the fact that they aren't a match for him which is why it's murder.

5. Everyone's opinions and personalities changed on a dime. The kid in the bank who goes from being the Flash biggest fan to his biggest detractor in the space of second is one of those things that show why the production was so troubled, and the finished film looks so clunky. There is nothing believable or credible to how the characters reacted to things, and that includes the background characters, and not just the main heroes. The episode was a total mess from top to bottom.

I do not like to think an episode like this is representative of the show. But I think it's a good representation of what was WRONG with the show, and why CBS probably got fed up with the production always being such a tightrope and filled with unnecessary behind-the-scenes drama. Yeah, the show put up credible ratings against The Simpsons and Cosby. But maybe production was so bad that that wasn't actually worth it. And there is something to that idea after seeing this specific episode. I understand why CBS got cold feet when they did. 0.

The Flash "Be My Baby"

That was diverting enough, but things fell apart by the end. Story of this show's life.

First off, the teaser and end credits are missing on DC Universe. So I missed the beginning.

1991 Bryan Cranston! Malcolm's Dad is creeping like a creeper.

Bellows and Murphy dressing like women undercover while one of them has a mustache is one of the reasons TV back then was so horrible. It's unprofessional and unrealistic, and bound to tip off competent bad guys. But it works instead. Really, TV back then was absolutely terrible. This is the kind of thing that happened matter of course. We wouldn't put up with it today.

And in case the scenario isn't ludicrous enough Garfield as a bum has a walkie-talkie shaped like a wine bottle.

Garfield had a good moment by yelling at the mother and correctly telling her the guy wasn't going to stop. Not exactly an example of male sensitivity in an abuse scenario. But he's right too which was interesting.

Dick Miller does what Dick Miller does best: A memorable cameo.

Flash was SO pathetic this episode. The fact that all that went down in his apartment and he got there almost too late is bad enough. But while he's playing speed tricks with the lackey, Moses steals the baby right from under him. The writers really had NO idea how to write for a character this powerful.

The episode is amusing in places, I suppose, but it isn't acceptable by modern standards. ***.

The Flash "Fast Forward"

When it comes to mediocre TV shows, there are bad episodes and there are bad episodes... And then there are episode's like The Flash 1990's "Fast Forward". I will say up-front I will not give this episode zero stars. It has its epic heart in the right place, and were the budget bigger, the admittedly tightly boarded climax would have played better. But every inch of it rubbed me the wrong way anyways. Basically, before I go into nitpicker mode, I'm gonna have to clear my throat to do my best Comic Book Guy impression.

Do you know what will be fun? If I number the mistakes. Just so you can see how many I saw off of the top of my head.

1. First and biggest mistake, and if we're being honest, the only one that counts, is the idea that without the Flash, Pike takes over the city ten years later and turns it into a fascist hellhole. Now trust me, due to recent real-world events, I find the scenario a lot more credible than I did ten years ago, but Pike is the absolute worst choice of a character to turn things into Brave New Central City. He's a bit pathetic in my book, and if a Universe needs a costumed person not to fall under a person this loathsome's sway, maybe the tragedy of Barry's Universe being destroyed in The Arrowverse's Elseworlds Crossover is not really a tragedy at all. Brave New Metropolis makes sense. Regardless of whether or not Superman is too stupid in that dark alternate Universe to be believable, he could totally take over Metropolis if he wanted to. As seen on Justice League, he could take over the world. The show acting like a crook who got off on the murder of a cop on a technicality got as far as he did is frankly insulting to my intelligence.

2. Moving on. After Garfield chides Barry for punching Pike in a restaurant full of witnesses Barry lamely protests "He provoked me." No, Barry, the right response is to say he confessed to killing your brother, and revealed a terrorist plot. Let his lawyer defend that. Barry seems awfully resentful of the limits of the law. But he wasn't using what WAS in his legal power to his advantage. If the public hears Barry claim that Pike confessed using the specific words he did, Pike has some explaining to do. And in politics when you're explaining, you're losing. I don't consider it chivalrous that Barry nobly refuses to admit why he punched Pike. It's actually stupid and working against what he wants.

3. The time travel scenario didn't make sense. I can shut off my brain and say a missile and Flash's powers flung him into the future. Time Travel is a staple of this franchise. But Tina's plan was dumb and shouldn't have worked. If he DID go into the future by traveling faster than the speed of light, he can't go back the same way. That particular time travel theory only goes in one direction. It's admittedly a scientifically valid theory as far as time travel nonsense goes. But no time travel show should EVER use it because there is no way present to reverse it.

4. Speaking of time travel rules not making sense, why does the Barry we spent the adventure with merge with the Barry in the past? It's a nice way to not have to hit the Total Resent Button with what the character went through, as well as a neat way have Barry keep the memories without losing his power permanently. But it doesn't follow any time travel logic. In reality, the Barry we saw in the future would simply blink out of existence.

5. Tina is dumb. Barry is dumb too, but that usually goes without saying. The reason Tina is dumb is when Barry freezes upon Julio's "death" Tina says, "We have to get moving or Julio will have died for nothing!" Is she a scientist or not? Does she actually understand the plan she herself came up with or not? She should be saying "Barry, you ignorant cretin, if you get moving, JULIO WILL NOT HAVE DIED AT ALL!! GET IT TOGETHER!!!"

6. Because Barry is dumb, maybe this one doesn't count as a mistake, but I will count it anyways. But Barry is shocked, SHOCKED to see Julio alive and well at the end. I can dig that. Barry is stupid. What I refuse to accept is that the show thinks that I, as the viewer, should be shocked and relieved. They played that moment up as if it were Bobby Ewing inexplicably in the shower on Dallas. And seeing them do that made me think "This show thinks I'm dumb". For the record, before this episode aired, Quantum Leap was an already established TV show. It had similar time travel problems, but it never assumed the audience couldn't follow them, or acted like changes in the timeline were actually shocking to the audience itself. Moving on.

7. Barry thinks that's the same dog. Barry is stupid. And a bad pet owner if he can't tell the difference.

8. Barry tells his dog to lay off the dog biscuits. Here's a question, even assuming Barry is dumb enough to think his dog understands that, what possible good will that suggestion do him? Is he getting fat and needs to watch his figure? Enlighten me, writers, the cautions dogs need against eating dog biscuits. I'm sure the answer will fascinate me.

9. Going back to the idea that Pike turns Central City into a dictatorship, the real reason that's nonsense is because The United States still exists. You honestly expect they wouldn't step in if a terrorist seizes power of a city and starts rounding up people to be lobotomized? I cannot fault the show entirely for this idea. Gotham City and Batman have gone through this ridiculous idea many times, and that was the entire plot of the surprisingly taken-seriously big budget movie The Dark Knight Rises. DC Comics likes to act like terrorism exists in a vacuum, and that any city that falls victim to it is on its own. Nah.

10, This is not actually a mistake, because Barry details why Tina is wrong quite well (especially for a dumb guy), but Tina is acting shockingly insensitively at the beginning. She's telling him to calm down. The guy who killed his brother is trying to frame him for his murder, and public opinion is starting to accept that idea. If Barry wasn't flipping out, there would actually be something wrong with him. I don't think this was an especially great moment for the show to put them into a lover's spat. Not a good look for Tina.

Those are the biggest and most noticeable mistakes off of the top of my head. Get me to watch it again, and I'll remember ten more I forgot. Don't make me watch it again, all right?

I should probably mention the good things. The explosion of the lab as the time travel happens is very good storytelling, or would be if the show has the budget for an explosion. But the Universe resetting upon a lovers' parting and self-sacrifice is a legit sci-fi trope. The Star Trek sequel series have done variations on it, and the first and most memorable example for me was the X-Men: The Animated Series two-parter "One Man's Worth". As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the show's heart is mostly in the right place when attempting (and failing) this specific type of epic storytelling.

I love the Flash Museum. Yes, it's underwhelming, but the show does SO few nods to the comics, (that I don't even read) that I'll take the nerdgasm where I can get it.

I also love that Barry being outed in the future is no big deal. Neither Julio or Garfield rakes him over the coals for supposedly lying to them all this time, and the rest of the city is surprisingly chill and accepting of this revelation too. And I think that was a very cool and interesting choice you don't often see. The episode spent a lot of time saying why the future sucked. I appreciated it saying one of the few ways the future is actually cooler.

So, yeah, that was mess. I will not give a Comic Book Guy "Worst episode ever!", but if I had a beard, I wouldn't comb the Sweet-Tarts out of it either. Don't try to change me, baby. Now let me waddle over to my dial-up 1990's computer and take ten hours downloading fake nudes of Captain Janeway. Freakin' kids. *.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
The Flash "Deadly Nightshade"

This episode had a great deal of potential but I don't think it worked.

Let's talk about some of the good stuff. This was overloaded with 80's and 90's genre vets including Denise Crosby and Richard Burgi. A young Jeri Lynn Ryan also has a small role as the hostage. It feels like a time capsule to see some of these people either before they got big, or during a phase of their career that was after their big thing. So that was fun.

Here's the bad thing: As a rule, one of the things I dislike about the show is that it's dialed up to 11 about stuff that shouldn't actually matter. Barry getting bad press from Joe Klein is a case in point. Yeah, he should be annoyed. But he shouldn't be questioning his entire career over it. And Deadly Nightshade referring to people as vermin is too extreme too. But I actually think in a lot of ways, this episode didn't go far enough. And none of what it failed to explore would have broken the budget, or made the show any messier after the episode was over.

The first thing they should have done is to make Deadly Nightshade's actions debatable. If a bunch of soldiers rushed into a building filled with terrorists and killed them to save the innocent woman with a gun to her throat, they'd probably get medals. That would probably even happen if they were cops and they were just crooks. I.A.B. would definitely have to be called in, but it would probably be considered a clean shoot, and at worst the cop would simply get desk duty for a couple of months. I don't agree with that, and I think that's why the police are currently so messed up, but a lot of police themselves don't have a problem with that either. There should have been a bit of controversy about Nightshade killing terrorists to save a hostage built into the story. Maybe even a few cops grumbling that Nightshade was doing the job the Flash was slacking off about, and should have been doing all along. The doctor accusing the Flash of the murders and lumping him into Nightshade's actions, was exploring the wrong controversy. The issue shouldn't have been that the Flash is over the line. It should have been whether or not the Flash actually goes far enough. And as the episode progressed, and the viewer and the city learn what a fascist murderer Deadly Nightshade is, that's where the producers would land the moral and make the distinction between what Barry does and what that crazy guy did.

The second thing is something that really surprises me, because this is the precise kind of show that would have jumped at doing that under most circumstances. I'm thinking they (incorrectly) thought it would make Barry look bad. But when Barry sees Nightshade on camera taking responsibility for the murders and threatening more, he should have initially not realized it was an impostor. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't have had Barry in the same room with Powell when the footage aired, so that Powell wouldn't have the benefit of explaining himself in the moment. I'd have Barry with Tina and maybe talk about "This is a nightmare. He's knows I'm the Flash and we've worked together. What if when he gets taken down I get wrapped up in it as his accomplice because of that fact?" And maybe, if the show was a being little bit weak-hearted, it could have Barry and Tina work out for themselves in five minutes Powell would never do that, or even a LITTLE worse, they believe Powell when Barry talks to him about it later. But the fact that that idea isn't broached at ALL is a little strange, especially because Barry is not the brightest bulb in the drawer, and the entire premise of the show often involves mistaken identity. The episode as it was wasn't terrible. But it also didn't deliver the aspects of a good episode this premise should have.

Gorilla Grodd is disappointingly mentioned as a villain Powell tangled with back in the day. The fact that nothing else is said about the inherent craziness of the character suggests to me that in this specific continuity, Grodd was a human mobster with a silly nickname. It's not like the show does a ton of Easter Eggs for the fans. But if I were a DC comic book fan watching that over the air in 1991, I'd be super disappointed.

The episode disappointed me in general. **1/2.

The Flash "Captain Cold"

I like this interpretation of Captain Cold. He's not like any other I've seen, but he's still, to pardon the pun, cool. I think his quips got terrible by the end, but I mostly liked him. Like most interpretations, he has a code of honor. Even after he kills the boss who fires him, he intends on fulfilling the contract. The fact that he's an albino makes him spooky too.

I HATE the Lois Lane joke. I freaking HATE that Superman and Batman are fictional characters on this show. I HATE it.

Very smart of the reporter to guess the Flash is a cop based on him always being a step ahead. I had a couple of problems with that scene. First, she says Barry doesn't strike her as physical enough to be the Flash and he defensively says he works out. Understatement. Remember when Family Guy did that joke during the Charles In Charge clip that nobody back then had muscle tone? That was actually true. John Wesley Shipp was one of the few actors back then who was legitimately ripped. It amazes me how Scott Bakula, a hairy guy with a normal body type always had his shirt off on Quantum Leap as if he's the sexiest guy alive while there is very little cheesecake for Shipp on this show. But the idea that Barry doesn't strike someone as physical is outright laughable.

Second problem is the idea that Julio told the reporter he suspected Barry was the Flash. If he's actually his friend, he shouldn't be telling ANYONE that, much less a reporter. Maybe it's a good idea he isn't in on the secret after all. I am also a little bit annoyed that Barry doesn't seem mad or offended at Julio for doing that. He should be ranting to Tina about it, especially because he can never actually call Julio himself on it.

Young Fancois Chau! Marvin Candle never looked so good.

Do you know what amazes me about a younger Jeffrey Combs? He's thinner and his voice is slightly higher, but as a guy getting up there, he doesn't look so much different. I didn't recognize him at first because I'm used to seeing actors look super young on this 30 year old show. Combs looks about the same and I wasn't looking for that.

I have to say I wound up detesting the reporter (Terry) as the episode went on. If she had merely gotten the Flash apparently killed, I'd hate her enough. But she doesn't feel enough shame for putting him in that position and abandoning him at his weakest after he her saved life, to NOT sell the ghoulish photos she had of his supposed death. I also dislike that she supposedly learned her lesson by the end of the episode. These are all things a decent person should already know without having to be be lectured about by Barry Allen. You don't sell pictures of the guy who saved your life dying when it is your fault. The woman has no moral compass. That happy ending for her was far too good for her and completely unearned.

I feel like the budget of this episode was not used wisely. I could have lived without one freeze effect or two from Cold's battles with the Flash, because they SHOULD have demonstrated to the audience him using that power on the mob bosses at the beginning.

And Julio at the beginning claims from a forensic perspective that it's clear the frozen guys were trying to flee. That is not clear at all. All of the frozen corpses are sitting down and in relaxed positions. What's weird to me is that the show could have just had Julio say they were taken by surprise and didn't have a chance to react, and it would have matched the dummies. I get not having the budget to fix dummies that were positioned improperly. What is NOT okay is not improvising a reason in the script why they were the way they were when it was clear the dummies came out wrong.

The sneeze blowing Barry back across the room was hilarious, but honestly, I would have either cut it or saved it for a different episode if it meant they could have had Cold showing off the freeze gun properly at the beginning of the episode.

I don't object to killing Captain Cold on a story level (and I loved Garfield's "Good Humor Man" quip) but it's objectionable for a couple of reasons. The first reason that they JUST made a big to-do the last episode over how wrong Nightshade was for using deadly force. It's not a very good idea to have Flash kill a guy the next episode, make a pun, and have no-one have a problem with it.

The second thing is that it feels very dated. I don't mean necessarily killing him off, even though comic book shows and movies did that too often to villains back then. But I was excited when Captain Cold broke out of prison. Because I (wrongly) assumed that was the end of the episode, and they'd have to watch out for the guy in the future. Instead, it's actually because the episode is short. A modern show would have ended things with Cold escaping. This show seems very trapped in its era by insisting we wrap everything up immediately. What's weird is that setting up future stuff was not unheard on TV before this. Quantum Leap did tons of endings like that, and sometimes they'd even address those things again. The jailbreak leading into another act makes the show feel very quaint.

I would be more mad at Terry being dumb enough to suspect a black guy like Julio is the Flash, when the Flash is clearly white and has no beard, as she's seen him up close. But then the show does a very smart thing by suggesting he wears make-up and padding to throw people off the trail. I love it when a dumb idea sounds almost rational. This show needs to do that more.

Do you know what I like? I was about to call total foul on the fact that Cold wasn't searched before he was put in his cell. I was practically screaming at the screen about it. But the wonderful thing is that the show thinks so too. Murphy actually gets in trouble for that, and has to redeem himself by not taking credit for bringing down Cold at the end of the episode. Usually this show ignores sloppy cop and superhero work. Here, the character is properly called on it.

I am a little surprised how much I liked that. ****.

The Flash "Twin Streaks"

I loved it. It was technically 2019 bad, but it was 1991 good. I appreciate 1991 good when I see it.

Nothing says early 90's like the episode title.

Speaking of Twin Peaks, Lenny Von Dohlen had an interesting career, in that he always had movie star good looks, but always wound up playing fringe characters and freaks instead of lead roles. But I see why he was typecast after Harold Smith. He was so freaking GOOD at it.

Honestly? I think Jason is an ineffective villain, and while I CAN blame that some on the time period (back then not a ton of bad guys had nuance) his rashness and stupidity made him less of a threat than he should have been. Sure, he was the perfect jerk to drive Pollux over the edge by taunting him when he's annoyed. But I cannot really appreciate a person's supposed evil genius if they don't even have the common sense to know how to properly manipulate someone with the mind of 6-year-old. Every decision he makes is wrong, not just for his assistant who was killed, but for all of his big plans and ideas with cloning the Flash. His idea, evil as it was, did not suck. It would have been a good way to get rich and fast. And yet, he doesn't understand how careful he'd need to be able to pull this off, and thinks he can treat a blank human weapon like chattel, and not provoke a negative reaction from him. He's not just a terrible diplomat in a situation that need finesse. He can't even babysit correctly.

I love and hate the ending in equal measure. I hate it because it's predictable, and if Pollux had actually overpowered Barry and taken off, I would have been impressed, because that was the least likely outcome. Also, it made no sense for Jason to try and shoot Barry. He should have been aiming for Pollux the entire time. But the ending actually gave me a case of The Feels. My favorite thing is Pollux correctly telling Barry that Barry doesn't like him and resents him. Because he's right, at least going by Barry's earlier behavior. Granted, with his powers, he has much less to fear from Pollux than an insensitive human scientist, but he hadn't been treating him like a person either. Possibly because he was jealous that Tina was being nice to him, but he did seem far more threatened by him than he might have been if the childlike clone was of a different superhero. And even if it was bad from a storytelling logic position to have Jason try to shoot Barry, it at least gave us the emotional ending. The drama landed big time in this episode. It doesn't always on this show, but John Wesley Shipp, who is often a mixed bag as Barry, really hit it out of the park, and brought his A-game for both roles. I will concede the ending is badly written. But it's emotionally resonant, and matters in a way few of the other attempts at drama and pathos on this show actually do.

So I'm giving that episode a super high grade. ****1/2.

The Flash "Done With Mirrors"

David Cassidy was a great Mirror Master. I also love Caroline Seymour and am always happy to see her cast in shows of this era.

Stasia telling Barry she pictured him being a teacher molding the minds of nubile young co-eds is like the creepiest compliment ever.

Speaking of creepy, Barry not pulling back from the kiss at the beginning was not credible. Sam Beckett used to get similar side-eye from me on Quantum Leap for the same thing.

Wow, Barry really doesn't like snakes. That bordered on pathetic.

The Professor Zoom thing was stupid. Does Barry actually believe that claiming he invented the video game, the laserdisc, the microwave, and the digital watch gains him credibility? It makes him look like a liar instead. That was so stupid.

Noticed Garrick's Gallery.

The villain was great. Unfortunately the writing was dumb. ***.

The Flash "Good Night, Central City"

That was awful. I imagine is was acceptable in 1990 which is why I think TV back then outright stunk.

Barry Allen isn't just stupid as a scientist, or a cop, or a superhero. He's stupid as a person. He has no idea what the wiper invention does, and turns it on anyways? What kind of idiot scientist is he? And why did he change out of costume after the bank robbery instead of hightailing it out of there? Nobody would have connected him to it at ALL if he had been smart enough to not be there. And forget the Flash being lame enough to not tell if a guy is sneaking up behind him to clock him on the head. Why did he unmask THERE too?

I thought Farrow was doing the definition of overreach. Once he went to the media I was like, "There is no actual evidence against Barry. He is looking at a libel lawsuit." And then Barry is dumb enough to get himself good and framed and anyways. This show is populated by morons.

It's written by them too. Tina puts on the earplugs in her sleep? Are they freaking kidding me?

Dick Miller in a nun's habit is probably a career low-point.

They only had the bad guy crazily confess at the end because there was no other way to let Barry off the hook. I'd says he was very lucky Harry turned out to be nuts, but in reality, the show just wrote itself into a corner, and couldn't think of a better ending.

The episode had a funny line at the beginning. Bellows asks Murphy if he really counted 2300 sheep, and Murphy says he actually counted their legs and divided by four. I don't know why that tickled me, but it did.

But the episode was still a dud. *.

The Flash "Alpha"

Man, I just loved that. Forget the lameness of Omega being a fat, old Ah-nuld clone, everything else was great, including the happy ending.

And Fosnight is freaking useful. I see why Barry always gives him all of those extra chances. Very good person to have on your side.

Alpha was The Zeta Project before The Zeta Project was a thing. I wonder if this is where Robert Goodman had the idea.

The actresses for both Alpha and Powers were super hot.

Amazing episode. *****.

The Flash "The Trial Of The Trickster"

Well, that was something. Not really something GOOD, but something nonetheless.

John Wesley Shipp hated this episode because of the degrading things he was forced by the producers to do. Here's a sad fact: They probably only asked him to do the appalling things in the episode they did because he had already agreed to do a ton of embarrassing stuff earlier in the season. How were they supposed to know the guy who shrieks at imaginary snakes possesses actual shame?

For the record, it's dumb they had him do the gum stunt. You can't even tell who it is. That sort of scene is precisely why stuntmen were created in the first place.

Prank is the proto-Harley Quinn in every way. Corrine Bohrer was an actress who got cast in a lot of stuff in the late 80's and early 90's. I'm glad the CW Flash show brought her back too.

I don't believe Flash's name was cleared by the end of the episode. They should hardly be putting up his name on the town sign.

Speaking of which, the Trickster memorabilia is appalling. I get the idea of selling stuff with the Flash on it. But that's like somebody in Times Square selling Osama Bin Laden T-shirts in 2002. It's outright disgusting.

Speaking of which, Joe Klein strikes me as an even bigger scumbag in this episode than usual.

Do I have this right? The actress who actually portrays Jesse's lawyer is named Marsha Clark? Truth is stranger than fiction.

Appreciated the show didn't leave us on a cliffhanger (those were VERY popular in 1991) but it didn't exactly leave us off on an impressive place either. This was a bit too cartoony for its own good. ***.


Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2002
Troy NY
The problem with this iteration was that it was on the wrong night of the week! You'll recall that when this ran back in 1990, the #1 show on the planet was The Cosby Show. Ballgame over for The Flash. I have the DVD of the series, and I'll get back to that at some point.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
The problem with this iteration was that it was on the wrong night of the week! You'll recall that when this ran back in 1990, the #1 show on the planet was The Cosby Show. Ballgame over for The Flash. I have the DVD of the series, and I'll get back to that at some point.
It was also on against The Simpsons. But the thing is the show did respectable in the ratings against both shows. Enough so that CBS capitalized on that fact midway through the season and did the unusual move of airing a drama at 8:30 after both shows were over. The show clearly got great ratings, especially considering the timeslot. I'm thinking it was just so expensive that the great ratings weren't enough.

Networks did not stand by genre shows back then. The show could have been a top ten hit and probably would have only lasted two seasons. That's how networks treated hit genre shows. Any sign of strength and they put them in deathslots so their loyal fans had no idea when they aired (see Quantum Leap and Twin Peaks). The Flash actually did well in that timeslot considering what it was up against.

the greenman

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2006
the point of no return
They didn't take superhero series serious at all back then. Even though the series is coming out after the success of Batman '89. I've been watching this series off & on this year. Many memories. Forgot the late great Dick Miller showed up on this.

On Captain Cold, I felt this version was starkly different from being a Mr. Freeze clone. They also call him an albino which does set him apart. That would be interesting in the film to make him diverse.

Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk


Active Member
Aug 4, 2019
Everyone likes to talk about the CW 2014 TV show, but how about looking back at this 1990 Flash TV show. It feels very underrated for a show based on this superhero. It was really short lived only getting one season with 22 episodes and had budget problems like unable to have Gorilla Grodd appear as one of Flash's villains. Interesting to know The Trickster was played by Mark Hamill.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
Started a talkback myself. Don't blame you for missing it because the search function is acting up again.



Active Member
Aug 4, 2019
Started a talkback myself. Don't blame you for missing it because the search function is acting up again.

Had no idea a topic was already made, but atleast someone mentioned The first live action Flash TV show.


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NermNelly wrote on KristofLaszlo99's profile.
Hi, God and ruler of the world/Világok istene és ura!
NermNelly wrote on Palk Áron 2002's profile.
What gender do you see me as?

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