ByKhalil Johnson, writer at Creators.co
I'm a blerd, father, and superhero who loves all things geek! Follow me @alilreview
Khalil Johnson

Since the WB and UPN merged to become the CW, the network has not really been my cup of tea. It never really catered to my demographic. With the exception of maybe Star Trek Voyager and WWE’s Smackdown, there hasn’t been many shows that really peaked my interest. Most of the shows on the network have catered vastly to the “tween” demographic, nothing that really speaks to the geek.

Sorry: Smallville doesn't count. Smallville was a “Phantom Menace” for Superman, and done with the same tongue-in-cheek way that made it more childhood-killing. I didn't like the movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I never got into the show as well, and once again too tween for me. I will eventually try and play catch up on Supernatural because I hear that the show is very good, but it was something not on my radar 10 years ago and never bothered to watch. Eventually I will give it a shot due to word of mouth, and do a massive Netflix binge.

However, I discovered three shows that have once again peaked my interest: The Flash, Arrow, and The 100.

The Flash:

With massive promotion from CW, it was impossible to not know that The Flash TV show was coming. Having not watched Arrow (at the time), I was curious to see if the show would be good. I’m not the biggest DC comics fan (much more a Marvel fan), but I am a core Justice League fan and will give anything with the core characters a shot. My rule for watching a TV show is to watch the first two episodes, and if they do not capture my interest, then I stop watching. That did not happen at all during the first two episodes for Flash.

One thing that makes The Flash very interesting is the fact that it actually is sticking to the comics. It almost seemed as though the show runners actually cared about the property they were producing and tried to remain as faithful to the source as possible. The show really does stick to the story of Barry Allen as he becomes [The Flash](series:1068303) after being hit by a lightning bolt from the Particle Accelerator. The show does a great job displaying his powers and how everything works for The Flash. From the first episode, there is a possible reference to the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a major DC Comics storyline where The Flash sacrifices himself to save the universe. Of course, the show has metahumans (as a result of the particle accelerator) that The Flash and his group will seek out to either stop or help. Easter egg that got fanboys like myself really excited was the reference of Gorilla Grood, a hyper-intelligent gorilla that becomes a nemesis of the Flash, as well as the Reverse Flash who killed Barry’s mother, who may or may not be The Flash’s mentor Harrison Wells.

The show has a wide range of characters that are interesting. Cisco from his vigilante team is a little “annoying”, but overall, the characters are nicely fleshed out and give pretty good performances. Each episode usually deals with the “metahuman of the week,” while also continuing the story arch of Barry trying to find out who killed his mother when he was a child and try to exonerate his father who was convicted of the crime.

Because this show is within the “Arrowverse,” there are numerous tie-ins with the show Arrow (we’ll get to that show later). Both The Flash and Arrow have been on each other’s shows, and many of the locations and characters intersect with each other. Barry Allen has appeared on multiple episodes of Arrow, as has Felicity from Arrow appeared on The Flash. There is a new Supergirl TV show in development and there are already hints that it will be in the same shared universe as these shows. This is great because it allows for more crossovers between the shows. If only all DC properties on TV now could also be in the shared universe. After all, there’s Gotham on Fox and Constantine on NBC, both are DC comics properties that aren’t a part of this show and would be real cool if they were.

Arrow:

Speaking of the Arrowverse, you can’ really talk about it without talking about [Arrow](series:720988).

Now this is a show that I did not actually watch until after I started watching The Flash. Although The Green Arrow was a member of the Justice League in the comics, he was one of the “lesser characters” in my option and I never really followed him nor cared much for. He was awesome in Dark Knight Returns during Batman’s Fight vs Superman, but that was about all I knew about him. But after watching the first episode of The Flash, it was clear that I was missing “something.” Luckily, I was able to log onto Netflix and binge-watch the first season of Arrow.

I think I like this show more than The Flash!

from being shipwrecked on the fictitious Chinese Island of Lian Yu for 5 years where through simply surviving he gained many skills that he then dedicated to saving his home city from crime and corruption.

The show is primarily in the present, but each episode spends a great amount of time showing what happened in Oliver’s past while he was away for those 5 years. Most of that time he was on the island of Lian Yu, but also when he left the Island working for the government. In “Lost” fashion, whatever happened during the week’s flashback, plays a role in the present timeline.

The show is more grounded in reality (for the most part) because there are no metahumans. The heroes and villains (except Slade Wilson) are humans with no superpowers, so it makes the show more earnest. The fight scenes are very well choreographed for a network TV show. Oliver’s training on Lian Yu and his first few missions as a vigilante are very reminiscent of Batman: Year One. In fact, this is the show that Gotham should have been (Gotham should have focused on an inexperienced Batman in my opinion and not commissioner Gordon.) At first Oliver is rather ruthless in his methods of dealing with criminals, but he eventually wises up and realizes he cannot be judge jury and executioner.

As with Flash, there are great nods to DC Comics characters. The Suicide Squad are a part of this shared universe, and they explain how the Suicide Squad works and who is a part of that group. Although with the new Suicide Squad movie coming, I doubt they will remain on the show, it would just add confusion to the viewer. The League of Assassins with Ra's al Ghul are also included in the show as well, and recently The Arrow was “killed” by Ra's al Ghul. Slade Wlson aka Deathstroke is the only metahuman (except his army he creates) and that’s as a result of taking the Mirakuru (DC Comic’s “super soldier” serum). Recently Ray Palmer has been introduced on the show, so there’s even the possibility of another spin-off show to feature The Atom.

The 100:

I gotta admit, this show is a guilty pleasure. All the CW complaints I have about shows featuring ridiculously pretty people in melodramatic situations will have to get thrown out the window for this show. I just like it because it works!

This show centers on a future where a nuclear war has devastated earth, and the only survivors are those who had lived on space stations of the different countries that were fighting on earth. After many years, these space stations have formed a unity government, but also he have limited resources. The system has a very corporal punishment where even petty crimes mean one can be jettisoned into space, except those under 18, they live in makeshift prisons. With resources dwindling, the unity government decided to send the juvenile prisoners down to Earth to see if the planet it once again habitable from the nuclear wars(s).

Once the kids land on Earth, they discover that because their space station was bombarded with solar radiation, they are immune from the nuclear radiation on the ground. In addition, there are other survivors that live on earth that the survivors call “Grounders.” Their intrigue and mystery is very reminiscent of “The Others” from Lost. As with Lost, they are the bad guys, but the more we learn of them, the more “gray” they seem to become, to the current episodes where they are teaming up with the heroes to stop an even worse enemy.

At first the kids are very “Lord of The Flies” because they are criminals who have been locked up now delivered to paradise. Slowly but surely, they begin to develop into a cohesive unit working together for supplies and defense. Soon enough the adults find a way to land their space stations safely on the planet and join the children in setting up a new colony.

The two antagonists on the show are The Grounders and Mount Weather (Mountain Men). As stated before, the Grounders are the survivors of the nuclear war that have become immune to the radiation, but live a nomadic/primitive lifestyle. They devolve into clans/tribes that are at times warring with each other. They speak in common English to communicate with the kids and the rest of the “Sky People,” but their own language is a deviation of common Creole/Patois. The Mountain Men were introduced in the second season. They are decedents of politicians, and military leaders of the former United States that survived in the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Virginia. However, the Mountain Men seem to be the true villains of the story. They kidnap Grounders and dissect them to see how to utilize their blood to make them immune from the radiation. They also have experimented on the Grounders to turn them into Reapers (highly aggressive cannibalistic Grounders, which even the Grounders are afraid of). Now they have kidnapped more than 40 of the kids and are trying to experiment on them now, because their blood is even more resistant to the radiation than the Grounders’ blood is.

The show actually has interesting character development and family dynamics. The main character Clarke is at odds with her mother for turning her father over to be executed for speaking truth to power while on the space stations. Another character Bellamy has played the protective brother to his sister Octavia, to the point of sneaking down to the planet to protect her, and Octavia violated the stations “One child Rule” where she was sent to prison and then Earth as a result. Octavia has had a Romeo and Juliet storyline with one of The Grounders Lincoln. Their relationship taught her many of The Grounders ways, and has helped broker a peace between their peoples.

Now this show does have its tween moments. What tween show would be without its 4 way “love triangle,” and every character is ridiculously hot, and would not look that beautiful if living in the woods without access to a shower, etc. But after binge-watching the first season on Netflix, I’m all caught up to see this along with The Flash ad Arrow on a weekly basis.

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[The 100](series:986563) Wikia

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