Critical Show Analysis Essay: The Flash

2021-06-17 06:25:17
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Sewanee University of the South
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Research paper
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The Flash is an American TV show established from DC Comics about a character named Barry Allen also known as Flash. The character plays the role of a crime-fighting superhero with an ability to navigate at exceptional speeds ("The Flash," 2016). Barry, as a child, witnesses the murder of his mother by a strange red and yellow lightning in which led to the criminal conviction of his father for the crime. Detective Joe West and his family then raise Barry for the rest of the childhood. Barry becomes a great crime scene investigator for the Citys police department. Barry indulges himself in search of unusual occurrences, cold cases and advanced scientific equipment that have a connection with the murder of his mother. No one including his foster father, Detective Joe West believes his version of the story that a red and yellow lightning killed his mother. Several years later, an engine failure leads to the release of an unknown form of radiation throughout the city during the launch of a particle accelerator. The radiation catalyzed by lightning strikes Barry who stays in a coma for nine months. After rising from the coma, Barry notices his ability to move at superhuman speed. He also realizes that he was not the only one struck by lightning and with the strange powers. Barry pledges to protect the city from the metahumans, as Dr. Harrison Wells calls them and other criminals while hunting his mothers killer.

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Season 1 Episode 23 of the Flash sees Barry questioning Eobard Thawne. According to Thawne, the reason for killing Barrys mom was the heated rivalry that the Flash and the Reverse Flash have. Thawne states that both the Flash and Reverse Flash have equal strength and power making both unable to destroy one another (Kelly, 2015). After learning Flashs identity, Thawne sets to destroy, Barry as a kid but Barry rescues the boy, and in the process, Thawne kills Barrys mother. Thawne suggests that Barry could save his mother if he lets Thawne go back in time. The dilemma of changing history lives Barry the choice of saving his mother. The history would involve not living with Detective Wells, not having met Iris and his parents would raise him (Kelly, 2015). Barry decides to change history by choosing to save his mother. The plan to save her is risky in that if Barry is slow in the process, he might die and the time travel might create a black hole big enough to destroy Central City. However, Barry takes the chance of saving his mother. The scene is emotional in which Barry thanks, Detective West for raising him. The plan to take Thawne back in time to save Barrys mom is successful. However, instead of saving her, Thawne stabs Barrys mother once again while he watches (Kelly, 2015). The scene lives Barry emotionally depressed. However, the undermining of men masculinity is a recurring theme in the TV show especially in season 1 episode 23.

Theme of Undermining of Men Masculinity

In most of the episodes of the Flash, an observer can notice how the character of Flash challenges male masculinity. Flash portrays the following characteristics in season one episode 23 that weakens male masculinity. To begin with, Barry Allen is very emotional in this episode (Burt, 2015). The emotional content is evident in the scene where Barry thanks, Joe West for raising him. He also sheds a tear after he watches Thawne killing his mother again. Traditionally, crying was not of the male gender it was only limited to the female gender. However, the Flash shows that men can also shed tears. The episode also presents Barry as vulnerable (Burt, 2015). Joe West teaches Barry that it is okay to portray vulnerability. Barry after his mothers death gets dumb stricken by the fact that his mother is dead and his father convicted of the murder. Barry also disgraces manly pride by admitting when he was wrong. Barry in the episode comforts Cisco who cries for revealing his identity. The setting of the Flash tends to undermine the male gender by showing compassion to each other. Men tend to comfort each other such as the scene where the Flash comforts Cisco after Cisco reveals Flashs identity to his rival.

Critical Reception

The Flash has received various reviews. To begin with, Rotten Tomatoes a website that combines reports gave the Flash an approval grade of 9.7/10 based on 7.5/10 evaluation from several criticisms ("The Flash," 2016). Another critic review website, Metacritic ranked the show 73 out of 100 from 27 reviews. Several other reviewers gave the tv series an above average rating making the show among the best-rated and most watched TV shows alongside other shows like the Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, and Pretty Little Liars among others. The Flash was the second most watched TV show produced by the CW after the Vampire Diaries with a viewership of over four million. The average age viewership of the Flash was 41 years according to research analysts. The median age viewership is due to its dramatic plot, which does not appeal to the old aged. Viewers of the show tend to applause the plot, setting and the characters of the show. The male percentage viewership of the show is at 60%.

References

Burt, K. (2015). 7 Ways 'The Flash' Challenges Traditional Masculinity. MTV News. Retrieved 28 March 2017, from http://www.mtv.com/news/2351589/the-flash-challenges-masculinity/

Kelly, C. (2015). 'The Flash' season 1 finale recap: Run, Barry, run. Hypable. Retrieved 28 March 2017, from http://www.hypable.com/the-flash-season-1-finale-recap/

The Flash. (2016). Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 28 March 2017, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/flash/

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