Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pilot Thoughts: The Flash and Jane the Virgin

When I decided that I was done with Supernatural after last season, I was relieved to have at least one broadcast channel that I didn't have to mind. Well, the CW had their own plans because they brought me right back in with a couple of new shows featuring strong lead actors...

The Flash is CW banking on the success of their other current DC comic book hero show Arrow, but it's this very reason why I was first hesitant to check it out. I only mildly liked the Arrow pilot and only managed to see a handful of episodes before stopping (though it apparently got much better) and the people who created the show are the same as the ones working on The Flash. Fortunately, the show is less Batman in tone like Arrow and more like Spider-Man (films) i.e. more fun and even a little cheesy. Grant Gustin as Barry Allen is practically playing Peter Parker as a CSI with his own Mary Jane and dead relatives. He's the best part of the pilot for me, easily selling the comedic and dramatic moments he's given and to skillfully balance the science nerd and hero in-the-making personas. The origin story and the world building was substantial, but easy-to-follow for a newcomer like me (even one who doesn't watch Arrow). The cast is okay to good with Tom Cavanaugh and Jesse L. Martin as the standouts as Barry two father figures while his real father, played by 90s Flash actor John Wesley Shipp is in jail. Some of the dialogue was awkward and corny (that roof pep talk with the Green Arrow was cringe-worthy), but at least the special effects were spot-on. Good first outing!

Grade: B
Willingess to continue:
I like this pilot more than Arrow's pilot so I think I'll stick around if only to find out what the deal is with that newspaper from the future!

Jane the Virgin is a show that feels like it shouldn't be on the CW with all of its supernatural/fantasy/comic book shows and yet it is and I hope for its success more than any new show of the season, because we need more shows like this. It revolves around 23-yo Jane Villanueva, played by the revelatory Gina Rodriguez, who has been raised to value her virginity above all else, and who in the pilot gets accidentally inseminated causing her to become pregnant. The concept is the "stuff of telenovelas" as the show states, but the overwhelming charm of the writing and the acting transcends the ridiculousness of it all. In that way, it reminded me of Ugly Betty which was also adapted from a telenovela and also led by a strong actress. This show, however, already feels more grounded even with all of the twists and turns the pilot takes. It's not perfect and there are some characters that definitely need work (the cheating wife, the mega-star father), but the show did well to perfectly cast its lead and I'm loving the fun sudsiness of it all already.

Grade: A-
Willingness to continue:
Uh, yes. I mean I watched Ugly Betty to its bitter end so what do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!