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Struck by the supercharged fallout of a particle accelerator explosion, forensic scientist Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive: The Flash! With his newfound time-warping speed and help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team – Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon and Harrison Wells – and his adoptive family, Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter, Iris West, the Scarlet Speedster runs circles around metahumans intent on wreaking havoc in Central City, while traveling alternate universes and protecting our world from an otherworldly villain known as Zoom. (from The CW’s official synopsis)

 The Flash: The Complete First Season
Last year, The Flash burst onto the scene and instantly became what is probably the best live action TV show to date, at least in terms of broadcast television. It’s certainly the best live action DC Comics series (although I do love the ‘60s Batman show).  It’s first season had a few bumps along the way, but all in all it was one of the best new shows of the 2014-2015 season. So how did its sophomore run measure up?

Pretty well. This isn’t a perfect series. The first season had issues with some of its character arcs, particularly in regards to Barry’s love life, and that sadly carried over here as well. I felt last year like Iris was a good character unfortunately shoehorned into becoming his potential love interest. This year I felt the same way about new character Patty, who also became the victim of another issue: wheel-spinning.

While not as egregious at this as Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow, Flash’s second season did indeed spin its wheels a bit too often at times. This happens with a lot of shows that have an episode order exceeding 16 episodes. It’s a problem that often causes some arcs to drag and others to be wrapped up in disappointing ways. In regards to Patty, both sadly occurred.

The same held true for the revelations about the show’s villain this year: Zoom. While a formidable foe throughout, it feels like they probably should have revealed his true nature and motives sooner. Still, these complaints aside, overall it made for an incredibly entertaining season of television where the highs outweighed the lows.

 The Flash: The Complete First Season
In addition to further paying off Barry’s heroic feuds with villains such as Reverse-Flash, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, The Trickster, and Gorilla Grodd, plenty of new fearsome foes were added into the mix. Vandal Savage, Turtle, Sand Demon, Killer Frost, Deathstorm, and even King Shark reared their diabolical heads this year, ramping up the more comic booky elements over the series to new heights.

Of course the most fun element came with the addition of Earth-2 and other alternate universes. This, paired with Barry’s ability to time travel, allowed for all sorts of “What If?” hijinks to ensue not only on this show, but also on Arrow and even Supergirl. That’s right, the Scarlet Speedster visited National City for an episode! If you are a fan of this series, I’d suggest you pick up the first season of Supergirl as well. Or at least catch up with it on Netflix, as it, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow are all poised for a big crossover event this fall.

I went into this season’s crossover with Arrow in greater detail on that review, so I’ll cut to the chase here. Simply put, it was a two-parter event that was comprised of the eight episodes of both shows. In order to understand one, you’re gonna need to watch the other. Hell, you should want to anyway. Lucky for you, CW included it in this set! Both episodes serve as a prelude to the pilot for Legends of Tomorrow. For better or worse, these shows now form their own DC TV Universe and, much like Marvel movies, are becoming increasingly connected as the years go on. It’d serve you well as a fan to keep up with all of them.

Crossovers, time travel, alternate realities, metahumans…what more could a fan ask for? Not much, honestly. Again, this show has its issues…namely having Barry “focus and run really fast” to defeat practically everyone…but its charm lies within its characters. This show has the best cast of all the DC TV Universe shows and it flaunts them like they deserve. Some tightening up in the plotting would be nice for future seasons, but there’s nothing iffy enough within to derail all of the good parts.

 The Flash: The Complete First Season
Video
The Flash is a fairly colorful show, especially given the yellow light trails of its titular character and the blue ones of his nemesis this particular season. Details pop out as they should, with things never looking too dark or muted. On the negative end, banding can be an issue in places, but overall, the show looks great here.

Audio
Crisp and clean, particularly the 5.1 track, giving an all-around great experience. Sound effects pop wonderfully and the dialogue is always clear, even when the occasional character is a mumbler. Surround sound is rather dynamic, although not as immersive as the show’s blockbuster theatrical brethren. Basically, it sounds wonderful.

 The Flash: The Complete First Season
Extras
WB continues to pack these sets with more features every year and this release is no different. Despite some of them being short little things, I’m shocked at how much there is. The Hawkpeople ones are repeated from the Arrow set, but that matters not when there’s so much else to pour over. We’re talking over three hours of behind-the-scenes material alone…

  • Arrow crossover episode: “Legends of Yesterday” (44:29, HD)
  • Featurette – Barry and Iris: New Beginnings! (7:35, HD)
  • Featurette – Whose Helmet Was That? (4:23, HD)
  • Featurette – Rogues Gallery: One Cold Father: The Lewis Snart Story (4:13, HD)
  • Featurette – Heart and Heat: The Story of Firestorm (4:49, HD)
  • Featurette – The Power of Dr. Light (5:43, HD)
  • Featurette – Cutting Teeth: The Flash vs. King Shark (5:18, HD)
  • Featurette – Behind the Story: The Chemistry of Grant and Emily Screen Test (6:54, HD)
  • Featurette – Grodd Lives! (6:51, HD)
  • Featurette – Star-Crossed Hawks (11:20, HD)
  • Featurette – Star-Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage (11:02, HD)
  • Featurette – Christmas in a Flash (4:36, HD)
  • Featurette – The Many Faces of Zoom (6:25, HD)
  • Featurette – Chasing Flash: The Journey of Kevin Smith (51:40, HD)
  • Featurette – Into the Breach: Designing Earth-2 (4:54, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: Follow The Flash In 360 (2:13, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: Earth-2 (2:38, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: A Closer Look (2:51, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: Sticky Situations (2:18, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: Superheroes and Villains (3:05, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: Visual FX: Everything Falls Apart (3:21, HD)
  • Featurette – The Flash: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD)
  • Featurette – 2015 Paleyfest (29:54, HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (23:50, HD)
  • Gag Reel (12:29, HD)
  • Digital Copy


 The Flash: The Complete First Season
Overall
It’s not better than the first season, but simply just as good in its own ways. A great companion piece, if you will. If you loved last year, chances are you will love this one. This set looks and sounds great, making an already-fun series even more fun to watch (and rewatch). If you’re a fan, I highly recommend scooping this up. The hours of bonus material alone are worth it, even beyond the quality of the series itself. The wealth of the material on here makes it clear which of these shows that The CW favors and it's not hard to see why.

 The Flash: The Complete First Season

* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.




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