While we wait for The Flash to come back from the winter break, I wanted to share that the above image has haunted my dreams since this episode aired. I couldn’t put my finger on why until today. The reason is because the gag was genuinely funny. The thought immediately following this realization was: Man, The Flash really needs to step up it’s funny game. It’s a strange thought because the show is clearly an adventure drama, which no intentions of becoming a comedy.
Now, I’m not saying that the Flash isn’t fun or that it doesn’t take crazy risks. I mean it revels in its over the top villains, in time travel, parallel universes, and talking gorillas, and although it occasionally has a funny moment or a laugh-out-loud line it never really dips into hilarity.
The reason I have this sudden nagging feeling that The Flash lacks comedy is that this show is almost an heir to the Buffy legacy, a spiritual child, if you will. Think about it for a moment and even the characters kind of match up. (I would also argue that Arrow is the furrowed-brow offspring of Angel.) In any case it has certainly filled the Buffy-shaped hole in my life.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Angel), also boldly embraced the weird. They had their share of over the top villains, time travel, parallel universes, sadly no talking gorillas but there were a ton of cool looking demons, all while being an adventure drama. But every once in a while it would have a truly funny episode that was pure comedy gold. An entire episode of unabashed, expertly written foolishness.
I don’t know if the creators of The Flash are there yet. From what I’ve seen, I do believe the cast is. Most of them can bring the funny when needed. But does the show have anyone in the writer’s room that can pull off comedy for an entire episode? I don’t know. Comedy is hard. I think they should try though. By now they should be comfortable enough with their story and their world to embrace a comedic episode at least once a season. And if they pull it off, maybe we’ll one day see Ollie as a puppet. Stranger things have happened.