Tuesday, May 5, 2015

With Grodd, "The Flash" Is Doing What "Arrow" Couldn't

Gorilla Grodd makes his first full appearance on The Flash tonight. Credit: The CW.

By +Tim Beyers


Issue 23 of +The Full Bleed is brought to you by The Geek Initiative, a collection of blogs teaming up like Voltron to bring you the best news, reviews, and analysis of genre entertainment.

Tonight's episode of The Flash, "Grodd Lives," features of one of the scarlet speedster's most dangerous rogues: Gorilla Grodd.

It's a story I've been waiting a while to see. At last year's San Diego Comic-Con, I sat at the roundtable for the show and asked The Flash co-creator Greg Berlanti about the character's likely appearance. At the time, he would only say that Grodd would show up in some form by episode 7. Now we're at episode 21, and the super simian is not only getting top billing -- he's getting a stunning visual treatment. 

As Cisco puts it in the trailer: "If I hadn't seen Jurassic Park, I wouldn't nearly as frightened as I am right now." 



It's a neat quip that works because of how well the makers Jurassic Park brought carnivorous dinosaurs to life on screen. With Grodd, The Flash team is aiming to meet that same lofty standard.

Right now, it's unclear how much The CW is spending to make The Flash. My guess is $4 million to $5 million per episode, which looks to be worth it when you look at the audience data. Unlike DC movies, The Flash is keeping audiences consistently engaged. Six times the show has drawn at least 4 million live plus same-day viewers. Only once has Arrow achieved similar numbers (i.e., the series premiere). The last episode to get close -- episode 308, "The Brave and the Bold" -- features a team-up between The CW's two signature superheroes.

The Flash may be a spinoff of Arrow, but as a property for The CW and Warner it's no longer the follower. If anything, it's leading the way.

For more on Grodd's history and position in Flash's Rogues Gallery, listen to my conversation with Andy Behbakht of The Flash Podcast. 

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