I should have known it was too good to be true. Seasons 1 and 2 of THE FLASH (2014-?) were among the best seasons of ANY superhero show I've ever seen, as good as or better than the best seasons of it's beloved predecessor 'Smallville'. And it's interesting because The Flash, for better or worse, reminds me of Smallville a lot. Unfortunately, the worst part of Flash, namely the character Iris West, completely reminds me of the worst part of Smallville, namely Lana Lang. And the big difference is that while Lana eventually left Smallville, thereby proving the addition by subtraction principle and the show flourishing in her absence, unfortunately it's become painfully obvious that Iris West is going to remain on The Flash until the end of the series, which may come sooner than later based on it's fast deterioration since the first 2 great seasons.
Seasons 1 and 2 were so awesome, just almost perfect writing and storytelling: invigorating action sequences, entertaining stories, and (mostly) lovable characters supported by witty, funny, strong writing. It was during these seasons that the series was built upon the incredible chemistry of the Team Flash of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes), and Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). This team had perfect synergy, always having each other's backs, supporting each other, establishing strong bonds, and working together like a well-oiled machine. THEN it began to slowly deteriorate once the writers decided to focus more on Iris West (played dubiously by the overrated Candace Patton).
Iris has always been a bland, lackluster character on this series to me. But at least in the first two seasons, she generally never got in the way of the story, so it flowed much better than it has in Seasons 3 and 4. Season 3 was written specifically as a plot to try and make Iris relevant and likable and it backfired. Instead, it showcased her sheer ineptitude and uselessness to the narrative. She was in every other scene just stating the obvious and spewing out pep talks to Barry. WestAllen in their own way is as bad and pathetic as Clana was on Smallville where Iris disrupts Barry's life and potential as much as Lana did Clark. By Season 3, Barry is so obsessed this girl that he can't see straight and has been reduced to a rather selfish, lazy hero, which he wasn't in the first 2 seasons. I honestly believe the downfall of this series is because of Iris.
Season 3 was a train wreck, just boring episode after boring episode with Iris glued to Barry's hip and every other episode ending with some makeout session in their new apartment. Iris is in StarLabs every episode for no reason, never at her actual reporting job, which she got under suspicious circumstances. Barry's creation of Flashpoint really ruined everything, but being with Iris makes him even worse because she ignores his mistakes, makes everything about her and their boring love story, which has the most shaky foundation of any love story I've ever seen. Raised in the same home with Iris thinking of Barry as her "brother" for years, then through Barry essentially stalking her and forcing his feelings on her through them being a couple in alternate realities and other Earths, Iris decides to just make herself love him. I don't buy it. Season 3 was a more "serious" season with boring and/or stupid filler episodes, including the Grodd episodes, that cheesy musical episode, and that stupid filler amnesia episode, and a lame CGI-infested villain Savitar. And Season 4 is even worse with the dumbing down of Team Flash, Iris being continually forced into the narrative, and stupid humor to overcompensate for how awful Season 3 was. And it's all because of ONE terrible character, Iris West, that the writers have let this happen. And I think no matter what they do going forward, it's too late.