Friday, November 09, 2012


You should really watch Arrow on the CW. Why?

Do I really need to say any more? 

Oh, ok, fine, I’ll give you a little more than that. First off, I am not an expert on the Green Arrow. I don’t know anything about the comics and while I think I heard the character made an appearance on Smallville, I never watched it. So if you’re looking for someone to tell you how close the show is to the comic or any other such nerd babble, you aren’t going to get it here (for a change).

What I can tell you is that Arrow is a fun, dark, and compelling show about a man looking to atone for the sins committed by himself and his father. It’s on the CW, so sure, it’s full of ridiculously attractive people, but there’s more here than just your typical problems of the 1% (Gossip Girl, I’m looking at you). Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I love me some soapy drama, but this show has created layers of mystery that frankly surprised me.

From the CW:

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he's become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow - a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory.

The narrative follows two threads. The main story takes place in modern times with Oliver fighting as his alter-ego to take down the villains who have corrupted, misused, and taken advantage of the people and resources of the city. No doubt about it, he’s a dark hero. He doesn’t hesitate to shoot and kill people when he has too which is honestly kind of refreshing for a “super hero” show. It also doesn’t take too long for him to trust someone with his secret which is another bonus. After all, you can only take a show so far when the main character can’t talk to anybody else about what’s going on in the plot. The secondary story consists of flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island and how he learned all his ninja, archery, and other badass skills. Turns out he wasn’t alone on the seemingly deserted island, and there was another lost soul there to act as his Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The thing I really like about Arrow is how much mystery they have built into the plot. In Starling City nobody is as they seem, and everyone has a secret. There’s a lot of questions that I want to see answered, such as what did Oliver’s father actually do that was so horrible, what is his mother up to (because she is definitely up to something), what organization is John Barrowman working for (Captain Jack!), and what else happened to Oliver on the island? Although the first couple episodes have had the same problem that Revenge did last year—i.e. just watching someone work down a lit is kind of not compelling, I think once we get into things a little more the pace will pick up a bit. And every episode has awesome fight scenes.

I also get the feeling the writers have something in store for the love interest, Laurel (one of my favorite CW regulars, Katie Cassidy). She showcased some pretty impressive fighting skills in one of the episodes and I don’t want to hint too much at anything, but I’ve seen the name “Black Canary” bandied about on the internet. In any event, it indicates that she’s going to be more than just a lame love interest and will take a more active part in the butt-kicking in the future. Right now she’s one of the goody goody lawyers who do things like protect the weak and disenfranchised (yawn), but hopefully girlfriend will get in there and beat up some more bad guys soon. Oh, and she isn’t the type to fawn all over Oliver which I also kind of like. In fact, she hates his guts since at the time he was yacht-wrecked, he was cheating on her with her sister who died in the sinking yacht. Awkward. That doesn’t mean she isn’t attracted to the Green Arrow though as these things typically go.

In short, Arrow is a fine entry into the comic-book universe and if you’re a fan of action drama there’s a lot to like here. It’s like someone took Robin Hood, Batman, and the Scarlet Pimpernel (since Oliver plays the fool when he’s in his public persona) and mixed them all together with Revenge. It’s worth watching, if only for the pretty…..

Arrow airs on Wednesday evenings at 8:00pm on the CW.


Clovis said...

Ah, Green Arrow. The poor man's Batman. I could provide all the wonky comic book-related geekery that you said you wanted to avoid in your post, but for the sake of everyone I'll hold off. Though I am intrigued by the easter eggs I've seen them throw into this - Deathstroke and Deadshot have apparently both turned up so far and even though her name is changed, "Laurel Lance" is obviously "Dinah Lance", the original Black Canary who is Green Arrow's wife in the comics, right?

Basically, I'm a huge apologist for the three of the 10 seasons of Smallville which I think are actually good, so if you're telling me there's something going on here more than an endless love triangle, I'll give it a shot. Even though I'm pissed that we're never going to get our young Batman series that DC Comics has been teasing for ages.

Scienter said...

Now that I've heard Ben Browder (John Crichton from Farscape!) is going to be on it, I might give it a try. The last CW show I watched was Veronica Mars.

supersarah said...

Glad you're enjoying the show, MC! I love it...though more for what's been promised in previews than what I've seen so far. These names may mean nothing to most folks, but: BLACK CANARY! HUNTRESS! MANHUNTER! SPEEDY! If rumors are true, this show is going to be full of the baddest-ass ladies ever to fight crime in inappropriate outfits. I can't wait.

Maggie Cats said...

Clovis, you should definitely watch the show. There's nary a love triangle in sight (unless you can have a love triangle with your alter ego making up one of the other points). I personally like the really good action scenes.