Monday, May 26, 2014

My thoughts on Arrow

It is amazing to me that I actually like Arrow.

First of all, I am not a comic book person at all. What comic books I know, most of them are Marvel. So, once you get past Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, my knowledge of the DC universe is somewhat limited.  

Second, I am not a fan of the CW. Most of the nonsense that is on that channel just makes my brain hurt. I understand I am not really the demographic they are going for, but even as much as I love all things geek, I just roll my eyes at some of the crap that is on that channel.

So, from the get go, I did not have many expectations when I started watching this show. Here are my thoughts on the first season.

It started kind of campy. I don’t know what kind of expectations they had at the beginning and it felt like a show that did not have much of a budget.

The writing was very inconsistent, especially in the first 2/3 of the season. I mean, some of the dialogue was about as bad as I have ever seen in a show. There were so many face palm moments in the first half of the show, that at times I considered stopping.

The villains were also kind of weak on a consistent basis. I mean damn, Count Vertigo was horrible. Over acted and he looked like a twilight reject. There others that were bad as well, but CV was one of the worst characters I have ever seen on a show like this. I also struggled with the person that played the Huntress. I think she could have been cool, but each episode she was in was just not that interesting.

The first thing that worked from the beginning was the flashbacks of Oliver’s time on the island. This was an interesting way to tell a story, and they did a really good job of making what happened in the past, relevant to what was going on in the present.  

What made the show start to work for me was the other characters, and what you eventually found out about them. I always liked Oliver’s and Tommy’s relationship. Was not shocked that it became strained as he dated Laurel, and they handled his death very well.

As the show went a long, Diggle and Felicity became more important in supporting Oliver’s taking down people on the list.  Oliver having to learn to depend on other people was something that happened throughout the season. I have always liked Paul Blackthorne (mostly from the Dresden tv show) and him playing a detective (and Laurel’s father) was a nice addition. Gotta love John Barrowman as Merlyn.  

The writing eventually started to get better and they did a great job of hitting the emotional moments toward the end.

Having Oliver choose between having to shoot Shado or Sara was both brutal and amazing.

Season 2. Kind of picked up where the first one ended. The writing throughout the second seasons was SO much better and you could tell they had a bit more money that they previously did. There were still hiccups from time to time (Ugh, the Huntress and yes, more of the Count), but overall there was an improvement in most places on the show.

One thing they did not do as well in season 2 was the flashbacks. They were still there, but there was not as many of them and they were not always as interesting. Overall, still enjoyable, but it was something they did better in season 1.

Deathstroke. Wow, that guy can hold a grudge, right? Oliver was put in an impossible situation in having to choose between two people he cares about. One lives, one die. There is no way to do that. So, Deathstroke’s promise to take away everything Oliver cared about before killing him was done very well.  Especially when he did the same thing to Oliver and made him choose between his mother and sister. That was heartbreaking.

The characters also improved for the most part. Felicity became more prominent and less one sided, as her character was allowed to grow. I do wish Diggle could do more than just back up the Arrow, but he has always been a strong character as well. Sara was also a nice addition to the show as she could kick ass as well, and gave another opportunity to have well choreographed fights from someone that fights differently than the Arrow did. The choreography really improved in the second season.

The ones that were hit and miss were Laurel and Thea. Laurel was dealing with Tommy’s death and she blame just about everyone. She began to drink, take pills, and was an overall mess. I have always liked her character in the show, but it was hard too as she was written very oddly at times. Much better toward the end. Thea is another that I did not always love. Never really cared about her and Roy all that much and her transformation from party girl to owning a club seemed kind of forced. I always liked her scenes with Oliver. So much angst as she finds out that pretty much everyone is keeping things from her. Finding out that her father was Merlyn, should have been more interesting than it was. But as she left with him at the end of show may add something to that.

So, overall I really enjoyed the show as it gained momentum and the writing became much better in the second season. I am really excited about what the future holds for Oliver and his allies. 


  1. Nice write up. My take (as a bit more of a comic aficionado). Arrow like any show based on a comic has the blessing and curse of being tied to some canon. Yet comics change their own canon a lot. I agree some of the acting/writing first season was touch and go. I also agree some of it was budget that got better. The cut scenes are something they have to rely on less as time goes on because it would become old hat and a crutch over time. As for characters, Roy bothers me a little and I know he is capable of a little more as an actor. Laurel I absolutely hated first season, but, now I am thinking that she may be headed to better. I like Thea's character, but, the scenes with Roy are bad. Sarah seems to have trouble acting the part...maybe its the writing or maybe she is just bad. My favorite person on the show is Felicity. She brings an air of common sense and reality to the show. She is the audience's voice of sorts I think. The set up for the second season was good and the finale shows were full of decent action even if much of it was expected. Glad you enjoyed it. Be interested to see what they do with the 3rd season and with Flash coming.

    1. I feel like the CW uses a lot of unknown actors for their shows. Which can be good or bad. I didn't mind Sara all that much, and has more of a problem with Thea. lol. But that is what it is about, everyone takes different takes on these kind of things.