Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear "Arrow" Creators: Somebody Save Me!

I'm having a real Love/Hate relationship with CW's "Arrow" series.  Well, more accurately it's an on-again off-again love/hate relationship because for some reason I never remember to watch the darn thing.  I think it's on Wednesdays, right?!  Anywho, the episodes I have caught felt like a bunch of Green Arrow fans got together and tried to ape the "Smallville" formula with Oliver Queen as the hero.  "Arrow" hits all the same beats as its predecessor;
  • Exterior castle shots
  • Back alley action scenes lasting about 2-3 minutes 
  • Locations totally devoid of unattractive people.
What "Arrow" doesn't share with young Clark's story might be the bigger problem;
  • No compelling character arc (he's already Green Arrow)
  • No lead character to identify with (from jump street he's been a focused arrow firing machine)
  • No relationship struggle you care about
"Smallville" had the Clark-Lana-Lex triangle (anchored by Mike Rosenbaum) that kept you tuning in week after week to see the progression toward the inevitable tragic ending.  "Arrow" has hinted at Ollie's sister (no idea what he name is) follwoing in his ne'er–do–well footsteps.  Maybe some people are interested in this but I'm not feeling it.  One caveat, in the episodes I've missed the show's producers might have added a wrinkle I'm unaware of, just to be fair.

Then there is Oliver's quest to avenge his city and father's memory, which at this point is the main crux of the series.  Unfortunately, again, we came to know of his mission and father through flashbacks and those are not near as engaging as, say, watching the relationships of father and son between Clark and Jonathan compared to that of Lex and Lionel. 

I know it reads like I'm doing too much comparing to "Smallville" but that show is the test case for "Arrow". And while the former had it more than fair share of problems, what it got right it got right in spades.  Comparatively what "Arrow" misses (see what I did there?) misses but quite a lot.  As  Green Arrow fan this greatly saddens me.

However, the silver lining here is that the how is reportedly doing quite well.  My hope is with this success "Arrow" doesn't continue wit the status quo, but uses the opportunity to improve the product.

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