What I’m Watching: Arrow. Archer’s Are So In Right Now
I may not have the time to review every television show I’m watching, but by golly I can still voice my unnecessary opinion any way! In this instance, it’s about the CW’s new DC TV show Arrow. Was that enough double letter thingies for you? Now I won’t be going into any full recaps or such lengthy procedures, partially due to time and partially laziness. But that said, I’ve seen up to episode 5, “Damaged” which is the most recent as of this writing. So there be spoilers for those first five episodes.
Arrow follows the adventures of Oliver Queen, a million dollar playboy with a thing for danger, lawyers and the color green. A character introduced to tv and eventually made regular on the late Smallville, Oliver has gotten a reboot into a universe sans super powers…for now.
Initially, I was hesitant about this. I was an on/off fan of Smallville’s for a while. I’m actually more of a Marvel fanboy (yes yes, boo hiss, whatever) and my knowledge of DC characters stems mostly from their various movies and tv shows and scouring the DC wiki. That said, I knew little to nothing about Oliver Queen and his green alter ego beyond my few sightings of him on Smallville, and the picture below:
So I sorta went into this…not blind so much as with really dark sunglasses. Perhaps that only helps my enjoyment, as I don’t have to be hung up on what the story was, only what’s presented before me. Either way, I’ve loved the past five episodes despite a couple of gripes.
1: No superpowers. I heard the creators mention that they were going to keep this show a power free zone. And considering that Dinah Laurel Lance, aka The Black Canary II is supposed to be a muta… I mean metahuman, I find that disappointing. I mean they already mentioned her hating fishnets, so I’m hoping that’s not a nay to her becoming her alter ego. Besides, a ban on supes means a ban on magic, which means no Zatanna. It may seem like a silly thing, but they opened that floodgate on Smallville and I will ride those waters on…down the river. Or something that makes sense. Whatever, the point is this is DC and Zatanna needs more air time. End of discussion. Anyway, these things change as the show grows older, and we’re only 5 episodes in, so there’s nothing to say that wont change beyond the show creator’s word. And we all know how solid those can be…
2. Speedy. Or, Thea Queen, Oliver’s little sis. I just don’t like it. Drawing on my limited knowledge (and the divinations of Wikipedia), Speedy was a moniker similar to Robin, filled by both a young man and a young woman at one point or another. While I like that they gave a little nod, (the fact that she’s a druggie makes it even better) I hope they follow through with it. After watching them interact, I think it’d be cool to eventually see her as a sidekick, as I’ve liked Willa Holland since her O.C. days, and she plays a great spoiled brat.
3. Tommy Merlyn. I don’t like him. He’s skeezy and creepy, and I didn’t let Det. Lance’s mention about rufies go unnoticed. After some digging I found that his character has gotten perhaps the biggest alterations of anyone, and I can only hope he betrays Ollie so I can be all smug and self righteous. He seems ready made for such a story line, although maybe from a more crime lordy angle than a toe-to-toe fight with the Green Arrow kind. Plus I don’t like him Laurel. Which I guess is the point. So great job writers and actor guy, because I don’t like him.
I think what I love most about this show however, is that it seems to be an amalgam of lots of other stuff. It’s equal parts Smallville, Revenge, Lost, and Batman. And it’s blended so well you never think about it till you start to pick it apart.
I also really like the cast, particularly Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance. For that matter I also really like Paul Blackthorne as her father, Det. Lance. I liked him on the Dresden Files, despite the show’s overall boring quality, and I like him in everything else. I particularly like their interaction, and I really buy their father/daughter relationship.
I guess I should also talk about Stephen Amell. He’s good. Mostly. I like him more as the Arrow than I do Oliver Queen. I find his performances wooden sometimes and it takes me out of the experience. That said, it’s not a too frequent occurrence, and he’s a pretty good lead. I especially like his whiny rich boy scenes, as I think that’s where he does the best.
Oh and then there’s the Deathstroke thing. That’s pretty cool. Except when they finally show his mask up close. It looked like it’s made of latex, and had a weird feel to it. That said, Deathstroke makes one hell of a villain and I hope they don’t keep him on that island for too long. They already seemed to kill off Deadshot pretty quickly, so hopefully they won’t serve Deathstroke with the same dish.
Two last things: Diggle and John Barrowman. I like Diggle’s character and actor, and he plays a good base to Olliver’s acid. I have no idea who John Barrowman is or why he’s here, but I won’t question it too hard. It’s good to see him state side.
All in all, I think I’m in love with this show. It’s a bit early to make suck bold statements, but the show is already pretty well oiled and flows nicely. They’re taking their time and I think it’s working. I look forward to the rest of the season, which by the way, has already been picked up for a full 22 episodes. Yays all around, yes?
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