Not only are comic book heroes making a splash on the big screen, they’re also coming to the small screen. Arrow is one of those series. Based off a DC Comics character, this show is a mash-up of multiple stories, and somehow, it doesn’t seem to affect its influence.
Arrow (2012) Season One CW TV Review
The Queen family is not just prominent in Starling City, they’re the sort of family who get the tabloid stories. Because of their name, news of Oliver Queen’s return, after being shipwrecked and presumed dead for five years, is headline news. Being the lone survivor of a boating trip, which included his father and a friend, Oliver (Stephan Amell) returns to Starling City a different person. When he left, he’s a spoiled, out-of-control partier. Reuniting with his mother (Susanna Thompson) and sister, Thea (Willa Holland), Oliver becomes someone else outside the spotlight.
Before his father dies, he gives Oliver a list that sets him up to right the wrongs he makes in business. This inspires a promise from his son that Oliver will tirelessly work to see destroy these people. With this ammunition and armed with all he learned to survive on the island, Oliver creates a persona that leaves police hot on his trail. This also sends him back into the arms of his old love, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy).
There seems to be a growing demand for all things super hero/comic books lately. I can understand the Marvel flicks on the big screen but must confess the recent television series surprises me. That I didn’t expect. Now that they do reside on our television screens, I can safely say, bring it on! Arrow has more substance than merely using its young, attractive cast to draw in an audience. From a production angle, some of Arrow‘s peers impress more but nothing is more “fun” than the cool weaponry.
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As its title reveals, Oliver is an expert archer and there’s something attractive about see expert archery. Perhaps it’s because of my love of period drama (think Emma) or maybe it’s seeing Jeremy Renner be all awesome in The Avengers, I like this as our hero’s weapon of choice. Like any good piece of fiction, this may stretch the accuracy, but the archery scenes look cool and Amell does a good job convincing us he knows what he’s doing.
To tell its story means, nearly every episode flashes back to a “before” timeline of Oliver on the island. This can be both distracting and eye-opening. The difference in Oliver physically is legit, and it’s informative to learn why and how Oliver grows into the better man he returns as. Had we known him as the spoiled 20-something before the wreck, he certainly wouldn’t be a hero to cheer on. Even now, some potential viewers may not be able to justify what Oliver does. If seeing him bring down the wealthy or drug dealers isn’t “justice” you appreciate than Arrow is probably not your type of show. However, Marvel fans will likely take no issue with this.
Another thing that’s a joy to see is the relationship between Thea and Oliver. She’s more vulnerable than she lets on and her “need” of Oliver is touching. Some of the things writer’s do with the characters is really quite good. Also, for once I like the tease between Laurel and Oliver. Instead of being a couple who are always on the verge of getting back together (at least until three or so episodes from the end), their relationship is defines slowly in a tentative but sincere friendship.
As individual hour-long stories, this isn’t badly written. As a collective, connecting plot, you can liken this to multiple stories; everything from the short-lived Crusoe to Revenge or The Count of Monte Cristo. Another thing plays into is the constant forms of conflict that arise and threaten Oliver’s crusade. Like most network shows, it tries too hard to put up new villains instead of using one-episode villain scenario as conflict. This would work so much better. Like with most shows, I overlook this, since I do (mostly) love Arrow. The chemistry of the cast is fabulous (including Digg! Who I neglect to mention) and it’s particularly fun to watch the evolution of computer genius Felicity Smoak (Emily Brett Rickards).
If I had to pick a favorite show from the 2012 season, Arrow would rank high on the list. It’s not something anyone should take too seriously and if you don’t, it’s fun entertainment.
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You can find Arrow (2012) season one digitally on Amazon Video
Content: In the first episode we learn that a man cheats on his girlfriend with her sister [in a flashback, we see them together, her in her underwear], there’s scenes of unmarried couples in bed together – a pair of exes end up in bed in the finale. Thea and her boyfriend make out on the couch. Conversations tease of past relations and there is some innuendo. There is lots of violence; people shot in the head, snapping men’s necks, arrows hit their targets and there is mental torture. A series of episodes revolves around a powerful drug. The show is TV14.