‘ARROW,’ SEASON ONE (2012). A man returns after five years missing to become a vigilante in the city he lives. All text is © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

‘ARROW,’ SEASON ONE (2012)

November 18, 2013 15 Comments

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.

TV SHOW REVIEW | ‘THE FLASH,’ SEASON ONE PILOT (AND EPSIODE 2!)
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‘ARROW,’ SEASON ONE (2012). A man returns after five years missing to become a vigilante in the city he lives. All text is © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

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.

‘ARROW,’ SEASON ONE (2012). A man returns after five years missing to become a vigilante in the city he lives. All text is © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

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.   


(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

 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.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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15 Comments

  • Charity November 18, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Saw the pilot of this the other day — it wasn't bad. :)

    • Rissi November 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Cool! I'm glad you didn't mind it. I thought the show borrowed a lot from previous "revenge" sagas, however it was fun, and both mom and I got quite caught up in it. :)

    • Charity November 20, 2013 at 4:26 AM

      Of course, I watched Oliver Queen for four seasons on Smallville, so it's a bit hard to warm up to this imposter. ;)

    • Rissi November 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      LOL, I thought I remembered you talking about Oliver on Smallville and your interest being minimal in Arrow because of that. ;) Stephan is actually a good actor and since he's the first Oliver Queen I've met, I'm cool with it.

  • Jemimah November 28, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Ohhh, now I've made the connection where your lovely recent headers' images are coming from. You have a great taste. ;) I just started watching the first few episodes of Arrow season one, and so far, it has been very enjoyable! Initially, I was kinda scared it was going to be one of those 'darker' shows (along the lines of "The Dark Knight" franchise). But with the direction the plot is headed at, the suspense, humour, and all around coolness, this is bound to be a new favourite series of mine. Plus the cast of characters is just plain awesome.

    PS-ish: looking forward to see Felicity join 'the A-team.' I knew the girl had potential!

    • Rissi November 30, 2013 at 3:41 AM

      *HIGH FIVE*

      Yes, another fan. Glad you've discovered this isn't what you initially thought, Jemimah. It is indeed a nicely paced show and I *so* agree; the cast is AWESOME. ;) They work well together and as you say, the writer's do a nice job balancing that humor and suspense. It's officially one of my very favorite shows now.

      …Felicity is awesome. I love her awkward-ness and cute personality – she's more relatable that way. :)

  • Charity U January 3, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    AAAHHHH you had Arrow in your header and I didn't realize it? Having only recently become a fan, I'm thrilled to rediscover your review (which I had saved since your posts get emailed to me, knowing that someday I would watch it). Anyway. I sure enjoyed reading this now, when I only have three episodes left! :)

    • Rissi January 3, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      …I did indeed. It was the fall-ish one. I think. ;)

      I'm SO happy you're a fan too, Charity. The more, the merrier, right!? Plus I'm glad to know three episodes left, it's still entertaining. Hope after watching them, it's still a favorite!

    • Charity U January 3, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      It is indeed still a favorite! I did the three last night, and then was broken-hearted to discover that my beloved Hulu only has episodes 5-9 of the current season. Since I find myself unable to watch them elsewhere online, I think I'll read synopsises of 1-4 and then just jump right in with 5…I can't wait for DVDs. xD

    • Rissi January 4, 2014 at 3:47 AM

      Ooo! That's brave of you, Charity. I'd *have* to see those first four… but I hope you enjoy – and do let me know what you think. It'll be a long wait and oh, my! The first season cliffhanger was tough. ;)

  • Charity U January 5, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    There were important things missed in 1-4, but I jumped in with 5 this afternoon (and 6) and am now in the middle of 7. Worth it. ;) Oh, and about Felicity and Oliver? Somewhere in 5, he sleeps with this random gal and Felicity kinda asks why and he says "Because sometimes it's easier to be in a relationship with someone you don't care about than someone you do." Not an exact quote, but they had a significant look then and yeah…I think he likes her. ;) YAY!

    • Charity U January 5, 2014 at 3:53 AM

      Also. I took a moment to look at your profile page again – based on where you say you live, I think we can't be more than a few hours apart. I'm also smack in the middle of the US, with just a touch of eastern…just a touch. But. Yup. Well, I know it's less than eight hours apart, because of the time change. ;) But yeah! Random cool thing. ;)

    • Rissi January 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Despite the skip, I'm pleased you felt it was worth it, Charity. I'm anxious to see season 2 and love your comments/tweets about it. It's sound good but… ugh! Badly done, Oliver! I "know" he cares for Felicity as one of the team but I didn't figure out in S1 if he loved her. Hopefully their relationship will grow into more because that'd be… awesome; they're cute together. (And just so Oliver knows, it's NOT COOL to be in a relationship with someone they don't love/care for is NOT right… you can tell him that from me. ;D)

      …funny you should randomly mention the distance between us because I kept meaning to ask if you wouldn't mind sharing your address when I was mailing out Christmas cards and, well… I just ran out of time. *sigh* Such is life. I think I did have it once for a giveaway but who knows if it's still in an email or long since been deleted. All this Midwest girl knows just now is it's FREEZING here today. Brr…!

  • […] a girl who considers Arrow one of my most favorite new shows, I’m thrilled to see CW take on another comic book hero. […]

  • […] Arrow   […]

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