In 2012, the CW announced they were making a standalone show based on the comic book superhero Green Arrow. Green Arrow was already being portrayed on Smallville at the time by Justin Hartley, and they announced that he would not be reprising his role. I initially wasn’t happy about this, because I liked Justin Hartley’s portrayal, and I was a little cautious about seeing a new character saunter into the role.
A little over a year and a half later, I shouldn’t have worried, because the CW show – simply dubbed Arrow – is some of the most amazing stuff on TV.
The show centers around billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as he returns to his hometown of Starling City after being marooned on an island for five years, armed with a quest from his late father, Robert Queen. He was told to avenge his city, because he and the other 1% had failed it. Later on, his focus changes from avenging the city to outright saving it, as he attempts to make the shift from vigilante to hero.
I could go on and on about a plot synopsis, but that’s not what I’m here for. What I’m here to do is gush all over this show, and that’s what I’m gonna do. This show is brilliant; absolutely brilliant. I’ll be the first to admit that it started off wooden and slow, but it really picked up when it came back from the first season’s winter break. After that, it’s been one jaw-dropping moment after another, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
One of the more ingenious ways this show tells its story is through the use of flashbacks. The show seamlessly flashes back to Ollie’s time on the island, and it shows how he got his training. It also introduces more characters from the comic book universe, none more powerful than Slade Wilson, played by Manu Bennett. You know where his character is going to end up, but he plays it so well that you don’t want to see it happen.
It also brings us the person who could be the perfect actor to play The Illusive Man if a Mass Effect movie ever came to fruition in Dylan Neal. As Professor Ivo, he manages to ooze both charm and pure evil in the same breath. In fact, there’s one part in Season Two where he’s just downright sinister.
This show is one that started off wanting to be grounded in reality, but hasn’t been afraid to launch into its comic book roots. For example, the first season stayed fairly grounded, with a lot of the things that were done being something you could actually do – the Hollywood hacking bits aside – up until the end. However, the second season has started delving into superpowered beings, mystical potions, and the League of Assassins…and comic book fans know exactly why the League is mentioned as such.
I’m not gonna lie; some parts of the show seem a bit off. For example, the portrayal of Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) just seems a bit scatterbrained. She has her moments where we feel for her, and then she has her moments where we just go…”derp”. She also has the dull surprise look down pat. What can you do, right? Also, police Detective Quentin Lance, Laurel’s father, would never be allowed to investigate the Queen family when they get in trouble with the law, because he has an obvious bias against the family. But, there he is…poking his head in where he’s obligated by law not to.
If you’re not watching this show, do something about that. The entire first season is on Netflix; go get caught up. You’ll have to buy some of the episodes from Season Two, but you won’t mind once you finish Season One. And, if you feel like it’s a bit slow in the beginning, stick with it; it gets better. Much. Better.