Friday, June 20, 2014

TV Recommendation: Arrow

The CW's Arrow is the best superhero television show I've seen outside of Spectacular Spider-Man (RIP).

The show follows the exploits of the titular character, based on DC's Green Arrow AKA Oliver Queen. You may remember the character as having a pretty major role in the last few years of Smallville on the same network (although this is a different version), but chances are that this is one comic book character you've never heard of.

And it's all the better for not having any preconceived biases. I confess to being a fan of Smallville, particularly the first few seasons, but the show definitely suffered from its naming and never became the Superman that we (or I suppose, maybe just me) wanted it to be. Although you can definitely tell that Arrow is playing on the CW (for instance, the need to have a party every other episode and the main character placing his base under a nightclub, which logistically, is a pretty absurd hideout), but surprisingly, IT DOESN'T SUCK.
I know!

And it's even got me more than optimistic for the shared universe The Flash on the same network premiering this fall.

I should mention, color adjectives are dropped from the names of different masked characters (so it's Canary, not Black Canary; Arrow, not Green Arrow; probably going to be Arsenal, not Red Arrow; Archer, not Dark Archer; etc). In fact though, most of the masked characters aren't specifically introduced and you don't actually hear the name until people refer to the character later. I suppose this is to avoid being cheesy and someone actually introducing themselves as an absurd comic book moniker. It also takes the main character something like a 1.2 seasons to take on the name of the show. He is usually referred to as "the vigilante" or "the hood".

Anyway, Arrow's got severely multi-dimensional characters, an amazing 5-year "origin" that is revealed parallel to the present-day storyline, a significant amount of "strong" female characters, genuinely interesting relationships and dynamics between the main characters, and an incredibly annoying sidekick character.

Seriously, Roy sucks.

I think his character suffers from that absurd teen glam that the CW puts on a lot of its shows (see the aforementioned nightclub and party complaint). So he's a bit of a walking stereotype that Oliver's sister likes for no apparent reason. Still, I'm hopeful for Season 3.

Oh, oh! and John Barrowman is in it!

The actors get better with every episode and by the end of the second season, some of the performances they put in are stunning.

No matter the nostalgia I had for Smallville, I never thought of the actors as being "good" (although in my youth, I never really thought of them as being "bad" either), but some of the performances put in on Arrow are mind-blowingly good.  You watch them and afterwards go, "Wow".

It's not just good superhero TV, it's some of the best TV. And if you are a fan of superheros and have been on the fence because it's not one of the most well-known characters, get down and check it out. The first season is on Netflix and I'm sure the second won't be too much longer before it plays there.

What are your thoughts on Arrow