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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why I’m starting to NOT be A Fan of The CW’s Arrow

I’m starting to NOT be a fan of CW’s Arrow. Season 3 is where I’m watching our favorite Emerald Archer put on a pair of waterskis while John Diggle revs up the Queen Consolidated speedboat for a shark jump…In between the excessively moral and ethical gray areas and the meandering storylines, lame villains like Ra’s Al Ghul (I’m sorry he just doesn’t work for the screen in movies or TV) and a horribly out of character super douchebag Ray Palmer I’m just getting turned off with Arrow.

And on Felicity and Ollie in love…NO…Just NO. HELL NO.

The Felicity/Oliver romance just feels FORCED and convoluted. There’s no chemistry between Felicity and Ollie the way there was between Sara and Ollie. Felicity is a great character and she deserves better than the lame love triangle storyline she’s been shoehorned in. With her being an IT expert I’d rather see her in a mystery revolving around the web, the Dwarf star tech, or anything that allows her to use her intelligence. Ollie has enough to be angsty over and Felicity is too good a character to be involved in some lame romance storyline that goes nowhere.

It’s bad enough we had to sit through Diggle becoming a baby daddy in Season 2; this Felicity love triangle is just….Good Gravy.

Arrow is turning into Batman Lite, and that’s what made the character SUCK in the Golden Age and the early parts of the Silver Age before Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams revamped him into the gruff hard travelin’ Left-winger we all new and loved for a generation. If Oliver gets rid of his Arrowbike and starts driving around in a big golden Arrowcar we’ll have the Bow Knight, not the prickly Longbow Hunter everyone knows and loves.

Many episodes in Season 2 did a GREAT job of showing the flaws of Oliver Queen and all the things that made him distinct in his feud with DeathStroke. Season 2 Oliver had great chemistry with Slade, and they did a great job of bringing out the best in each other.

Season 3 on the other hand has been SUPER DUPER LAME with the meandering plots around Ra’s Al Ghul, Malcolm Merlyn, The Society of Assassins and the mystery revolving around the death of Sarah Lance. The Amanda Waller flashbacks have been super grating and again, I can’t stand all the moral ambiguity. There’s no good or evil on this show and it’s making it impossible to watch. Arrow is starting to become everything I HATED about post Identity Crisis DC, a world without good or evil, a big gray area with no direction or focus. Dark works because the light of the hero contrasts the evil, but gray…is just confusing and hard to watch.

The Brave and the Bold episode is the best thing to come out of Season 3. Oh, and the Boxing glove arrow. That was AWESOME. Arrow needs to give us more stories like this, not all of this damn angst. The 1980s ended 30 years ago, let’s make things a bit more 21st Century in terms of story models. See what Marvel Studios did with superheroes? Do that.  

On the acting side, Stephen Amell and the cast of Arrow are doing KICKASS work. Amell is to Green Arrow and Oliver Queen what the late Christopher Reeve was to Superman. It’s the little things that he does that make that character come to life and capture his spirit. The acting on this show is some of the best I’ve seen in the superhero genre.

Amell and the cast of Arrow deserve MUCH BETTER WRITING than they’ve gotten in some of these episodes. Much of the dialogue really feels FORCED at times. I know the writers are adapting comic books, but from my twenty years of writing experience novels, YA stories and screenplays I know there’s a better way to make the dialogue sound natural and still maintain the feel of a comic.

Arrow’s scripts are the main reason the show really has not had that breakout season. Season 2 started showing promise then quickly broke down around the time DeathStroke killed Oliver’s mother. Season 3 has been falling apart from the start. The series really feels directionless, especially with Ray Palmer in the mix. I could see Hal Jordan coming to Starling city, Jack Knight or even Ted Kord, but Ray Palmer? WTF?

And speaking of Ray Palmer he’s so out of character it’s not funny. Ray in the comics has always been a bit of a Bob Newhart-esque kind of guy. Soft-spoken, kind of quiet, milquetoast, and a little deadpan. He’s mellow and easygoing. Unfortunately the writers of Arrow have turned him into a douchebag with an extra long nozzle.

I mean, Jean Loring usually was the bitch in the Atom comics, but Ray Palmer has brought out his inner asshole on Arrow. And I’m still scratching my head on how is the Atom gonna be a badass in a grim n’ gritty city? Seriously, I just don’t see how a guy whose power set is shrinking is going to be a hero for a city filled with street criminals. Just shows me how the writers have painted themselves into a corner.

Now Ted Kord I could see popping into Starling back when he had Kord Enterprises to buy Queen Consolidated. With his agility, fighting skills, and flash gun the Blue Beetle would be a great compliment to Oliver and his team of archers, and maybe even a contrast to him in terms of heroics. And his bug hovering over the sky would be a reason to give super villains pause. He would even be a better fit romantically for Felicity since he knows tech so well. Plus he’d fit right into a Justice League movie if Warner planned to adapt the TV shows to the big screen.

But the writers have just not done a good job on this show lately. Yeah, they have flashes of greatness in individual episodes, but their long game for the season just falls apart. They managed to pull shit together for a pretty solid Second season finale after the midseason writing meltdown, but season 3 feels more like odds n’ ends cut and pasted from leftover scripts, not a smooth flowing storyline with a defined beginning, middle and end.

I want to keep watching Arrow. I do. But the writing as it stands right now is turning me off. Arrow has a great cast of really strong actors who are KILLING IT onscreen, but it’s like NO ONE can write a decent script for them. I don’t want a Batman lite, nor do I want to watch a Brave and the Bold show. I want a Green Arrow show where Oliver Queen is the primary focus and he’s taking on HIS bad guys. As it stands now he’s getting LOST in his own show, overshadowed by supporting cast members and numerous plot threads that go nowhere because his writers just keep missing the target.


  1. You hit the nail on the head as to why I can't fucks with Arrow.

  2. With your statement on Blue Beetle being hooked up with Felicity Smoak, you hit something on the strange "Olicity" ship. That's a fanmade pairing that started influencing the actual series even though Felicity Smoak was originally intended to be a colleague and in the actual comics, she was Ronnie Raymond's mother who owned a computer company. There's nothing wrong with giving Arrow a new love interest but not when a certain character who historically had nothing to do with the lore gets shoe-horned in it. And it's not done organically.

  3. Ad, I just can't get into "Olicity". it just feels so FORCED. I have no problem with Ollie having love interests, as he is a womanizer. But I'd rather have an organic build into a romance. This "Olicity" just came out of nowhere without any backstory and feels so awkward. Couple this with Ted Palmer and the show is feeling LOST these days.

  4. Last Wednesday's episode was the first time I've actually tuned out of Arrow. THIS SEASON HAS BEEN AWFUL!

    If I see another useless flashback or tweenish emotional moment on this show I'm going chop bricks. It's getting old.

    1. This Wednesday's episode was WORSE Mike. The writing was just TERRIBLE. No flashbacks, but Oliver coming back out of NOWHERE was ridiculous. I'm still wondering how the F*CK he came back to Starling after being 8,000 miles away to stop a fight in the Glades? And if Felicity has one more EMO moment I'm gonna write CW a letter. This show has jumped the shark and is on its way down a slippery slope to shitville.