I tried to get into Arrow. I really, really tried. I wanted to like the idea of a Green Arrow TV show, and I wanted to get swept away in the fandom that so many have for the show. Unfortunately, I kept coming to the conclusion that the show is just miserably mediocre. It’s so boring, so devoid of pizzazz and flare, I just couldn’t do it anymore. After three seasons I switched it off of Netflix and moved onto season two of Mister Robot, you know, a good show. As an avid comic book fan, and an avid consumer of most great television shows that have hit the airwaves, I can pretty much pinpoint exactly why Arrow wasn’t for me. Get ready folks, this one’s going to be a doozie.
To start, the production value of the first season is remarkably cheap. The acting is horrendously mediocre. You can tell that a lot of the actors are really trying. Stephen Amell is doing his absolute best to look like he’s having fun, and I think he is. I think he’s enjoying playing “Arrow” as well as Oliver Queen. However, at this point, I have to wonder if the execs at DC are inept, or if they’ve just hired mindless drones to turn every damn story into Batman 2.0. I’m actually disgusted with the fact that every DC property that comes out has been tainted by the tone of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. Yes, Batman as a property works, being dark and gritty. However, NOT EVERY DC PROPERTY NEEDS TO BE SO DARK.
In the first few seasons, they manage to make the entire Queen family unlikable. Arrow is more of a villain than a hero, murdering everyone he comes into contact with. The side characters are interesting, and I find John Diggle and Felicity Smoke to be much more charming than Oliver Queen. I mean, we’re talking about a character who shoots boxing glove arrows out of his quiver, why on earth are you having him run around killing everyone? Yes, DC has always been the darker side of comics, and has a lot less to laugh about and have fun with than Marvel. However, what this show lacks isn’t just levity. The plot points are incoherent, and the story line with the island is so drawn out and pointless that I’m not quite sure why they keep it going as long as they do.
Twists in the story are pointless and predictable. The show is too scared to kill off any main characters, so we see fifteen different twists and “surprise” fake out deaths. I use the word surprise extremely lightly. On top of this, we also have the conundrum of the show trying to be so grim and literal that it turns out campy. Removing super powers from a world that literally coined the meta human, and then re introducing the idea with Super Girl and tying her into the world (i.e. Flash, because Flash exists in the same universe) is just horrendous. It’s a complete butchering of the character.
Overall, I can’t say enough how much I dislike Arrow. Boring plot lines, poor acting combined with horrendous writing, unlikable characters, and an overly macabre tone kill any enjoyment from the plot. The show has earned a cult like following, and I’m extremely surprised. We live in another golden age of television, and yet people still find trashy shows to gravitate to. Arrow tries its best to have charm, but the script ultimately causes it to fall flat. With so many other, better, superhero properties existing to this day, I can’t find a good excuse to recommend or allow anyone to get lost in this mess of a show.
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