Okay, I decided to give Arrow a whirl last fall and watched the entire season. I know the ways of the CW after watching ten years of Smallville, so I considered it one of the Multiverse/Elseworlds. Easier that way. ;)
The CW’s ways don’t bother me much anymore, though I do have some gripes: change for the sake of change. Why insist on Dinah being called Laurel? Is Dinah too old-fashioned? *rolls eyes* And Ollie’s sister Thea is Mia? She’s got the nickname of Speedy. Star City is now Starling City? Some of the changes just seem arbitrary.
I don’t mind too much that Ollie’s exile on the island seemed to have everyone and their brother included. His original origin was surviving for five years alone on the island, but I suppose they wanted more story material, and I can’t say I object to seeing Slade Wilson. The change of the Queens dying in a plane crash when Ollie was a boy to his father Robert dying after the yacht sinks (by his own hand to give Ollie a chance to live) is okay, as Ollie’s mother Moira gets to actually have things to do, unlike poor Martha Wayne in the Nolanverse films.
Some fans have complained that the acting’s bad. Guess I don’t know too much about it, since I consider it fine. The CW didn’t do the actors any favors, though, by not featuring their credits at the beginning of the show as they did for Smallville. I still can’t tell you any of the actors’ names after a year of watching. I haven’t looked up the website or IMDB, so their names aren’t imprinted in my mind like Smallville’s.
Anyway, some pretties in the cast (a requirement for the CW) and I do enjoy the relationship between Ollie and John Diggle, his ex-bodyguard-turned-partner. Some slash possibilities there! As there are between Ollie and his childhood friend, Tommy Merlin. I have a thing for childhood buddies. They’re like siblings: they know you very well and can tell embarrassing stories about you. ;)
I do like Ollie and Dinah (sorry, Laurel) together, as they’re one of the canon het couples I actually like in DC. Annoying that Laurel won’t be Black Canary (unless things change a lot) and only one throwaway line about wearing fishnets for a Halloween party. *grumps*
Arrow has an advantage over Smallville: since Ollie is already wearing his Green Arrow costume, they don’t have to backtrack and keep him out of the tights like they had to do for Clark. And poor Ollie is still Batman-lite as his city is dark and dreary and he’s driven to right wrongs because of his father’s death.
Felicity Smoke is Ollie’s Oracle and does a good job. I squeed when I saw Roy Harper introduced and would love to see him connect with Ollie and start his crimefighting career.
Now, the finale: exciting and dramatic and a nice twist about a second earthquake machine. I liked Detective Lance risking his life to de-arm the bomb and Ollie defeating Malcolm Merlin.
And here’s the heartbreaker: Tommy. Tommy was jealous and angry about Laurel and wanted to believe that his father had changed, but he realized the truth and apologized to Ollie while he lay dying after saving Laurel during the earthquake. This entire scene, including Ollie’s tears and desperate pleas for Tommy to open his eyes had me bawling, I’ll admit. Tommy had grown up trying to adjust to the loss of his mother and to a suddenly-cold father who turned out to be insane, trying to kill everyone in the Glades (Starling City’s slums). His father cuts him off from his money and he had to find a way to support himself, falls in love with Laurel, and learns that Olllie is Green Arrow (aka the Hood or the Vigilante).
This was a complex character trying to adjust to major changes and getting gut-punched when he learns the truth about his father. Tommy would have been a valuable friend and asset to Ollie but his death just tears the heart out of our Arrow. I hope that the producers keep Tommy’s death in a prominent place and just don’t sweep it under the rug, never to be mentioned again after the first few episodes of Season 2.
Hmm, Gotham City’s Narrows may have fared better than Starling City’s Glades but both are hellholes and targeted by villains.
I like Arrow. My criteria for a good show is: am I looking at my watch at any time during the hour? No? Then it’s good! ;) I found myself enthralled by the events of the finale and ended up needing a hanky at the end, darn them!
I watch shows and movies on two levels: one as a critic, especially a writing critic, but I judge acting and lighting and twists and turns, and another as someone simply enjoying the art. I could probably pick apart many episodes but I would also have to praise for some elements, too. I like the show. Maybe it’s easier for me because my heart is with the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow is my second tier, but I still care very much about Ollie, Dinah, Roy, etc. Maybe I’m not as emotionally invested but I still want the CW to do right by these characters. I’m annoyed that the proposal for a Dick Grayson show was so botched but at least we get to see the Arrows in a good show.
So keep in mind that there are many versions of our favorite characters out there and you won’t be completely satisfied with any of them, but at least this show isn’t the dreck that the Wonder Woman pilot was that NBC wisely did not pick up. Enjoy! Life’s too short to constantly bitch and moan. Arrow is a heckuva lot better than most of the dreck on TV.
Arrgh, this appears to be a double post due to LJ wonkiness! I won't delete either one because I have comments on both. :)