So I’ve talked about Arrow recently, but did so more in relation to another comics-based show: Agents of SHIELD. But while I don’t feel like I have anything new or interesting to say about Agents of SHIELD, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on the two most recent episodes of Arrow, and wish that we had more to watch right now. Though that might have put me behind on blogging!
So I wanted to talk about a couple of the elements that I am intrigued by and enjoying with this show. Elements that make it work, and make me believe that this should be – and really possibly is and will be into the future – the Flagship DC cinematic universe. If this were an essay, that would be my thesis; if it were a science experiment, the hypothesis I would be taking into the future. The next tests are the further episodes, and I am excited to follow along with this show!
The Human Element
Something that keeps surprising me, but that keeps the show grounded and real, is all of the very human storylines. And about some of the secondary – though recurring or constant – characters. On the one hand, it almost feels like time wasted when you could be doing more fight scenes or otherwise comic-booking it up. On the other hand, it lends weight, depth, and drama to the show, which should increase its appeal and longevity.
For instance, there’s the trials of the poor Lance family. Laurel, in particular, has been spiraling out of control, heading into addiction and self-destruction. However, that’s like her father – who has dealt with alcoholism himself, and with being demoted now in the police force. Both of these characters are important to the plot and all, but the depth being given to them lends a lot to the show.
The next episode is especially going to enhance their stories, as it will all come back to one of our Super-Heroes – Black Canary is back, and seemingly going to reveal herself to Laurel finally. Here’s a clip from the next episode:
So they are going to do flashbacks, it seems, to the Lance family, in happier days, before the Queen’s Gambit, before the Island. And the thing is, flashbacks will be nothing new stylistically for the show – we have the every episode. However, this will be our first main foray into other peoples’ flashbacks, so we’ll see how that goes!
Seemingly Seamless Integration of Characters
Okay, I have admitted before and will again: I am not by any means a DC buff. But I know a bit. So when they name-drop things like the League of Assassins (old hat for Nolan Batman movie fans), I know they’re integrating the comics. And I know characters like Huntress and Black Canary from Lego Batman (yep, from Lego Batman), and villains like Deadshot from Batman Arkham City.
However, there are other things that are new to me. The Church of Blood. Bronze Tiger. The Suicide Squad. However, these things are being integrated in too. Not just big-name things, not just Green Arrow and The Flash; and not just the small-name things, like Blizzard and Graviton in Agents of SHIELD. As Holly and I look deeper, we’re finding that there almost isn’t a character in Arrow who ISN’T from the comics: tonight’s biggest example actually being Roy Harper, who is apparently a character as old as Green Arrow: they first appeared in the same comic together, hero and sidekick.
There are a lot of others, or really, like I said, just about all of the others. However, I don’t feel like they are bringing their comic-book baggage with them. They have their own lives in the Starling City of the show, and fit within the plot that is being presented. I feel like if they can keep dealing with the comic book characters like this – and at this rate – we’ll have a full-blown TV Justice League in a few seasons and it will seem natural.
Keeping Us Guessing
And just as a final note, they’re keeping us guessing. Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, but they’re keeping us engaged in the story. Holly totally called it that Oliver called Sarah – Black Canary – to come talk to her sister Laurel at the end of Tremors. Or that it wasn’t really Sebastian that they were fighting in Blind Spot. But then, there are mysterious, both in the present, and then also in the past – like how the heck did Oliver survive long enough for this show to happen at all? When is he going to learn to be the badass he is now?
There is a lot about this show I am enjoying. If you’ve gotten to this point in my post and are watching too, what do you think of the show? Let me know in the comments below! If you got to this point and aren’t watching, I highly recommend this show! Unfortunately, there’s only the last 5 or so episodes on Hulu, but I’ll bet there’s a marathon coming up soon, and the show is on iTunes as well. Check it out! This is how super hero TV can work!