Drama. Action. Intrigue. Mystery. These are only a few things that describe the new CW superhero drama, Arrow. After the exit of Smallville, Arrow is a refreshing new take on the DC Comics vigilante, the Green Arrow. If you liked Justin Hartley as the hooded vigilante on Smallville, then you’ll forget he ever existed when you watch Stephen Amell fill the hero’s shoes.
I’ll be honest: Green Arrow was never a favorite superhero of mine and I never knew that much about him except that he was rich, arrows were his weapon of choice, and he was part of the Justice League. I learned more about his character when Green Arrow was introduced into the realm of Smallville. Even there, he was in the shadow of Superman and was not up front and center like he is now on his own show. Like I said before, he was never my favorite, but with this new show, he’s climbing the list.
What I love the most about Arrow is that they don’t try to sugarcoat anything. Oliver Queen was a playboy billionaire, was cheating on his girlfriend, Laurel Lance, with her sister and doing other sorts of things that are frowned upon in society. However, this all changed when the ship he, Laurel’s sister, and his father were on sinks somewhere between China and open water. He is the only survivor from the wreck and is marooned on an island for five years before he’s found and brought back to Starling City, where he is met with happiness, anger and bitterness from several different people. Of course, he comes back with a vendetta against all the corrupt elite who have tarnished the city and taken advantage of the people in order to stay in power.
Are you interested yet? The premise does sound a little bit like Batman with the whole billionaire and saving the city part, but that is really where the similarities end. And unlike Superman, who is ever the boy scout and constantly brooding over right and wrong, the Green Arrow does not brood over morals. In fact, his morals are downright murky and shady. All his actions are ambiguous as the hooded vigilante, yet the audience understands why he does what he does and the choices he makes.
This is what I meant by not sugarcoating it. This show is gritty and the show’s hero has his moral compass pointing in different directions, which is why it is a must watch. All the things Oliver Queen does are a representation of his humanity. Would it be half as interesting if he always did the “right” thing all the time? Absolutely not. It’s what makes the show so intriguing to watch. And it also does beg the question: what is the “right” thing? After all, everyone has their opinions. This includes Laurel’s father, who is a police detective and is adamant about capturing the Green Arrow. All the characters are torn and broken in some way or another and that is what makes them believable and relatable as people.
So if you’re still not convinced you should watch the show based on the above, listed below are the 5 reasons Arrow is a must watch show this season:
- Green Arrow. The title character is a superhero. A superhero that has a past and an ambitious goal he would do anything to accomplish. He is driven, has a kickass suit, awesome voice changer, and scary as hell weapons. You thought you enjoyed watching Katniss Everdeen shoot arrows in The Hunger Games? The Green Arrow makes Katniss’s shooting skills look like a baby learning to walk. He puts fear in the heart of the corrupt and he does it in style. How many TV characters can you say that about?
- The Story. Like I said earlier, this show has drama, mystery, intrigue. Who doesn’t like that? And it’s never overwhelming. There’s never too much drama or too much mystery and you never feel weighed down by it. There is just enough that it leaves you wanting to come back for more. I like that we’re given little doses of the mystery just to keep us hanging until the next episode and that it’s not all given in one large chunk, which is what a good story should do. So far, it’s a well woven plot that looks to be only the beginning.
- The Action. I don’t know what the budget for this show is, but whatever it is, they’re using it wisely. The action scenes are so amazing and well done. Every stunt is choreographed beautifully and it isn’t the kind of action that blurs together while you’re watching. You can see every detail in its intricacy. They’ve given Oliver Queen more than just lethal bow and arrows. They’ve given him the power of agility and resilience while fighting. His leaps are those of an acrobat or gymnast. It leaves you wishing you could be as agile and graceful with your body.
- Stephen Amell. There are no words to express how happy I am that they did not bring back Justin Hartley to play Green Arrow. I don’t think he would’ve given the role as much justice as Stephen Amell has. This man has a presence on screen and he brings such an edge and respect to the character he plays. He pulls off the character of playboy and superhero effortlessly. A plus: the workout scene Oliver does is actually done without any wires because Amell can do it himself.
- The Characters. I mentioned above that each character is broken in his or her way. They each have their motivations, why they do what they do. And they each have their own stamp on the show that makes them important. Important to the main character, important to the plot, etc. Also, all the characters have a different depth to them. Layers. Some have more layers than others, but each layer reveals more of their essence and more of their humanity. What’s really great to watch are the different relationships they all weave with each other and how they interact with one another.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. So, go start watching Arrow on the CW. I promise you won't be disappointed.