TV Tuesdays highlights TV shows that started in or after the 1980’s, with occasional exceptions.
This week’s TV show is….
I don’t remember why I started watching this. I think it was probably one of my “let’s watch the first episode and see if it’s any good” moments. Despite a slow start, it’s actually a decent TV series. I didn’t realize it was based off of the Green Arrow character from DC at the beginning, but I figured it out about halfway through season 1. The show was sluggish for the first two or three episodes with character setup, but once we got past the character intros and got into the villain dynamics, it sped up right around episode four or five. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good character-oriented show, like Once Upon a Time or Heroes. However, the first few episodes of any show are often bogged down with introductions and exposition.
In a nutshell, the series is about Oliver Queen, a millionaire playboy who was trapped on a (supposedly) deserted island and presumed dead (after his dad’s boat The Queen’s Gambit sank) for five years. Understandably, it’s a bit of a shock to everyone to find out he’s alive and mostly intact, mentally and physically. (See the picture at the top. Five years on an island will do that to you.) Once he gets home, he goes about trying to repair all the broken relationships he left behind. His dad, Robert, is gone, of course (he was on the boat), his younger sister Thea has become a drug/alcohol addict party girl, and his mom Moira… well, she’s become a bit misguided. We’ll leave it at that. His former girlfriend Laurel Lance really wants very little to do with him (again, understandable, considering he was cheating on her… with her sister, Sara. Yup, Sara was on the boat too. Is she dead? No. I’ll give you that), and his best friend Tommy Merlyn. Of course, this is a superhero series, so we’ve got to get to the super part soon. Seems Dad left Oliver a book of names – corrupt businessmen who were exploiting the citizens of Starling City. Oliver decides that his mission is to bring those people down. To do that, Oliver comes up with a hooded archer persona, known to police and the general public as “the vigilante” or “the hood”. If he has to threaten these businessmen, okay. If it means killing them… that’s okay too. Those arrows are plenty lethal. So’s Oliver, if you force him into a hand-to-hand confrontation. It does not end well for you, should you irritate or otherwise make him angry. During all this, we’ve got SCPD Officer Quentin Lance (Sara and Laurel’s dad) determined to arrest the Arrow.
Before you start freaking out over a superhero killing people, it doesn’t last past the first season. Don’t worry.
Along the way, Oliver picks up allies, and loses a few friends. Without spoiling too much, he picks up friends and allies in the form of John Diggle, his bodyguard-turned-partner in vigilantism, and Felicity Smoak, the team’s tech support, local hacker, and employee at Queen Consolidated. He loses the friendship of Tommy after he learns the truth about Oliver’s Arrow persona. Oliver gains enemies such as the Dark Archer (expect a somewhat unexpected twist there) and Deadshot. Finally, he gains a stalker-fan (later partner) in the form of Roy Harper (you remember him, don’t you? Yeah, you do). Season 1 ends with some unfortunate deaths and a few twists – and proves that everyone’s not as evil or as good as they seem.
UPDATE: As of Season 2, we’ve met Canary, (otherwise known as Sara Lance,) continued on our Roy Harper storyline (culminating in him becoming Red Arrow/Arsenal,) Detective Lance has been demoted for working with the Arrow (he helps on a regular basis throughout this season,) and we found out that a couple key villains are still alive – both of whom bring new twists, lies, and revelations to the story. I really don’t want to spoil too much of Season 2, because it’s a brilliantly twisted mess. A long-time character dies, and a few people are sent over the edge. (Also, we got a hilarious cameo from Harley Quinn and met Amanda Waller.)
Season 3 has also started… and more twists have been added, per apparent Arrow requirements. More deaths, more secrets, more new characters, and more cool costumes.
I think every season has to end with a character death and a new secret. I really think so.
Quite honestly, I enjoy this show a lot. I like superheroes, which doesn’t hurt, but it’s still a pretty good series. We’re heading into season 3 now, and Netflix has seasons 1 & 2 on instant play. Should be plenty of time to catch up, especially for me. Also, The Flash (Barry Allen, yay!) premiered on October 7th, so be sure to catch that too!
We’ve also gotten a new intro for Season 3 as of episode 2. I like the different intros for each season as the plot is revealed.
In the end, Arrow is a great story (if a bit slow at the beginning) for 14 and up due to language, mildly graphic violence, and the occasional inappropriate scene.
The CW website keeps the five most recent episodes up for streaming for those of us without TV. Arrow airs on Wednesdays.