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Straight as an “Arrow”: How the CW’s Superhero Show Is Hitting the Bullseye

It took half a season for Arrow to hit its stride last year. Lackluster character development and a villain-of-the-week formula did little to separate the action-drama from other genre programs on TV. Many shows face a similar sort of identity crisis in their premiere seasons, but by the latter half of Season One, Arrow overcame its growing pains to start delivering the strong narrative beats that most shows take several seasons to accomplish, a trend which has permeated the entirety of Season Two. So what is Arrow doing to find such critical success this year?

Expanded Universe

Arrow made it a point to set itself apart from its comic book continuities, right off the bat. While the likenesses of core characters were kept intact, the origins of Oliver Queen’s allies and enemies were drastically changed to make the show both an homage to years of “Green Arrow” comics yet something fresh for both television and comic book audiences. Characters like Felicity Smoak and John Diggle, Oliver’s “Arrowcave” companions, take on drastically different roles in the show, Diggle being a part entirely contrived for TV. Popular “Green Arrow” villains such as China White, Count Vertigo, and the Dark Archer appeared in Season One, but only the Dark Archer had any significant impact on the hierarchical plot of the show. While Season One introduced viewers to a diverse array of interesting characters, they did little to connect Starling City, the show’s main setting, to the rest of the DC universe.

The same cannot be said for Season Two.

Black Canary
Caity Lotz as the “Black Canary”

Several big names have appeared this season, and several more are anticipated as Arrow gears up for its Season Two finale. The fan-favorite Black Canary has become a central character this year. It is revealed early on that Sara Lance, the Canary, is on the run from the League of Assassins, Arrow’s first outlet to the larger DC universe.

Last summer, it was revealed that Season Two of Arrow would serve as the launching point for the CW’s new spin-off, “The Flash.” Episodes 8 and 9 introduced Grant Gustin as Barry Allen who was struck by the explosion of a certain particle accelerator by the end of his guest appearance. His introduction is a huge leap for the series. Shows like Once Upon A Time and Once Upon A Time in Wonderland benefit from running parallel in the same universe, as the doors are open for crossover episodes where characters from one show can appear in another.

Grant Gustin in Arrow
Grant Gustin makes his debut as Barry Allen in Episode 8, “The Scientist.”

Telling Barry’s origin story in Arrow has helped the writers achieve a similar result. Future seasons of both shows are set up for seamless transition of plots and characters. This makes the show feel like a real comic book series where the arcs of different heroes are interwoven in a shared universe. It is not outside the realm of possibility for the Flash and the Arrow to be teaming up in future seasons.

Harley Quinn in Arrow!?
Our fingers are crossed that we’ll see more of Ms. Harleen Quinzel in future seasons!

In an effort to expand this universe even farther, the writers have introduced viewers to Amanda Waller, an A.R.G.U.S. agent who, in the comic books, assembles the infamous Suicide Squad, a ragtag group of villains picked from all corners of the entire DC universe. Episode 16 saw these characters assemble for the first time, and more even more surprisingly, the notorious Harley Quinn made a cameo in the episode.

Episode 17 broke even more boundaries as the focus shifted to the Birds of Prey, a group most-famously comprised of Black Canary, the Huntress, and Oracle.

If you haven’t noticed already, the Batman characters are coming in by the boatload.

Arrow has been digger even deeper into the DC universe, presenting fresh, exciting content for viewers who may be uneducated in DC lore, but opening up exciting possibilities for the die-hard, comic book fanatics to be excited about.

Flashback Material That Matters

Season One was Oliver Queen’s origin story. Origin stories exist to define a hero’s moral code and personal values, values which were defined in the climactic Season One finale with the death of Oliver’s best friend, Tommy Merlyn. Flashbacks were used as a storytelling device in each episode; Oliver’s struggles in the present day would be reflected by flashbacks to his years of isolation on the island. This device was effective, but all too familiar. Shows like Lost, Psych, Once Upon A Time, and How I Met Your Mother use the same tool in the same way.

In Season Two, the writers broke this trend by creating interesting flashback material that supports the hierarchical plot of the Arrow’s present day adventure. Mirakuru, a “miracle serum,” has appeared in Starling City, and two presumed-dead characters, Slade Wilson and Sara Lance, reemerge after years of Oliver Queen presuming them dead. Season Two’s flashbacks explain why these characters were presumed dead, where the mirakuru comes from, and how it all ties into Oliver’s second year on the island. While flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island used to be just-bearable, they have become the highlights of many episodes this season.

Deathstroke Mask
The Deathstroke mask was seen in the pilot episode. It’s safe to assume viewers will soon see this story’s finale.

Hierarchical Plot Structure

One of the biggest downfalls of the first season was the villain-of-the-week formula. This is often the case with serialized drama. Each week, a new, often lackluster villain would terrorize the citizens of Starling City, and Oliver would have to stop them. Some of his time on the island would be revealed – rinse, wash, repeat. It wasn’t until the second half of the season that this structure was all but abandoned, and for good reason. Season Two, thus far, has brought the overarching story to the forefront in nearly every episode. And even when new villains do surface, they exist primarily to push the main plot further.

Take, for example, the episode, “Heir to the Demon.” Nyssa, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, arrives in Starling City to take Sara Lance back with her to the League of Assassins. Nyssa appears for just one episode, like most villains from Season One, yet she is complex and dangerous, and her appearance leaves repercussions for the rest of the Season. Sara reveals her identity to her Father, she reveals herself alive to her sister, and she becomes a permanent resident of Starling and a member of the Arrow team. Just about every episode this season has seen the higher plot and the characters take leaps further in complexity and development.

Black Canary in Combat
The Black Canary faces off against an assailant from the League of Assassins.

Higher Production Value

One of my favorite scenes from the first season involved Oliver parkouring across the rooftops of Starling, and then dropping down the side of a fire escape, floor by floor. Arrow saved its coolest scenes for the latter half of the season, but Season Two did not rest on its laurels. Quite the opposite, in fact; the production value has continued to take leaps and bounds. The cinematography is movie-quality in many of the action sequences. One of my favorite sequences is in Episode 5, “League of Assassins.” Members of the League track down Sara to Starling City, and they attack her while with Oliver in his mansion home. When the fight goes to the living room, Sara jumps up, grabs the frame of the doorway, pulls it off, and uses it as a makeshift bo staff (click the still below to watch the scene). Another scene that demonstrated the show’s uniquely high quality occurred in Episode 11, “Blind Spot.” Laurel convinces the Arrow to help her break into the city archives, but naturally, the police arrive on-scene to intercept them. Bullets fly as Laurel and the Arrow race through the labyrinth of bookcases. Episode 15, “The Promise,” delivered great action in the flashback material as Oliver, Slade, and Sara began their explosive assault on the freighter. Season 2 has not held back in its grand scope. If following in the footsteps of the preceding season, then the action is only just picking up.

League of Assassins
When Sara and Oliver are attacked on their home turf, the action gets intense.

Stronger Acting

TV often suffers from poor acting. It is justifiable for a few episodes when a new show airs – actors are really trying to figure out who their characters and what their motivations are – but it took lead actors like Stephen Amell and Willa Holland an unbearable amount of time to find their footing. However, by the end of the first season, they had really come into the roles to the point where I can’t imagine them being played by anybody else. The acting in Season Two jumped above and beyond the bar set by the end of Season One. Fans love the characterizations of protagonists like Felicity Smoak, John Diggle, and Quentin Lance. Shoddy dialogue can occasionally spoil otherwise excellent scenes, but instances where I have had to cringe are far and few between. The acting in Season Two has only supplemented the other improved aspects of the show and made it that much easier to be engrossed by the turbulent situations in Starling City. Arrow is finally offering characters audiences can invest themselves in.

The Verdict

Season Two of Arrow has set a new bar for the quality viewers should expect from serialized television. It has widened in scale by tying Starling City into the larger DC Universe, much to the pleasure of long-time comic book fans. It has also abandoned the hierarchical structure most shows suffer from by introducing a plethora of interesting, character-driven plot threads, and by showing flashback material that is more-relevant to the Arrow Team’s present-day problems. The villain-of-the-week formula has been completely replaced by a more-engaging hierarchical plot structure, where every episode pushes the overarching story forward. What makes the biggest difference this season might just come down to the higher production value. Intricate set designs are supplemented by strong lighting and well-choreographed action sequences, and the quality of acting has improved twofold.

Arrow is a success story. Instead of taking several seasons to get into the meat of the show and to embrace its DNA, the writers, actors, and crew have pushed it leagues ahead in just a year of airtime. Season Two hasn’t ended yet, but I am already anticipating the third.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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42 Comments

  1. Roberto
    0

    Last episode was great! Good character progression, decent through line of a theme of “What will you and won’t you do to protect those whom you love?” Hell, this is really a microcosm of the entire season’s theme when you think about it!

  2. Randolph Harvey
    0

    I love this show but if I were to REALLY give an unbiased look at it I’d have to say the writing is WAY too scatter brained. The direction of this season is all over the place. You miss one episode and you could potentially miss out on an entire arc.

    – They revealed Malcolm Merlyn was still alive and he dropped the Thea bomb. Haven’t seen or heard his name since

    – They spent several episodes developing Brother Blood’s arc. He had his conflict with Slade and we haven’t seen him since

    – Arrow and Amanda Waller had their quick scene hinting that they share a history together and him seeking her help with Slade. No follow up there from episode to episode.

    – Moira Queen is supposedly still running for Mayor?? No mention the last couple episodes

    – Roy joined Team Arrow in one episode and vanished for a few only to resurface and still have very little progress in his “control”

    – This episode in particular Thea and Roy have their emotional scene about the breakup with Roy and everyone keeping secrets. Ollie offers to drive her home and she says she wants to be alone. Cuts to the next scene and Slade offers her a ride and she gingerly accepts. WTF??? The writing is so lazy they conveniently wrote in a way for Slade to get to Thea

    – Where the hell is Isabel Rochev??? Ollie slept with her in Moscow and I don’t remember seeing or hearing of her since.

    – What happened with Ollie and Queen Consolidated? They went through all of the trouble with having Ollie take over the company using Felicity and Diggle as cover and now they just frolic around as Team Arrow and nobody asks questions.

    I could go on. Like I said, the show is very entertaining but when you really stop and look at it with an unbiased view the writing from episode to episode is just plain terrible. It’s like a free for all.

    • HunterWolfe

      Yeah, there are definitely a lot of doors that the writers have left open. The past few episodes haven’t been my favorite. They haven’t been pushing the hierarchical story forward (which is ironic since I mentioned that in my article). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in the grand scheme of things, it would be nice to have “break” episodes if I were to watch this whole season in a few sittings. That being said, Arrow was at its strongest prior to “Suicide Squad” and “Birds of Prey.”

      There are 5 episodes left of Arrow this season. It took just a few episodes to draw us in *this* season, and just a few episodes to completely turn Season One around. So here’s hoping that the last few episodes get “Arrow” back on track.

    • Stephen
      0

      Suicide Squad & Waller will play a part in taking down Slade. Merlyn will save Thea. and Rochev works for Slade. And when Ollie liquidated some of his shares in the company to lure Clock King, Rochev will use that as her opening to take Queen consolidated

      These
      are all just theorys but it explains while all those stories where
      necessary to this season and could not be put off until Season 3

      As for Roy he did get shafted as of late, but they have alot to cover, he was suppose to be in more but most of scenes have been cut for time but some will be back on the DVD release

      To really give everyone their due each week would need to be 2h no commercials (i would totally watch that btw)

    • DerringerHK
      0

      My guess is that next episode, due to SPOILER SPOILER Thea being taken by Slade, Merlyn will make an appearance. I can definitely see Merlyn revealing himself to be alive to Oliver. It’s only a matter of time, really. I suppose they’ve been focused on Slade’s character arc for the past 10 episodes, but I agree that they could have at least shown Malcolm doing evil deeds, even just a small scene or two…

    • To be fair if I was told Ra’s al Ghul was after me. I would run as far from Starling as I possibly could. At least they have explained Merlyn’s absence.

    • Marcos Kim
      0

      Definitely that it’s been all of the place but…
      -some of the threads are building to future episodes or seasons (Waller and the suicide squad, Merlin arc, brother blood). We may not see these plot points till next season they are just there to set up for the future.
      -I do agree that some are pretty jarring like the whole Isabel thing. She was a big presence in the beginning of the season then to magically disappear I swear if she is secretly working with slade or brother blood I’m going to scream (a poor excuse) and also Roy as well. It was interesting when he got injected and Ollie training him but then he gets drop off then show up briefly in another episode and then gets drop off again lol.
      -the whole slade picking up Thea I can kind see why she did, it’s not like she has never seen the guy before, slade was with her mom acting like a family friend and slade and Thea shared that common interest of art.

      I really like arrow like you and now that I read your comment I do see that it has been all of the place but most of it has been really great no matter how much it bounces around.

  3. I am not liking the direction this season is taking. It started out really tight and focused on Blood and his connection with Slade, which was fleshed out in the flashbacks. We also had Sarah and Roy as side stories and I was excited to see how Roy would be integrated into the team. Roy was what I was most excited about as season 2 went on, but the show has lost its direction, and how they are handling Roy is, quite frankly, terrible.

    He basically dropped off the radar for 5 or so episodes after he joined the team, and we pick him up right where we left off with the “you are too powerful for your own good.” I am hating this angle, because it just seems too familiar to the role the actor played in Teen Wolf.

    Don’t get me started on the Suicide Squad. I haven’t read any comics so I can’t relate to how they were presented in the comics, but I believe its killing this show right now. Way too many side characters are being introduced and it has compounded this scatter-brain of a season to nth degree.

    • I agree, perhaps the suicide squad should have been hold back until season 3. However, the one thing that was kind of disappointing to me, was the reason for the backlash between Slade And Queen. Seriously, Because of a girl that Oliver wasn’t even entirely “guilty” for killing? It would have been much better, I don’t know, if it turned out that Oliver’s father had funded the expedition. The pirates would have then arrived and thus, because of hatred to the Queen family, he targets Oliver, BAM! Thats 10 times better then the whole loss of Shado Arc. Besides, the show didn’t even fully flesh out the love which Slade had for Shado

  4. I agree, the show has become more coherent in the second season. I’m a little worried that they are moving too fast too soon but the expansion of the DC universe does lend itself well for future possibilities.

  5. The first half of this season was really good. It’s started out good again afer the break, but has been downhill a bit.

    I didn’t like the way they used Diggle since the beginning of season 2. He appeared, but he was ‘just there’. The Suicide Squad was a cool episode, but that one episode won’t do, I’m afraid.
    The way the handled Roy was nice, until he joined team arrow. That’s when we practically don’t hear of him again. I want to see more of him.
    And what about blood? He completely disappeared after we last saw him in that office with Slade. Doesn’t he pose a threat anymore? Doens’t he make more “supersoldiers”?

    I like this show, a lot, but some things need to be cleared up.

    • HunterWolfe

      I agree with your comment about Diggle. He’s been very underutilized this season. Has he put on the Arrow suit at all?

      I’m starting to think that with so many characters and so many arcs, one or two people are going to get killed off this season. Definitely not Sara, because she ties the group to the League of Assassins. And definitely not Felicity, because she is so integral to the group. But maybe Thea. Thea’s death would be enough to push Roy over the edge and either become a villain, or her death might give him the ability to control his powers, in her memory. Oliver learned to control his rage towards the city’s filth after Tommy died – maybe it will be the same for Roy.

  6. Dennis Fulton

    I tried watching the first episode, but I really didn’t like it. I know you say the show gets better (which I’m sure it does), but I want a show that is steady and rock solid with a good introductory episode. Oliver Queen came off as just another dull pretty boy with hints of cliche emotional depth and intelligence in hopes we see him as more than a pretty face. I didn’t, I saw him as a poor construction and attempt to be unique. I much prefer him the the Justice League Unlimited cartoon.

    • HunterWolfe

      Trust me, Dennis. It gets so much better. As I mentioned in the article, “Arrow” started off hardly different from any other serialized TV show. But by mid-season, it found it’s footing. Oliver is a complex character who is scarred from his time on the island, yet trying to find normality back in the real world. The beginning of Season Two finds him in a new mental state entirely. Give it a “shot!” 😉

  7. The rampant stupidity among the characters in this show is ridiculous. First their is Oliver with his misplaced sense of morality and priorities. He’d rather be a hypocrite and prevent Huntresses revenge against her killer/murder father than protect his ex girlfriend who he supposedly loves.

    Second, there is Helena who rather make speeches and drag out her revenge instead of actually getting it.

    Third, there is Laura who suddenly thinks she is capable of taking on Huntress and her people. Or lastly, how she can’t recognize her own freaking sister who is looking her dead in the face! I can’t stand plots being driven by straight stupidness.

    • HunterWolfe

      I think Laurel is one of the most complex characters on the show. Oliver might have endured hell on the island, but Starling City was its own sort of island for Laurel. Laurel’s boyfriend cheated on her with her sister, who wound up, presumably, dead. Her parents divorced. Her father turned to alcoholism. Her best friend, Tommy, died in her place. Her sister returns after years in hiding. She suffers from the same alcoholism that her father endured… the list goes on.

      Some might say Laurel is hard to like this season because she’s all over the place. Well, if I had endured those same things, I might just be all over the place too.

  8. I find it very funny when you bring super powers to live action, you realize so many comic book fight scenes are soo unrealistic, even for comic books physics. Here, Slade literally rips people hearts out (in an earlier episode) and Roy basically ignored a bullet through his hand and healed in a day. Yet in comics, many non-powered martial artists can fight Deathstroke (sometimes they even win although Deathstroke normally beats them but still, once punch from Deathstroke should kill a person) That was actually my favorite aspect of Man of Steel where they had Kryptonians use their super speed for things over than going from point A to point B. When Faora is just smashing her way through human troops, I was thinking how is Batman ever supposed to beat Superman, even with Kryptonite. All he has to is superspeed back, or super speed and attack before Batman can open the lead case. (Which is why my favorite Batman Superman fight is the first one they had in Nu52 or Justice League War which shows what happens when a human tries to mess with a Kryptonian)

    • HunterWolfe

      The absence of realism is part of the reason I watch this show! Isn’t that why we watch most shows? They take us to a place where it *is* realistic for unreal and amazing things to be happening in a person’s day-to-day.

  9. Here’s a fun theory. What if Slade is Felicity’s father? She hasn’t seen his face nor has she heard his voice. Also, what about seeing Felicity’s face when Slade had his monologue about ruining Olivers life.

  10. Leah Smith

    You’re connection to the characters from Batman are great. Too bad “Gotham” is going to be on a different network, which probably means there’s not going to be a Batman spinoff. But if “The Flash” does well, then I wonder what the next spinoff will be . . .

  11. Jamie Tracy

    I admit when Arrow first premiered I was upset because it felt like a Batman story. This killed the fantasy that Batman would make his way back to network television. Ollie has been a Bruce Wayne rip-off with friends.

    That being said, I love watching Arrow. There is plenty in there that hints to the comics that only comic fans will pick up on. I like the expanded universe and the villain choices thus far.

    The narrative structure is fantastic. The flashbacks are used as a parallel storyline. It saved us two seasons of how did Ollie get so good at shooting arrows? I love the format and hope it continues for the remainder of the series. As you said, breaking the Smallville mold of generic villain of the week was the best choice the CW made in it’s production of Arrow.

  12. I watched the first few episodes and have to say that this show is down right amazing.

  13. I’ve greatly enjoyed Season 2, although to be fair I did marathon the first season and the first half of this season all in one go so it all runs together a bit in my head. That being said, I felt like they were on a really good track with the plotlines, but the last few episodes seem more like filler than anything else. When there are, as you say, only a few episodes left to wrap up the season, why waste the time with fluff and filler when there is so much potential in the stories they have going?

    • HunterWolfe

      You bring up a good point. In a short-term sense, filler episodes like “Birds of Prey” and “Suicide Squad” seem to stunt Season Two’s excellent pacing, but if I were to sit down and watch this years later, I would probably watch these episodes back-to-back in one sitting. Experiencing the show in that context changes the role those episodes play in the grand scheme of things; they become less filler and more comedic relief – a break from the high action and intense drama. They are more enjoyable, because you know that you don’t have to wait two or three weeks to jump back into the hierarchical story. The producers have to think about the final product as a whole as well as a serialized show.

      I share in your frustration, but I think we’ll enjoy those filler episodes in retrospect someday.

  14. I need to watch more of that show. I also hear that the Flash is getting his own spinoff.

    • HunterWolfe

      As I mentioned above, the Flash *is* getting a spinoff series this Fall. The character, Barry Allen, was portrayed by Grant Gustin in two early episodes of Arrow Season Two. With the success of Arrow, it is doubtful the spinoff will be a flop, however, I had the same mentality with Once Upon A TIme’s spinoff, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. Only time will tell.

  15. Schwartz
    0

    I am sick of this god awful TV show. The villains suck and the hero is a plank of wood with a green hood.

  16. pittman
    0

    I would argue that the conflict between Black Canary and Huntress made more sense to the plot of the show than ever becoming a team. This isn’t your daddy’s “DC”, so expect things to be different than what you are used to. I’m more against the choice of the writers sending Oliver and Laurel back down darker paths. Isn’t it about time that Ollie and Roy come clean to Thea? Because let’s face it… the moment Moira knows about Ollie being Arrow, the show will be reaching the very end.

    • HunterWolfe

      You bring up an interesting point of discussion, pittman. How does the number of people who know Oliver’s secret affect the longevity of the show? I think the two are directly related. I think that if everybody knew Oliver’s secret, he would have his very own “Justice League,” per se. A lawyer, a detective, an assassin, a super soldier, a tech wizard, a bodyguard, a Fortune 500 company, a mayor for his mother… He would be unstoppable, which is why I think that’s when the show will end, and it is also why I think one or more of the characters are going to be killed off in the season finale.

  17. I have not actually watched Arrow yet, but my boyfriend LOVES it. As an avid comic book reader, he finds the show engaging and true to the figures portrayed in the comics. I might start watching it now that there is going to be a spin-off, but whether or not it is worth my time still remains to be seen.

    • HunterWolfe

      As I mentioned in the article, it starts off slow – no different than most shows. Give it some time, and you will be rewarded, I promise you!

  18. this show has really been great this season but the only problem i have with it is some of the actors they choose. i feel like it can really bring down the show sometimes when they choose less than average actors!

  19. Monique

    I worry sometimes that the writers of Arrow are working too hard to service the comic reader fans at the expense of the television viewers. I say this despite being a huge comic nerd, and a fan of Green Arrow the comic hero for about 40 years.

    My issue is that the show often relies upon comic knowledge to create its tension. Case in point: Amanda Waller stands in front of a prison cell and tells Bronze Tiger she’s got a proposal. He asks about the team she’s assembling. She smiles and says, “Well, it’s really more of a _squad_” with a sly emphasis on the word. Act Break.

    If you’re a fan of DC Comics, you know she means the Suicide Squad, and you’re probably cheering as the commerical begins. But if you’re new to the Arrow mythos, that line means _nothing_, creates no tension. It’s power is entirely conveyed by canon to which the viewer has no access.

    I absolutely love the references and background characters and love playing spot-the-homage while watching Arrow. But if the show wants to survive and grow like we hope it will, it’s got to learn to succeed on its own merits and be satisfying television in addition to being satisfying superhero fare.

    • HunterWolfe

      I have to disagree with you, to some degree. You chose an excellent example. An article I read mentioned an upcoming episode focused on the Suicide Squad. My friend, a huge DC nerd, told me all about them, so going into the episode, I knew what to expect. I could be just as excited as the rest of the diehards.

      That being said, I disagree that the power is “entirely conveyed by canon.” As a viewer, this scene does create suspense because we’re left wondering just why a “good guy” like Amanda Waller is in cahoots with Bronze Tiger. That mystery – those first lines of a much larger side story – leave the viewers with questions.

      Homages like this, and like the Harley Quinn cameo, for example, should only be regarded as added bonuses. Viewers aren’t just seeing DC mythos come to life onscreen, they are seeing it *made*.

  20. Savannah Rodgers

    I think adding Harley Quinn into the mix would be interesting, even if it’s not involving the Suicide Squad. I see a lot of potential there for development for her and the rest of Team Arrow. However, they already have a lot going on this season. I’m holding out hope for season three.

  21. farishtamw

    I agree whole-heartedly when you say that Arrow is a success story!

    It has come a long way. I think it took about half a season to get its footing and then started to pick up steadily.

    Season 2 got off to a strong start and hopefully we can see it continue to move in the right direction as it winds down.

    As for TV, I think it gets a bad rap for its quality of acting-there is some excellent TV talent out there.

    The case is a little differenet with the CW, which often employs young, up-and-coming artists, who need some time to grow and learn in order to be able to hold their own.

    The acting has become much better this season and Arrow has a favourable cast-in my opinion-and it’s not difficult to like them!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • HunterWolfe

      The writers have given me every reason not to like Laurel this season, yet she’s still one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait to see where her character goes next. I’m going to have to ask you the difficult question: Who’s your favorite character on the show?

  22. A brave but true point, acknowledging that higher production values contributed to the show’s improvement. Nobody wants to admit that sometimes more money makes a better project.

    I think the best part about Arrow’s progression is how quickly it ditched the framework which wasn’t working. In the current TV pilot climate, where fewer and fewer shows are regularly surviving past their freshman seasons, I think a lot of shows could stand to take a page out of Arrow’s book in order to survive the vicissitudes of cancellation season.

  23. Flashback material is on point this season. However, there are few questions I have that might could be answered by the Arrow TV series community: What is the deal with Ollie’s hair? It’s awful. But seriously, Slade’s obsession with Shadow is ridiculous. Is this obsession enhanced by the Mirakuru? Wasn’t Slade also supposed to have a family back home? Did he just forget about them? Just questions I have that make the motive for Slade’s revenge illogical for me.

  24. Giovanni Insignares

    Hunter, I agree with you on every point you’ve made. Arrow is one of my favorite shows to watch right now. The evolution of the show from season 1 through now is so exceptional. I almost gave up on the show after its first few episodes, but like most television shows, it just needed time to grow. A show rarely hits the ground being great; therefore, growing pains will be necessary. A similar trend can be seen over on ABC with their own comic property show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Arrow is rolling right now with the same speed as a car from the Fast and the Furious juiced up on nos. Its been great week-in and week-out, and I cannot wait to see how this season ends and what season 3 will bring along.

  25. Jemarc Axinto

    I’m giving the show a few more episodes before playing catch-up but from what I’ve seen of Season 2 (and that’s quite a bit of it so far) I absolutely love it. I think what also helps to make the show more impressive is the sheer amount of athleticism the performers are capable of, in particular I am talking about Caity Lotz and Stephen Ammel. While on one hand, their workout montages are eye-candy for the masses, most of all it shows a higher level of expectation for performers. While they still have stunt doubles, it really heightens the overall quality of the show.

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