Saturday, December 19, 2015

TV Talk - Arrow Season 1

Remember when I said I wasn’t done with Green Arrow yet? Well, here are the rest of my thoughts. Since I touched on the character in the comics, I might as well look at the first season of Arrow. I didn’t know what to think when I first heard about the show back in 2012. I was starting to work nights at the time and I really didn’t have the time to tune in. I did watch the pilot on CW’s kinda crappy website. I think the only reason I didn’t keep up with it at that time was because of their crappy website. I did get to watch the third Huntress episode and the finale when they aired fortunately. When it got put on Netflix, I finally start to really watch the show. I decided to rewatch the first season this week.

The creators of the show decided to go for a more realistic world that’s similar to Chris Nolan’s Batman. I do have to say that it works for this Oliver Queen who is a non-powered hero. Unfortunately, they might had leaned too far with that Nolan aspect as you’ll see below. I didn’t really recognize many from the show when I first saw it. I did recognize Colin Salmon (Walter Steele) from the James Bond movies. I knew Paul Blackthorne (Quentin Lance) from the Dresden Files. I also recognized Dave Ramsey (John Diggle) but I think it was from smaller roles he did. I think he was in an episode of Girlfriends and yeah, I sometimes watched that show since the women looked hot.

Arrow starts out with billionaire playboy Oliver Queen returning to Starling City (why change the name?) after being stranded on a hostile island for five years. He, his ladyfriend, his father, and some other guy were on a boat when a bad storm hit. Everyone except for Oliver died. Before his father died, he let Oliver know that Starling City was corrupt and that he had a part in it. He gives Oliver a book that has a list of people who are aiding in the city’s crime. Oliver honored his father’s wishes in his return to the city. While he tries to put on a show for his family and friends during the day, he dons a green-suit, a bow, and arrows to fight crime as Hood Guy... yeah, they couldn't come up with any good code names at first.

I feel like the show started out fine and got much better throughout the season. A lot of it has to do with the main cast, some side characters, and the story. Stephen Amell brought it as Oliver Queen physically and acting wise. I liked that we especially got to see who he was before he returned to Starling City. On the show, we’ll usually get flashbacks to what Oliver’s experiences were on the island and they worked for the most part. They basically showed how he got his skills and became more mature. We also get to see him grow as a hero since he’s mostly just a criminal-killing vigilante for some of the beginning. By the way, I had no problem with him killing though it was jarring at first. The suit was cool too.
Felicity's idea to imitate Luke and Leia's scene from Star Wars worked out pretty well.

I also liked characters such as Diggle, Tommy Merlyn, Felicity, Walter, Laurel, Slade Wilson (pre-Deathstroke), Yao Fei, Quentin Lance (sometimes) and Thea (sometimes). I especially liked Diggle since he was usually the guy who had the right things to say. He’s like a mix of Robin and Alfred. The rest of the ones I listed added a little variety to the show. The stories this season mostly revolved around Oliver trying to dwindle down the list in his father’s book. He also tried to reconnect with his family and friends. He later finds out more startling stuff about the origins of that list and that was some pretty interesting stuff. Oh yeah, if there’s one character I have to mention, it would be Malcolm Merlyn played by John Barrowman. Now that is one villain who was threatening and backed it up big time.

The action on the show was also pretty good. Fight scenes ranged from fine to pretty dang good. I hate to say it, but whoever filmed these fights should have shown Chris Nolan a thing or two with his Batman films. The villains ranged from okay to pretty good. Most of them were criminals and corrupt businessmen. I also thought Fyers on the island was a nice villain. We really only got a few different versions from the comics like Deadshot, China White, Vertigo (called the Count and has no powers), and the Royal Flush Gang (also powered down). We even get Slade Wilson before his pre-Deathstroke, pre-villain days. Overall, the show was good for this season.

While I enjoyed a lot of stuff from the season, there were some things I wasn’t enjoying. Since the show is on the CW, it tends to go too far into the soap opera territory. You definitely see it with the ladies. In fact, I think Felicity Smoak is the only major female I like throughout the whole season. Thea definitely had her annoying points and I didn’t like Moira Queen that much in the season either. Laurel fared better and Quentin Lance also had his annoying points but got better as the season progressed.  Oliver, Tommy, and Laurel were in a love triangle for the season and that was handled a little poorly at times. The acting and writing on the show could also get poor at times.
How I felt during Thea's few tirades...

There’s also the obvious fact that the show by season’s end feels like a carbon copy of Batman Begins. I mean, you have a rich guy who returns to fight crime as a vigilante. He has a bodyguard as his aide, his former girl is a lawyer, he has a cop who he sometimes aides, and his villain wants to destroy the city he protects. There are differences of course and it doesn’t really irk me. Still, it does feel unoriginal but that kind of makes sense because GA was essentially a Batman rip-off. Even though the show feels like Day of Our Lives at times (yeah, I used to watch that too thanks to my grandmother), this season was good.
The Huntress... yay... I guess.

As usual for a post like this, here are my 7 favorite episodes from the first season.
1. Pilot – Oliver returns to Starling City and starts his mission on crime-fighting.
2. Sacrifice – Oliver and his team must stop the “Undertaking” from coming to fruition.
3. Dead to Rights – Someone hires Deadshot to take out Malcolm Merlyn.
4. Damaged – Det. Lance pegs Ollie for being the vigilante, so Ollie has to figure out how to get out of it.
5. Year’s End – A new archer comes onto the scene and challenges Ollie.
6. Unfinished Business – Ollie has to do with the re-emergence of the drug, Vertigo, on the streets.
7. Darkness on The Edge of Town – Ollie finally finds out the ones who are secretly behind the “Undertaking.”

Overall, Arrow started off well. It had some low moments, but it still holds up as an exceptional first season. When Netflix put the second season on, I ate that up. I haven’t gotten to the third season yet, but I'll get to it eventually. Well, it’s time to put down the bow for now. Peace, God Bless, and don’t fail the city. You might get some weird dude looking for you or something.

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