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This review is part of the feature DC TV-U Summer Break 2016. We recommend you to read the introduction first.
When I first heard that the Green Arrow would have its own TV series, I was thrilled. I admit that I was a little skeptical: the tone, the atmosphere, and the fact that our hero was “Arrow”. But I liked the show and kept watching. I got attached to the characters, the story was evolving in a good way, and I’ve also enjoyed the way the flashbacks from the island were related to the moments in the present. Those are important because they are interconnected, in a chronological order, and will bring Oliver Queen specific memories from the Island. It was well done.
Step by step, the series was taking over the DC Universe. It started with some fan service. Some puns. And cool characters. Hell, we even got the Flash from Arrow TV show, and now it has its own series. Since then we’ve had a lot more. So many featured, from the Black Canary to the League of Assassins through Deathstroke, Constantine, Cupid and more.
But now, after the 4th season, I think Arrow is getting stuck in this horrible nightmare every TV Show fears. It’s difficult not to compare it with the Flash. Even if Arrow had been the one who has helped the Flash getting started, I think they are both very similar in some aspects, except of course their story and atmosphere. Arrow is darker while the Flash is brighter (the same way Gotham is darker than Metropolis). They are the foundations of the DC TV-Universe at the moment. And I’d even say that they compete against each other.
Unfortunately, I think the quality of Arrow is dropping while the Flash’s is increasing. The Flash had been a little awkward during its first episodes, but it somehow had managed to become strong, steady and independent. I’ll talk more about this in the Flash review.
On the other hand, Arrow’s story started getting repetitive and stuck in the same pattern. First, they focused too much on the love story with Felicity, and it’s really annoying. To be honest, I can’t even stand the character anymore. Also, they’ve made extreme choices despite the original comics. I agree and I’m fine with tweaks for adaptations. But they can’t wipe out some important characters or even entire organisations! It also gives me the feeling that they don’t really know what they are doing. They make some random choices in the spur of the moment, or at least that’s what it feels. On top of that, if you pay attention, you can notice there are many things wrong with the extras such as cops in the background, people looking in the opposite direction, uncertain moving, etc. I don’t understand this, and it feels rushed, bad quality. Finally, the last episodes are not helping. No cliffhangers anymore.
Yes they did some great stuff; the Flash crossovers, inviting Constantine and other comics characters, etc. Arrow has really been the start for almost every DC character. But are crossovers enough to save the show ? I don’t think so. On DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, it was very cool to see a very old Green Arrow with the famous beard (still no humour though). Then on the actual Arrow TV Show (last season) we get to see Oliver Queen calling himself The Green Arrow. That’s when I thought: Do we have a chance of getting a Green Arrow that is more faithful to the comics, with some humour, perhaps the famous beard? Nope.
Overall Arrow is watchable, but it came to a point that it feels boring to me. I’m still watching it in the hope that it gets better, and also because it has some connections with the other TV Shows (well done CW). But the series has disappointed me too much lately. From the romance to the quality dropping, the extreme choices, the same low-self esteemed Oliver Queen that doesn’t have any sense of humour and is always – almost – sad. It was having some good moments in a few episodes, but it feels they just gave up in the end of the last season. It still feels Arrow is on the lead. But the other TV Shows are getting their own independence. And as the Flash is the foundation of the DC TV Universe alongside Arrow, I think the fastest man alive may become the leader. With what is going on in the DC-TV Universe (more explanation in the Flash review), let’s hope they get back on track.
To me, this is Silver.