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October 2014

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"You know us billionaire vigilantes. We do love our toys."

So I've been watching Arrow, the CW's Green Arrow series. 

...And I like it.
It's so much better than I expected, based on how much I hated Smallville.

And I love Oliver Queen. He's my favorite DC superhero character.

SPOILERS!

Based on the first six episodes....

It's surprisingly good. They're doing a fine job of acknowledging the Robin Hood and Scarlet Pimpernel elements, and if it's slightly over-acted and turgid, well.

Also, Colin Salmon!!! Who is wonderful. But one would expect that.

I'm a little uncomfortable with its level of vigilante apologism, but at least it raises the questions, even if it's only to dismiss them. Still, the politics feel a little Libertarian for Ollie... well, Ollie's politics not so much, because they're never discussed.

But the narrative's politics, if you know what I mean.

But hey, six episodes in and they already snuffed Deadshot. This Ollie does not fuck around. (Deathstroke has shown up, too.)

The ethos of the show appears to be "No magic. No superpowers. Just assassins." Which I can get behind. The guy doing Ollie's stunt work is a pretty ferocious traceur, as well--which makes Green Arrow (or "the Hood" as the press is calling him) a very convincing superhero--that's real parkour, and you can tell by watching it. That may be my favorite thing so far.

Stephen Arnell looks nothing like the Ollie in my head, but Katie Cassidy is a perfectly nice Dinah (she's a lawyer in this continuity, and they're using her middle name, Laurel) and I love the fact that the main and recurring cast has five or six black characters, two of whom are female, and there are two Asian characters and only one is a villain! Also, in episode 6, there's an Asian cop with a black wife, and no comment is made.

And they named a secondary character in the first episode Grell, and a more central one Diggle. ;-)


Also: Blogged: Thanksgiving.

Comments

I've been really enjoying Arrow. I like how characters could easily be cartoonish villains but by casting people as awesome as Susannah Thompson and John Barrowman, they've got actors who can give the characters juuust enough depth to be interesting and convincing.

Also, Colin Salmon rocks. And I adore David Ramsey, who plays Diggle. He had a recurring role in "Blue Bloods" before this and I was hoping he'd get something that would give him more screen time.

Now, if they could just make the sister less whiny and give Willa Holland something to work with.....

Actually, my only real complaint is I'm not buying the chemistry between Ollie and Laurel - the two actors don't seem to have any spark when they're in scenes together. Which is a bit of a shame.
...Wait, John Barrowman is in this thing?

SOLD! TO THE MAN IN THE GRAY HAT!
*giggles* Down, mate, he's only a guest star in the odd episode. So far he's had maybe 10 minutes screen time. I have no idea if the role will get more substantial or not. We don't even know his character's name yet :)
I dunno, sounds like a recurring guest star to me! C'mon, you don't have John Barrowman show up just to tease your (and his) fan base. (Do you? Do you?)

I mean, even if you do, consider myself, y'know, teased. Mmm.
Can't argue with that! Arrow's not on again until next week so you've got time to catch up :D :D
JB has said in interviews that his character will be recurring through the first season. He looks great, but he has neither flirted with everything in the room, nor broken into an impromptu song-and-dance routine yet.

Stephen Amell is all right. I want more character development for Diggle, and for growly, grumpy, overprotective dad-cop Detective Lance. Paul Blackthorne can loom over me any day of the week.
So I watched a couple of episodes of this, and it seemed pretty good (albeit not as real-world plausible as they'd like me to think). But then I looked ahead at the episode summaries, and four out of the first six episodes have random DC heroes or villains as guest stars. (I had not recognized China White's name, because I have only a scratch of familiarity with the DC universe.)

Is this going to be a problem? My immediate reaction was, geez folks, if you're leaning this hard on fan-familiarity, you don't have much faith in your story and characters, do you?

I would be happy to learn that this *isn't* a problem and they're pulling off the show anyhow, but I'd like someone to tell me so, as it were, if so. That that's the case. And then I'll go back and watch some more.

(Sorry, that paragraph got a little rambly. Listening to Arlo on the other monitor. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.)
I don't think anybody can tell you if it's going to seem too reliant on DC continuity for you except for you.
I guess I was asking whether it's too much for the story, not for me.

But the sensible answer is "Let the season play out, see if the ratio tends up or down; keep an eye on net.squee, see if people wind up raving about the great storyline or the great DC cameos. Or not raving at all. Make decision then."
I don't know the villains from the comics nearly well enough, and their appearances haven't bothered me, as one data point.
I think I fell in love with the show when Diggle called Ollie out on his white Savior complex/gentrifying the Glades. Cuz even if they didn't do much with it ...a show that even acknowledges that concept at all, on mainstream television? I was a bit stunned.
D
Yeah, I liked that too.

I keep waiting for it to turn into Harry Dresden and Oliver Queen Fight Crime.
Sigh. Every time I see Paul Blackthorne on anything I miss the Dresden Files. Since he's been on a ton of one season shows since, all of which got canceled, I kind of hope for his sake that this one lasts.
But Harry Dresden & Oliver Queen fight crime? I would watch the shit out of that!
LMAO!!!
Colin Salmon is in Arrow? I had no idea! I am now going to have to make an effort to watch the show and catch up on it.
Re author tributes - they also named a victim (ep 2 or 3) Nocenti, after the current writer of the comic. (Entertaining enough, if under some editorial constraint and not as good as her Daredevil.)
Good parkour is a reason to watch just about anything.
That actor had me (by which I mean, I would HIT THAT, were it on offer -- yum!) in one of the first lair montages when he does that Thing of ascending the row of hooks while holding a bar by repeatedly, um, chin-upping with authority? Or something? That LIGHTING. On his CHEST.

I'm continually amazed, watching, at how instinctively feminist (by which I mean, radically treating the women in the show as people not terribly different than the men) the entire show seems to be. Every time I brace for a feminism!fail, it neatly avoids it and I'm left sort of stumbling around, mentally. IN A GOOD WAY.
I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying it, as well -- FYI, I'm watching the back episodes through the CW's iPad app, which (when it works) is quite good, although the commercials are SERIOUSLY ANNOYING (in ALL CAPS even).

Still wish Supermax had gotten made, though.
Wait a minute, bows and arrows, parkour, John Barrowman, and I have been doing what instead of watching this show!? (grabs mouse, drops down menu and clicks on Hulu link. . .)
Mmmm, I never got behind the premise of Arrow but if you like it and since you like Criminal Minds, too, I might give it a try! I'm a sheep follower!
I've been enjoying Arrow as well, despite the cheesy voiceovers and over acting. I love the Parkour and they've done really well with the action sequences. I also love how Diggle calls Ollie on his shit, like the white man riding to the rescue, how lying to his girlfriend only makes him feel better, etc. I don't know if it will continue, if I can trust it to be fun. But I'm hopeful.
I'm liking it, but not loving it. It's going very Christopher Nolan "Obsessive hero saves city". I'm glad it's noticing and calling out the questionable bits, but it's still as you saying, being an apologist for it. Also, even Mike Grell's grimmer take on Ollie generally had him trying to avoid killing even the faceless bodyguards. To have him killing seems to udnermine his rightness yet again.

The Parkour is gorgeous. I could watch him in motion for most of the episode and feel just fine.

Also, something about Dinah/Laurel kicking arse in one episode then being a fainting maiden in the prison sequence undermines their generally decent treatment of their female characters.
As another big GA fan, I've been pleasantly surprised by Arrow. Diggle rocks my world, and the most recent ep (with the kind-of-Royal-Flush-Gang) showed necessary character growth for Oliver. I like that the comic fan shout-outs are fairly subtle and that folks don't have to get them to enjoy the show. And John Barrowman as a bad guy! Squeeeee!