I’m fairly obsessed with a little show on the CW called “Arrow”. Maybe obsessed isn’t the right word – or hell maybe “fairly” is too light. I don’t know. What I do know is that this show makes me think all of the time. It has turned my brain ON. The topics raised are varied (from silly to serious). In the middle of what I call “theory-crafting” I can be brought to an abrupt halt with the simple thought of “OMG he’s beautiful. Have you ever seen something so beautiful?!” – only to then go right back to crafting my theory and tying clues together. I haven’t really spent this much time mulling/thinking about a TV show since “LOST” broke me and left the airwaves. That is saying something. It is perfect? No. Is it for everyone? No. Do we learn anything from the many flashbacks? Yes! Does it have the awkward and hard to watch teen angst (for me)? Yes – on occasion. But god dammit – it’s my favorite show in TV (and Netflix!) right now; as well as the main source of my phone’s routinely changed wallpapers!
It would be easy for some to say that of course I like the show. It’s filled with eye candy right? Stephen Amell IS probably one of the most handsome men currently on the screen with a lovely and strong physique that is put to use (not as much as it used to be!) in creative stunts. And not only is Stephen Amell is beautiful, but so is the entire cast. It IS a CW show after all. Even the villains gets their share of handsome/beauty. But to simply dismiss the appeal of this show on looks alone is a mistake. It isn’t only skin deep. The writing is fairly solid the cast is talented and believes in their characters, and Stephen Amell IS Oliver Queen/The Arrow. The intensity and depth of conviction he brings is utterly believable.
I’m sure that if the lead on this show was not as compelling as he is; it wouldn’t matter how pretty the actor who plays him is. Oliver Queen is such a strong and complex character, he is impossible to resist. Is he a hero? Is he a vigilante? Is he both? Is he misguided in his mission -either at the beginning or how it’s evolved? Is he destined to be free of this Arrow mantle, or forever damned to hide in the shadows? Will we learn where the rest of his scars and tattoos came from? And more importantly, will we get to see him do the Salmon Ladder and other training sequences MORE? I mean…MORE MORE MORE? (That was the drooling fangirl coming out).
I like the rather unorthodox approach the writers have gone with Oliver Queen and his romantic life. I like the fact that he isn’t in love with the character from the comics. I like the changes to Oliver and Laurel’s particular dynamic and relationship – and believe it actually strengthens them as individuals and a team. There is more..history. More depth. It plays well in this modern world without losing sight of what they have meant and do mean to each other. It’s been handled pretty well; if even the writers fumbled with Laurel a bit on her own in season 2.
But is there love?! Oliver loves Felicity. We aren’t 100% sure just how Felicity feels about him (Or what she will allow herself to feel about him.) I’m not sure when he finally realized it (could have been S2 finale?). He won’t allow himself to be with her, but even so he’s chosen to remain faithful and monogamous to her (even if they are not a couple). Truth be told, the big love really in this show is that of Oliver and “Team Arrow” (John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, and Roy). They have come together out of need and purpose. The level of trust they exhibit and faith in one another is a beautiful thing to watch. The ties that bind are strong indeed.
Speaking of Felicity Smoak – let’s. This is a character that initially was meant to be in the show in a few key scenes. And yet she became a regular very soon after her first appearances. Emily Bett Rickards is fantastic to watch. She brings a lovely combination of beauty, brains, humor, and fast-talking awkwardness that is so very welcome and needed in a show that spends so much time in the darker end of the spectrum. It is clear from her first moment on screen with Oliver Queen that he can’t help but light up around her. She is such a breath of fresh air. One of the very great qualities in Felicity is that she connects with EVERYONE. And she quickly becomes somewhat of a central point in the Team – even if she never sees it herself. She carries a girly-crush-torch for Oliver but never sees herself as the leading lady. She has a brave and true heart that keeps herself and the others on the right path. Frankly the show would suffer without her greatly – no matter how strong Stephen Amell is. That was glaringly obvious in the earlier cross over episode where Felicity traveled to Central City to visit Barry Allen. Team Arrow went on without her but…she was missed sorely.
There is one very blazingly obvious weak link in “Arrow”. The responsibility falls upon the very shoulders of someone that Oliver treasures. Thea Queen. While I don’t doubt the actress’s talent – the character is an eyesore and a tax to the patience of even the most stalwart fan. She has remained spoiled, petulant, short-sighted, whiny, demanding, and prickly. I don’t know why Roy loves her. I know that Oliver treasures and wants to protect his baby sister, but OY VEY. I really don’t know what the writers intend to do with her or what PURPOSE she serves. What real purpose. I know in Season 3 there is more tied to her than normal, but while the story seems important, it doesn’t change the fact that she SUCKS. GET HER OFF MY SCREEN!
I can’t wait until the show returns on January 21st. In the meantime, I’m spending even more free time re-watching S1 (hence the reminder that we are missing more simple physical fights and training!), then S2. I am falling in love all over again watching Oliver build his life and relationships that will define him. I really am a sucker for constantly trying to do the right thing. To be the best person you can be. Oh well. Bring it on!