I’m a girl, so naturally the appeal of Arrow stared out by the fact that there is a man on my TV shirtless exercising and doing parkour like it’s his job, which it kind of is. Now that this has been acknowledged and we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at the actual content of the show, beyond Stephen Amell’s abs.
The first few minutes definitely set the tone. Oliver Queen narrating how he has become something so much more than what he was because of his experience in the jungle. Yeah. We got it. You’re a badass. How you learned about Buddhist practices and got sexy tattoos and learned how to be a mad computer hacking whiz while you were on an uninhabited island, I do not know — and I doubt it will ever be answered — and do not care. You have now honed your body into a lean, mean, vigilanting machine. Oliver Queen is now going to fix his darling Starling City by taking down the bad guys. Good for you. Again, you’re a badass.
And this seems to be the general idea behind the whole thing. I’m a badass and I’m going to fix this city. He’s a little hardball for something that is really ridiculous. Because no one can tell me that superheroes aren’t ridiculous. They are. And I can only handle the ridiculosity as long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously, or try to be too “authentic.” Don’t get me wrong, I love comic books and superhero movies, but the minute they get too self reflexive, I start to loose interest. That’s probably why I still haven’t gotten myself to see The Dark Knight Rises, besides the really poor title choice. Arrow is trying to be like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Which is just silly. Like that whole trilogy. But that’s a different argument all together.
Arrow is just trying a little too hard on a network that really is not good at that. The CW is not where I want to watch some super self-reflexive drama. And it’s not really working. There is far too much soapy drama in there to make what could be something hard-hitting to something absolutely silly. Now, I doubt any other network would be able to touch this idea without completely screwing it up, so I will give The CW some props. They have a history of working with comic characters, so they probably know a little bit more about this than the other guy. This show will probably make any fan of the Green Arrow comics cry in outrage, but they’re definitely going to do this a lot better than some others.
But Stephen Amell is smexy, so I’m still going to watch. I have my faults…