There’s a new show on CW this season…okay, there are several new shows on CW this season but we’re only going to talk about one in particular right now…called Arrow. Heard of it, have you? No? Well, your loss then ‘cause it is fantastic. Arrow is based on the comic book character Green Arrow, who could also be seen in his larval stage on the former CW juggernaut known as Smallville. That’s where the similarities end, though. This Oliver Queen is not just a pretty face. Stranded on a desert island after his yacht sinks (happened to us just last week) Queen spends 5 years doing who knows what with who knows whom before being rescued. Once he returns to civilization, he dedicates his life to righting the wrongs of his father and others. Typical superhero fare, right? Well, to make the decision to watch easier for you, we have developed the following list identifying the top ten reasons why you should start watching Arrow.
1. It is on Wednesday nights. How many times in your life have you had a reason to look forward to Wednesday? It’s the middle of the week – not last weekend, not yet the next weekend. Now you have a reason. You’re welcome.
2. Great writing. The storyline for this show is an intricately woven and well-executed piece of work that keeps tantalizing your taste buds with hints of information and backstory that keep you wondering about what’s going to happen next. Not unlike a really good cocktail.
3. Good characters. From Oliver himself to the ex-girlfriend and her father (played by Paul Blackthorne of The Dresden Files), nearly all of the characters are fully developed, not necessarily likable, pretend people with realistic thoughts, behaviors and expectations. When the main character is absent from a scene, there is no need to fight the urge to leave the room and grab a snack because there is no urge, you want to keep watching to hear what everyone says.
4. Stephen Amell’s muscles. Nuff said.
5. Action, action, action. Action scenes in this show are well choreographed and delightful to watch, like an episode of Dancing with the Stars, to provide just the right amount of flavor to remind the viewer this is a show about a “superhero”. He is pretty super, the audience is left to wonder how much of a hero he is though.
6. Stephen Amell’s moves. Not since Older Sister’s days of watching Jean Claude Van Damme has she hit the reverse button to re-watch a guy leap over a fence, smack someone with a chair, or kick someone in the face. We read in Entertainment Weekly that Stephen has really put some study time into this portion of his character and wants to perform his own fight scenes, stunts, etc. If the first couple of episodes are a representation of this ability, then we say to the producers and directors, “LET HIM.”
7. Mental calisthenics. You need a prep show for Supernatural. Just as it is always good to stretch before exercise, it’s also a good idea to prep your awesome receptors before the Ackles/Padalecki goodness happens. You wouldn’t want to pull a muscle, right?
8. Rich men with expensive toys are fun. Oh, and the vigilante tendencies kind of come with the territory. Thank you Bruce Wayne for making the dark and dangerous intriguing and attractive. Unlike Bruce who tends to channel Hamlet and his anguish on occasion, Oliver Queen is focused and driven.
9. Stephen Amell’s acting. We must say we are fairly regularly disappointed in the ability of many tv actors to portray a convincing character. We especially hate it when it trashes a great prospective comic-, fantasy-, or sci-fi-based show. But in all reality, it can be difficult to portray characters outside the realm of normal human experience. In this show, the only element really off the normal person’s radar is the wealth of the Queen family. It only serves as backdrop for the person Oliver is supposed to be which is, in fact, rather complex. In just two episodes, Stephen has portrayed Oliver as a cad who is a spoiled brat, confident fighter, and emotional recluse who is sincerely apologetic – all nearly simultaneously. Not an easy task, and he is convincing enough to make you feel outraged when he plays the former, sympathetic when he plays the latter, and stoked when he plays the middle. Kudos Stephen.
10. Really? You need another reason after the nine we just gave you? We dare you to tell this guy.
Go on, set the DVR if you have to, but don’t miss Arrow. You can thank us later.