Oliver Queen might not be the most inventive character that DC Entertainment has to offer, or the first one that really deserves his own series, especially when there’s a whole slew of teenage heroes out there who can fill the One Tree Hill/Smallville shaped hole in the listings. There’s literally a teenage analogue of every hero in the DC pantheon out there ready to be picked apart, made to look beautiful and have some sort of angst ridden relationship with someone they shouldn’t, who also turns out to be the daughter of their mortal enemy. There could even be a joker who hides his feelings by being a wise cracker. It honestly writes itself.
But instead of Wondergirl: Big In The City, we have Arrow.
Created by Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern, The Flash and Eli Stone) and Greg Berlanti (Brothers and Sisters, Dawson’s Creek and Green Lantern), Arrow is delivered to us with beautiful actors that maybe aren’t as good as they are beautiful. A bit like Mariah Carey. If she were as talented as people think she should be, then we’d have a definite winner in the Carey/Minaj Wars of 2012. Without resorting to adding up the dead.
Maybe because no one knows the first thing about Green Arrow (apart from him maybe being a modern interpretation of Robin Hood; which isn’t that far from the truth) it gives the creators a healthy carte blanche to really do whatever they want. This was perhaps what held Smallville back; eventually Clark Kent had to become Superman and move to Metropolis. There was an already established story that everyone wanted to see. With Green Arrow however, there is only a very, very brief expectancy around the character. As long as he uses a bow and arrow, with some fancy trick arrows, people are generally going to be pleased.
Any fan of DC Comics and their newly reimagined New 52 holds Dinah Lance as one of the few believable and fleshed out female characters they have to offer, so having her included in this can only bring a heightened level of authenticity to the fold
One of the best things about Arrow is that, not only is it somewhat faithful to the original origin of the character (not something which is as important as it seemed to be when Nerds ruled the World) while updating it and staying kind of realistic- as realistic as growing up on a desert island can be without verging on Swiss Family Robinson territory. Guggenheim and Berlanti also bring in more complicated aspects of the mythos of Oliver Queen and Star(ling) City, namely Queen’s on again, off again lover Dinah “Laurel” Lance.
Any fan of DC Comics and their newly reimagined New 52 (or any part of it’s seventy year history) holds Dinah Lance as one of the few believable and fleshed out female characters they have to offer, so having her included in this can only bring a heightened level of authenticity to the fold. They didn’t need to resort to creating characters that only filled in a gap for the character everyone wanted to see, or create a hip cast of supporting characters that no one really cared about. Let’s hope that they don’t pop her in a refrigerator before she has a chance to reach her true, fishnets and leather jacket, potential. DC does have a tendency to do that.
Overall, Arrow isn’t terrible. It has the bones to be brilliant, and with an appearance from Mr. Light Entertainment John Barrowman as the cryptically brilliant “Well Dressed Man” and the addition of Helena Bertinelli later on in the series, it could be one of the most authentic takes on a DC Comics character yet. It’s just a shame that the acting is as stiff as a tightened bow.
Arrow is showing on Sky 1, with the next episode on today at 10pm
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