On Point: "Arrow" at 100
It’s hard to remain excited over a television show that’s been around for five years, but I’m really pumped about Season Five of the CW’s “Arrow”!
Based on DC Comics' Green Arrow, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (played by the surprisingly good Stephen Amell) was stranded on a deserted island and for the next five years learned to survive by his wits and his developing skill as an expert bowman. Upon returning to civilization, he now fights to "save his city" from criminals, crooked politicians and even aliens as Star City’s mayor by day and its unofficial super-hero by night!
“Arrow” jump-started the super-hero genre on television in 2012. The CW asked for a then-unheard ad rate of $63,000 per 30-second slot, but “Arrow” not only met its advertising goals, it launched two spin-offs (“The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”) while incorporating cancelled (NBC’s “Constantine”) and failing (CBS’ “Supergirl”) super-hero shows into the CW’s ever-expanding Arrowverse.
Now it has reached the gold standard of television shows: the 100th episode. There have been some truly great episodes (the wonderful Season 2 for starters), and like all great shows some clunkers (especially in Season 4), but the important take is that “Arrow” is still going strong because it maximizes its strengths (team ensemble, interesting villains, fight sequences) while learning from its mistakes (romantic entanglements, killing off popular characters, too much magic/super powers).
|Team Arrow Season 5 (l to r): Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific, Green Arrow, Spartan, Artemis and Ragman|
It’s especially fun to see the new Team Arrow ensemble for Season Five, with four new recruits (Mr. Terrific, Wild Dog, Ragman and Artemis) to fight along with the core group (Green Arrow, Spartan and IT-extraordinaire Felicity). They may not have the camaraderie or the precision of previous Arrow teams, but this learning-on-the-fly, multi-cultural group is incredibly fun to watch as they face off with this season’s super-villain Prometheus!
Unlike many shows that trumpet their diversity, "Arrow" doesn't make much noise about minority characters. Instead of talking about race, they simply do something about it. That sentiment also works with my Pretty Vacant comics. They feature capable characters who are minorities rather than minorities that are capable. (There is a difference.)
|Pretty Vacant's highly capable, mostly minorities Team Gigi|
For all the emphasis on tapping the past this season, "Arrow", has been forward-thinking with how to watch the show. There's the traditional sense of watching on television, and there is now the option of online streaming on computers or mobile devices. And if one is worried about the show ending in the near future, rest assured that between the length of Amell's contract and Netflix money, "Arrow" will be on target for years to come!
(Note: The CW and "Arrow's" producers call it the Arrowverse. It's a pet peeve when bloggers will write Flarrowverse or some combination that allows them to work in their favorite show. Just wish they would show some respect for the show that started it all...)