With the impending release of the second season of ‘Arrow’ on DVD and BluRay here in Australia, I thought it about time I share my thoughts on the first season of one of the best non-cable channel shows of the last decade.
I have been a big Green Arrow fan for years now, so when I heard that the vigilante of Star City was coming to TV, I was stoked. I didn’t know anything about the actors, but having missed a lot of the CW-style TV shows over the preceding few years, that wasn’t much of a surprise. Mamma Queen and Pappa Lance were known to me, and Thea Queen was a memory from my ‘The O.C.’ days, but everyone else was a beautiful mystery (because, yes, everyone on this show is ridiculously beautiful).
Reviewing an entire season of TV is tricky at the best of times — worse when it’s as good as Arrow season one was. Many TV shows struggle through their first season — ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ anyone? (Or pretty much every Star Trek TV series ever.) However, from the very first episode, I was hooked on the stories of these re-envisioned characters.
One of the most impressive accomplishments of the show, however, was the wonderful use of flashbacks. Many shows use flashbacks as an ad-hoc info-dump, and irregularly, making them seem more like a failing in storytelling and writing rather than an interesting plot device. In Arrow, however, the flashbacks are absolutely integral to the overall story, and a number of the individual episode-length stories.
The season-length story-arc was everything I have ever desired from my TV shows. Ever since the I fell in love with the overarching story lines from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space 9’ I’ve wanted continuing stories in everything I watch — a TV show which is nothing more than ‘monster of the week’ stories bores me in a few weeks. And while Arrow incorporates its fair share of monsters each week, the real story is what happens around that. From the growth of Diggle as a character, and his relationship with Oliver; the almost pathological inability Oliver and Laurel have to make things work; to how Tommy became one of the most impressively written and acted characters on TV, thanks in large part to actor Colin Donnell: Almost every aspect of Arrow has depth and three-dimensionality to it that helps make this show one of the most watchable and entertaining shows ever.
The last few episodes of season one really ramp up the storytelling and match it strength for strength with intense drama and action. By the time the last episode rolls credits, you’re left feeling emotionally devastated — and desperately wanting more.
There’s little more that can be said, other than to implore any fan of good TV and storytelling, DC’s Green Arrow, and very beautiful actors (I think I can understand Felicity’s issue whenever Oliver works out on the salmon ladder) to go out immediately and buy season one of Arrow.