So I am watching Arrow. I have been following the show for a couple of seasons, being very annoyed by a lot of things. Which is too bad, because it is a show that has potential to be big: Stephen Amell is a geeky dude, he takes his shirt off just about the right amount of times and Felicity is cute, gorgeous and charming. As a geek I obviously want to love Arrow as much as I love Jessica Jones and Daredevil, but Arrow simply does not do it for me and here’s why.
It is not easy to watch Arrow all seriously. Not just because Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) makes funny remarks on a regular basis, but also because this series is so soapy that it makes me laugh. How often have we seen Arrow (Stephen Amell) say: ‘I love you, but I cannot be two people at once, it is too dangerous. I want love, but right now it is just not possible, not now! The music often is too much, the way people look at each other is way too dramatic and the dialogue is a level that the people in Geordie Shore would even find too simplistic. In a way this fits Arrow, because heroes often have a dramatic touch, but they just take it too far. It is too much about the emotions of the archer instead of the threat and action.
The set with the clock
If the vigilante is not too soapy on its own, it is the set he is in. Arrow is often doing things outside and the decor pieces are pretty okay then. Okay, the discotheque Oliver Queen owns in the first season reminds me of a set from the Dutch soap opera ‘Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden’, but I think the house of the Olivers looks amazing and the basement Arrow is operating from is pretty original. But, at one moment he meets this superheroine that lives in a clock tower. The set you will see when they are there, is so tacky that it is funny. The clock is broken, there is plastic hanging from the ceilings (?) and that actually makes it the perfect symbolism for how out of time and plastic it all looks. It is everything but authentic, which I seem is the look The CW was probably going for.
Speaking of time, Arrow likes to make silly jumps in it. The first season makes use of flashbacks to tell the origin story of our hero. It is pretty logical, as the millionaire playboy Oliver Queen has survived on a deserted island for five years after being in a sea accident. At first this is acceptable, as this is necessary to give viewers some more information. But I was hoping that it would just be the first season which was stuffed with flashbacks. Nope! The second season brings us even more flashbacks, that are super annoying and do not add anything to the story. Often there are flashbacks where they act like it is all mysteriously exciting, even though you already know that the people survive.
In those flashbacks we are introduced to Mirakuru; the miracle liquid that makes people think they will be superstrong by using it. First of all, this Mirakuru is super annoying: what is up with that cure, why do people still use it after being shown that it is not that great? Everytime I heard the word Mirakuru, my brain thinks about groceries: butter, cheese, Japanese nuts! I don’t just think about groceries because it is often so vague what is up with that stuff, but also the pronounciation of the word. ‘Miwakuwu’ is what they keep on saying, even though it needs the Japanese pronounciation which would mean that R’s are pronounced, it’s not Chinese you know?!
The last reason that I would like to bring up for disliking Arrow, is probably the biggest reason. Laurel is the lover/ex-lover/girlfriend/best friend/sister-like person in Arrow’s life and she is played by Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl). Laurel is the type of character that is often way too passive and she is interfering with the important Arrow stuff just a bit too much. Exactly when you want her not to be there, she will be missy super pro-active. Even though she works for the law, almost everything she says simply sounds sooo dumb. She always says exactly what you expect her to say, but what you hope she would not say because it is simply too slimy, predictable or dumb. And the tears.. her eyes are always full of them!
I don’t hate Arrow, I think The CW makes a nice effort, but does it really have to be so darn soapy?