I used to be a real big fan of Arrow. The first two seasons of the show were pretty phenomenal in my opinion. Then the third season came and things started to enter a downward spiral. One that the show has never found itself out of. Characters became very melodramatic and the storylines were not engaging anymore. The cast and crew seemed to acknowledge this and promised that the fourth season would be different. Come the fourth season and it started off pretty good. Things were looking up but then sometime around the midseason finale, things once again took a downward spiral and by the end of the season, I was just completely bored and did not care. Take for example, a nuclear missile goes off in one episode and I didn’t even care. What made me care even less is that the characters in the show didn’t care that much. So what would season five have to do to make me a fan of the show? Here are some examples
- Get rid of Malcolm Merlyn – Malcolm Merlyn was the big bad of the first season and was killed by the end of it. However, the actor, John Borrowman, proved to be a crew favorite and the writers brought the character back. They brought him back without any sort of good explanation which was the first sign of trouble. Then his storyline in the third season revolved around him manipulating the main cast and getting one of their main supporting characters killed yet he continued to be around and interact with the cast as if nothing happened. This continued in the fourth season where he continued to do bad things to the main cast yet they always treated him with open arms despite Oliver claiming he “hated him with every bone in his body”. This continued where Merlyn kidnapped Oliver’s child and other misdeeds but by the end, Oliver and others just treated him like one of their friends. This character doesn’t really need to be on the show and it’s increasing. The fact that they make the characters very friendly with him despite him being a mass murderer just makes the cast look hypocritical.
- Figure out how to write women characters – the show has a real problem with women. If they are not the main love interest, then good luck finding a real decent storyline involving them. For example, Thea Queen aka Speedy, how many unforgettable love interests who turns out to be working for the bad guy has she had now? There was also Laurel Lance who was the love interest in the first two seasons but by the third, the love interest became Felicity and Laurel got nothing to do besides become the Black Canary. Once that happened, she was continually just there without much to do. That started to change right before her character was killed off but that seemed to be a conscious choice because they knew that they were going to kill her off. The character also received a lot of character schilling after her death such as being called “the heart of the team” despite this never actually being shown.
- Oliver and Felicity – now I’m not someone who has a general problem with Oliver and Felicity. However, the third season was filled to the brim with the “will they/won’t they” relationship which ultimately brought the show down. The characters became very unlikable when it came to one another. Oliver was always more mopey and brooding. Felicity was willing to let a city die just so she could protect Oliver from dying. The beginning of the fourth season they were together and things were alright. However, once Felicity found out about Oliver’s illegitimate child, things took a down turn. Their relationship once again became the forefront and people who had nothing to do with their relationship, would stop what they were doing just to talk to the characters about their relationship. These are adults who simply need to have a conversation with one another but that “is not good TV” so we’re stuck with these insufferable situations.
- Felicity – I was a fan of Felicity at first. Then when the third season happened, that’s when the problems started. Her character started to become more insufferable and more hypocritical. This really hit its zenith in the fourth season. For example, Amanda Waller, a government director who no doubt did some shady stuff but also was willing to fight for the “greater good” was killed. The characters were having a toast in her honor but Felicity chimes in how Waller called in an air strike on the city once, disrespecting her honor. Now I’m someone who believes that even after death, we should remember someone for everything and not just the good but it seemed like an inappropriate time to do that. Plus, Felicity was once willing to let the city suffer from a plague all just to save Oliver’s life. So the hypocrisy started to show. This continued to be a theme as she broke up with Oliver for being a liar. Yes Oliver did lie but for once it was for understandable reasons. The kicker is how Felicity is just a big a liar as every other character on the show. Finally towards the end, she develops a “people don’t change” attitude despite her being a huge example of someone who has changed. Flashbacks show she used to be a goth/anti establishment person but now she’s a total 180. So her constant hypocrisy towards everyone is just becoming too much.
- Tone – The show needs to find its own voice. One of the biggest complaints about the first season was how it wanted to be a Batman show. The second season rectified this somewhat by focusing more on Oliver Queen and started to give him more of his own personality. The third season brought back the “wannabe Batman” show by bringing in a iconic Batman villain, Ra’s al Ghul. The fourth season changed that by bringing in a magic element that had promise at first but as it continued it went off the rails and became uninteresting. The biggest problem with the show seems that it always wants to be something else. From what we know about the upcoming fifth season, it seems it wants to be like the Netflix Daredevil series. There will be a central crime boss who will be more covert about his dirty dealings. There is also going to be a rise of new vigilantes who will take more extreme methods. These were the plots of the first two seasons of the Daredevil television show.
I really want to like Arrow once again. Season two was one of the best series on television. But now I am completely numb to the series. It’s just there. I will probably watch the first few episodes of season five but I am not excited.