[TV] ARROW To The Heart (Not The Knee)

Would you just look at how ripped this dude is!?

Would you just look at how ripped this dude is!?

I’ve just completed my second shot at Arrow. The first try didn’t go so well. I got about five episodes in before I stopped and pretty much forgot about it. Why? I’m not entirely sure. I had just finished a Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire marathon, so I guess Arrow wasn’t what felt like a natural progression for me. I had been excited for the series but the opening episodes of the first season left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed. It has been my intention for a while now to return and watch the entire first season’s episodes consecutively with a fresh head, and man, am I glad I did. I was wrong. Arrow turned out to be a fiercely enjoyable caper.

First up, let’s take a look at the cast. Initially when I’d heard that Stephen Amell was starring I had to look him up, as I had no idea who he was. I had my doubts but after a few episodes I realised he had been perfectly cast. Jaysis, that bloke is in SHAPE. And not a CGI 6-pack in shape, not in a papier mâché abs way, but natural, true to body form, seriously FIT way. Not too big, enough muscle definition to portray strength, but not so much that it would hinder flexibility and movement. I was very impressed.

Katie Cassidy as the leading lady also tickled me, as I hadn’t really seen much of her since her all too brief stint in Supernatural. I liked her in that, and her demise in the show was the beginning of the end of Supernatural for me. Her Laurel Lance, the Lois Lane to Queen’s Green Arrow, plays well.

My next surprise was MI5 man and Strictly Come Dancing UK twinkle-toes, Colin Salmon. He pulls off stiff upper lippy yet noble Walter Steele perfectly. Hooray! That nice little bonus aside though, my ultimate shock appearance was of course, Manu Bennett. I’d had no idea he was in Arrow. Awesome.

Look! It's ASIS CRIXUS!

Look! It’s ASIS CRIXUS!

At least in Arrow he could revert to his natural accent. Although at times he did sound like he was back in the arena. That’s okay though, I didn’t mind, he’s Crixus. He can do what he likes.

John Barrowman made an excellent nemesis. He was creepy and his zealotry was believable. Even though I realise that he had to go, I was almost sad after the final showdown between the two archers. Don’t judge me, I’m a sucker for a good bad guy.

There were so many other notable appearances and surprise guests that I enjoyed, probably too many to mention. Kelly Hu, as always, kicks arse, Brian Markinson’s (Caprica) untimely contribution, the beautiful Janina Gavankar (last seen by me dying a death in True Blood), and I cannot fail to note the also impressively buff David Ramsey as Diggle the talking conscience (Blue Bloods, Dexter) and Paul Blackthorne (24) as a convincing and conflicted Detective Quentin Lance.

My big MEH of the series goes to Susanna Thompson (the Borg Queen herself) and her bipolar Moira Queen, and her daughter Thea, played by (unknown to me, I’m not a fan of The O.C. and its ilk) Willa Holland, who I absolutely hated.

Aside from the above casting negatives, I thoroughly enjoyed the last few days in which I did little but watch Arrow, eat Danish pastries and occasionally sleep. The set-pieces and fight scenes were, on the whole, impressive, and it is obvious how much work went into them. I guess it helps that the majority of your cast are very physically fit and well able to throw a few karate chops and/or handle pointy weapons. The scenes on the island were my favourite parts; that back-story in no way followed the progression I thought it would. I loved that, as predictability in a hero franchise tends to irritate me.

If you’re a fan of the genre, a fan of kick-arse moves and people jumping off tall buildings, then you’ll like this. Maybe you’re missing the gaping hole that the likes of Smallville left in your soul (trust me, this is much better than Smallville). If you are then I’d recommend you give Arrow a whirl.

Arrow returns to our screens October 9th 2013, and amid news of The Flash, possibly Metamorpho and Summer “The Kiss of TV DEATH” Glau making appearances, I cannot wait.

Thanks for the mammaries.

Thanks for the mammaries.

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Categories: Review, TV

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31 replies

  1. Oh, haha, yeah… never do a BSG marathon before watching a new show. Definitely take a break and watch something stupid. I even had to watch Cleopatra 2525 and then Alias before I could get into Firefly. It seems to me that the only way to watch something after a favorite character-centric show is to go completely camp first, and then network-tv-mainstream, and THEN you’ll be primed to get into new characters on another show with a different following.

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    • Sound, sound advice my friend. It’s amazing how much certain shows can change your mindset, and how long they can stay fresh in your memory, effecting anything that follows. In future I’ll definitely have to go camp before I go serious! I actually held off on my Breaking Bad re-watch to finish Arrow, seems now that was a better plan.

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  2. Slow start, but it impressed by the end. And Willa could be the most hated girl on TV haha. God, she was annoying.

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    • When I finished watching it I was so glad to find out that I was not alone in my Willa hate! Seriously, how is anyone supposed to relate to her!? Everything about her is AWFUL. Although I haven’t been a teenager in a while, maybe that’s the problem ;P

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  3. I had the same problem where I started watching and then just lost steam (plus, rotten CW doesn’t leave them up on Hulu all season so once I fell behind, I had no way to catch up). Reading this makes me think I should go back! Once Season 1 is on DVD and Netflix gets it, I will finally catch up!

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    • It is definitely a bit of a grower, it took a few episodes for me to feel “immersed” if you get me. But there are some really well done, smashing episodes a little later in the season that clinched my interest in the series. Definitely have yourself a marathon when Netflix gets it! And then come back and tell me what you thought of it!

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  4. Manu Bennett still continues to be my favorite thing about Arrow. His pokes at Oliver are really funny. & I still want another full episode on that island. The flashbacks continue to be more interesting than present day a lot of times on the show.
    Storywise, the women continue to be the weakest link in the show which is a SHAME when you’ve got someone like Katie Cassidy who kicked major ass in Supernatural. I’d like to see her be more than just Oli’s love interest.
    Also I know Thea’s a teenager, trying to figure herself out, but come on! I truly hope this season the writers give more interesting & fun things for Katie & Willa to do. On the flip side, Felicity is freggin awesome

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    • Could not agree more about the Island. I definitely want more of the flashbacks next season, those parts are my favourites too. In total agreement regarding the ladies in the show also, I’m a fan of Katie Cassidy’s and really want to see her do something a little more… meaty? with the character. As for Thea, I have no recommendations. Other than maybe kill her off. But they’ll never do that. :D

      Can’t believe I forgot to mention Felicity in my review. Every superhero needs a Techie, and she’s an adorable one.

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      • I can’t believe u forgot Felicity! FOR SHAME! nah just kidding :P
        it’s so funny about those flashbacks too because we already know he gets off the island & becomes Green Arrow, but all the scenes on the island are just great!
        really wanna see Katie kick ass again! it doesn’t make sense, but after watching Supernatural, it feels almost too “fake” seeing her get beat up or chased by bad guys

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  5. New Season 2 Promo Released Today. A little cheesy (“my innocence???”) in the beginning there, but the good stuff kicks in after that

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    • Not at all the kind of promo I was expecting. I thought after the second half of the first season they’d continue to stray away from the clichéd or cheesy direction that a show like Arrow could easily fall into… But I do agree that the clip definitely kicks in nicely after the close-ups. I like it. Thanks for the linkage mate!

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      • Plus more island scenes! Yaaay.

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        • Yay indeed! Love that island which is funny cuz (correct me if I’m wrong) there’s not a single cheesy bit in ANY of Season 1’s “Island Adventures” :P
          & With the exception of Oliver/Stephen & his dialogue, those close ups & lines just felt awkward against Season 2’s footage but I’ve noticed that’s how THE CW likes to shoot their promos for all their shows. It’s like a weird photo shoot/trailer kinda promo. Looking forward to Black Canary and (hopefully) the Red Archer

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          • OMG yes. So many additions to next season to get excited about. And Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger, who I’ve lurrrved ever since I saw Black Dynamite. :D

            He can kick some ass too that dude.

            And you’re right, there’s no cheese on the island. I think Crixus beats the cheese out of Oliver.

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            • MJW’s gonna be on next season?! AH SWEET! Luved that guy ever since “Spawn.” Lmao ya Manu don’t mess around! “THERE WILL BE NO CHEESE ON THIS ISLAND KID! U save that crap for ya fancy lifestyle in the city buddy boy…” :P

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              • I definitely wouldn’t argue with Manu! Also, just heard news that they’ve cast another former Spartacus alum, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who played Naevia, as Amanda Waller. The Arrow cast has turned into such a who’s who of TV!

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                • Thank you for the news miss! oh & don’t be angry, but I’ve never seen Spartacus :0 (i had to google who Crixus was) my roommate/best bud was a fan before Andy passed away, but thinks the show wasn’t as great after that. I heard the series finale was great though

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                  • OMG you must watch. Start with Gods of the Arena, it’s the prequel. I do however agree with your roomie, it just wasn’t the same after Andy, and sadly I didn’t really see McIntyre as a legitimate Spartacus replacement until his performance in the season finale. That said, it really is a great series and the performances of so many of the support cast make it great. Definitely recommend!

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  6. A little something, bad ass to remember Andy by :) He made this w/ a YouTuber about a year before he passed.

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  7. I wouldn’t choose Arrow over Game OF Thrones either. I still haven’t watched the full season yet. I started watching old Supernatural episodes and i’ve been hooked on them :]

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    • I would definitely recommend a watch of the first season of Arrow if you like the genre, though you’re so right, GoT is in a league of its own. How far are you into Supernatural? I stopped watching around the fourth season I think, have been meaning to go back to it for a while now.

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  8. For me Paul Blackthorne will always and forever be Harry Dresden from the TV adaptation of The Dresden Files :P

    Having said that, his character is awesome, he’s the Arrow Commissioner Gordon…

    As much as I fear he died on the island, I’d love to see Slade in the present working as a mercenary. This show NEEDS Deathstroke vs Arrow :)

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  9. You only watch this stuff cos the main character has a great chest. How shallow. Anyways, I have to go now and watch some anime.

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