Moderated by: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Arrow” is a superhero/action/crime drama centered on events and characters inspired by the Green Arrow franchise/DC Comic Universe, which currently airs on the CW, fall to spring Wednesdays at 8:00 PM.
What: “Arrow,” a series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg that is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. The series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who, five years after being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow.
When: Season One aired on the CW from October 10, 2012, to May 15, 2013. Season Two aired on the CW from October 9, 2013, to May 14, 2014. The CW is currently airing Season Four (which CPU! will cover shortly).
Where: The action is set in the fictional metropolis of Starling City, another name for Star City, the primary setting of the Green Arrow franchise. The action does branch out in flashbacks to international locales, including Hong Kong, the Middle East, and a fictional island called Lian Yu.
Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below! It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie was hesitant to watch it, feeling somewhat loyal to Justin Hartley’s portrayal of the Green Arrow on Smallville, which ended in 2011, while Arrow premiered in 2012. Also, I’m pretty leery of character fatigue in comic book properties of late, which may be the subject of a separate podcast or blog entry. So, what finally convinced me to watch it in the end? Other than a few good recommendations from viewers like you, listen to our podcast episode to find out the reasons why I finally picked up the show in the end.
What kept me watching, though, is a different question. Try this on for size:
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
Arrow = 4.8, by average of the podcast panel.
The series follows Oliver Queen (Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City, who spends five years shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Lian Yu. Upon his return to Starling City, he is reunited with his mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson); his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland); and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Oliver awkwardly survives his days back in the city by rekindling his relationships, while he spends his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante, following a list of names he discovered in a notebook belonging to his father. He uncovers Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) conspiracy to destroy “The Glades,” a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime (and where Merlyn’s wife was viciously gunned down). John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with his ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister’s presumed death. The first season features flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island and how it changed him; flashbacks in subsequent seasons continue to show how Oliver spent his time and gained the skill-set that he uses as the Arrow.
How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS
Welcome to CPU!’s first ongoing podcast series covering a multitude of shows. Since the Arrowverse/DC Television Universe is so closely interrelated, what with all of the spin-offs and character crossovers, it seemed like a universe ripe for the podcasting here at CPU!, especially since so many of our most frequent panelists are comic book/superhero franchise fans. After all, it’s safe to assume that we would have started covering Arrow or The Flash individually, but since it was expected that the same panelists would keep coming back to discuss these shows, and since the shows themselves share an expanding universe that has even started to cross networks, your friendly neighborhood Chief Couch Potato figured, “Why not make it a series?”
Thus, our DC Television Universe Series (or DCTU Series) was born, and all of our DCTU panelists should be familiar voices: it’s basically our Gotham panel back to spread the DC love, including Jen, Spencer, Hilary, and Kyle. These panelists are all DC Comics experts in their own rights and, thus, joined me for the first chapter of this series, in which we cover seasons one and two of Arrow, the show that started it all. We focus on only the first two seasons in this episode because these are the only years in which Arrow existed as a show, by itself, without a “universe” created by its characters, except for a backdoor pilot for The Flash that aired in season two. In subsequent seasons, Arrow overlaps with an increasing number of universe shows, The Flash included, and features characters that weave in and out of all shows; thus, the water cooler discussion for these shows will become increasingly more complicated and feature a bevy of additional spoilers. This will be the only episode in our series that we purely focus on Arrow (though you’ll find, as you listen, that conversation hedged into its wildly successful spin-off, The Flash, anyway).
You’ll find that the love for these shows, starting with Arrow, is strong with this panel, especially when discussing the first two seasons, so if you’re looking for fireworks and debates, you’ll have to wait for our next episode in this series, when we cover more seasons of Arrow (opinions will likely start diverging when discussing seasons three and four, I estimate)! This particular episode was recorded in May 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of both first and second seasons. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
Stay tuned for episodes two and three of this podcast series, in which our DCTU panel discusses seasons three and four of Arrow and seasons one and two of The Flash, respectively. These episodes will be recorded and published after both shows air finales for their respective current seasons.
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we will be publishing our “Looking Back” episode centered on Downton Abbey, which is part two of CPU!’s “Goodbye to Downton” series. Stay tuned!
Arrow is recommended to fans of comic books, particularly from the DC universe, and the Green Arrow franchise. Our panel feels strongly that, though Arrow suffers from some minor writing glitches, particularly as the series has progressed toward its current and most recent seasons, this series (along with others in the universe) will be incredibly satisfying to comic book franchise fans. The panel also feels strongly that fans of action shows or shows of similar pace, who are not necessarily persuaded or enticed by superhero and comic book stories, might become converts with this show. Arrow is also recommended to those who like hot men. Did you not see the picture of shirtless Ollie/Stephen Amell up top, there?
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Arrow is nearly done airing its fourth season and has been renewed for a fifth season, which, in all probability, will premiere in October 2016 on the CW. CPU!’s next DCTU episode, which will focus on the third and fourth seasons of Arrow, will likely publish sometime in June or July. Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the DCTU podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels! And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you! 🙂