Season 1 of Arrow is collected in DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack sets next week, with the release date being September 17, and the first thing we can say about it is that it’s like getting new Arrow a few days early. There is so much bonus material that it’ll keep Arrow-heads busy for DAYS.
So, let’s get started with our review of the Blu-ray set already! The review matches the style and format of our DVD/Blu-ray reviews at KSiteTV.
The Episodes: I’ve been pretty upfront about this when we did our roundtables here at GreenArrowTV: Arrow is a show that got progressively better as the season went on. While the first half of the season, especially with episodes like the series premiere, were good, it was the latter half of the season, especially starting with “The Odyssey,” that Arrow truly began to shine, getting better and better and, like Oliver Queen, improving itself as it goes along.
In other words, if you’re letting someone borrow this set and they’re not feeling it right away, tell them to stick with it. There is reward in keeping going, and they’ll leave these 23 episodes thinking “damn, that was good.” Once they’re done wiping tears after [SPOILER] in the finale.
By the way, the Blu-ray Combo Pack includes copies of the season of DVD so you could theoretically loan them to a friend and convert them. Just saying.
The Extras: No skimping here. There is SO MUCH to love. For example:
Deleted Scenes – What I like best here is that the deleted scenes seem to add to the narrative; they never come off as “stuff that bombed so we cut it out.” Surely, if Arrow had more than a certain amount of time per week, we would have seen this stuff in the episodes. There are deleted scenes between Laurel and Quentin and Oliver that make us understand her character a lot better; we also get to see why Laurel returns to CNRI in the finale after Oliver told her not to. We even see acknowledgement of why Joanna was suddenly back in town! For the pilot, there’s a fun scene with Diggle, Moira, and Oliver that was cut that shows how that dynamic worked so early in the show. You can find out which episodes had deleted scenes here.
Gag Reel – Even Team Arrow is not perfect. This is a fun mix complete with moments of flubs from every cast member… and maybe even a clip that’ll fit in those YouTube “Farting Preacher” videos.
Featurettes – Where do we begin? Some fantastic stuff here. “Arrow Comes Alive” talks about the conceptualization of Arrow into becoming a TV show, with interviews with cast and producers. “Arrow: Fight School/Stunt School” spotlights the show’s excellent action sequences, though I will warn, even watching how they do this stuff scares me a little. I don’t envy their jobs at all, and I still want to know why they haven’t gotten Emmys for their work. Finally, the Arrow panel from this year’s Paley Festival is included, so you can see even more of how cool these people are in person.
The only thing missing that I really would have liked on this set would be DVD commentary. I know people are super busy, but something like Geoff Johns on “Dead To Rights,” or the actors and producers talking about the “Pilot” would have been amazing. Heck, I’d even volunteer to record one!
Graphics and Sound: On Blu-ray, which is generally super crisp, sometimes the picture has a little bit of a grain, but I think that’s intentional for building the look on the show, so I won’t dock any points for that. Sound is great.
The Packaging: The menus are nice, but I prefer the Supernatural/Smallville style of disc art with pictures on each one. I love that this set comes with a booklet to tell us what to find on each disc, because some sets don’t do that anymore, and the back cover of the box is great. The front cover… well, I get the attempt to cash in on sex appeal, but I do hope at least one future Arrow season set will feature full Arrow gear including a shirt. And yes, I know the Bratva tattoo is missing… they probably didn’t want to distract from Stephen Amell’s chest.
Is it worth it? Hell yes. As I said before, this set will keep you occupied through the October 9 premiere, and to have all of the episodes in one place, looking THIS good… it makes me happy. This set does not fail this city.
Pre-order Arrow Season 1 Blu-ray at a discounted price from Amazon.com and support this site – and if you don’t have a Blu-ray player, you can pre-order Arrow Season 1 on DVD here!