Team GATV Roundtable: So How Good is Arrow? Part 2 Team GATV Roundtable: So How Good is Arrow? Part 2
The second part of the GATV staff's roundtable discussion reflecting on the state of the new CW series Arrow. Team GATV Roundtable: So How Good is Arrow? Part 2

mike-grell-green-arrowTaking a character primarily known for his outlandish Van Dyke facial hair and a Robin Hood fixation and translating him into a plausible television series lead is as daunting a challenge as maintaining said facial hair. (Not to mention how only a small domino mask is meant to fool people into believing that the only two people in a city with that beard style are somehow not the same person. But we digress.) Yet, Arrow has become a relative phenomenon, enjoying solid ratings, critical and audience praise, pop culture buzz, and due notice on how to effectively adapt comic characters to the small screen.

Whether it’s due to the climate of comic adaptation culture grown on the big screen, the obvious influence of spiritual cousin Dark Knight Trilogy – all the more interesting because the character of Green Arrow was directly inspired by the character of Batman when he was created – or the exposure of the Emerald Archer to younger audiences through his time on Smallville, the show and its take on Oliver Queen has clicked with many.

It’s certainly become a series to take notice of for us here and quickly becoming a fave.

With the show on winter hiatus, the GATV staff decided to offer some insight and reflection on this phenomenon over the next few weeks. Hopefully, this will tide you over until the show’s return on January 16 and kick off some discussion of your own. We certainly welcome any insights or questions you feel like sharing to keep up the dialogue.

We’ve broken our discussion over these four weeks into three main topics:

Continuing our discussion on reaction and analysis to the first part of the series, our intrepid members of Team GATV dive into production, plot, and preference.

Let’s gab a bit about the production of the series.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHOW BEING A SERIAL/EPISODIC HYBRID?

Lone GunmanCRAIG (Webmaster/Editor-in-Chief): I think almost every show has to be like that these days, to keep interest. Look at something like Human Target – almost always self-contained, and well done, but there was no reason or interest in coming back every week. You could get to it “whenever.” By giving us a serial continuation, we have a reason to tune in every week.
STEPHANIE (Writer/Episode Guide Archivist): I think it’s a great decision to have a hybrid show. With serialized shows, there’s a tendency for stories to be too drawn out or overplayed, while with episodic shows it can be too repetitive (like crime dramas).
MATT (Writer/Reviewer): I miss Human Target. Not Season 2 HT so much. That aside, I’m always a fan of serialized storytelling. I think what gets lost in TV shows too often is the idea that they are supposed to be telling one specific story over a long format. It’s why many TV shows tend to get dragged on way past their expiration dates. With episodic series, that repetition can creep in and kill any enthusiasm for it. You end up just watching a show out of habit.
DEREK (Writer/Reviewer): [This hybrid style] is becoming more and more prevalent in TV, but it works, I think. More and more people watch [shows] in bursts rather than week-to-week, but Arrow‘s doing well to cater to both sides of the demographic.
MATT: Is the show doing enough of a mix right now? Should it be leaning more in one direction or the other?
CRAIG: I think the mix is doing just fine the way it is.
DEREK: Even though it’s not COMPLETELY serialized like, say, Breaking Bad, I still feel like it will play out “better on DVD,” when marathoning it or rewatching the season.
DamagedANDY (Writer for sister site KSiteTV.com): When I look back at these first nine episodes, I think Arrow does have its variety/mix, at the moment.
STEPHANIE: Right now, it’s doing well, but I hope it moves slightly into the more serialized aspect so there can be more of an investment in the long-term story instead of more for the characters.
MATT: I like that they’ve embraced serialized storytelling a bit more as they’ve gone along. The first few episodes were really set up episodically, which I think everyone found could get a bit old with the list.
STEPHANIE: I think it’s smart for the first run of episodes to be episodic so that they can attract new viewers without them being too far behind.
DEREK: Honestly, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not all that interesting or is kind of burdensome — like Oliver’s intense rage in the early episodes — but it’s necessary to get past it, since it sets up the more fulfilling stuff later on that wouldn’t work without it.

Changing gears…

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ACTION OF THE SERIES?

S060X-O10-ARW1-10-A0ANDY: It’s one of the highlights of the episodes. The action sequences are always fun to watch and this is again where it gives you that movie feeling. I am always up for some sweet and intense action scenes.
CRAIG: They’re [definitely] doing movie quality work on television. I’m very impressed with it.
STEPHANIE: It’s certainly been impressive to watch but it’s obviously choreographed. I’m left wondering how much formal training of that sort Oliver could have learned on the island. I don’t know if his precise movements are realistic.
ANDY: I’m with you on the realism of the movements. However, with 5 years of being stuck there, who knows what he learned. That is why the island saga is so fascinating.
DEREK: I dig the choreography. I mean, it’s obviously choreographed, but I’ll take that over some of the anti-climax fights we got on Smallville.
MATT: For the most part, I like and enjoy what they do, but I’m finding it a bit muddled. I still think David Nutter has shot the best action sequences of the show so far, establishing film quality fight scenes right in the pilot.
LegaciesDEREK: I’m not fond of the fight with Deadshot in “Lone Gunmen,” but other than that, no fight sticks out that seemed particularly bad to me. Few stick out for being incredibly GOOD either, but they’re all satisfactory, so that’s enough.
MATT: I really enjoyed a couple of sequences John Behring directed for “Legacies,” with the two Royal Flush Gang robberies and the fight with Oliver in the last one. But then I look at something like the fight between Ollie and Helena in the restaurant in “Muse of Fire” and I have to cringe. There were times when it looked like you could see them throwing phantom punches and not connecting.
ANDY: I think the Yao Fei vs. Deathstroke sequences have been some of my favorite action performances so far.
MATT: The insistence on being right in the middle of the action can be a tad boring at times. Then again, the way the fight scene between Ollie and China White at the docks in “Honor Thy Father” was shot from a distance felt weird. I like the action they include and I like how sparsely they use it for maximum impact. I just wish the rest of it matched how exciting the action was in the pilot.
ANDY: Anyone else liking that they have released their stunt training for certain episodes? I think it’s a very good move for the show.

Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks and jump into plot.

WHAT PLOT, STORYLINE, OR ASPECT OF THE SERIES HAVE YOU CONNECTED WITH THE MOST SO FAR?

ARROWANDY: There are several that I admire but my favorite is Oliver’s struggle with living a double life. We see what his disappearances do to his loved ones, who are still processing that he is back. It gives our protagonist an obstacle that doesn’t come from just a list or PTSD, the obstacle of reconnecting with our world and his world, his family and friends, again. Episodes like “Damaged,” “Legacies,” and “Year’s End” are good examples of both how his family is dealing with it and how Oliver is dealing with it himself, which is why I adore what he tried to do with the Christmas party.
CRAIG: I think Oliver learning how to be the right kind of hero is an arc that I love. I mean it in more than one way. He wants to be the hero that Starling City needs, but also, I think he wants to be a hero for his mom and sister, which isn’t as easy as he may think.
ANDY: That arc of him becoming a hero, taking out the city’s corrupted bad guys and adapting as a fighter for justice in a society that views him as a vigilante, is intriguing. Now that I think of it, that is a part of the plot I mentioned, which ties into what you’re saying, Craig. In the end, it’s one big storyline for me.
DEREK: I enjoy the family drama. Oliver reconnecting with Moira and Thea has been enjoyable, and Amell is at his best in those scenes.
STEPHANIE: I’ve connected the most with Walter’s quest for answers, probably because I want those answers myself. I also enjoy a good puzzle/mystery.
CRAIG: I have to go with that as my favorite, too. What Walter had been looking into was very interesting. Bonus that the storyline involved Felicity Smoak.
MATT: How well do you think they’ve been doing on that storyline? Are they doing enough with it to keep it involving?
Year's EnSTEPHANIE: They’ve been doing well because [Walter] has slowly been getting a few answers, such as the true nature of Moira’s investment. If someone had been completely stalling his progress, then that would have been annoying.
DEREK: I think I care about the overarching secret society plot more now after “Year’s End” because of the scope and Moira’s “I know I’m a bad guy, but I’m trying not to be all the time” attitude, which is really, really fresh.
STEPHANIE: Especially enjoyed that confrontation in “Year’s End” because he rightly expects his wife to clue him in and he’s not timidly searching.
MATT: I really loved that Walter-Moira confrontation, too. That she opened up to him. Other shows it would’ve been two seasons down the road before a conversation like that. And it seemed necessary and organic to the storyline for them to have that talk.
DEREK: As much as I worry about the show’s pace and how briskly it’s moving, things like that are really exciting. Sometimes, it’s organic to have things progress that quickly.
MATT: I have to wonder what the writers’ room is like when they run up against something like that. The tendency, I’m sure, is for them to artificially put on the brakes. But to say “it’s natural and let’s go forward with it” has to be exciting.
STEPHANIE: Having this storyline move [like this] has been great. But, I don’t know how I feel about it when Walter gets close to something big, then he goes away from Moira. First, a business trip, and now, being abducted. Seems odd.
MATT: That seems to be more a result of the fact that Colin Salmon isn’t a series regular, unfortunately.
STEPHANIE: You bring up a good point, but I wonder if it would work out to just have him quietly not appear in a few episodes than to have his lack of appearance be emphasized.
MATT: Kind of like when Tommy wasn’t around so much. That would be the better way to handle it. Yet, it seems like they have to let him out for a few weeks at a time, so they feel they have to explain his absence.
DEREK: I’m not so interested in what this mysterious “plan” is so much as how it’s going to bring in all of the characters into a singular storyline, since it’s so intertwined with virtually everyone.
ANDY: Obviously, the mysterious plan is Malcolm wanting the city to help funding for a fifth season of Torchwood.
MATT: Cute.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE STORYWISE FOR YOU?

Lone GunmanANDY: I can’t believe that this is the only one that I can think of right now but the things that went down with Deadshot.
MATT: I get the disappointment with the showdown with Deadshot, but I seem to be the only one who, by and large, enjoyed his first guest arc.
CRAIG: Don’t know if this counts as a huge surprise, but I expected Walter Steele to be a bad guy. When it was revealed that he wasn’t, it surprised and relieved me because that meant things weren’t so predictable.
MATT: Especially with how shady they made him seem regarding the marriage to Moira in the pilot.
ANDY: I actually thought that Walter was going to be this typical naive husband that would not notice Moira’s weirdness at all
CRAIG: I could be wrong on this, but I think I read somewhere that Walter Steele in the comics, as written by JT Krul, was a bad guy.
LegaciesSTEPHANIE: The biggest surprise, for me, was Diggle finding out about Oliver’s secret agenda. Surprising both in how quickly it happened and how smart it was to do that so Oliver would have a companion and someone to keep him in check. I didn’t expect anyone to learn his secret (and survive) for a while.
DEREK: I agree with the Diggle reveal.
MATT: Letting Diggle in on everything was probably my biggest surprise, too. Along with the fact that the list wasn’t just compiled by his father and that it is now becoming more an avenue into the Tempest Group rather than a checklist plot device to offer us a new bad guy of the week for Oliver to hunt down.
ANDY: On second thought, my surprise was that Diggle found out, but it wasn’t as big as, perhaps, it was for you guys. I had this feeling all along that Diggle would find out first, but the shock was that it was two or three episodes earlier than I had expected.
MATT: The biggest surprise out of that was that Ollie asked Diggle for his help immediately upon revealing his identity.
ANDY: It all seemed pretty obvious to me. Knowing that Diggle is a soldier, it seemed very clear why Ollie decided to reveal that he was the vigilante. Quite frankly, Diggle would have figured it out anyway. In my opinion, Diggle was getting on to him.
DEREK: Also, I expected Moira to take the Alias route and open up a web of deceit and secretly work against Oliver, but the fact that she is honestly trying to be good to her family and is kind of being forced to be a bad guy was a nice surprise.

Okay, time to go the other direction…

WHAT PLOT, STORYLINE, OR ASPECT OF THE SERIES HAVE YOU CONNECTED WITH THE LEAST OR HAD NO CONNECTION WITH AT ALL?

Honor Thy FatherDEREK: Contradictory as it may be to say, I’m not a fan of the list itself as a plot device. I do, however, think it’s a necessary evil to have that jumping off point at the beginning. But I’ll be happy once Oliver’s gotten past that and can do more free heroics.
ANDY: I’m with you. At first, I did enjoy the list but it has lost its effect a bit as a plot device. Still, I don’t mind it sticking around for a decent portion for now.
CRAIG: The romantic entanglements interest me the least, because it’s often drama for the sake of drama. Oliver’s reaction to Tommy and Laurel is like “hey, whatever,” and that’s kind of my feeling as well.
STEPHANIE: Unfortunately, I have not been all that thrilled with the island flashbacks. For being such an important part of Oliver’s journey, they don’t seem to be incorporated fluidly into the present day plot quite as well as I’d imagine they should be.
MATT: They have been a bit clunky. It seems that they’re getting better with tying them into what’s actually going on in the episode. I can’t recall which episode it was but one of them really seemed to have no point in flashing back to the island.
DEREK: Yeah, the island flashbacks are hit-or-miss with relevance.
ANDY: Was it “Year’s End” that had that odd flashback? Because I remember a big fight and Eddie Fyers and Oliver running away that really didn’t have much to do with the present.
STEPHANIE: Maybe it’s because I am more used to Lost having the flashbacks explain the characters or be super relevant to the present plot. The way Arrow has done it has been unusual. Yes, they are slowly getting more interesting but I also hope they get more relevant as well.
MATT: I think “An Innocent Man” probably had the most relevant flashbacks, directly dealing with Oliver having to learn to kill to survive and the darkness of Oliver’s quest overtaking him.
DEREK: “Damaged” worked okay, too, dealing with Oliver’s torture and the nature of his scars.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LETDOWN STORY-WISE SO FAR?

Year's EnSTEPHANIE: This may be more character-wise than story-wise but the biggest letdown has been the underuse or underdevelopment of many of the characters: Laurel, Thea, Detective Lance. They’ve got great actors here that they need to utilize.
ANDY: The obvious reveal of the Dark Archer. The thing that bothered me so much with that wasn’t that Malcolm Merlyn was the Dark Archer. It makes total sense but that is also where the problem lies. As soon as the “Well Dressed Man” was revealed as Malcolm, then photos of the Dark Archer and episode previews were released, it became way too obvious.
STEPHANIE: Barrowman playing Tommy’s father is a letdown. For all the hype and secrecy, it was kind of predictable and didn’t shock me as much as I wanted it to. But I do like that he and Moira have a wealthy family secret bond going on. Reminds me of Smallville’s Veritas [Group].
ANDY: That reveal of Tommy’s father being the Dark Archer is considered to be the mid-season finale’s cliffhanger but it just wasn’t that big of a shocker.
MATT: Really, the Dark Archer was set up to be only one of two people: Malcolm Merlyn or Yao Fei. And as it would be weird to have Yao Fei appear in the current timeline so soon without really delving into things in the island flashbacks, that pretty much eliminated him.
ANDY: Yao Fei was too short to be the Dark Archer, but aside from his height, it would have made a good cliffhanger: to see Oliver’s mentor turn.
CRAIG: Ugh. It may have been surprising if the archer had been a female, like Shado or … Laurel’s sister!
DEREK: Much as I like “Year’s End” as an episode, for it being a cliffhangery finale, nothing really happened, reveal-wise. Malcolm being Dark Archer was an organic reveal, but the episode needed something else as a hook.
CRAIG: I expected the cliffhanger to be something bigger for “Year’s End.” As soon as Barrowman was revealed as Merlyn, I just assumed he was the Dark Archer.
ANDY: Walter getting kidnapped was also supposed to be a cliffhanger but was not that shocking either.
DEREK: His abducted was kind of annoying, since it didn’t feel so much like a tragic cliffhanger as just a reason for Salmon to take a few weeks off.
ANDY: That is also the reason why I felt a bit cheated with Ramsey’s comment about a cliffhanger that is bigger than when Dexter [killed off Rita] for the mid-season finale.
CRAIG: Not wishing for anyone to lose their jobs, but killing off someone in “Year’s End” would have messed with the dynamic in a good way and it would have given them fewer characters to juggle. All positive.

This kind of dovetails great into the next question.

HOW WELL HAVE THE REVEALS ON THE SERIES BEEN HANDLED SO FAR?

ARROWCRAIG: Some good, like Deathstroke, or that Moira was behind the kidnapping. When Diggle found out. Some anticlimactic, like Dark Archer.
STEPHANIE: The reveal of the Dark Archer was way too overdramatic.
ANDY: Up until we found out that [Barrowman] was Malcolm, it was pretty well kept and it was well revealed, too. It wasn’t too much of a “DAM-DAM-DUMMMM” moment when he took off his mask and talked to Tommy. It was pretty natural but mostly because he started talking BEFORE he took it off.
MATT: I found both of Malcolm’s reveals anticlimactic. Not that they were bad, they were just obvious.
STEPHANIE: I agree with Craig about Moira. The best, in my opinion, was when it was revealed that she was behind Oliver’s kidnapping, probably because it was the first one and I was not expecting it at all.
ANDY: And then the reveal that there is more to her character than some evil mother figure. The reveal of why she is up to schemes was a good one.
DEREK: Moira being a part of the secret society — and in fact, Robert not being a wholesome guy himself — was a nice reveal and has been handled organically. I also really liked the moment in flashback that we saw Robert shoot the other man on the raft and himself; it was a chilling moment I didn’t expect to see so soon.
MATT: I was thoroughly shocked when Robert shot the other crewman. Surprisingly affected by that.
STEPHANIE: Adding on to my thoughts on the last question, to have Barrowman be Tommy’s father seems to almost diminish him as a character. He will forever be tied to another and can’t build his character from the ground up.
CRAIG: I actually felt the opposite. I think that relation suddenly made Tommy a lot more important. Even if one could argue that now they are basically Harry and Norman Osborn.
DEREK: I’m glad that Malcolm’s reveal as Tommy’s father wasn’t overplayed, so I’m in favor of that. But it is a weird Norman/Harry Osborn dynamic now, so keeping that under wraps then revealing it naturally was smart.
ANDY: That is the part that terrifies me: I don’t want Tommy to head into that side because of his father. I want it to be something more original and unrelated. The son becomes the villain because of his fathers influence: Lionel, Norman. We’ve seen it. I really want it to be something different.
ARROWCRAIG: If Tommy doesn’t become evil at some point, I’m not really sure he has a point.
DEREK: I do wish Malcolm’s reveal as Dark Archer would have been played differently. Either they could have NOT played it as a huge surprise, just casually revealed it, or alternatively — keeping up the Osborn comparisons — they could have taken a route similar to what The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon did. [SPOILERS if you haven’t seen it] With Green Goblin’s identity, they threw out so many well-designed red herrings over a long span of time – went as far as a reveal, then unreveal, then reveal again — that even people familiar with the lore who thought it HAD to be the obvious choice started to wonder if the show was throwing in a curve ball.
MATT: Well, I think it’s only fair to bring up the fact that the character of Merlyn in DC’s New 52 is now called “Tommy Merlyn.” I mean, it’s obvious that it’s really a corporate synergy thing, and the show has leeway to do what they want with the characters, but I think it’s telling that they would give the villain that specific name. It would seem the show has its specific designs in mind.
ANDY: What was his first name in the Pre-N52?
MATT: His name was Arthur King. Merlyn was a stage name he took on.
CRAIG: Arthur-Merlin, King-Queen. Didn’t Green Arrow #0 establish that Tommy had a few siblings, also?
MATT: I’m not certain. I think you might be right, though.
CRAIG: I almost expected or expect for the elder Merlyn to kill Tommy, making “Tommy Merlyn” just a red herring.
MATT: That’s the interesting twist I’m hearing on the Osborn theory. That Malcolm ends up killing Tommy and solidifying the bad blood between him and Oliver.
CRAIG: I’m pretty sure when the series is over or near over there will be only one Merlyn.
ANDY: Maybe that could become Laurel’s reason to become Canary, if Tommy dies because of his father.
MATT: Ugh. I’d hope not. Laurel needs her own reasons for doing such a thing. Though, I have a feeling they’ll be related to her mother.
CRAIG: I agree. I think they’ll be related to her mother.

Speaking of comics…

HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE EXPLORE THE COMPANION COMIC AT ALL AND THE SUPPLEMENT IT PROVIDES TO THE SERIES?

arrowdigitalcomicCRAIG: I’ve read the first few chapters, that were reprinted in the first print comic. I like that there’s a supplemental addition to the show, especially in the rerun weeks, but I haven’t read enough to have formed a full opinion yet.
MATT: I mention it for one reason in particular: I believe it is Chapter 5 that offers a fairly significant plot point to the whole show.
ANDY: I have been reading every chapter since the first week and it does provide some great explanations to some very imperative parts of certain episodes. It’s also a great treat to get to see some awesome Mike Grell Green Arrow art.
DEREK: I honestly haven’t, so I can’t really contribute much to that. I’ll probably end up checking it out eventually!
STEPHANIE: I have only read the first four right when they each came out before my free time disappeared. I think it’s cool that they have supplemental comics for a comic book based show and wish I had something more to say about it.

Very well. Moving on… Let’s get into some conclusions…

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EPISODE OF THE FIRST PART OF THE SEASON? WHY?

Muse of FireCRAIG: I know it’s a cheesy default, but I’d have to go with the Pilot, simply because that’s where it all began. “Damaged” might also be high on my list.
ANDY: “Pilot” is my favorite, too. But taking a look at the other eight episodes, I would say it’s a tie between the Helena/Huntress arc (“Muse of Fire” and “Vendetta”) and “Year’s End.” Helena’s story had so many good things, such as: a) Geoff Johns; b) the introduction of Helena Bertinelli; c) John Barrowman’s reveal; and d) Oliver’s first new “normal” relationship. He had someone that could relate to him and someone that he was willing to open up for. I enjoyed the guiding role that he played for Helena. Then, “Year’s End” is a special episode because of Oliver’s attempt of trying to reconnect with his family. While it wasn’t exactly how he had planned it, they did end up getting closer. The Dark Archer vs. Arrow showdown was phenomenal and I was actually satisfied to see Oliver get outmatched. A reminder that this is just the beginning in this origin story and we may see him from time to time actually be defeated.
MATT: I have to say “Year’s End” is my fave of these first nine episodes. I felt it featured the best and proper mix of what the show should be. The balance of the relationship, romance, philosophy, and action aspects of the show was what they should strive for on a consistent basis. For context, my top 3 episodes so far: “Year’s End,” “Lone Gunmen,” and “An Innocent Man.”
STEPHANIE: My favorite episode was “An Innocent Man” because it presented a different type of task for Oliver: to help a man escape being framed instead of only following the criminal. The relationship between Laurel and the Hood was interesting and proved that Laurel can be relevant to the story.
DamagedDEREK: My favorite is either “Damaged” or “Year’s End.” As much as I think Oliver was portrayed as a douchebag with the way he manipulated people in “Damaged,” it was the first time I could tell the series was going to play with superhero tropes in a very clever and original fashion. I also really liked that red sweater Oliver wore in all the promotional material — Amell’s wardrobe in the show as a whole is actually really awesome — but that’s just, like, an added bonus to a good episode. “Year’s End” is just a very balanced episode in terms of character, plot, action, and mixing the lightness with the darkness. It’s also the first time it felt like a really good comic book show, and not just a gritty action show that kinda sorta resembled some comic book things.

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE EPISODE OF THIS FIRST PART OF THE SEASON? WHY?

CRAIG: I think it may have been “Vendetta” for me. I was so excited for the Huntress, and then so much of that excitement seemed to fall apart while watching that one.
VendettaMATT: Mine is “Honor Thy Father.” Like Derek, though I like what they’re doing with China White to establish a larger world and keep a living threat of the Triads around, I thought she was all but wasted in her first appearance. The episode was okay and the scene with Oliver at the gravestones was good. It just doesn’t offer anywhere near as much as any of the other episodes this season.
DEREK: I agree wholeheartedly about “Honor Thy Father.” I barely even retained much from the episode after watching it. It repeated things from the pilot in a less refined fashion and didn’t do much of anything new. It was also still in the height of the “awkward voiceover/taking everything way too seriously” phase that it didn’t overcome until around episode 4 or 5.
ANDY:Lone Gunmen”: I was let down with how Deadshot’s story ended in that episode. Everything up until that final conclusion was intriguing. I liked how they presented Deadshot, in a way that resembled the ways that I had seen in Batman: Arkham City. Until they actually bring this character back, if he did survive, I will leave this episode as my least favorite episode of the season.
STEPHANIE: My least favorite episode was “Vendetta.” The Huntress storyline was uncomfortable and awkward and bizarre. While her backstory was interesting in “Muse of Fire,” the rest of her story was not. Also, “Vendetta” seemed slightly corny overall.
ANDY: The Hood needs to get a better name, I always think of Red Hood when I hear that name.
MATT: I actually like that they haven’t given him a solid name still. I wish we could hear more names of him from other groups, though. “The Hood” and “Hood Guy” are the cops’ names. “Vigilante” is the most common name. I’d like to hear other groups come up with names.
CRAIG: I think someone needs to call him Hawkeye. Maybe his pretty bird can be Mockingbird. Oh wait, wrong company.

And finally…

IS THIS SERIES LEGITIMATE OR A GUILTY PLEASURE? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS?

ARROWCRAIG: I legitimately enjoy it, and I would recommend it to others and have. I think it’s a well done comic adaptation, and any kinks that may have fallen in there, I am confident they will iron out over time. We’ve already seen an evolution, and I think we’ll see more.
STEPHANIE: I would classify it as legitimate. To me, a guilty pleasure is a show that is ridden with unnecessary drama and is a thoughtless watch, but the drama that Arrow focuses on clears it from this category. I have been recommending it to friends. However, my parents watch it, so Arrow has the potential for a wide and varied audience.
ANDY: I have recommended it to other people, even people who aren’t comic book fans or fans of superhero adaptations in general. I actually got my big sister to watch it, a person who was never familiar with Green Arrow before Arrow. I explained what the plot was a few weeks before the pilot premiered and she was sold on the idea. She is enjoying the show. Even with its downs, Arrow sure has a lot of ups as well. Like Craig said, it has already evolved and it will be doing it again.
DEREK: I think it’s legitimate, if anything, because there’s clearly much more thought put into it than what I’d classify as a guilty pleasure. But I do actually warn my friends that it isn’t for everyone. Some I tell to wait for it to hit Netflix and then catch-up, since, like I’ve said, the first cluster of episodes could be a turn off for some people. Some comic book fans will respect the changes for the sake of storytelling, most of which have been smart, while others will call them blasphemy. If you’re one of the latter, I’d say try not to take it too seriously. But if you want to take it seriously, I don’t see why you can’t.
MATT: It’s legit and a recommendation for me, too. I do think it has more growing to do, particularly in giving the supporting characters their own lives, desires, and plotlines to build out the world. But the boldness of the showrunners, the adept quality they’ve had at evolving the show even in just these few episodes, and what appears to be clear direction and vision make this one of the better shows on TV. Is it covering fresh ground? Not necessarily. But it is one of the more competent and consistent adaptations I’ve seen and a show that knows not to rest on its laurels. (Now, about the Laurel that they are resting on…)
CRAIG: P.S. Felicity Smoak is Anonymous. Shhhhh….

END OF PART TWO

So ends our reaction and analysis of this first volley of the CW’s new hit series Arrow. Next week, we dive into full-on geekiness by comparing the series as an adaptation of a comic book property with other adaptations, both on the silver screen and on the homefront. How does it hold up against what Marvel has been doing the last few years, similarities and differences with Nolan’s Batman flicks, and of course, the showdown between Smallville and Arrow.

As always feel free to share with us any questions, requests, or insights of you own in the comments section below. You’re also all welcomed to throw in your Arrow thoughts on our Arrow forum!

Matt Tucker Editor/Senior Writer/Reviewer

Matt Tucker is a stage and film actor, writer, Seattleite, comics nerd, sports fan, and aspiring person. Someday, he’ll be a real boy. He's an editor and senior writer for KSiteTV network (GreenArrowTV, DaredevilTV) and the sports blog Sonics Rising. He's also Movies/TV editor at SmarksOn. Follow him on Twitter at @MattBCTucker.

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