Let me preface this by saying that I like the show Arrow. I like it quite a bit. The action is great, the lore is fun, and Emily Bett Rickards is hard to take your eyes off of. Stephen Amell does a great job portraying Oliver Queen, the handsome billionaire playboy who moonlights as a hooded vigilante. His supporting cast does a great job, as well, and the villains who show up have generally been pretty decent, from what I’ve seen.
I say “from what I’ve seen” because I joined the Arrow audience about halfway through season 2. I missed a good portion of season 2 and all of season 1, and have not gone back to watch any of those missed episodes. My friend and co-conspirator on this blog, Andy Primm, has repeatedly tried to convince me that I should return and watch the show from the very beginning, and that my life will be better for it. We usually begin talking about this after working our way through most of a bottle of rum, but my opinion doesn’t really change during the harsh light of day. I will go ahead and elucidate my reasons why he should shut his stupid buttface mouth about it.
- Murder ≢ Compelling. Murder and violence is fine. If that’s what’s in your show, great! As long as it’s good TV. Season 1 of Arrow does not look like good TV to me. And the argument that he killed a bunch of assholes doesn’t make me want to watch it. All I need is some dialogue in a current episode about how he used to be a killer, which, guess what? Almost every episode I watched of season 2 he mentioned that he wants to be a better hero. AND every intro to the show he said how he needs to be different than he was. I get it already, he was a mean motherfucker. He stuck a bunch of arrows into bad guys’ hearts and now he doesn’t want to anymore. Great! I’m on board, I don’t need to go back and see it.
- I don’t need to see emo Arrow. I like Oliver as he is now. He wears the hood, the mask, doesn’t kill his enemies like he used to, he’s got a little sidekick (more on that in a minute) and his world is expanding. We’ve got Ray Palmer and Ted Grant and the conflicts that have arisen from them. We’ve got Ra’s Al Ghul about to show up and cause trouble for Oliver, and we’ve got The Flash kicking it over in his own show, crossing over into Arrow. I don’t need to see Oliver’s gritty origin story. I don’t need to see him smearing grease on his face and training shirtless, whining about saving his city or whatever. Give me masks and a larger universe, thank you.
- It took me several episodes of good Arrow to like it. Now, I’m not saying that season 1 was bad, necessarily. It could be very good. Andy insists that it is very good. But most of his argument consists of “he killed a bunch of people, it was awesome.” I don’t need to see that. This does hearken back to my “I don’t need to see emo Arrow” statement. The episodes that I joined in on were good, but still had many elements of CW drama nonsense. Which does have its place, but it takes away from my enjoyment of the show somewhat. The point is, I don’t need to go back to worse Arrow to appreciate better Arrow. Straight up: if the show is bad in season one, why would anyone go back and watch it?
- Roy made me want to punch him in the face. Roy has finally, in season 3, grown on me. But up until this point, he has been the most annoying part of the show. And that’s including the love triangle subplot with Oliver, Sara, and Laurel. He gets infected with mirakuru and becomes this huge angry whiner. Oliver tries to help him out but he just gets pissy and angry and makes everything worse. I get that it’s the mirakuru making him behave that way. I know this. But forced drama is not good drama. AND Oliver went about fixing things in a horrible way. I know that’s sort of Green Arrow’s thing, that he’s a terrible mentor, but when you’re practically yelling at your TV because your main character is being a dumbass…I don’t know. I don’t want to go back to season 1 and find out how annoying normal Roy was, and how annoying an even whinier Oliver was. But again, I’m liking Roy more now, as Arsenal.
OK, I think I’ve ranted and raved enough. You get it. I want to reiterate that I like the show. If you’re interested in watching the show, by all means, go back and start from the beginning. I’m sure you can find it on a multitude of different streaming services. However, if you decide to start from somewhere in season 2, as I did, I don’t think you’ll be missing out on much of anything. Except for more Emily Bett Rickards. Andy should try to convince me that she is like, in only a bra the whole first season. That tactic just might work.