Thursday, October 25, 2012

The CW's Arrow

When I heard The CW was planning a grittier superhero show with Arrow, I approved, but concept is one thing, execution another. Developer Greg Berlanti's work on 2011's live-action Green Lantern was nothing outstanding, but I was a fan of Susanna Thompson, here playing Oliver Queen's mother, from NCIS, and of Paul Blackthorne, here playing Dinah Lance's father, from SyFy's The Dresden Files. I had also enjoyed producer Moira Kirkland's work on Castle.

Most important, I was a fan of Green Arrow from Justice League Unlimited and Smallville but had not read any Green Arrow comics. My friends at The Nerdpocalypse were quick to point out much of the pilot episode's cheesiness and how it seemed to deviate from the character's canon. For the first seven of its ten seasons, I criticized Smallville for similar departures. Later I realized Smallville was trying for, and deserved to have, its own take on Superman. This prepared me for the liberties taken with Green Arrow.

The producers say they're going for realism. They want a show as much about family dynamics as about heroics. It remains to be seen how realistic they can be, but with each episode, Arrow grows on me. I think it helps that I'm less invested in Green Arrow than I was in Superman. I can watch the show objectively and for entertainment value.

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