5 Things That Would Make Arrow Better

Posted by HexThis (847 posts) - - Show Bio

5) The Black Canary

First, she was a teen with telekinesis in "Birds of Prey", then she was the mother of that teen who was quickly dispatched within one episode, then she was conservative radio talk show host on "Smallville", and now she's a lawyer with a Captain Stacy-esque and disapproving father and damsel-like tendencies. As far as I'm concerned, none of these incarnations even sightly resemble the Dinah Laurel Lance we know and love which has me simply asking......

"WHY?"

What is so deficient about her that causes writers to tweak her in peculiar and ineffective ways? The Black Canary is a hugely successful character, though not on par with Wonder Woman or Catwoman, she is a constant fixture in the DC Universe with a sizable following. People particularly warmed up to the Black Canary and Green Arrow as a couple which almost never involved Green Arrow saving her from danger but rather out of a mutual respect and admiration for one another. Hell, "Birds of Prey" (the comic series, not the show) was largely successful and very much centered around the Black Canary, Gail Simone had even resorted to bringing her back when the attempt to distance her from the series failed.

Without her canary cry or at least her combat skills....this "Laurel" Lance (another arbitrary alteration) is basically Rachel Dawes without the belivability. Katie Cassidy is really, seriously not convincing as a lawyer and it's also really hard to see her flailing her arms and fleeing from danger when the real Dinah could easily thrash just about any thug. As a matter in fact, she did thrash a thug recently then reverted back to helplessness within the next episode.

My advice to the producers - Read "Birds of Prey", sign Katie Cassidy up for some judo classes or something.

4) More villain screentime

Arrow has been accused of "borrowing" from Nolan's Batman a lot and while I don't particularly find that to be a charming trait of the show, I feel like if you're going to swipe anything from the Batman franchises then it should be the compelling rogues gallery. Let's get some character actors in here, some recurring villains, no more villains of the week whom we'll never see again.

If Deadshot's going to come into the fold, let's make him relevant to Arrow's story in some way so that he brings out interesting aspects of Arrow's struggle. They almost struck gold when Deadshot implied Arrow was a killer but then, SPOILERZ, he's got an arrow in his brain pan a fraction of a second later. I don't know which is the sadder casualty- the death of Deadshot or the death of a potentially fascinating inner moral conflict within Oliver? Let's not forget, Deadshot made a GREAT point. Oliver's killed like 25 security guards alone by this point! This is why we need villains. They confront the flaws of our heroes without reserve and ultimately strengthen the integrity of their character.

3) No more anecdotal monologues or over-illustrated points that solve all emotional problems instantly

Listen, in real life, we're all huge pains in the asses when it comes to our emotional issues. How often do people effectively communicate and find the right words to deal with an emotional between intimates or family members? Next to never! When it isn't us and we're seeing dynamics played out on TV there is some leniency in that regard being time is of the essence and other storylines are going on simultaneously. BUT Arrow is somewhat out of control in this regard, I wonder why they can't let more things just stew.

Speedy is a junkie for a few episodes but her mother manifests the perfect analogy to her situation by bringing up a story about a stray cat that involves her dead father. Voila. Mommy and daughter reach a new understanding. Speedy doesn't like the way Oliver is acting so she takes him on a field trip to his own grave to help articulate the point that she felt closer to him in death than life. Now everything is perfectly okay between the two of them.

People don't act this way, as a matter in fact, people so totally don't act this way that it makes the emotional dynamics significantly weaker as a result. You can say "This is an action show" or "This is for men, none of that soap opera crap" or whatever to rationalize poorly conceived and one-dimensional relationships in this series but I think Arrow can do better. Why can't it be action-packed and emotionally informed?

This isn't 7'th Heaven, we don't need a clearly defined moral at the end of every story.

PS- 3.5 Please, no more voiceover filibustering about justice or injustice. We get it.

2) Less Super Sexy, Hot, Steamy, Model Sidecharacters

The hot IT girl, Laurel's hot friend at work, Laurel's hot father (played by an actor who's only 43), the bodyguard's hot galpal....yes, TV is a place of pretty people but if it's noticeable to the point of absolute ridiculousness on a TV SHOW then you know you're really pushing it. It's just goofy. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any pretty people or that there's anything wrong with being pretty, it just gives the show a distractingly synthetic vibe that doesn't do any favors for it's alleged "grittiness". I'm uncomfortably attracted to Laurel's father and this IT chick looks like a Playboy bunny infiltrating a major corporation by pretending to be an IT chick using a naughty librarian porno as a reference.

Come on, people, this doesn't reflect even an approximate reality and this show isn't so extravagant it can get away with it. Let's see real people. There's enough sexpots on the cast, they aren't hurting for sex appeal over at Arrow so let's dial it back a little.

1) Better Acting

This sounds condescending to say but I do actually mean to say it with compassion- Most of these kids are in over their heads and I'm starting to feel bad for them. I don't hate anyone on the cast actually, in a strange way, I'm almost rooting for them in spite of my cringing through their performances. Stephen Amell is so cute and sincerely trying but he's just not hitting the mark, it's like watching a golden retriever try to be a jackal. Katie Cassidy is even kind of likeable but there's no sass to her performance, no palpable assertiveness. I think Willa Holland could be great but her faux rebelliousness is more soap operatic than it is endearing.

Here's what I would suggest as far as the leads are concerned.....

- Stephen Amell needs a character actor as a villain, a classic stage actor, something and anything he can work off of and he also would largely benefit from a romantic interest of a similar caliber. Think George Lazenby and Diana Rigg in the Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" - a struggling actor paired with a thespian or acclaimed actor. George Lazenby got terrible reviews but he had A) less time to prove himself and B) a lot to live up to but in through a retrospective lens it is one of the best Bond films. Why? Diana Rigg compensated for Lazenby as Bond and the romance became the focus. Actors learn from other actors! Just look at David Boreanaz, he started off as kinda iffy on Buffy but by season 3 Joss Whedon felt he was capable of carrying his own show when he saw how much his scenes with Sarah Michelle Gellar strengthened his acting skills.

- Katie Cassidy or Laurel Lance, rather needs to get out of law and go straight to superheroics. Granted, there has to be a transition but with her I could see a much more fruitful path taking up a Lynda Carter-type role as Black Canary. Lynda Carter? Not the best actress. But when she put on the Wonder Woman suit it seemed as though it were easier for her to feel the character and play the role with more sincerity. Katie Cassidy needs that, she needs something to work with.

#1 Posted by Superguy0009e (2258 posts) - - Show Bio

Agree on the better acting.

It seems too much like a CW show, instead of a superhero show.

#2 Posted by Kyle_Dornez (250 posts) - - Show Bio

Well that, and probably The Beard...

#3 Edited by cameron83 (6416 posts) - - Show Bio

I concur about black canary.For some reason DC always dramatically changes her for no reason.She needs no changing,they are doing to her what hally berry did to catwoman,seriously that was a monstrosity! And now they are doing it to her with the unnecessary changes.And I Wish that she wasn't so.......Ugh!

I cannot explain,but she seems like she is in high school.You know talking to her Friends,"Girl you should start seeing people",Or 'Get back in the game',

or whatever crap they said.And it totally seems like a batman ripoff,I mean isn't green arrow supposed to be funny.Not having a deep voice,or trying to look intimidating.I mean seriously,Funny and socially successful as oliver queen (which he always was like that as oliver queen),but a serious,dark,intimidating guy shrouded in shadows at night........totally not a nolan rip-off.

And as oliver queen and arrow he always has this same,generic pose/stance:

#4 Posted by Joygirl (15324 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with a lot of this but I CAN'T abide by getting rid of the hot IT girl. She is, well, just far too hot, and also the show's best actor so far. But yes, this is a great post... and one addition: Figure out what Ollie's morality is? Does he kill because he must or because it's convenient? Consistency, people!

Online
#5 Edited by Ravager4 (1625 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: I was reading tvtropes earlier for Arrow, and this bit made me laugh because it's so very true:

  • Moral Dissonance: Oliver's current methods for 'saving' his beloved city. To date, he's dealt with minor crime bosses, and although he's defeated them both, one is still at large (though significantly poorer), the other is under arrest thanks to evidence of questionable admissibility, and neither of them suffered more than a literal scratch. Balance this against the dozens of underlings that Arrow has ruthlessly murdered. While some of them were criminals, most were killed while only standing watch and/or defending themselves from attack.
    • Even worse, Adam Hunt was simply a corrupt businessman, and his bodyguards (including his Dragon) might well have been completely unaware of his criminal activities. In which case, Oliver cut down eight or more innocent men whose were doing their job and trying to stop an armed man who was trying to reach his employer. Arrow's message to Starling City seems to be that the rich and powerful criminals can look forward to receiving a slap on the wrist, while minor criminals or security employees can expect a swift and brutal execution.
#6 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree with all of this. I like Arrow, but these are the things that are keeping me from loving it.

#7 Posted by comikusdorkus (1 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree with a lot of underlying points that you make here. however, i feel like you're missing the context of the show. i would totally agree with you if they were doing everything in their power to duplicate the comic books, which i might add have recently changed dramatically and i'm sure at that time was very on the edge still. but rather than just leave it there, let me point out a couple very simple examples.

OLIVER: okay, so first off is oliver himself. i think they've lost a bit of what makes the green arrow so great. the fact that he is willing to go to any means to find justice and stop someone from their evil. which i think is what they are shooting for and i hope dearly they will find their pace with this. but all the same i think they're on a good track with him and have taken bits of batman to flesh out the character and make him more relatable to people seeing as most non-comic book fans aren't as familiar with green arrow as they are with batman

THE QUEENS: HELLO! they're alive. or at least one of them is, and it seems to be a major part of the show. i'll leave this be until we find out more.

THE CITY: starling city... the jury is still out on this for me. i still dont understand the need to change the name but its a minor thing.

SISTER: well, oliver is an only child in all of his comic book incarnations. but the cw has a tendency to make sibling swaps and random creations. i think the point of her is to give someone who had a glowing ideal of oliver and now has a conflicting relationship with him. but again jury is still out for me. just wish they had a no-name actress instead of another girl that's played this exact kind of character a thousand times.

DINAH: this is my favorite because i see the bashing everywhere and i have to say i disagree, because i think moreso than most of the first generations of heroes, dinah has gone through so many changes. in her original incarnation, dinah is the daughter of a cop. check. she gets blocked from being a police officer by said father. again, check. and finally, dinah rebels against said cop father and becomes super hero... well hold on. in this world other heroes have yet to be announced, so i'm not so sure i can disagree with their choice to make her a lawyer as a backup. but lets go to another incarnation. in this one, dinah is raised around the jsa. well, the jsa doesn't exist, and its her love of the jsa that later leads her to want to be a hero in the first place. so that's moot. now dont get me wrong. i still think they're a bit off on dinah right now, but i think its getting better by the episode. and i think the reason they dont have dinah as a hero yet is we didnt see any heroes in smallville for a number of seasons to allow focus on clark. give it time and we'll see actual heroes on the show.

VILLAINS: as i was writing i thought of this. i think its odd the way they just have the villains appear and disappear so quick. however, there have been a number of teases (just like smallville) as to a very major villain in this season, and possibly throughout the show. **SPOILER** while on the island they show a mask that looks awfully like deathstrokes. and its shown up a number of places since they first showed it. i'm hoping desperately they bring him in and give oliver someone of his own caliber to fight against.

overall i think it has a lot of potential, and if they just seize it this could become an epic show.

#8 Posted by SupBatz (1446 posts) - - Show Bio

Agreed on nearly all accounts (though the "hot IT girl" point didn't bother me).

I'd also add start calling Ollie Green Arrow (at least by the end of the season) and have him stop (or at least deeply question the morality of) killing people.

#9 Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude (2518 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Arrow is a cool show, but it could really benefit from some changes

#10 Posted by danhimself (21896 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder how many people realize that the "hot IT girl" is actually Felicity Smoak

#11 Posted by SoA (4592 posts) - - Show Bio

when has laurel been a damsel in distress , she has actually "saved" ollie and tommy from being roughed up . i agree on deadshot , being one of my favorite villains it did suck to see him go down in 0.5 seconds , one can hope he comes back as a cyborg or something . and the IT girl is not hot unless im not seeing whatever fantasy you think of when she is on screen .

i really like the show and can only anticipate good things from it . and it could be a hell of a lot worse idk how smallville stayed on the air for a decade . that show sucked.

#12 Posted by BumpyBoo (7215 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

I totally agree with all of this. I like Arrow, but these are the things that are keeping me from loving it.

#13 Edited by jack_before_joker (65 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself: seriously? wow, theyre jamming a lot of dc characters from other comics in this show! i kind of like it!

#14 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

All your ideas are spot on but at the end of the day, it airs on the CW. No matter how gritty the Showrunners try and make it, the big powers that be will always meddle and make sure it's just 'Smallville 2.0' (don't get me wrong, I loved Smallville: it never tried to be something it wasn't).

The only way Arrow could ever work as a believable Nolanverse-esque series would be a run on HBO.

#15 Posted by HexThis (847 posts) - - Show Bio

@queenfrost_ said:

All your ideas are spot on but at the end of the day, it airs on the CW. No matter how gritty the Showrunners try and make it, the big powers that be will always meddle and make sure it's just 'Smallville 2.0' (don't get me wrong, I loved Smallville: it never tried to be something it wasn't).

The only way Arrow could ever work as a believable Nolanverse-esque series would be a run on HBO.

True, true. I will just never understand why the CW insists on being so silly, it's hard to imagine that adults conceptualize these shows. Kids these days watch Dexter, they watch Mad Men or Homeland, Television is way more sophisticated than it used to be so they should follow suit.

Granted, my all-time favorite show sprung from what the CW once was which was Buffy on the WB. But the WB at least had really talented kids like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Keri Russell, and Michelle Williams...in those days people criticized those shows for having teenagers that spoke too much like adults but at least it didn't talk down to the audience.

But sophistication really won out. The WB traded off Dawson's and Buffy for Charmed and 7'th Heaven then ended up in the toilet.

PS- Why in the m-efffing hell has Marvel or DC never approached HBO or Showtime or AMC? That'd be awesome!

#16 Posted by HexThis (847 posts) - - Show Bio

@SoA said:

when has laurel been a damsel in distress , she has actually "saved" ollie and tommy from being roughed up .

Yeah, she's saved him but it's such a comedown from what her character is and has been in the comics. Part of the charm of Ollie & Dinah has always been that they're so well coordinated as superheroes somewhat like Sue & Reed Richards but there's still time for growth.

i really like the show and can only anticipate good things from it . and it could be a hell of a lot worse idk how smallville stayed on the air for a decade . that show sucked.

Yeah, I couldn't get into Smallville. It looked like it was going to be so cool at first with Clark tied to the stake and the big, red "S" on his chest but it very quickly became just goofy. I'll never understand people's fondness for goofiness. Why watch a Roger Moore Bond film when you can have Daniel Craig?

@Joygirl said:

I agree with a lot of this but I CAN'T abide by getting rid of the hot IT girl. She is, well, just far too hot, and also the show's best actor so far. But yes, this is a great post... and one addition: Figure out what Ollie's morality is? Does he kill because he must or because it's convenient? Consistency, people!

This is my dilemma with arrow-toting superheroes though. You can't really shoot someone with arrow without doing major damage. Moreover, you can't quickly reload an arrow either and there's far less arrows than there are bullets. And you can't go from barbed arrows to goofy boxing glove arrows because those are totally not aerodynamic. Shocker arrows is what Ollie will ultimately have to resort to.

#17 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

@HexThis: Yes! Buffy was such a groundbreaker for modern teen TV but since then it has seemed that TV has just reverted back...? I guess when WB merged with UPN and the CW took over they just wanted to back to being the generic teen network.

And there was a pilot script delivered to AMC for a Jessica Jones/Alias show but that never took off! But I guess with the whole Marvel being owned by Disney we'll only ever see Marvel on ABC. But there's still hope for DC to branch out...,maybe.

#18 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (27193 posts) - - Show Bio

1 and 2 are my biggest problems, it's like glamour models pretending to be actors

#19 Posted by SupBatz (1446 posts) - - Show Bio

The show might also benefit from being a bit less serious. CW shows sometimes feel like melodrama. It's a (non-Batman) superhero show. Let's have some more fun with it.

A good comparison is the show Person of Interest. It's definitely serious but also fun and NOT melodramatic. I'd love Arrow writers to take a lesson from them.

#20 Posted by foolkiller1 (226 posts) - - Show Bio

Get rid of the f*cking indie ballads.

#21 Posted by xxxddd (3428 posts) - - Show Bio

In comics, Oliver needs:

1. Rogue Gallery

2. Archnemesis

3. More sidekicks

4. More internal development, and

5. A base of operations(like the "arrowcave")

#22 Posted by papad1992 (6811 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the show... it borders fiction and non-fiction very well! Giving Laurel her kickass persona of Black canary would be interesting but unoriginal! It'd be just another action-packed show! I would like some further development of the current characters but it's only the 7th episode... give it time!

#23 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (9503 posts) - - Show Bio

Less Smallville, more Batman Tas.

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