The CW doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to quality programming (the exception being Supernatural, which is awesome), especially when it deals with comic book characters. I admit I followed Smallville all ten years it was on the air, hoping with the rest of the fans that the payoff would be worth it. Smallville flirted with being a genuinely good Superman show a few times, especially in the last few seasons as they started adding more characters from the comics and got away from the teen angst drama crap. A big reason why the show never quite made it is because of their budget. When you read interviews with the show runners it was apparent that they loved the character and really wanted to give fans what they wanted, but a lot of times lack of funds was the biggest issue. However, the final episode, after ten years of waiting, gave us a CGI Superman in the horrible Returns outfit for a whole 5 seconds. It was lame.
Then they announced that they would be doing a series based on Green Arrow, and not as a spinoff of the character in Smallville. I was not enthused. Then ComiCon came around and footage of the show was released. The trailer did a lot to pique my interest, as it had a very “Begins” vibe to it, and they seemed to be taking the material seriously. The fact that they were basing the show around the very VERY good Year One comic made me even more excited that they just might pull it off, despite the doomsaying that was going around the internet from fellow comic nerds. The night the pilot aired I was genuinely surprised with how much I liked it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly entertaining. I was willing to give it a chance. We’re now three episodes into the season and I’m happy to report that so far Arrow is actually a decent show- enough so that I find myself going out of my way to watch it when it airs (the fact that it’s paired with Supernatural certainly helps). It still has it’s problems, such as the lame voice-overs and characters being willfully ignorant, but they’re relatively minor annoyances in what is otherwise an entertaining show. Most good shows always need a few episodes to get into their groove, and Arrow is already off to a better start than most in that regard. The acting, overall, is solid. There’s some cheesy dialogue here and there, and the sister could get annoying very quickly, but it seems to be improving as they go. The fact that they’re incorporating elements from the comics, and trying to actually keep them close to their comic counterparts is a plus. They also throw in little Easter eggs for comic nerds like me, like the mention of Bludhaven in the trailer for next week, which is fun. Overall I’m really happy with the direction they’re going, and I’m glad that they just got a full season order. I’m hoping it continues to get better.