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Why you’ll enjoy watching Arrow

… from the perspective of someone with no knowledge of the comic books

Okay, I will admit, I was stubborn and defiant that I would not like this program. I thought because I didn’t read comic books that I would not understand the plot. But my friends were really enjoying it. It was all they could talk about! They had even bought their own bows and arrows and were quoting the characters whilst shooting at a target at the back of the garden.

This led me to ask, “So, what is this show Arrow?”

“It is about a vigilante who protects his city with a bow and arrow.”

“Okay, that sounds ridiculous.”

“Just watch it.”

45 minutes later…

“Wow, this show is so cool. Let’s watch another one.”

This is the story of how I began watching series 1 of Arrow. And I have been hooked ever since.

“Why?” I hear you ask

Simply put, Arrow is awesome. Oliver Queen (a.k.a. the Arrow) is a spoilt millionaire playboy turned masked vigilante determined to fulfil his dying father’s wish and save his city after a trial of humanity stranded on an island for five years.

The lines these characters come out with are simply cool. The introduction of a new superhero/comic book character in a scene usually coincides with a witty and interesting line before the destruction of a villain. It is enough to make anyone want to be like them.

But the plot is so much more interesting than exciting fight scenes. And events and plot twists do gradually transpire with many flashbacks to the events that changed the character of Oliver whilst he was missing.

Everyone in Starling City thought Oliver Queen was dead. Imagine the complex human emotions involved when a ghost comes back to see you:

Mum = Happy, but obviously carries a lot of secrets.

Sister = Happy, confused, but carries the burden of a screwed up adolescence thinking both her father and brother are dead.

Best friend = Delighted but anxious because he has been sort of dating his former girlfriend.

Former girlfriend = Thought he died cheating on her with her sister who is also presumably dead… Initially furious, angry and hurt…

Everyone else = “This guy sure does disappear a lot and make lame excuses for his absences.”

The television series differs from the DC comic’s depiction of the “Green Arrow” in that it focuses on the humanity of Oliver Queen as he faces trials of life stranded on the island as well as when he returns to Starling City. The plot lines are well written and nobody seems to be the person they appear. And the awkward but interesting romance between Oliver and his ex- girlfriend Laurel depicts conflicting emotions between a couple who loved each other five years ago, but who have been changed greatly by time. Oliver might be roaming the streets, stopping exploitation and crime by night, but he still has to find his way in a world that believed he was dead and moved on without him.

arrow_felicity_smoakThroughout series 1 and 2, we see Oliver Queen change from an emotionally blunted assassin to a man unwilling to take a human life in the course of justice. Aside from the much needed help of bodyguard John Diggle and computer genius Felicity Smoak established in series 1, he even begins to accept the help of others such as aspiring vigilante Roy Harper and Officer Quentin Lance. Even the mysterious woman in black is on hand to help who is eventually revealed to be a character buried in Oliver’s past stranded on the island.

Series 3 appears to incorporate more characters and plot twists from the comics. My friends (who follow the comics as well as the television series) were able to predict what might become of some characters and make connections between surnames of some characters in unison with what kind of superhero they may become. Laurel Lance was predicted by my friends to become the Black Canary, something I did not see coming.

I think this show has a lot to offer to avid readers of the comics as well as those completely oblivious to them. I would truly recommend sitting down and watching the pilot episode to see if you enjoy it.

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