You Have Failed This Series: Why ARROW Kinda Sucks


I want to love Arrow, I really do.

Green Arrow has always been one of my favorite DC heroes, and I’m thrilled that he’s got his own very successful TV show which, to be fair, is a damn sight better than it might have been. But that doesn’t mean that it’s as good as it should be.

My relationship with the show has run hot and cold. I watched the first seven episodes and quit. Later, during the second season, several friends recommended I give it another try, reassuring me it had gotten a lot better, so I went back and watched everything from the point I’d stopped. And I was glad I did, because it was getting better, and by the end of second season, it was pretty great. I went into the third season excited to see what the show’s creators would do next, and then things got painful.

Eleven episodes in, basically halfway through the season, I quit again. That was several weeks ago, and this week I decided to give it another chance to get better again, and I’ve now watched up through the season’s thirteenth episode, “Canaries.” And it’s still not must-see TV.

Before getting into what’s wrong with the show, I want to mention some things that are right about it…


Stephen Amell. I like this guy as Oliver Queen. He conveys great balance between heart and strength, and he’s certainly physically up to the demands of the role. I would like to see him develop more of a sense of humor, but other than that, he’s a great Green Arrow.

Deathstroke. Slade Wilson is a great villain in the comics, and the show did an excellent job of establishing him as both an incredible threat and a completely understandable and relatable character. Manu Bennett is captivating in the role. Deathstroke’s story, both in the island flashbacks and in the present day, was what made the second season so good.

The DC Universe. As a lifelong comics fan, it’s a delight to see so many DC characters brought to life, though they’re inconsistent in quality. Seeing Tatsu “Katana” Yamashiro go into sword-slinging action was awesome; she’s underused so far, but it’s nice to see the character again after we lost the excellent Beware the Batman. Seeing Ollie duel a majestic and deadly Ra’s al Ghul was incredible. Seeing the Flash bantering with Green Arrow was lots of fun (and his show, by the way, is wonderful). And I look forward to seeing Ray Palmer get shrinkin’ as the Atom.

I could write more positive, but I’d be squeezing the stone. The show does have its charms, and when it’s cooking it can be great (again, the latter part of second season). But all too often, the things that are wrong with it overwhelm the good stuff.

The bad:

Too Many Arrows. What’s cool about Oliver Queen? He’s an archer, a modern Robin Hood. That’s what’s special about him. Except it’s not. These days, it seems like every third character is carrying a goddamned bow. Malcolm Merlyn. Roy Harper. Nyssa al Ghul. Cupid. Every time someone else picks up a bow, Ollie becomes a bit less unique and cool.

Stupid Action. The show, overall, does well enough with its action sequences, but sometimes they get really dumb. The latest example that springs to mind had Laurel and Roy in rooms across a hallway from each other while attacking the bad guy’s den when said bad guy, Brick, comes walking down that hall with a gun pointed in their direction. Now, Brick seems to have only a vague idea of where they are, and they’re out of sight, in cover, in those rooms. So what do these bright heroes do? They simultaneously throw themselves into the hallway, acting like they’re dodging fire but actually putting themselves into Brick’s line of fire. Oooh, exciting. And the reason they do this? Because the writers want Malcolm Merlyn to come up behind them suddenly and shoot Brick so he can say he saved them. It’s stupid writing and it makes no sense.

Meanwhile, Five Years Ago… The show’s original structure alternated between showing us Ollie’s present day adventures and showing us his formative experiences as a castaway on the most populated desert island since Lost. It worked, especially once Slade Wilson appeared on the island and he and Ollie became friends. We got to see the two men working together in the past, and what led to Slade becoming Ollie’s enemy, all of which added layers of resonance to their conflict in the present. But three years in, the writers ran out of island fun and took past-Ollie to Hong Kong for a lot of pointless adventures as an unwitting tool of Amanda Waller’s shady organization. It’s been dreary stuff. At the end of the latest episode I watched, Waller brings past-Ollie to his hometown so we can see him have some more boring adventures in the exotic locale of the same generic city where we always see him in the present. At this point, if they can’t make them interesting, they need to just stop with the flashbacks.

Ollie’s Mutant Healing Factor. The best episode of third season so far was “The Climb,” in which Ollie challenges Ra’s al Ghul, the immortal leader of a cult of world-class assassins, to a duel to the death. This was fantastic, Matt Nable’s Ra’s was an imposing and elegant surprise, and the fight was extremely well done. It culminates pretty much as it should, with Ollie skewered on a big sword then kicked off a cliff to fall a few hundred feet. Man was clearly dead. And that was the cliffhanger for the show’s mid-season break, so we were all excited to see what happened next. Of course Ollie would be back, but how? Lots of speculation about the Lazarus pits, which haven’t been introduced in the show yet, but in the comics Ra’s uses them for regular rebirth (thus his immortality). Would someone bathe Ollie in one of the pits, resurrecting him using Ra’s’s own magic? Cool possibilities…
Dead ManSo how did it turn out? Ollie fell, his body was secretly recovered by a friend in Ra’s’s ranks and taken to Katana who…basically gives him first aid. Because even though he’d been impaled on a sword and dropped hundreds of feet down a rocky cliff, he was actually just sort of generically “injured” and just needed some medical attention. No Lazarus pits, no mystical ninja magic, not even any references to special herbs and spices that might have actually brought him back to life. He wasn’t dead and he just got better. They didn’t even make an attempt to explain how the hell he survived, and it was deeply, terribly, boringly anticlimactic.

Felicity Smoak. For most of the show’s run, this entry would have gone up above, in the list of good things. But this season, Felicity has become unrelentingly whiny and petulant and ernest and pretty much a pain in the ass. It’s a shame, because she used to be awesome.

Now, we come to the two most grievous flaws of the show.


Laurel. From the very start of the show, Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance has been, bluntly, terrible. Badly written and badly performed. And the evolution of the character has only made things worse. At first, as a Green Arrow fan, I was of course hoping to see a kick-ass Black Canary somewhere down the line. Then I saw Laurel, who was not only Ollie’s ex-girlfriend but whose middle name is Dinah (Dinah Lance is the Canary in the comics), and thought, “Really? She’s going to be the Canary?” Then the writers brought in Laurel’s sister, Sara, as the Canary, and I thought they’d cleverly pulled some character sleight-of-hand to fool comics fans: “Ah-ha! You thought Laurel was going to be the Black Canary! Fooled you!” Not only was that cool, but Caity Lotz was great as the character, cocky and street-smart and amazingly athletic.

Unfortunately, Laurel wasn’t the red herring Canary, Sara was, and they abruptly killed her in a perfunctory way to clumsily serve Laurel’s arc. Now Laurel has started taking boxing lessons and hitting the streets to take her sister’s place and she’s terrible. Cassidy is an awkward presence even just standing around in street clothes, but put her in mask and black leather to fight crime and the results are embarrassing. The only good thing about the character is that the writers are at least showing that she’s a novice at the job, so she gets her ass beat and makes stupid mistakes, and presumably the character will get better but I don’t think the actor will. I honestly don’t like speaking so harshly about Katie Cassidy’s performance, as I’m sure she’s doing her best. But she’s so horribly miscast, and the resulting characterization thus so off-putting, that I can’t not mention it.

Adding insult to injury, the episode “Canaries” had Laurel hallucinating and fighting Sara, which only served as a reminder that the original Canary was so much better.

(UPDATE 10/29/15: We recently started rewatching Supernatural from the start, and I was surprised to see Katie Cassidy show up as Ruby. I’d forgotten she was on that show. And you know what? She rocks. If you’d have pointed to her as Ruby and said, “What would you think of her being the Black Canary?” I would have said hell yeah. So now I’m inclined to think that the problems with Laurel are based in the writing and the direction Cassidy gets, because clearly she can do better.)

MELODRAMAArrow, unfortunately, is a Mexican soap opera in green leathers. All of the characters dwell on the emotional level of hormonal thirteen year olds. They’re petty and they keep secrets for no good reason and they whiplash between emotional states and they bear stupid grudges and they just do dumb fucking things simply for dramatic effect rather than out of realistic character motive. Ironically, The Flash, which is a more colorful, fun, goofier show, the less serious counterpart to Arrow, manages (most of the time) to convey its adult characters in a more mature way, and when it doesn’t, it’s easier to swallow because it doesn’t take itself so seriously. And Marvel, both in its films and in its TV shows, manages to portray superhero characters with emotional conflicts in a way that doesn’t evoke drunken parties during junior high school. It’s like the writers are still somewhat trapped in the attitudes of the past, when people thought superhero stories have to be childish.There’s nothing wrong with drama, or soap opera-esque melodrama, but there’s no need for it to be so lazy and immature. Characters on Arrow even stomp off in “I don’t like you anymore” snits over ridiculous things, taking the emotional life of the series even younger, to a first grade level.

The absolute nadir of the show’s melodrama followed the real Black Canary’s death. Laurel’s and Sara’s father is a police detective, and after Sara was murdered, Laurel actually lied to her father about it “because he has a heart condition” and she was afraid doing the right goddamned thing and telling him that his child was dead might hurt him. This went on for months in the show, as Detective Lance heard reports of the Canary in action around town, thinking it was the bold and skillful Sara while it was actually her worthless sister. Laurel even roped the others in Team Arrow into perpetuating the lie, to the point where she talked to her father in costume, pretending to be Sara, even going so far as using a speech-modulator to sound like her dead sister. For months, they didn’t tell this poor man his daughter was dead. These aren’t the actions of heroes, they’re the actions of terrible fucking people.

The melodrama was what drove me from the show the first time, and it was what drove me from it this season. I don’t know if the writers are capable of doing better, but I hope they are and that they realize they can tell these exact stories without forcing the characters to act like adolescents. The show would be a lot better for it.


49 comments on “You Have Failed This Series: Why ARROW Kinda Sucks

  1. nydiacarioca says:

    Yes, I’m very sorry to have more bad than good things to say about Arrow as well… I do hope they improve it soon!

    • Atticus says:

      Ever notice how little this show hobbles the character by taking away everything that made him interesting, cool mature guy who isn’t a meta human and is the outsider looking in to the hero world with a sense of cynicism and wit, into a humourless grim rich kid with issues, or taking away his signature bow at the end of season 1 to be replaced with a newer fancier model, which is kinda what this show was trying to do. Also the actor who played Oliver queen was the shittiest fucking whiny bractor,a brat actor, because he didn’t want to have the signature beard because he thought he looked like a criminal in one and god no we can’t have that, especially since the beard he had on the island at the start of s1 was pretty much perfect.

  2. maebius says:

    Kudos for making it to the third season. Sadly, my son and his friend LOVE the show, but I quit halfway through season one for many many of the reasons you listed. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Flash is on NetFlix soon though. I have no TV and refuse to torrent shows. :D

    • Tim Byrd says:

      FLASH is great fun. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.

      • Sadly it has succumb to the same mistakes as Arrow with characters making stupid mistakes, that don’t feel in character. Barry giving up his powers to Zoom (AFTER Wally was safe) was the last straw for me. The rationalization was it was more important for Barry to keep his word, DESPITE Zoom being a homicidal maniac.

  3. Nick F says:

    I appreciate your opinions. I like Arrow because it’s melodrama is so much less painful than Smallville’s melodrama. I like Arrow more than Flash because I like one lead actor way more than the other. Although he’s fine. I agree with most of your points, but more like “not great” as opposed to “fucking aweful.” (You’re more evocative than I would be.) Ultimately I think you’re wrong in that Arrow is superior to the other 5 (?!) super-heroic shows on right now, but you’re certainly right that has made some serious mistakes.

    • Tim Byrd says:

      Of the current crop of DC/Marvel shows, I’m most pleased with AGENTS OF SHIELD (and its wonderful companion series, AGENT CARTER), though it took most of its first season to hit its stride. Next up would be THE FLASH, which does annoy me occasionally but usually delights me anyway. I watched CONSTANTINE’s first two episodes and walked away. And I am really excited for DAREDEVIL and the other Marvel series coming from Netflix, which I suspect will put ARROW’s “gritty” heroics very much to shame.

      • Airick says:

        I really think Daredevil is the best superhero series out right now. The action sequences are objectively so brutally and beautifully executed. Also, being on Netflix, it doesn’t have the limitations of shows on TV. It’s also very well acted and well cast and just fun to watch.

        • Tim Byrd says:

          Daredevil is a masterpiece. The only thing it misses on, slightly, is the look of the red costume, which looks awkward, over-designed, and completely lacks the sleek muscularity of the black costume. I hope they do a redesign in season 2.

  4. Ryan says:

    And Constantine is gone… Arrow has become almost unwatchable. Kill off or make them move: Thea, Digs, That blonde women, etc. Bring back Roy… so you know it can be Arrow and speedy.

  5. Stan tan says:

    They writing into it with too much feminism narrative and all this emotional roller coaster that is trying to win more female audience or trying to stereotype what a woman should be like all equal to men and bring on the emotional side more to make the men more feminine.

    I am a big fan of Green Arrow for more hen 3 decades and what this show did to that character and the storyline is nothing short of drama soap opera and too overly touchy feelie. And the over play on NOT KILLING… goodness sake some killing at times offer more balance in the comic world then to over think some plot line just to bring back the villains for another episode.

  6. Ruffy says:

    It’s a shame. Arrow keeps getting more and more tedious. They’ve destroyed this series with the third season.

    The Flash also bothers me too much with stupid wrtiting to be enjoyable.
    And even Gothams last episode was quite disappointing / confusing.

    I can only point to Daredevil (series) and Marvel’s Agents of Shield for how to do it better.

    It’s sad, in the beginning of the cinematic comic era ( Spiderman / X-Men ) I thought Marvel wasn’t as good as DC ( Batman Begins / The dark knight ). Now its the opposite.

    Marvel created a whole cinematic Universe with their Movies and Series connected. DC however is doing worse. ( Batman The Dark Knight Rises and all DC series which all pretty much “suck”)

  7. My watching experience was much the same with Arrow, but then I saw Laurel show up on The Flash as a superhero trading services for selfies…and I was like WTF? That makes no sense. She’s not athletic…but she’s a superhero why? Because everyone the Arrow meets becomes a superhero? Because her sister was? I thought they became superheroes because of their ninja training? So I started Binge watching Arrow to catch up and watch the the train wreck.

    But the most recent episode of The Flash has me worried.

    How many times have we seen the “you lied to me how can I ever trust you” false drama in a tv show? They dropped it quickly but it was so phoney.

    My fingers are crossed. Because I love super hero shows.

    1. Daredevil.
    2. The Flash
    3. Gotham
    4. Agents of Shield (beginning with season 1 episode 10)

    5. The Arrow … I guess

    • Tim Byrd says:

      The thing about Flash is, yeah, they dip into the same sort of melodrama in which Arrow dwells…but they do it briskly and get it over with. Also, Iris’s “I’m not *mad* at you, Barry…I’m just really disappointed in you…” was a much more mature response than we ever see to anything on Arrow. She confronted him, and the others, then moved on, like a grownup, rather than whining and being passive aggressive for months.

  8. Vida says:

    You nailed it. The first season was fun… and the second and so far the third are dreadful. The flashbacks are now pointless. Laurel is the worst actor, ever. The show just seems listless, as it if has no idea where it is going. Which it probably doesn’t. I guess they’re heading towards cancellation, so might as well go out with a bang.

  9. dregj says:

    this season has sucked donkey balls
    you could ignore the soapy non acting smallville style melodrama
    because of the action ,the plot ,making you care about a charter or two
    remember when he focused on protecting the glades from crime
    now he doesn’t give shit about the glades any more
    or when he had anyone in his life who didn’t know he was the arrow?
    constantly having to lie to his sister and mom whilst pretending to be a party boy
    was quietly heartbreaking as they took him for a selfish douche not a hero.
    remember when the flashbacks were the best part of the show
    and usually had some coincidental metaphor for his current situation ?
    now its a series of random horseshit ,set in the same street in Canada with Chinese extra and big red lanterns and were supposed to think its hong kong?did they really think we wouldn’t notice them changing the Akio actor halfway through the season?
    I half expected them to say “who’s the dying kid who looks a little bit like my son?”
    really a bad season dont care how good the last few eps were when you have to wade through 18 terrible ones,it spoils it completely.and who the hell thought an Australian ras aghul was a good idea,he was about as menacing as the second akio.

  10. Ally B. Jones says:

    I agree and you’ve given it far more of a far shake than I have. I adore black canary she is my batman and she and green arrow should produce amazing. Instead we got a half dimensional character who they just slapped on the black canary mask on. They tried to give her a little crucible to go through but it just compounded my dislike of the character. Trying to put a new coat of paint on a rusty broken down car doesn’t make it run better.

    The CW doesn’t have the best track record with female characters but she is a shining failure in my eyes and therefore I will wait for the faithful day that I will get a better version of my fav character. *end of rant* I thank you.

  11. dextroz says:

    I was hoping you’d have given your opinion word on John Barrowman/Merlynn :-S

    • Tim Byrd says:

      I go back and forth on him. I’m a Barrowman fan, and I enjoy the character, but he’s got the same issues with crap writing all the other characters have, and his storyline is sort of nonsensical.

  12. Eaff says:

    So on point, been trying to describe the twisted love (mild likeage) pure hatred relationship Arrow and I have. So perfectly written minus the Stephen element since for me his acting is the quality of a coffee table, pisses me off more than Katie.

    I DO weirdly still enjoy him as the Arrow but I think his character still sucks namely because the writing leads to NO ACTUAL ADULT CHARACTERS having anything near an actual personality. So many dodgy experiences I.e. losing his damn mum and there is no development reflected, he doesn’t mature.

    Can’t rely on any character to actually have individuality aside from, as you pointed out – Felicity, even she has turned to mush, disappointed.

    Gotham is actually buff, acting, writing everything, surprisingly the Gossip Girl Jim is actually magnificent, unlike Gossip Girl Thea, no thx.

    I prefer Flash to both Gotham and Arrow, there’s a real nice superhero comic feel to it that I don’t quite get with Gotham, or at all in Arrow. Can be a wee bit cringey sometimes but overall really does give the excitement one would expect from a DC product thayng. Rah this was quite long, shoulda written my own post! But yes, well done so beautiful written a critique.

  13. Hanneszz says:

    This is so on point! I couldnt agree more with you… In this show a superhero is nothing special anymore…. Everybody who is sad or mad trains for an episode and is on the same f%&king niveau as oliver, who is supposed to be a badass who trained 5 years in hell!

  14. Criosaw says:

    I agree with you on every point. This show could’ve been amazing, and i really enjoyed some parts of it. But in general… Well, as you’ve said – terrible writing and melodrama ruined it.
    Just watched first part of season 4 today, and i instantly lost all enthusiasm i’ve had about it. It’s ugly, stupid and worthless. Not gonna watch this shit anymore, they haven’t learned anything for all this time and show getting only worse.
    And it looks just pathetic in comparison to Daredevil show.

    I’m glad DC still has Gotham (on of my most favorite shows of all time), Flash and Constantine.

  15. Pancho says:

    Spot on!

  16. j says:

    I’m late finding this article, as I gave up on the show and am now giving it another go on Netflix.
    I am disgusted with season 3. There should probably be an arrow drinking gae: drink anything when you hear the name “Sara”.
    And yes, if I hear/see one more character get mad be cause another character didn’t tell them some secret of some kind, I’m gonna lose my mind.

  17. Leo says:

    I’m glad I stumbled across this article, you pretty much nailed all the issues I been having with the Arrow since season one, and it hasn’t got any better. I agree that The Flash is a more flushed out series, with actors doing a better job with their roles. That being said, I’m not a fan of Patton; flash can do without her character.

    Outside of Amell, the rest of the regular actors on The Arrow are just horribly cast. I was OK with Ramsey’s portrayal of Diggle as a bodyguard, but this new helmeted Guradian role he’s currently playing, has not been impressive. As for Cassidy’s portrayal of Black Canary, she’s the main reason why I’m thinking of walking away from the show again. He acting, along with Thea’s constant whining, is just zapping the fun from the show. The only reason I’m still watching The Arrow are for the cross-over episodes with The Flash, and the fact its one of the few series I watch with my wife. She watches (and enjoys) the show for other reasons, *cough* six-pact abs *cough*.

    About the only DC show left on the air that worth a damn is Gotham, but even then, the show is beginning to show signs to mirroring Adam West’s Batman series. There’s a distinct difference between the writing style before and after Jaden Pinkett Smith left the show.

    • Tim Byrd says:

      Yeah, we’re back watching ARROW and all caught up, but it’s in a constant state of probation. The main reason we’re watching is, like you, because of crossover storylines with Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series. There’s not much in the show itself that does much more than annoy us.

  18. JH says:

    Season 1 got off to a rocky start, but really picked up at the Christmas episode. Maybe the writers realized that the show had no heart and no real character relationships, and decided to add a little humanity. The 2nd half was very solid and built to a great conclusion. Season 2 was fantastic and Season 3 was a disaster, for all the reasons you described. The magic is gone, and I’m not holding out much hope for Season 4.

    Season 3 could’ve been great with Oliver as CEO of QC, Moira alive & running the city as mayor, Sara as BC, less Laurel, Diggle & Det Lance as tough guys with guns who still have plenty to contribute, no resurrection magic, and more focus on rebuilding the city. Thea never should’ve donned a mask and should be repairing her relationship with Olivier – helping him lighten up and develop a sense of humor. Maybe doing the same with Roy. All they really needed to do was build on the great foundation laid in Season 2, instead of shaking things up for constant shock value.

  19. Mike says:

    Season 4 is utterly abysmal. It’s discarded all the best parts it ever had and doubled down on all the terrible parts described above. It truly is godawful. And Laurel, don’t get me started on that cow. She just brought her sister back from the dead, who quickly went on to kill who knows how many people, didn’t bat an eyelid at the deaths she caused and proceeded to yell at Ollie for not empathising with her more. I swear, the Ollie from season 1 would have put an arrow in her right then and there. All the melodrama, magic and metas have really ruined a gripping story of revenge and redemption. Although I do agree, Stephan’s performance is wonderful (despite the eyeshadow), Arrow is little more than vomit at this point.

  20. Joey Walthall says:

    I agree with your statement about canary and Felicity because they are so whiney. I thought Laurel would get better but she sort of got worse over time

  21. mohmud says:

    just started watching season 1 so far so good except the drama and i hate it well put sir its like watching the bold and beautiful soap opera thank u for saving my time that’s it for me no more arrow except the comics

  22. Amanda says:

    I had much the same experience with this show as you. I gave up about mid-way thru season 1 and then when Flash came out I decided to pick it back up again and zipped thru til season 4 and the only reason I even want to consider watching season 4 is due to the crossover. My thoughts…

    1. All of Ollie’s love interests. He’s in love every other freak’n second. First it’s Laurel, on the island its Shado and Sara, then Laurel again, then the crazy mafia chick (well that may have been lust), then the cop, still Laurel, then back to Sara and while in love with Sara is in love with Felicity. Way over the romantic interests and I’m female!

    2. Ollie and Felicity.. I really dislike them as a couple. I dont believe it for a second. It’s more nauseating then anything

    3. All of the hate you, I’m never talking to you again, you lied to me, I dont trust you. You’re a unit, build a bridge and get over it.

    4. Loved the island flashbacks hated the China ones. I just didnt get them they mostly made Ollie look inept

    5. I miss the killing, yes I said. Sometimes, someone just needs to be killed. Oliver is always getting his ass kicked now. At least that is what it seems like to me.

    6. Laurel Lance.. You started out as a good character who believed in something.. Now you are whinny and usually putting other people in danger bc of your rash decisions and a terrible Black Canary. Sara kicked so much more ass then you did and it was way more believable.

    7. I had the same thought about all the archers! They are everywhere now. Thea is good with swords why can’t she be using swords instead of arrows? speaking of the sword chick Katana she kicks ass, why isn’t she on the show more?

    I might watch season 4 when it is on Netflix just so I can watch the crossovers and see how it works into The Flash and that future series but that is probably the only reason I’ll watch it.

  23. fascistplatypus says:

    I really enjoyed Arrow season 1, and season 2 was equally as good, but I found that the show became less unique when Oliver stopped killing regularly (after season 1). He became less of a unique, dark character and more of a lighthearted Batman copycat. Of course there are other problems with the show, but I believe this is a big one.

  24. A Beaten Dead Horse says:

    Only watched Arrow due to watching The Flash first and saw the crossover episodes, which were badass so I thought what the heck, why not binge watching it these next few weeks on Netflix and Hulu. Things were great!! Until season 3 and then I struggled to get through the episodes and found myself skipping certain scenes on my laptop with Laurel, good god I can’t her character now, even more so as the BC “Grrrr I’m so angry at the world now and such a rebel now and am the district attorney at the same time!” Season 4 now, I’m all caught up and Felicity just needs to shut the hell up already, good god. Go back to being quirky and cute and useful and stop being so whiny all the time and being so demanding. And on S4E1 you have to go “WTF Seriously?” at his asshole friends (Speedy and Laurel) being so damn selfish as they pretty much come in the door and go “oh sorry, clearly you’re in the middle of a romantic evening and loving life now, but we don’t give a damn and the city is still FUBAR’d and we refuse to stop protecting what rubble is left and need you to come save the city” Not to mention Felicity bitched for 3 seasons about wanting him to be safe and how dangerous it is out there, but then does a 180 and wants to get back in the action again and put him out in harms way again? This series is so back and forth back and forth with the same dramatic issues on repeat except each time a different character now has this grudge against oliver or some BS. It clearly should have died at the end of season 3 with the whole happily ever after etc etc.

    If you decide to binge watch the series you will quickly see how its the same plot repeated just with a different “loved one”

  25. Yeah, I agree with pretty much every point. If it didn’t try to be a brooding Batman knockoff so hard and stuck to a more playboy Green Arrow, or even an environmentalist or hippie Arrow it would probably be better, but the drama is just too much.

    Like they looked at Smallville and said “Hey, we can make Lana worse than you can imagine”

  26. James says:

    I agree season 4 was a complete and utter horror. Remember when Oliver was a cold blooded revenge seeking man? Now he plays with magic wands and meets random people who can fly or something. Season 1 and 2 were amazing but it’s just been slowly losing its awesomeness. Another problem is the whole bringing everyone back to life card. They have overused it now to the point where if someone dies I don’t care because they’ll magically come back somehow.

  27. macjacmccoy says:

    I really respect the update you did on Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance. She did an amazing job as Ruby on Supernatural. Imo shes in the top five of actressess who have had a reoccurring role on that show (up there with Bella, Jo, Ellen, and 2nd Meg.) So when I read your review it was very off putting. Not the part about the character that is fair. Plenty of great actors have had bad direction or writing. So if a character isn’t working it’s okay to call it out. In fact it what we read reviews for. The off putting part though was how your were basically calling her a bad actor, and doing so in the most patronizing way possible(“trying her best”). So the fact that you had the decency to call yourself out is commendable. I just wish more reviewers would do it.

    The sad thing is what you did happens all the time now in reviews. Take for example damien. All I’ve been hearing is how bad the acting is. Which shocked me because there are some very good proven actors on that show.Omid abtahi was amazing on homeland, Barbra Hershey played Cora perfect on once upon a time not to mention the academy award nominations and bafta wins.Bradley James was great as Arthur in Merlin and had a decent role in izombie. Tiffany Hines I’ll give you wasn’t great on Bones but was okay on nikita. Scott Wilson as Hershel on the walking dead? Come on, out of the park.

    So i wondered did all these proven actors all the sudden forget how to act or is it something else. Well I decided to watch and it’s pretty obvious what’s going on. The director is trying to do the omen justice. He’s trying to make the series as scary and sinister as possible. So its pretty obvious whats going on All those actors are being directed to try to come off as creepy as possible. To this director that means talking in a hushed, halting, monotone voice. While keeping a straight wooden expression on your face and a thousand yard stare. The writers to aren’t helping with the dialogue. They’re trying to make them all sound a little to mystical, mysterious, and all knowing. Plus the fact that they rush the story ahead at a ridiculous speed, leaving the actors just enough time ever to say the words but no time to develop the story or there characters.

    To me this was all pretty obvious because I knew the history of the actors people were calling terrible. I could see what was really going on, but because they didn’t know those actors they couldnt. So all across the Internet in comment sections and reviews people have been skewering the actors. Damaging what seems like a good show’s chance of sticking around. It’s easy to get a different director, it happens every week in tv, or to adjust your writing style, but replacing a cast is impossible. If the narrative doesn’t change soon the show could be in real danger.

    Let’s hope that not the case with damien. Let’s also hope that people do a little due diligence on an actor or actresses before writing a review or a comment in a comments section, about how bad they are at what they do after only seeing them in that 1 role. If you do happen to do it though, and you eventually realize that you were wrong, let’s hope you have the integrity of Mr.Byrd and admit your mistake.

    • Tim Byrd says:

      Thank you, I do try to be fair, usually.

      I haven’t watched Damien, so I can’t comment on that. But generally, when you see a good actor give a bad performance, that’s because they have a bad director who doesn’t help them find the right approach, bad writing to interpret, or bad actors to work with who give them little to organically react to. Sometimes all of the above.

      We’re still catching up on Supernatural and there’s some material in season 8 that checks all those boxes, Sam’s flashback romance with…Amelia? The flashback material is horrid, hacky writing, the direction is flat, and everyone in the scenes is awful, including Jared Padalecki, whom we all know can do a lot better. Even outside of these flashbacks, the show overall is now really weak, and we’re hoping still has greatness to offer down the line. The fact that it has lasted several more years past this point gives us some hope it got its feet back under it.

    • Chris says:

      I understand where you’re coming from completely, but it works both ways. Just because an actor/actress is not working out well for one part doesn’t mean he/she is bad at acting because they could be excellent in another roll. But at the same time, just because Cassidy was good in something you saw, doesn’t mean she’s a good actress. For example, if you ask some guy with a Boston accent to play a small roll in a movie of a Boston cop, he probably won’t be that bad, where as many other people might struggle to act in that roll, and he might struggle to act as any other character. In my opinion, Cassidy is not a good actress. There are many instances in the show “Arrow” where I was extremely disappointed in her acting abilities. The scene where she watched her sister, Sarah, die in front of her, was a miserable performance. Part of her downfall is her character’s writing in the show, I agree with that. But I also believe she is just a bad actress, and I’m not exaggerating, I’m giving my honest opinion. I don’t think she’s “okay”, I think she’s “bad”.

  28. I know this is old, but I have to comment on Katie. Yep! She played Ruby to perfection. She was the only thing that made me watch the show so that I could see her kicking ass again as Black Canary. I was served that disaster. She can do the job if better directed with better text. Well, they killed her off anyway because of what you said. And you are right about it.

  29. Chris says:

    Wow this is the best representation of my own opinions about the Arrow that I could possibly find on the Internet. The only thing I’d change is the bit about Sarah Lance. I don’t think her acting was too bad, and you’re right, she was definitely athletic enough for the role, but something about her mouth was a constant distraction to me whenever she was on the screen. Also, she looked nothing like Laurel which was weird, and even more strange was the fact that she was blonde but wore a wig that was just a little more blonde haha. But other than that, your article is spot on. Well written. Cassidy is a terrible fit for Laurel Lance.

  30. Alias Fakename says:

    What I really hate about the show is the fact that I was told I was gonna get a Green Arrow show, I did not, I got Batman with a filter on it. The show was given the character of Oliver Queen, A sarcastic, smug, charmingly cocky character. Instead we got someone who wont stop brooding and whining about how he “Doesn’t want anyone to get hurt” how the island is “To painful for him to talk about”. Another thing, if you really think about it, he’s a glorified hit man, he has a list he crosses off after he extorts and then kills somebody. Laurel is probably the most incorrect personification of the Black Canary I have ever seen. Why is she this bleeding heart, “I can make the world a better place” “The system works” district attorney. The REAL Dinah Lance (The comic book Dinah) is a punk rock singer, who doesn’t take shit from anybody, and instead of helping people through the legal system, kicks ass and takes names.

    I feel I have to mention that I have only seen the first season, and that I am a comic book fanatic.

  31. dregj says:

    i started to get seriously worried when the arrow was completely disgusted about wildcat’s partner killing a criminal and judging him harshly for it.
    when collective amnesia made everyone forget that ollie butchered the shit out his enemies in the first season

  32. Aaron Pressley says:

    This show started out awesome and has went to complete shit. Started going down hill when arsenal left. And now Oliver has turn into a complete dick head shooting fellow vigilante’s.. And this new villain sucks…. I punch hard watch out! Mike Tyson can take that punk… Please just cancel this show so he can go back to playing Kayce Jones.

  33. David says:

    I agree with a lot of your opinions. Laurels character is a disaster and gives me a headache every time i see her on screen; pretty much all of the characters have become increasingly annoying and childish; and the action sequences are fake and just downright hard to watch.

    Honestly speaking, Laurel is what really killed this show for me. One of most annoying parts of the show were around the time she revived Sara Lance via the lazerus pit. Never have I been so annoyed with a TV character in my life. I don’t know about anything about her performance in Supernatural but her I find everything about her character in Arrow to be atrocious. That’s just my opinion.

    The Deathstroke saga was what made the show for me and watching Slade Wilson made the show enjoyable. I dont understand how the writing in the Arrow went so far backwards. Legends of Tomorrow is awful as well, i quit around 3 ep in. In regards to DC TV series, You’d be better off watching Gotham, Supergirl, or the Flash. My top favorite comic-based TV series right now are Gotham and Daredevil.

  34. Toyoa says:

    That was the best analysis of a show I have ever read! I agreed and lmao…. Thank you for your honest evaluation of the Arrow series and Laurel.

  35. Chris says:

    Ah… Not sure why I decided to look up this show today, but I did and now I’m here. I haven’t watched it in so long. Is it still on?

    I agree with every point made.

    The flashbacks became more and more ridiculous.

    Everyone became a superhero. What the hell?

    Laurel is so annoying. I wish they’d just kill her off already, and I don’t think that way very often. But then she’d just be resurrected somehow.

    Drama, drama, drama for the sake of drama. Ridiculous when you start screaming at the TV that if everyone just told the truth, everything would work out fine. People on this show hide things for no apparent reason.

    But my biggest complaint with this show seems to be something else nobody mentions: “It’s complicated.” The go to phrase when the writers either don’t have an answer or they need to create fictional drama.

    Just stop. It’s not complicated. It’s never complicated. Your writers are just hacks, and the characters are lying assholes who deceive their “friends” for no good reason. How many times can the phrase be used? Seriously, somebody should make a video montage of the phrase being used. I might just do that for fun just to see how long the video would be.

    I think it’s usage has bled into Flash at times as well. CW should really sit the writers down and ban the use of the phrase or require VP approval to discourage its use.

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