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Monday, February 20, 2017

TNH Roundtable: Mid-Season Reviews - Arrow

          With the season now mid-way through, some of the TNH Staff decided to sit down and discuss the shows and our thoughts on each series individually as well as the network's franchise as a whole. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Where have they been and where could they be going? We are going to visit this now, and when the seasons end we are going to come back to re-discuss and compare. For now, check out some of our analysis' and theories in the 1st of this 9 part series and then let us know what your thoughts were in the comments below.


Arrow


Arrow Season 5 (DC Entertainment)
           Arrow has been a love-hate relationship for the majority of fans. After an extremely strong and arguably revolutionary start, Arrow has descended far too fast and hard for fans to accept. Looking to rekindle the old flame, the showrunners came into this season with a make or break outlook and heavy chips on their shoulders. The question now is, are they on the right path? So, without hesitation let's dive into our thoughts on Arrow thus far.

Arrow started strong for two seasons, but the next two struggled in overall quality. Do you think you can say Arrow has redeemed itself at this point?

Marlon- Not quite yet, but I do believe the show is on the right track. I think what they have done so far has been for the most part really awesome.

John- I do believe that it has, and I think it's been able to do so mostly in part of focusing more on the team and their activities rather than focusing so heavily on Oliver's life.


Witt- I think arrow had a strong start with Prometheus, but this new team he's constructed is kind of pathetic and sad to watch. It actually makes me say that I miss season 3, which as we all know is where the series' quality started to free fall.


Last season the showrunners shocked the world when they actually killed off Dinah Laurel Lance AKA The Black Canary, who in the comics is Olivers significant other. This was part of their solution to poorly portraying the character and their relationship. The second part was to reintroduce The Black Canary through Dinah Drake. It's still early but what are your thoughts on Drake so far?

Remington- While we haven't been shown much more to judge than her powers, they do present them far more comic book accurately than they did with laurel.

John- I like Dinah Drake in part because I feel the actress fits the role better and also because I didn't like the way Laurel was portrayed either.


Jack- With the team losing Roy, Thea, and Laurel the team still feels broken, but Dinah provides one more step to solidifying it. She feels more like Canary than Laurel ever did. Aside from her portrayal, her comic book accuracy is about as accurate as it's going to get at this point. Dinah is not a Lawyer but she is a Detective which still provides an option to that path and her canary cry comes from her being a Meta rather than tech. Her combat abilities not only come across as more fluent than Laurels due to her law enforcement history but her demeanor as well as how the writers introduced her really sell this. 


What's your take on Curtis as Mr. Terrific?

Jack- I'm not as familiar with the character in the comics as I am with the other characters, but I think he is a good fit for the show and has the potential to really round out the team with a new dimension of skill and personality. I do believe, however, that he really needs to have his technical side developed at a faster pace so that he gets to the point where he can fluently engage in combat by deploying his gadgets almost seamlessly. The gadgets need to be practical for reoccurring usage yet unique from the gadgets used by other characters as well as his own.

John- Now, I may be biased to this because I have always been a fan of Mr. Terrific, but I do believe that Curtis is going to come out of his shell at the right moment and become a real badass.


Marlon- To put it simply, as Curtis he is great, but as Mr. Terrific, he sucks.


What are your thoughts on the what they are doing for this seasons Antagonist?

Marlon- Prometheus is the ideal villain. A great nemesis always knows everything about their adversary.

John- Prometheus could have been done better. They are trying to keep us this level of mystery, but they already told us his name. A strong point is how he sticks to the shows using minions to do his bidding but is not afraid to stand his ground.

Jack- As for Prometheus, I think his execution is not perfect but he is a very good antagonist. You can tell they try to form the best of all the previous villains. The mystery in shadows but firm demeanor when confronted that we saw with the likes of Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson. Another aspect they took from Slade was the level of mystery to the one behind it all. As John explained, this ends up being one of the chinks in this character's armor, but I think that regardless the name reveal may be an intentional misdirect. They also took some notes from Damien Darhk's playbook by infiltrating allies and using information to apply pressure to the team's weak points. The one thing however that sets Prometheus apart from the other four villains is that he is not set on destroying the world. His motives are personal. He is here to hurt Oliver and the people close to him. This was much like Deathstroke but unfortunately, Deathstroke's final plan was to destroy the city which was ultimately the chink in Slade's armor.

One of the biggest divides amongst fans were those for and against "Olicity". Do you think that their decision to bring that relationship to an end has played a part in the show's improvement?

Remington- No. I feel that the biggest reason for its improvement is the development of the new team.

John- I believe ending that relationship has allowed them to focus less on Oliver's life and bring in more aspects to the show. 

Marlon- Let's all be honest. Nobody wanted to see them, so I'm glad they are done.

Do you think that Artemis is getting the short end of the stick compared to her potential or do you think that there is more to her story?

Remington- I don't like how the character was portrayed in the first place.

Marlon- I never trusted her!

John- Artemis is a tough one. I don't think justice has been done for the character so far, but i am going reserve judgment until we know more about her plot.

Jack- I think with a character so beloved as Artemis the way they have gone about her character in the show is not going over well with fans including myself, however the poor portrayal of the character in the first place has detached me and probably a lot of people from that expectation allowing the plot to work. I am going to wait to see how it plays out because regardless, Artemis cannot be a character wasted due to being used improperly. If I'm going to be frank, I don't think any plot change will save the portrayal. I have absolutely zero interest in the character and I believe it's one of the biggest issues this season. She feels nothing like Artemis and now one of my favorite supporting characters has been wasted.

Going forward with the rest of the season, what do think they need to do to keep up the current momentum?

John- I would like to start seeing them actually make plans for their missions rather than skipping the planning stage and going straight into action. This team is technically based and each member has a unique skill set and it would do a lot for the team. Having their plans get messed up and forcing them to adapt showcases and grows their team chemistry as well as their individual skills.

Jack- Marlon brought the idea of Roy Harper's return to attention. I believe that Roy Harper returning in a guest role could be crucial to the team's development. A seasoned vet of Team Arrow could help them understand Oliver more. Dinah is fitting in well due to her connection with Diggle who has a similar personality and set of issues. Wild Dog seems to be finding himself due to his similarities with Diggle and Lance, but Rene had a similar upbringing as Roy who was also from The Glades. Curtis has a connection to Felicity. Another one of my favorite supporting characters is Ragman and while the portrayal has yet to be seen at a full capacity, this seems to be working for him rather than against him for the time being as far as team chemistry goes. I believe his loner mentality much resembles Roy's. I also believe that if Artemis has any chance of redemption Roy could be the key to showing her why Prometheus is wrong about Oliver.


Remington- One of the issues that have continued to occur within Arrow has been the lackluster finales. They need to keep up the anticipation and finish strong.


          In the end, it seems that Arrow is still as much of a love and hate relationship as it's always been but the showrunners seem to be on the right path and finally understand what the fans want. Now they just have to figure out how to properly execute some of their visions. They have a long road to redemption, but if they keep in this direction, they might just pull it off.

Stay Tuned for our next installment of this Roundtable Review series where we give our thoughts on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

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Written and Edited by, Jack Flowers. Edited by, Trey Griffith. Contributions from Marlon Ortega, John Ayre, Witt Reese, Remington Keyes.

This article was Sponsored by  Outright Geekery.

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