- The Complete First Season
(2012 - 2013/Warner Blu-ray w/ DVD + Ultraviolet Copy)
B+ & B- Sound: B+ & B- Extras: C Episodes: C+
am a huge superhero fan, so whenever a new series or film is
announced I am clamoring to know more. I viewed Arrow
it originally premiered in October of 2012 on the CW Network. Now,
The CW gave me mixed emotions right off the bat. In the past it has
hosted (once) great series like Smallville,
but in general it does not offer the best television programming
premise of Arrow
Oliver Queen (Stephen Smell) who after being stranded on an island
for five years returns home to his city to fight crime. Oliver Queen
is a vigilante who like Batman doesn't possess special (super)
powers, but rather uses intellect, fighting skills, and his weapon of
choice (a bow and arrow) to bring justice to Starling City. Also
like Batman, Oliver Queen is a billionaire playboy by day before
strapping on his superhero persona at night. The arrows Oliver uses
are ordinary by no stretch of the imagination as they all have very
specific uses depending on Oliver's need at the time. Due to his
green hooded secret identity and is mastery of archery, Oliver has
been dubbed The Green Arrow.
his main intentions are to avenge his father's death (dying in the
shipwreck that stranded him on an island for 5 years) and make the
world a safer place; Oliver is also trying to catch up on the last 5
years as society had left him behind. Oliver is surrounded by a
barrage of new and old faces, some who intend to help him, while
others lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Oliver's mother Moira
(Susanna Thompson) has remarried former CFO and now CEO of Queen
Enterprises, Walter Steele (Colin Salmon). Though Moira seems elated
to have Oliver back, we soon find out that she may know more about
the yacht accident than she lets off.
over the First
are introduced to a number of people in Oliver's life, which
concurrently gives us backstory as to what his life was like before
the shipwreck. Oliver has a former girlfriend named Laurel (Katie
Cassidy) who wants nothing to do with him as her sister died in the
shipwreck, a bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey) who seems to be his
only faithful companion, and Detective Quentin Lance (Paul
Blackthorne) who not only has it out for the vigilante known as Green
Arrow, but also has disdain for Oliver Queen who took his daughter
from him (yes father to Laurel as well).
is portrayed as an action/adventure, but much of the time is spent
developing relationships and bringing the audience up to speed on who
Oliver Queen is as a man and a superhero. This is to say (yes) the
CW holds true to its key demographic of angst driven teens who prefer
abs and melodrama, but concurrently does deliver a solid enough
superhero series. The established mythos of Green Arrow is there,
though creators/writers abandoned all established Green Arrow story
developed during Smallville,
and is better than some other superhero disasters of the past. I
will say at this moment Arrow
an adequate foundation, but where the series goes in Season
be the determining factor for staying power.
feel at some points the episodes are poorly paced and drag, but
overall not bad. The series was created by Berlanti and Guggenheim ,
the geniuses (sarcasm) behind Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern film. The
duo promised a darker, grittier series than Green
more akin to The
Dark Knight Trilogy.
Whereas the series is darker than Lantern,
it certainly is not Batman
and most likely suffers from the fact that Green
is a second class superhero as compared to the many others that are
appearing on the big screen today. There is a chance for him to hit
it big, but again it will all depend on where this series goes.
studios play it safe these days. Gone are the days of letting the big
hitters (like Superman or Batman) be on the small screen, instead
studios choose to let lower tier characters (like Green Arrow and
Agents of S.H.I.E..L.D.) bring in the TV audiences. In the end,
keeping the brand out there, but holding onto the best stuff for
(hopeful) box office hits.
technical features of this set (at least on Blu-ray) are very nice.
The picture is a 1080p 1.78 X 1 High Definition that boasts of solid
contrast, detail, and texture. The colors are somewhat flighty as
they are not consistent and flesh tones are adequate at best.
Whether the skin tones were intentionally altered, I have no idea,
but again are somewhat off and oversaturated, which the
anamorphically enhanced DVDs can have, but is weaker than the
Blu-rays all around. The sound is a lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
that is surprisingly well done in this First
to use the entire speaker range creating an energetic atmosphere.
The dialogue projects with ease, clearly through the center speakers
as the surrounds light up with action and ambient noises. You can
hear that to a lesser extent in the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on
the DVDs, but they are no match for the DTS on the Blu-rays.
The DVD and Ultraviolet
releases are merely downgraded releases of the Blu-ray so that the
series can be used on other devices. The series is meant to be
viewed in High Definition.
Comes Alive! Featurette
Flight School/Stunt School
Cast and Creative Team at 2013 Paleyfest
Michael P. Dougherty II