Random Thoughts on Arrow

Two episodes into [Green] Arrow, here are some stray thoughts (it's Monday, don't ask for proper paragraphs)...

1. I generally like it, or at least, I don't find it unpleasant. There's some mystery and soap opera, the acting is ok, and the action is mostly on par with something like Angel or Buffy. I don't mind that Oliver Queen is ready to kill, though the second episode shows it's not his only avenue for justice.

2. The model for this thing is really Hamlet, isn't it? He's a rich "prince" whose father was killed, and his mother soon remarried to a family friend now running the "empire". Not sure if Dr. Moon (sorry, Walter Steele) is a Claudius figure, or if Gertrude is the only real traitor here. Then there's Laurel Lance as Ophelia, and her rash intruding father, hard-nosed cop Detective Lance who forbids Oliver from seeing his daughter. Tommy seems to be both Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, which leaves bodyguard Diggle as a Horatio in becoming. The sister isn't in the play.

3. People have commented on it a lot, but it's true: What is UP with the naming strategy in this series? The names call so much attention to themselves, and fall into on or more of three categories, really. Characters from the comics: Dinah Laurel Lance is Black Canary in the comics; "Speedy", here Oli's sister, is the name of Green Arrow's side-kick; Tommy's last name is Merlyn, the archer from the League of Assassins. Characters named after GA creators: Nocenti, the surname of current GA scribe Ann, is an unusual enough monicker to seem very strange indeed uttered so often this week; Diggle looks to be named after Andy, who wrote the Year One mini; isn't there a Grell too? I forget. And finally, characters whose last names mean something in English: Queen, Steele, Felicity Smoak (Firestorm's stepmom?!), Hunt, Lamb... It's like nobody has a normal name.

4. Speaking of names, why ISN'T the series called Green Arrow? Too silly? The title sits uncomfortably in my mouth. It can't be THE Arrow either, because that's a whole other character from the Golden Age, later resurrected by Malibu Comics. And why doesn't it take place in Star City? Starling City is just as silly, you know.

5. Supervillains. I was sorely disappointed back in the day when the Flash TV series, despite a hero in colorful long-johns, only produced one real supervillain (with echoes of others in certain bad guys). But by now, we've seen Deathstroke's mask, met China White, and this week, it's going to be Deadshot (the bar's set pretty high on this one though).

6. I still have trouble differentiating Laurel and Thea/Speedy in any given scene. Maybe if the actresses didn't have the same exact head of hair!

7. And speaking of Speedy: I understand melodrama, and I'm used to soap situations featuring the very rich, but sheesh, her whole rant about her life being hell while Oli was cast away on a deserted island was rating grating. Cry me a river, rich girl. So when does Oli get to walk in on her shooting up smack?

8. I'm watching it for the foreseeable future, DC, so you can take those damn banners off your comics. They're really heinous.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this show so far and Ollie has my undivided attention each week before Supernatural starts. I love that they are actually sticking to the comics and making it as close as possible without being a complete rehash of the entire story. I can’t wait for the next episode of the show and I even have my coworkers at DISH watching it, and they don’t even read the comics. I am recording every episode with my Hopper so that I can re-watch them all after the first season is done. I can’t wait for this week’s episode, and that is one think you were dead on about: Deadshot needs to be done perfectly!

Anonymous said...

It's been good so far, but I could do without the winks to the fanboys out there. If her name is Dinah, call her Dinah. They don't need to have it as a throwaway line to get me salivating. The show is good enough without them.

Lentil said...

I'm only peripherally familiar with the comic, so I wasn't going to watch this - but if it's modeled on Hamlet, I'll have to start.

Siskoid said...

I'm not sure how close the structure will hold (Hamlet Sr. has a long revenge list, for example), but you can at least use other commenters' enthusiasm at face value.

Craig Oxbrow said...

"So when does Oli get to walk in on her shooting up smack?"

Somehow I can't imagine Ryan Reynolds turning up as Hal Jordan and doing that cover...

Siskoid said...

Can't or WON'T?!

Martin Gray said...

I've not seen the show so far but I'm struck by your calling attention to the names. OK, Smoak is odd, even while I know it from Firestorm. But Queen, Hunt, Steele, Lamb? Perhaps they're more unusual over there than here in the UK, but I know folk with each of these. As for Nocenti, Diggle and the rest, well, they're real names and unremarkable if you've come across them. What do you consider non-unusual surnames? Probably half of all names I hear in non-Brit dramas are unfamiliar, but I just accept them. Well, part from perhaps Kate Monster in Avenue Q.

Siskoid said...

A name like that here and there, sure, but EVERY name is either a capitalized common noun OR a reference to a Green Arrow writer. I just think it draws attention to itself.

Teebore said...

Interesting about the super-villains. I stayed away from this because I'd read some interviews with the creators talking about how they were going to take Smallville's "No Flights, No Tights" rule to the extreme and downplay the comic book stuff as much as possible.

Yet it sounds like there's a crap ton of it, even in just a few episodes.

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine