Arrow Binge-Watch: 5 Surprises And Why It Lives Up To The Hype

By Kelly West 2013-12-29 12:43:12 discussion comments
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So, I did it. I told myself that I would marathon through all of Arrow over the winter hiatus from start to finish in December, in time to be caught up on the CW series when it returns in January, and I managed to do it with time to spare. Hype was the main reason I set out to check this series out, as my interest in the show was pretty minimal before that, but Iíd heard enough good things about the show from people whose opinions I trust ó our own Jesse Carp among them ó and wanted to see if a TV viewer with limited interest in comic books or knowledge of the DC universe could get into a drama like this. The verdict is in, and Iím an Arrow fan. It hooked me, mask, arrows and quiver.

Enjoying the show didnít entirely surprise me. As I said, I had it on good authority that the series was not only good, but getting even better in its second season. But not knowing exactly what to expect, there were a few things that pleasantly surprised me. Before we get to that, for those who havenít seen it, the short and sweet synopsis is that Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, a billionaire playboy who spent five years marooned on an island after a shipwreck and returns to his city presenting himself as the same partying, spoiled bachelor. But heís secretly taken on a vigilante role, determined to right the wrongs of Starling. Thereís more to it than that, and Iíll get into that with this list. But for the sake of newbies curious about Arrow, this article is spoiler free.

Here are the five things that surprised me most about Arrow, which help explain why this show lives up to the hype...

ĒDCĒ
You really don't need to know anything about the DC universe.
I feel like this point needs to be made first, because, apart from knowing some general things about DC Comics ó Mostly Superman and Batman movie-provided trivia ó my knowledge of the original story is pretty limited. I was as aware of Green Arrow as I was of Green Hornet, Green Lantern and Green Goblin, but Iím honestly not sure I couldíve pulled Arrow out of a line-up if his weapons weren't showing. And Iíd heard enough about Arrow to know there are a lot of DC tie-ins with this series, so I was a bit concerned that I was going to be in the dark every time a new character was introduced. That hasnít been an issue at all.

Yes, there are DC-connections to certain characters ó from my understanding, due largely to their names, which match names of known characters in the DC universe ó which may offer some clues as to what could be ahead for certain people on this show, but the series seems set up to introduce everyone to us as new characters in this story. Arrow makes no assumptions about its audienceís pre-existing knowledge of the story, the comics or anything that may or may not be set up to happen. The show plays like a completely original series, regardless of its characters being comic-based or inspired.
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