The CW's Arrow has always been one of the more intense shows on that network, and it's also pretty intense for a non-streaming superhero show. So far, that hasn't meant that we could expect gore or severe nudity or extreme cursing. But, it looks like the series is actually trying to up its game, as filming on the upcoming seventh season actually brought the censors down on them. According to the director of the Season 7 premiere, James Bamford, those behind the show are really looking to explore the boundaries of what can be done on network television, much to the chagrin of the censors who try to keep a lid on such activities. Here's what he had to say:
Beth [Schwartz, the newly promoted showrunner] and I had a phone call with BNSP, which is our censors... a very lengthy phone call about a particular scene that we never had before. So we are really trying to push the limits on the show in the gritty factor. We are trying to go as far as you can go within the confines of our network and what is expected of us and what we can and can't do. We are not on Netflix so we will never be able to X, Y, and Z, but we are damn sure going to try.
Wow. OK, well, as anyone who watches Arrow knows, the show is already a pretty gritty affair. For instance, Season 2 saw Oliver and Thea's mom, Moira, get murdered right in front of them by having Slade Wilson run her through with a katana. Oliver, though a hero, has been known to kill bad guys when he felt it necessary, and, of course, there's that little matter of the nuclear missile that Felicity was unable to stop from destroying the town of Havenrock, which then killed all but one inhabitant of that unsuspecting area. Considering all of that, what could Arrow possibly be doing in Season 7 that would top itself in terms of its "gritty factor"?
While James Bamford noted, in his interview with Newsarama, that whatever it is that they're planning prompted a long phone call from the network censors "about a particular scene that we never had before," he doesn't specify whether this means the scene itself was something the show had never attempted before, the type of conversation was one that had never been had previously, or if both unusual conditions were present. However, with all his talk of pushing limits and actively trying to see what they'll be able to get away with, I wouldn't be surprised if Season 7 rolls around and we see that both things were, indeed, true.
Obviously, a major source of conflict this year will be Oliver's time as a prisoner who is locked up with a lot of the people he helped catch for the past six years. Stephen Amell has already talked about how physically taxing filming has been for him on the new season (cushiony inmate beard, notwithstanding), so it's incredibly likely that Oliver's prison escapades will see some of the limit pushing of which James Bamford speaks.