Only in Season 2, “Arrow” has done nothing but improve ever since it premiered in the fall of 2012. And it’s not like it was a bad show then either. Now “Arrow” is readying a spinoff and has become one of the single best dramas on television today.
Here are 10 reasons why “Arrow” is on top.
1. Drama, comedy, suspense, romance and action are tied up in one neat little package.
It’s safe to say that “Arrow” has something for anyone. With witty lines — and characters like Felicity — there’s always a laugh. The stunt-work may be the best television has ever seen. Deaths are sad and meaningful, while the main protagonist is a seriously disturbed man.
What more could you ask for?
2. It’s always entertaining.
When people talk about the great dramas of cable television, they occasionally have to add a caveat about how slow the story can be. “Arrow” does not have this problem. The action moves at a lightning pace while still telling a strong story.
3. No show has better characters.
This reason could be based on Felicity Smoak alone, should that become necessary. She’s amazing. But she is not alone. From island residents (like Shado and Slade) to the Queen family to villainous types (Malcolm Merlyn anyone?), every character on “Arrow” becomes someone we can care about.
4. “Arrow” plays to its strengths.
“Arrow” stars a handsome, charismatic young man with a beautiful body. And the show reminds us of this regularly. Actors on the show — even those who popped in unexpectedly (like Felicity or this season’s Sin) — are highlighted when they show promise. For stories and guest characters, “Arrow” pulls from the incredibly rich story mine of the DC Comics world.
There are plenty of great relationships on TV, but Olicity is the stuff of ‘shipping legend. Consider this: Oliver has had a ready-made love interest in Laurel Lance and a string of beautiful (if dangerous) women wanting to date him. Felicity was supposed to be a one-episode bit part with virtually no interaction with the star. Now, the world regularly begs for them to get together.
6. It transcends the typical CW fare.
Sure, “Arrow” has the beautiful people expected of any show on The CW. But there’s more to it than that. Although certainly a draw for younger viewers, there’s no reason why a more mature audience can’t get in on the action. Oliver, after all, is a world-weary man and not a silly young boy. Diggle is mature and boasts a long military career in his past. Even Moira Queen — the matriarch of her dysfunctional family — gets real drama.
This is The CW for people who never watched The CW.
7. “Arrow” is more than just a live-action comic book.
If you knew nothing of DC comics or the history of the Green Arrow, you could still love “Arrow.” The characters and situations feel real and aren’t just good-vs.-evil archetypes. Each person and story gets explored as richly as possible before the drama moves on.
Can “Agents of SHIELD” say the same?
8. The show started a trend.
Until “Arrow” came on the scene in 2012, comic book and superhero adaptations were a movie thing. No one really expected greatness on the small screen. That’s all changed in the past year. “Agents of SHIELD” has been a hit (ratings-wise, if not critically). Netflix has plans for half a dozen new comic series. “Arrow” itself may be getting a spinoff.
Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.
9. Barry Allen — and all that he represents
In the 8th episode of Season 2, “Arrow” introduced the world to Barry Allen. One day, this young man will be the Flash. But now he’s just an eager scientist looking to lend a helping hand. Whether or not there’s a “Flash” spinoff on The CW next year, Barry Allen is yet another strong supporting player in the full “Arrow” world. This is not a world limited by its stars but rather a universe that can expand infinitely.
10. “Arrow” may just be the greatest superhero TV series of all time.
While there’s an argument to be made for “The Walking Dead” as a contender for top graphics-based show, “Arrow” has a strong lead in the superhero department. Shows from “Agents of SHIELD” back to “Superman” have their charms, but “Arrow” could very well be the best.
The “Arrow” midseason finale airs Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. on The CW. You do not want to miss it.