Actors: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards
Producers: Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Number of discs: 9
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Digital Copy Expiration Date: September 16, 2017
Run Time: 1056 minutes
Every network now has their own superhero series, though few have managed the edgier qualities that “Arrow” became known for after the first season. Even “
Gotham” feels like it could have used a little bit of
this same verve. While the second season falters in the middle a bit,
stretching out material until the resolution by the end of the season, it still
manages to deliver many of the elements that made the first season a success.
New characters are introduced, while others simply reappear with new
alter-egos. The strength in the show lies in the decision to have a narrative
through-line for each season, and this one develops the villain of Deathstroke.
First and foremost, Arrow is yet another CW series. This means a familiar polished set of colorful visuals, a cast of actors who either look too young or too old for the role they are playing, and a number of predictably melodramatic love triangle situations. Production design and casting choices aside, “Arrow” actually stands above many other CW series of recent history. They seem to make shows directed exclusively at teenagers, younger the better, but “Arrow” has a few things going for it that make up for the show’s sillier aspects.
I have never read any Green Arrow comics, although I find it interesting that Green is such a popular color to attach to any superhero type character. Whether or not this series stays close to the comics is a mystery to me, but the narrative in this series is something of a blend between Robin Hood and Hamlet. As unoriginal as some of these story elements are, including a crime fighting costume that looks like a bad-ass Robin Hood with a mask, at least they have ground the story in solid narratives. On top of this solid foundation, the series makes bold choice to keep the origin story something of a mystery, told only through flashback sequences. This helps keep the series interesting, especially when the stale teen melodrama begins to take over.
There is also a great deal of action, and it is all done somewhat realistically. Though the logic of some of the arrows is about as believable as the gadgets James Bond was using not too long ago, there are no superhuman elements within the storyline. The action is a mixture of MMA fighting and parkour, all rather impressively choreographed. This helps to overlook the fact that nearly every set seems to be backlit by green gels. Or that an enormously large percentage of the cast members have green eyes, despite it being the rarest color. If you can ignore this sledgehammer attempts at subtle imagery, there are some sincerely compelling action storylines to make this one of the more solid superhero series.
In a new trend from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, the Blu-ray release of “Arrow” comes with a DVD and Ultraviolet copy as well. The only problem with this generous addition is the amount of space the additional discs take up. Suddenly this single season is a massive box set, albeit an impressive one. As impressive are the special features on the discs themselves, including many making-of featurettes, mostly dealing with the stunts and visual effects of the show. There is also a recap from the first season, a gag reel, and a handful of unaired scenes.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 7.5/10