It’s been almost 5 years since arrow made its debut and changed the way Superheroes are viewed on television. For people who aren’t as fond of comic books, it made them see that heroes don’t always get the girl. They don’t always get to hang their cape(if they have one) or get applause for what they are doing. The arrowverse taught many of us that superheroes are not born with the gift of multi-tasking. In fact, they are one of the clumsiest of creatures to walk the planet.
Speaking of clumsy, the legendary binge watching mayhem that the Arrowverse gave birth to is fast eroding. In the following years, CW shows have took such a nosedive that they almost hit rock bottom. The same viewers who once lauded arrow for its plot-wise badassery shot it down for its debauchery of story and content with due passage of time. The addiction still prevails. But a sense of disappointment is creeping in as well.
Here are some of the Worst and Finest moments from the arrowverse that made us both love and hate the TV franchise.
The Finest moments:
No one and I mean no one could actually top the way the arrow and flash first met on TV. When Barry Allen debuted in Arrow, people went like daaaamn!!! And I knew right then and there that it’s open season for a cross over. The showrunners gave the fans just what they wanted. Not only did Oliver train Barry and help realise his potential, they also ‘fought’ each other when Barry went full LOCO after encountering the Rainbow Raider.
Supergirl and Flash have also had their fair share of quirkiness in the same screen. Not to mention the mother of all crossovers – The Dominators story arc that bought all the characters together to ward off an alien invasion. It had its pain-in-the-ass moments but was still a keeper. And who could really forget Rory’s comments on Supergirl’s skirt.
4.Villains steal the show:
Much like the DCEU, the villains always somehow manage to hog the spotlight. Malcolm Merlyn was a villain with a noble cause. His backstory was one of the best(still is) in the entire arrowverse. The way Slade Wilson waltzed into our hearts is a sight for sore eyes. The flash gave us villains to die for. I am not even gonna mention Harrison Wells here. Or to a lesser extent, Zoom. They deserve to be in a hall of fame in the Rogues Gallery.
The Legends gave us the iconic, long-haired(beauty secret?) and immortal Vandal Savage. Supergirl gave us General Aunt Astra, a woman that embodies the term ‘Tough Love’. Prometheus is another new age baddie that won our hearts all over. Villainy is a spectacle to watch out for in this universe.
3.Depicting a Multiverse:
Well not necessarily encompassing the entire arrowverse but just the Flash, the multiverse concept has had a very harmonius effect on all the shows. First of all it connected Supergirl with the rest of the universe. Barry Allen and his multiversal jumping addictions are te reason we get to see the lovable Tom Cavanagh again and again as HR and Harrison Wells of Earth-2. It was the multiverse that gave us Zoom and Jay Garrick.
Had it not been for this wacky different universes concept, we might never have witnessed the Dominators in action. All the crossovers, the fights and wiity dialogues would have never come to fruition if the Multiverse didn’t exist.
2.Special Effects and Stunt Choreography:
The fans have been pampered with too much oomph in the shows. While the Flash and Supergirl have heavily relied on CGI to throw the line between reality and fantasy into utter disarray, Arrow has done the same with live action stunts and actions sequences to drool over. Legends of Tomorrow for all its awkward story telling continues to wow audiences with its visual effects wizardry.
Apart from the fight choreography and the special effects, the arrowverse also has the gift of setting aside redundancy and focusing on on-point use of effects to wow the fans. The debut of King Shark and the Gorilla City are wonderful examples. They forward the story in a pivotal manner without just being subjects of fan-service.
1.Gifted Yet Diversified Set of Characters:
The world has had too much of the same excuse. “We couldn’t find a bankable actor for this role so we decided to cast a generic white actor for the scene and piss off a lotta people.” The excuse is as lame as it is a masked attempt at white-washing. Enter Arrowverse.
Their shows have had such a talented cast with such extreme diversification I am surprised that Hollywood still sticks to that lame ass “bankable actor” excuse. To Put things into perspective, Sarah Lance is a bisexual in LoT and a legend(no pun intended) among the LGBT community. Joe West, John Diggle, Cisco Ramon, Iris West and Wally West belong to a minority only in race. For when it comes to plot, their contribution is huge. A lot of people could learn from what Arrowverse has achieved.*cough* stupid closet racist Hollywood directors*cough*
The Worst Moments:
5.Its always over before the fat lady sings:
The one shot hero vs villain stories are one of the worst and most visually evident problems to dog arrowverse throughout. Why?!?!?! Why does it always have to feel like the villain always has the upper hand until the hero pulls a trick out of his ass and saves the day with a punchline as generic as a dinner table. I know one has to have them fillers but why does it have to be so many. Why can’t the show focus on the bigger picture and not burp out so many one shots?
The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow are all guilty beyond doubt of these accusations. Arrow Season 1(only Season 1) is the only season exempt from this ludicrousness. As long as the shows focus on this childish concept to stretch out the season for a bit longer, arrowverse will keep facing flak.
4.Barry changes the timeline. AGAIN!!
I don’t know how he does it. Sure once its forgivable. But he has done it again and again. The very reason Iris was under threat from Savitar was because Barry needed his long dead mommy to rise back from her grave. People have died because Barry is in reality, a tremendously self-centered guy who would run back in time to play the same game tan rather use the reset button.
Examples are too obvious to miss. It was Barry running back in time that welcomed a wraith to tail him. And don’t even get me started on the fuckfest called the Flashpoint saga. Now enter Legends of Tomorrow. The silent players in the sidelines that travel through time to save it( and end up mostly wrecking it ) while Barry is counting sheep in his dreams.
3.Meaningless use of the Concept of Death:
Seldom has a character so Machiavellian in her approach carved a place in our hearts as Amanda Waller has. She is the very face of ‘The End Justifies The Means’ of doing things. The character of Ronnie Raymond was actually more suited for the role of Firestorm. Given the history with Caitlin Snow, he would had much more depth but was eventually set aside to ensure LoT had an unnecessary sense of diversity. Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot was the anti-hero everyone could relate with. HR was one adorable little dude. All of them have one thing in common.
All these characters were killed off in unnatural fashions in the name of cinematic appeal. Fans have since then staged uproar on how Warner Bros has interfered in the direction of their favorite TV shows. WB has subsided in crossing CW (for now) but the damage has already been done. The shows have taken a hit for such a lack luster way of executing things.
2.Everyone knows who is behind the mask:
This one is actually the most glaring topic in this list. The reason it didn’t get the top spot is because the plot hasn’t been affected much by this revelation (yet 🙁 ). It is as if the heroes don the mask or the hood only for show while secretly they want everyone to know who they are. For the proverbial pat in the back, the protagonists of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl have revealed their identity to people one too many.
It is an outright terrible idea to out the heroes’ identity to people they don’t know or trust. The huntress is a murderer and a villain who knows Oliver Queen is the Arrow. A low life villain like Tobias Church was able to deduce it by himself. Prometheus knew it even before he came at the Arrow’s daggers length. Snart aka Captain Cold knew the Flash’s identity and even blackmailed Barry into leaving him alone. Why is it so freaking difficult to leave people out of the loop? I mean isn’t that the very concept of a superhero? That people can’t ever know who you are or what you have been doing.
1.Female Characters- Insane Lovebirds and 24/7 Damsels in Distress:
Don’t even get me started on this one. This is THE MOST glaring issue of the arrowverse. The female characters are at times so underdeveloped and on other times so overcooked I almost cringe at laugh at the same time. The biggest example of this are Felicity Smoak and Iris West. Up until recently Laurel Lance too fell under this category but the writers have lifted her into greatness with the rise(and death) of The Black Canary.
Felicity is a hacker who eventually becomes redundant and unnecessary but the show sticks to her like bubble gum on heels. She even gets crippled from the waist down and the show sticks to her. Olicity ends and she ends up in bed with another useless guy becoming the object of hate of the entire arrowverse. BUT!! The show sticks to her.
Iris West is an even bigger ‘accomplishment’. An entire show was dedicated because she was too weak to protect her own ass. Oh boohoo. A murderer is out to kill you. Oh well News Flash woman, there are a lot of women with the exact same problem as you. But they don’t rely on a time travelling boyfriend to bail them out. They take action themselves. A freaking waste of a character. Arrowverse really needs to do a reality check.
So much for feminism 😉
So here it is folks. Arrowverse has its major share of strengths and flaws. With their next seasons already visible on the horizon, let’s hope they can capitalize more on their fortes and less on the inadequacies. Cheerio 🙂