I haven’t been following Arrow this season. A lot of people claimed that it was back to its old Season 1/Season 2 form last year, but I honestly thought Season 5 was pretty boring.
Lots of things about the show still bothered me, like the massively expanded team with characters I could care less about (Curtis, new Black Canary, etc..) And, of course, while Oliver and Felicity were no longer together it was pretty obvious that this was just a delay rather than a permanent fix. After all, what better way to get the Olicity shippers invested in the show than to make them wait? Any good romance writer will tell you that it’s the build-up to the consummation that counts most.
This year I’ve given up on the CW DC shows almost entirely, though I’ve heard enough people tell me to watch The Flash and Legends that I will get around to those shows at some point. (I started The Flash last night and have some thoughts which I’ll share soon.) I honestly think the biggest problem with these CW shows is how many episodes you need to watch just to stay current, especially since they all cross-over. It’s an enormous, daunting task and I’m not sure the material has been good enough to merit that many hours of my life in some time now.
The other big problem is the nature of the CW itself, and how it so often tries to make these shows less about superheroes and more about relationship drama. The biggest stain on the entire Arrowverse is Olicity, the ill-conceived, massively shipped relationship between Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak. Turns out, I was right about Olicity in more ways than one.
I was right that their relationship was on hiatus, first of all. In the current season’s big cross-over event, they finally tied the knot. I’m not in the least bit surprised, though I find the whole thing grossly cynical.
I was also right that Olicity killed Arrow. Oh sure, it’s still on the air, but it’s never recovered from Season 3, largely thanks to the show’s shift in tone and inability to deliver on its original premise. It’s never reached the emotional power of its first two seasons and it’s never found a way back to the dark, gritty show we were promised. There’s a reason people call the show Felicity and Friends now, and a reason many fans are so upset.
In any case, the Arrow subreddit has gone into full revolt following the wedding. Not for the first time, they’ve changed it to another show entirely. Last time this happened was after the Season 4 finale. The subreddit was changed to a Daredevil subreddit in protest.
This time around they’ve changed over to The Punisher, and it’s awesome. It’s really the most amusing thing I’ve seen all week. I have to say, Arrow redditors: Bravo. I will raise a glass to you this evening and toast your health.
Now you can go the subreddit and see gems like this:
This is what it means to be a true fan and not just some obsessive shipper or fanboy/fangirl. True fans can see when their shows or games or movies or books go astray. Sycophants just lap it up as though nothing’s wrong. True fans care about a show going downhill because they want it to be good so that it can last longer. Fanboys/fangirls can see no wrong. (And I’m not playing the No True Scotsman card here; I think blind fandom is quite literally toxic to the very thing its fans love, like a parasite slowly feeding off the host.)
Shippers may be the worst of all, because they prize a forced relationship in a show over all else—over the story, over the realism, over the continuity, over the chemistry between characters, and so forth. It’s really quite bizarre and I wish the showrunners would stop catering to this vapid nonsense. It’s ruined Arrow. Olicity has killed Arrow and it’s made characters like Felicity, who I once liked a great deal, almost insufferable.
I guess it’s time to go watch The Punisher instead. Sad!
P.S. The real irony here is that back in Season 1 of Arrow, Oliver basically *was* the Punisher…
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