The Appeal of CW’s ‘Arrow’ Gariella April 3, 2014 TRENDS Arrow, a CW show based on the Green Arrow character from DC comics, is the highest rated CW television show in half a decade. The show has received a Metacritic.com score of 73 out of 100, and has been critically acclaimed. The struggling network has had a difficult time, in recent years, putting out new shows that received praise from both critics and viewers. With nearly four million viewers, it is also the most watched show on the CW in several years, as well. Those numbers do not include viewers who watch Arrow online. Arrows appeal is pretty easy to see. The story line and production allows for an action-packed, exciting television series that everyone from teenagers to baby boomers can enjoy. The show also incorporates a much loved comic character, and attempts to further develop his story line. While there have been many shows that delve into the comic world now, CW has put a great deal of time and energy into further develop the Arrow series to set it apart from the rest of the comic-based shows and movies that have graced screens in recent years. What is Arrow About? Arrow follows the life of Oliver Queen, a billionaire who returns home after five years on an island. The shipwreck that left him stranded on the island claimed the life of everyone on board, and he was left in a desolate and hostile environment, until rescued. When he returns home he is reunited with his mother and sister, and finds his mother has remarried. He is also reunited with his best friend, and ex-girlfriend. Both play pivotal roles in the series. His time on the island has changed him a great deal, and his goal, now that he is home, is to fight crime as a vigilante. The show gets its name from the character’s weapon of choice – a bow and arrow. While the comic interpretation of Queen is as the ‘green arrow” he is never called this in the show. Instead, the network has chosen to take the timeless character in a completely different direction than his comic persona. Arrow focuses intently on Queens’s life, and how the events of his life have brought him to his current vigilante state. Each week, Queen fights crime and corruption in Starling City, a fictional town based on cities in the San Francisco Bay area. While fighting crime and corruption, and villains within the city, viewers are also treated to flashbacks of Queen’s time on the island, as well as guest appearances by other DC comic superheroes and villains. What is the Appeal of Arrow? Whether you are watching online, or watching the show weekly on television, you’ll quickly understand the appeal of the production. Arrow appeals to a younger audience because of its action scenes and thrilling, week-to-week, adventures. Green Arrow also appeared regularly in Smallville, another critically acclaimed CW show, and many who now watch Arrow were also avid watchers of Smallville. While the connection is not made between the shows, and a completely different actor has been utilized for the role of Queen, there are some similarities that make both shows popular with the same demographic; namely the action, adventure and twisting storylines and slightly off-kilter plot twists. For older audiences, the show brings those things and a sense of nostalgia. Because Arrow is based entirely on the DC Comic’s Green Arrow, anyone who was once a fan of the comic can appreciate the show, and what it is trying to do. While several comic-based shows have faltered, Arrow has not, mostly because they are developing the comic further, rather than simply re-telling the store in a television adaptation. Arrow attempts to cover the backstory of Queen, and delve into his character, both as a billionaire and as a vigilante. Where Can You Watch? CW’s Arrow currently resides in the 8pm timeslot on Wednesday evenings. The second season premiered at this time slot in October of 2013, and saw a drop in viewership. Critics blamed the 8pm timeslot for lost viewership, although the show has stabilized during its second season run. You can also watch Arrow online afterwards through your television or cable provider.