Monday, August 13, 2018

TV on DVD Review: Arrow - Season 6

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Acting, stunts, villain, lack of flashbacks
Cons: Many story lines annoy
The Bottom Line:
Uneven season
Villain works; storylines don’t
Hope show bounces back

“She’s Right.”  “She Usually Is.”

I’ve been a loyal viewer of all the shows in the Arrowverse since the day Arrow premiered.  And, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed them until this year.  Arrow really took a dive in season six.

The season opens moments after the season 5 finale as we learn just who survived the island being blown up.  In the aftermath, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) finds himself with custody of his son, someone he’s just met.  Fortunately, he and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) are back together, so he has her help in building a relationship.

Of course, things aren’t quiet for long in Starling City.  Ricardo Diaz (recurring guest star Kirk Acevedo), a mobster, has decided he wants to take over the city, and he will do whatever he can, including going after Oliver Queen and the Arrow.  Meanwhile, Earth 2’s version of Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) is in town and complicating things because her resemblance to Laurel is stirring up emotions in the team.  Oliver once again draws fire for his vigilante activities as the Green Arrow.  And his efforts to protect those closest to him just drive people further from him.  Will Diaz wind up taking over the city?

Obviously, I had some issues with this season.  Not the least of which was the split in Team Arrow.  Yes, I know that superheroes constantly break apart and form new groups, and I do see how the writers attempted to give everyone good motives, at least in their own eyes, for what they were doing.  However, no one really came out of it looking good.  Also, it was obvious that they would have to repair their rifts to get rid of Diaz, yet no one was willing to work on that at all.  It made for frustrating viewing.

Then there was Laurel/Black Canary.  Having Laurel’s evil double in town had the potential for some good storylines, however, the one they settled on involved having some characters trying to redeem her.  Now, I’m all for redeeming evil characters.  It’s one of the reasons I loved Once Upon a Time.  However, when the characters keep getting played, it makes for frustrating viewing again.

And, of course, there is the fact that Oliver has been threatened with exposure and prison for his actions as the Arrow several times before.  Again, it felt repetitive.

On the plus side, we are done with the flashbacks.  I’m trying to remember if there were any at all in this season after the first episode.  If there were, they provided context to that episode’s story and didn’t carry over from one episode to another, which was a wonderful change.  The ongoing flashback stories had been my least favorite aspect of the show previously.

And I thought Diaz made a wonderful bad guy.  He was over the top brutal at times, but he’s a strong villain.

The acting has always been great, and that continues here.  You’ll notice I didn’t go into details about the cast like I normally might, but that was only to avoid spoilers about who survived the season five cliffhanger.  Likewise, the stunts are top notch.

It’s not that I outright hated the season (despite how it might sound).  It’s more that I found parts of it very annoying.  It wasn’t a show I looked forward to watching each week, but I wasn’t ready to quite watching it either.

Arrow has a new show runner going into the new season, so I’m hopeful that means we can put the mistakes of season six behind us and build up to more super superhero storytelling.

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