It is difficult not to sound overly enthusiastic when talking about Arrow Season 1. Hands down this is the best adaptation of a comic book hero for the small screen which has ever taken place. There is no competition. It keeps close to canon without being slavish. The rolls are all well cast and well acted. The change in atmosphere as the stories move from Oliver Queen’s world to Green Arrow’s world are wonderfully transitioned. There are no weak points to the series which likely explains why it was such an unexpected hit
For those not familiar with the story of Green Arrow, Arrow Season 1 is a great starting point. The full back story or myth arc unfolds as a series of flashbacks as the season progresses. These flashbacks not only inform the audience of the back story but also punctuate the storyline in each episode with salient recalls that are specific or help to interpret Green Arrow’s actions in the most current story. There is nothing wasted in any episode. There are no throw away lines, scenes or effects. If it is onscreen it is important to the story which puts Arrow on the level of the very best of cable television offerings. Commercial network television has upped its game over the last few years with series like Arrow, Under The Dome, The Following, Elementary, Murdoch Mysteries, Revolution and Falling Skies. The old “I don’t watch television” expression of superiority has long lost its resonance with those who appreciate solid storytelling on the screen.
What to look for if you are new to the series? Remember that everything is important. The debauched lifestyle that Oliver Queen lived before he was shipwrecked comes back to haunt him but also infected those around him in more ways than he knows. Not everyone is how they appear. Like most great comic book series this is a story of hidden identity but there are many hidden identities in the world of power politics and the ultra-wealthy. From start to finish, and it is an amazing finish, Arrow is an absolute joy to watch and definite appointment viewing.
Special features on the Arrow The Complete First Season Blu-ray and DVD and Ultraviolet set are Arrow Comes Alive on the transition from comic book to screen; Fight School, a behind the scenes feature; Arrow at Paleyfest; Unaired Scenes; and a Gag Reel