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Arrow Season 2 Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another TV review and today I’ll continue my thoughts Arrow with my review of season two! Now I really liked season 1 and did not expect to take to it was well and I immediately jumped on the next season to see what was going on because the finale of season really makes you wanna see what happens next. So how does season two fare? Well read on and find out! Partial spoilers to follow.

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The story can described as the following:

“After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series. After suffering unimaginable ordeals on the island, the Oliver returns to Starling City a new man — determined to right the wrongs of his father and sworn to bring justice to those who’ve corrupted his city. But Oliver finds his crusade complicated by his friends and family who are all affected by his return.”

After the way season one ended with The Glades being blown up, his mother being arrested and his best friend dying, its no wonder why Oliver’s changed emotionally and his habits as the vigilante known as ‘The Arrow’. There are a great deal of revelations that take place in this season straight from the beginning right through to the end, stories and characters old and new coming into play in interesting ways which leave you continuously wanting more. Like last season, trust a major theme that is highlighted throughout and it is one oft he key things that bind and break apart some of the main characters, still after all this time there is a lot of lies and deceit with some hiding their secrets with the best intentions only for it to backfire in their faces (I’m looking at you Moria and Oliver). What also surprised me was the extra levels of depth the writers added to Oliver’s flashback scenes on the island, my god he went through so much stuff that I never could have imagined back when he first mentioned the place in season 1. Now one thing i never mentioned in my last review was while I like the flashback scenes, I did feel like some of them came and went a bit abruptly and sometimes felt like more of an interruption than a point of interest and the same rule applies here for me. I’m not saying that they were bad at all, just that sometimes they were a bit erratic in their timing.

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Somehow the writers behind this show find a way to make the impossible possible and create all of these deep, intriguing and unexpected storylines that are even more captivating, dangerous and dramatic than before. This show just throws insane situations at Team Arrow and see how they come across and then overcome these situations is nothing short of amazing especially towards the ending when Deathstroke is assembling his army, the The Glades is once again in danger with it almost getting blown up A.R.G.U.S. and Team Arrow having to team up with able. Slade makes his move and kidnaps Laurel and Felicity. Meanwhile Oliver, Sara and Roy team up with Nyssa al Ghul and the League of Assassins to stop dispatch Mirakuru cure.

Episode highlights:

  • City of Heroes
  • Identity
  • Broken Dolls
  • Crucible
  • The League of Assassins
  • Keep Your Enemies Closer
  • Three Ghosts
  • Blast Raidus
  • Blind Spot
  • Tremors
  • Heir to the Demon
  • Time of Death
  • The Promise
  • The Man Under the Hood
  • Seeing Red
  • City of Blood
  • Streets of Fire
  • Unthinkable

As for the cast they are all pretty good and there’s not really anyone that does a bad job. One minor nitpick I have with these characters is the relationships; since many of these characters (Oliver and many other women) end up in with different people at varying points of the series, whether it be with people of the past or present, the problem is that it is hard to believe that their feelings are genuine or solely based on one person when just a little while ago they were with someone else. Outside of that I have no quarrel with the characters in this show.

Once again Stephen Amell is killing it as Oliver Queen/The Arrow. This time round Oliver has to change things up, become less of an assassin and more of hero, he also has to take better care of his family while also deal with demons from his past which come back to haunt him and take on tasks in and out of the suit which tests him as far as humanly possible. Amell is a great actor and he very convincingly acts out all of these situations which can either be fun, melancholy or dangerous. David Ramsey is once again really cool as John Diggle, he got a lot more character development and there was a lot more time dedicated to his backstory. Emily Bett Rickards also stepped up as Felicity Smoak, while she was pretty much the same kind of person as she was before, Felicity definitely has her moments in the spotlight helping out which specific missions and having intimate moments with both Oliver and Barry West. But the standout person this season was Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke. I had waited for Slade’s transformation to the dark side for so long because my mate had hyped it up for so long and luckily it was beautiful. Slade was instantly likeable from last season because of his smug, yet confident and cool demeanor, in this season we see how his character goes from being Oliver’s closest friend to his most hated enemy and with the addition of the drug that makes him pretty much a super soldier he becomes a threat that is always fun and engaging to watch. Even though the man is evil and does many terrible things at the same time he a tortured soul haunted by his past that constantly messes with his head and fuels his revenge which is orchestrated in such thorough and methodical manner.

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Caity Lotz becomes one to watch she does a wonderful job as Sara Lance/The Canary. Firstly can I just say that she is one of the hottest woman ever in that Canary outfit, she is just insanely hot. *Ahem* Moving on. I was glad to see that Sarah not only had an expanded role not only in the present along with Team Arrow, but also in the past as we discovered how she survived and was part of the puzzle involving Oliver and Slade. Lotz does well as this hardened, yet soft warrior who is always looking out for her family but tries to stay away from them due to her past. Paul Blackthorne is once again very good in the role of Quentin Lance. Quentin has a fairly substantial role in this season as he goes through hell at his job at the police, has to deal with family issues and chase after The Arrow. This time round we get to see a nice, more understanding and emotional side of Quentin and I really liked the this guy during this season, he was great moral support for both of his daughters. Katie Cassidy returns as Laurel Lance and does a good job, it was great to see her go through such a terrible time with the alcoholism and sibling problems with Sarah. While it did make Laurel a little less likeable, it did give Cassidy some good material to work with. A very good performance came from Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen who is a higher figure during this season, she was even more dangerous than before with even more secrets and lies and bridges with her family are put in jeopardy. Willa Holland as Thea Queen was still hot as hell and acted her scenes out very well.

Colton Haynes was great as Roy Harper who also got an expanded role in this season as well as he continued his relationship with Thea but also have to go through all the ups and downs with his secret life with The Arrow and gaining super strength. As for Summer Glau as Isabel Rochev, I LOVED her. Now I am a bit biased towards Glau because of her work on Firefly and Serenity, but she was really good in this show as her character was cold, calculated and yet very intriguing… And pretty damn hot too (again I’m biased). Also I thought that she was just an uptight bitch with a tiny bit of a nice side, however the fact that it was just a cover for her true intentions of taking over Oliver’s company and her collaboration with Slade was an interesting twist and then seeing her going in combat and kicking ass was just badass too. Kevin Alejandro is pretty good as Sebastian Blood/Brother Blood. He is an interesting character, he is again one of those bad guys who for all his evil motives actually has a questionable history and a bad childhood that fuels his ambitions. The return of Celina Jade as Shado was pretty nice and Bex Taylor-Klaus continued to be very cool and funny as Sin.

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The return of John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer was very much appreciated as he was one of my favourite characters from last season and seeing him return and finding out about his connection to the Queen family (especially Thea) was nothing short of crazy cool. Also Grant Gustin as Barry Allen was a pretty funny, charismatic and interesting character who I liked a lot. And finally there was some great moments in time from Colin Salmon as Walter Steele, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller, Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels, Michael Rowe as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot and Michael Jai White as Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger.

The presentation once again is very nice. Visually the show is very nice again delivering some nice cinematography, good pacing and great action sequences with lovely fight choreography which is much fancier than it was before (especially when Arrow, Canary or Deathstroke is involved).

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In conclusion the second season of Arrow is pretty much better than the last season in every way. The story is constantly shifting creating new, exciting and unexpected scenarios for the heroes to overcome. All of the established characters grow and develop while newcomers step and shake things up in an interesting way. And with awesome action sequences, lovely references to the comic book source material and foreshadowing for bigger things to come, Arrow is just firing on all cylinders and it’s awesome!

Rating: 9/10

So what did you think of the second season of Arrow? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to come back for my review of season 2! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Arrow Season 1 Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another TV review and today I’ll be giving my thoughts on the first season of Arrow. Now I’ve known about this show for AGES, but have not had the time to watch it because of my other TV commitments, but now that the show’s at a very high point of popularity and looks to be expanding with the third season later on this year, I thought I might as well jump in and see what the fuss what about.

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The story can described as the following:

“After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series. After suffering unimaginable ordeals on the island, the Oliver returns to Starling City a new man — determined to right the wrongs of his father and sworn to bring justice to those who’ve corrupted his city. But Oliver finds his crusade complicated by his friends and family who are all affected by his return.”

While this show is about Oliver Queen’s quest for justice, at the same time really about lies and deceit. Deception is one the main themes that you take away from it, no one is clean-cut, someone always has a secret or is telling lies in some shape or form. This makes it hard to trust anyone’s judgment as someone you like could be someone else in disguise, and that applies to not only each of the characters in the show but for you as a viewer, your opinion on certain people begin to shift as the series progresses and more and more of the story and mystery is revealed. One of the main things I like about the show is that not one episode is the same, there is always something new to learn and when you think that one subject matter has come to a close in one episode, later on in the season it comes back in an unexpected way.

Episode highlights:

  • Pilot
  • Honor Thy Father
  • Lone Gunmen
  • An Innocent Man
  • Damaged
  • Legacies
  • Muse of Fire
  • Vendetta
  • Year’s End
  • Burned
  • Vertigo
  • Betrayal
  • The Odyssey
  • The Huntress Returns
  • Salvation
  • Unfinished Business
  • Home Invasion
  • The Undertaking
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Sacrifice

As for the cast they are all pretty good and there’s not really anyone that does a bad job.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Hood is great, Queen embodies everything that is great about modern superheroes, he’s cool, knows how to fight, is athletic and has a backstory and character traits that make him engaging. I like how Queen is very similar to Batman in the sense that he’s a man who operates on his own rules, is not trusted entirely by his own city and police force and believes he’s doing the right thing but can never always be in the right. Amell is cool, really aggressive and emotional and I love how much he puts into the character physically and mentally. Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance is lovely, she is the first of many gorgeous women in this show. Laurel is a very complicated character, she has a hard history to deal with when it comes to her family and with the reappearance of Oliver in her life things don’t get better as her hatred for him is high. However as the series progresses she changes a lot as she starts get into some of these dangerous situations, starts to reconnect with Oliver and gets closer to her father.

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Colin Donnell is nice as Tommy Merlyn, he’s fun, lively, care-free, but also serious and very caring about the people he cares about. Oliver’s best friend and they have a lot of history together along with Laurel and this makes for an awkward yet hard to ignore love triangle. I do like this guy for the most part, but at times he’s very whiny and insecure. Willa Holland is another lovely lady who is good as Thea Queen. Thea is Oliver’s sister and she has a lot of layers and like Laurel is complicated. Thea loves her family, but finds it hard to connect with Oliver after he returns, hasn’t gotten over the loss of her father and can’t stand secrets being kept from her, all these things have led to a life of drinking, drugs and other things that have messed her up emotionally. Thea is cool, but because of her up and down emotions it is hard to like her for a consistent period of time. Susanna Thompson is good and interesting as Moira Queen. This is the mother of Oliver and Thea and she seems nice at first glance, but as the season continues you see there is some hidden depths to her character and she isn’t the nice, clean-cut person that she started out as.

David Ramsey is awesome as John Diggle, he is Oliver’s right-hand man who helps out with his quest for justice. Diggle is hardcore, funny, he can fight, has a great backstory and is the voice of reason at times.He’s the best kind of bodyguard and friend that one could ever have. Emily Bett Rickards is wonderful as Felicity Smoak. Felicity is this super strange, quirky and funny who is very good is very good with computers and helps Oliver and Diggle out on their missions. Paul Blackthorne is pretty good as Quentin Lance, at first he comes across as any other kind of hard-ass cop who believes in the law and hates rule-breakers like The Hood, in addition to that he’s te father of Laurel and had a hard time dealing with her death and blames Oliver for it. At first he’s just an unlikable asshole, but then he eventually becomes tolerable and kind of cool too. John Barrowman is really cool as Malcolm Merlyn, he’s the father of Tommy and like Moira he has a pretty dense and questionable history and the way Malcolm’s presence develops over the course of the season is nothing short of intriguing and badass. Manu Bennett is coolest guy ever as Slade Wilson. As soon as I heard this man’s name I knew I was in for something cool and the show doesn’t disappoint as he is every bit as cool, badass and interesting as I would have hoped even though they’d changed a few things about his comic book characteristics.

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Colin Salmon as Walter Steele is pretty good too, at first it he is a bit hard to attach to because he is a person not part of the Queen family (by blood), however when you get to know him, learn his backstory and see what he gets up to, you learn that Walter is pretty important. Colton Haynes as Roy Harper is pretty interesting, this is another person who I know of from the comics and was instantly curious about how the show would interpret the character. Harper is born in a rough neighbourhood, he is a survivor and while he has good intentions, he can’t stay away from crime. Jessica De Gouw as Helena Bertinelli is really pretty and is also pretty badass too, I did not expect her character to be so interesting and engaging but I loved her contribution to this show. Celina Jade is another beautiful lady of the show who plays Shado, another woman who is a very skilled fighter and is also pretty smart too. Kelly Hu is both hot and deadly as China White and I loved her appearances in this show and lastly seeing Chin Han as Frank Chen was cool too.

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The presentation of the show should also get a mention as it is very good for TV standards, luckily since Arrow doesn’t doesn’t require a large amount of special effects because it doesn’t deal with anything too heavily related to sci-fi, fantasy or other-worldly type of things. But when CGI is involved its pretty good for the most part and looks a lot better than some other shows that use it. What Arrow really excels in is the great cinematography used for its action scenes and sequences, using dynamic camera shots and having very good and atmospheric lighting and colours. Also the fight choreography needs to be mentioned too as it is very tight and gorgeous to look at and as a fan of hand-to-hand combat this was some good stuff for me, though at times the speed of the fights seemed a bit slow and some of the fights seemed a bit too choreographed and not very natural, but hey those are only minor nitpicks at best.

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In conclusion the first season of Arrow is a very good show that approaches its superhero roots in a very different way, it approaches things in a very realistic manner, but also doesn’t shy away from elements that make a good superhero story worth telling. While I feel some episodes were a bit dull and the season could have been shortened a bit, there is a great number of stories to be told, with wonderful acting from the cast involved and lovely amounts of action to keep you invested throughout.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of the first season of Arrow? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to come back for my review of season 2! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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