Out of the four DC shows I presently cover for Gloryosky, the Berlanti shows are the most frustrating. They tend to swallow a wide chunk of the DC live-action multiverse. Last week, Arrow
was about OMAC, and showcased a younger, far less mystical (for now) version of Ted Grant, d/b/a Wildcat. Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim’s strategy for Arrow
is to nail down as many costumed vigilantes as they can.
Ted Grant’s not the recipient of a spell gone horribly right, with the “nine lives” stipulation. I’d actually like to see that, yet Arrow is a relatively realistic show with the odd fantastic element, like the Mirakuru drug. At least Wildcat doesn’t have a were-panther for a son…although Arrow name-drops Tom Bronson as a boxer at Ted Grant’s boxing school. The show loves its Easter eggs.
The frustrating part, at least to me, is the relative seriousness of both Arrow and The Flash. Arrow likes to show Sara Lance, arrows in her midsection, plummeting off a building. It drives Roy Harper’s subplot, and dovetails into the drug withdrawal storyline that is part of the foundation for the Arsenal character. It’s the main reason for Laurel Lance training with Ted Grant. The problem is, after Sara Lance’s death is shown a few times, it’s the equivalent of a Batman-related storyline showing a picture of Bruce Wayne’s murdered parents. The scene is overplayed by now. I guess it’s there for narrative convenience, yet this show also laid groundwork for OMAC, and introduced Ra’s al Ghul. Once the Jack Kirby and Dennis O’Neil cards are played, they can’t be ignored for long.
Keep in mind, I don’t hate Arrow. It can be predictable and angsty at times, yet it’s partially the reason DC Entertainment has four shows on prime-time television right now. Is it a show I enjoy? Honestly, I prefer Constantine; that show has more weirdness potential than it presently shows on NBC. Also, I don’t think I’ll ever see the Phantom Stranger on Arrow.