If you’re follow Stephen Amell on social media, you will quickly come to realize that it’s not just his washboard abs and the way he tackles the salmon ladder that has earned him an army of fans. Put simply, the Arrow lead actor is quite frankly just a damn nice guy. And he’s also a very straight shooter, not afraid to call a spade a spade. Or in this case, call season 4 of CW show the flaming trainwreck it was.
Arrow has always had an uneven quality – season 1 started corny but then got better, season 2 was fantastic, and season 3 had as many great moments as crappy ones – however there was nothing uneven about season 4. It was a turd from start to finish, with bad directing, poor writing, and lame characterization. The only highlight was Neal McDonough chewing the scenery as main villain Damien Darhk. However, it was Darhk and all his magical abilities that had the relatively grounded Arrow suddenly upping the superpowered stakes. And as Amell told Entertainment Weekly (via CBR) in their latest issue, that was a mistake.
“There’s a lull in any relationship, where you have a come-to-Jesus moment, and that happened to me in Season 4. We are a street-level crime-fighting show. We’re at our best when we’re focused on those things.”
And as I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks back, the show is indeed getting back to its roots, so to speak, in the new season 5. A more violent Oliver, some of the needlessly soapy character drama excised, and a bad guy in the always great Chad Coleman’s Tobias Church that doesn’t need magic to beat the ever loving crap out of you, the show is definitely getting back to form.
It’s not perfect though, as after a very strong start, some of the latest episodes in the season have had a few bad habits – like some cheap fight choreography – slip in again. And Amell knows that the show cannot afford that at all as it finds itself “at a crossroads” right now.
“I do really believe that this season is sort of a throw-down-the-gauntlet year for us, where we’re either going to do what we do and do it well or it’s the last year. If we find the magic formula — which is not magic, it’s just hard work and playing to your strengths — then the show could go on for a really long time.”
For the record, despite the critical shellacking season 4 received, Arrow‘s ratings on CW have always been rather solid. They’re really at no risk of cancellation right now. However, it is definitely possible though that fan sentiment can swing around dramatically, causing it to start hemorrhaging viewers.
The show’s producers have previously already said that this is the last season that the now rather dreary flashback story mechanic would be used, and they’re even bringing in Dolph Lundgren to spice up affairs as a Russian villain. Combine that with the marked upswing in production quality, and you can see that they’re definitely trying to avoid that fate, but could it be too little too late?
Are you still watching Arrow after the disastrous season 4, and if you are, are you happy with the show’s improvements?
Last Updated: November 17, 2016