So I may have been a little harsh towards "Agents of SHIELD" last night with my notes on how to improve the show going forward into the next year. In the interest of even-handed blogging, here's a few things that "Arrow" could stand to take note of when the second season resumes in January.
1. Careful with all the characters.
Right now it's Ollie, Diggle, Felicity, Thea, Moira, Roy, Isabel, Officer Lance, Laurel, Dinah, and technically Slade. Not counting all the threats that pop up for at least an episode. It's good to have a cast we care about, but that's almost a dozen regular cast members. Maybe cut it down a bit?
2. Think before you plot.
If Merlyn survived the right with Ollie, why didn't he fix the remote detonator and activate it on his way out? If Moira has some contact with the League of Assassins, wouldn't they have mentioned they want to kill her son and have even visited her home a few times already? How can Thea be running a nightclub before she's old enough to drink? If Isabel is so keen to be taken seriously as a businesswoman, should she be sleeping with the previous owner of the company she tried to take over hostile-like? Guys, you gotta think about these things before you plot them out. Slade going full Deathstroke is awesome, but some of these storylines contradict each other at best, and are gaping logic gaps at worst.
3. Make Ollie less of a himbo.
Ollie has a weird "Sam and Diane" relationship with Laurel and Felicity, and has slept with most of the female guests on the show. His sleeping with Shado on the island is apparently Slade's villain origin, which seems slightly petty (What was the basis for attraction? "She likes living in an airplane too?"). For a guy who's supposedly all tortured and serious, he gets around.
4. Tone down the violence.
I keep going on about how it's hard to consider someone a hero when they have a serial killer's body count, but last episode Slade literally punched a hole in someone. That's beyond Solomon Grundy taking an arrow to the knee and throwing people around. A man struck his fist through someone's ripcage into their flesh. Too much, guys.
5. Lighten up.
Half the reason Grant Gustin as Barry Allen was so effective is because he espoused what we all know; being a superhero is awesome. So why is the show so angst-ridden? Ollie is an amazing shot, he's so fit he can beat anyone up, he's super rich, and has loyal friends and family. Plus he even slept with the woman trying to steal and gut his company! He literally has no problems that couldn't be solved by "screw it, I'm moving." Smile once in a while! Turn a few more lights on! Why so serious?
There's five things that I think bear a second look as they plot and act away at fulfilling our fanboy dreams with "Arrow."