To the creators of Arrow, Wendy Mericle, Marc Guggenheim and the CW
Firstly, I wish to congratulate you on your journey so far. You have created a successful superhero show, which has spawned two other shows in its universe. Arrow has been pioneering for comic book TV, and I could not be more proud of what the show has accomplished.
But it’s time for me to tell my story.
I used to love Wednesday nights. Four years ago, a dark and gritty vigilante took over my screen, fighting injustice and ending cruelty in Starling City. Every scene, every moment of this man’s journey was a crucial and important step of his evolution to becoming a hero. And for two years, I was happy. My favourite super hero, Green Arrow, had been adapted to a different but also perfect hero for television. Character drama, tight story plots, intriguing backstory, immense action…. no one could surpass him. As more Comic based shows were announced, I was certain: no one could topple the success that was Arrow.
I was so proud of the show. I told everyone about it. My parents, my friends, my neighbors. I promoted your show like it was gospel. I used it as an ice-breaker in new situations. I gave you viewers!
But… things changed and now we are here, at Season 4 and…. I just can’t do this anymore. I look back at how I felt two seasons ago: how could I feel so different? What has happened to my favourite show?
It started during Season 3. The show started well with a huge mystery, but when Oliver was kicked off a cliff, suddenly something changed. My friends around the water cooler at work suddenly didn’t want to talk to me about Arrow. They said they would catch up soon.
‘It has to be good’ I thought to myself. It’s Batman meeting Green Arrow! Obviously, this is good content. I told myself that for Season 3. I knew overall quality had dropped, but that was OK, every show has a down point. But one by one, I found myself having fewer friends to talk to about this show. I turned to social media to be my new water-cooler.
But I stuck it out. I couldn’t see what was wrong with the show. No, I dared not see it. I waited intently for Season 4.
Like Season 3, it started out well. Huge plots were introduced that had enough content to last the season: mayoral campaign, Damian Darhk, Diggle and Hive, Thea’s blood-lust, Laurel’s love for her sister. This would be the return of the quality I had seen in Season 1 and Season 2.
However, what I got was something…else. Someone else: Felicity. The show has been nothing but the struggles and pain and plights of Felicity and her relationships with other characters. Every situation has been about her and her feelings. Any interaction with characters outside of the Arrow cave has involved her: Mr Terrific, Paul, the Board at Palmer Tech, Calculator, Donna Smoak, Damian Darhk and even Samantha. Suddenly, I was watching the struggles of Felicity in Star City, and how every character praised her for being a strong and powerful female model.
How insulting. As a woman, I cannot bare to have Felicity as my role model. If she doesn’t have her way she cries, if Oliver does something wrong she gives immature ultimatums, she became head of Palmer Tech by emotionally toying with a man who had lost everything (Ray Palmer). She puts down Oliver, makes snide remarks about him and his abilities. She is a cold, manipulative bitch of a woman. (I could go on about how you are letting an abusive woman emotionally attack a man with PTSD and are presenting it as a ‘healthy relationship’, but that’s a discussion for another day)
And no, this is not the fault of her actress or even the character. This is the fault of you, the writers.
The inconsistency in your writing has turned characters into different people. Felicity is an unstable, unpredictable, contradictory, abusive and emotional wreck, Laurel is a quiet loner with no ambition, Oliver is a simpering sap of a man and Thea is either comical or traumatized depending on who is in the room with her.
I don’t know this team anymore. Where has my Oliver gone? One day he can take down Ras Al Ghul, Slade Wilson or confront Laurel for her behavior. The next, he can barely form two words to Felicity after she breaks up with him, and can be defeated by Lady Cop or Cupid.
But this is apparently OK, because the real drama is in ‘Olicity’. All those plot threads introduced at the beginning of the show have either been dropped, casually written out with Deus Ex Machinas or are continuing with zero effort in their execution. Instead, we are supposed to be happy for ‘Olicity’ in Season 4. We are supposed to enjoy the Tumblr references to OTA (Original Team Arrow) and the term ‘Olicity’ even made it into the show! The show doesn’t need action any more. It can live off this forced drama and romance.
I remember the days when we, the viewers, were part of Oliver’s team. We were the detectives. We were provided with clues and evidence and plot threads to stitch together and we would race to solve it first. Now? We can’t do that because it is apparent you are making it up as you go. There’s no thought, no logic, no process. Because that is no longer the shows focus. Now, for 40 minutes each Wednesday, I act as mediator between emotional, illogical teenagers in an abusive relationship.
And I say no. I write this rant as my message. I will not take this! This show used to be my weekly highlight. This show made me realise my own fight with depression and to take action against it. This show changed my life. And I will not watch it die.
Writers of Arrow: You have failed this show. With your need to appease ‘Olicity’ shippers, you have neglected the very fans that spread the word of this show. You have ignored those who have been with you since the Pilot. You have mutated this show from a Green Arrow adaptation to a mere shadow of its former self.
I finally know what is wrong with the show. It is not made for Green Arrow fans. It is not a Green Arrow show. I feel lost, being driven away from my favorite super hero.
Can you honestly look at what you have created, and say to me that this is the best work you can produce? Can you honestly say that this is what you had envisioned when you set out to make Arrow? Can you say that you are happy with this as your legacy?
...Maybe this is my fault. Maybe I didn’t notice it soon enough. Maybe I let this happen or even asked for it.
But is losing fans, losing your writing team, ignoring the source material, is that my fault? Is that The Flashes fault or are you going to blame it on Legends of Tomorrow's budget? I have stood by you through everything, the awful Slade return, the ‘Olicity’ stuff, hell I was concerned for you when you kicked Oliver off a cliff and revived him with penicillin tea!
I’m done. I’m done contributing to your viewership and I’m done caring. You should continue pandering to fangirls, write ‘Olicity’, go to Tumblr. I'll link it
I have loved you for half your series, but I’m done running after you.