What About an Arrow?

I have never thought that I would watch so many television series in English. But it has been proven otherwise though, as I have watched so many of them; I couldn’t stand some of them, which I decided to skip immediately, and the others including Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Constantine, Gotham, Sherlock and Spartacus. They have kept me interested for such long time that the only thing I wanted was the next episode; to that long list, there is one more and it is Arrow.

Having one billionaire vigilante as the protagonist again, Arrow reminded me of Batman right in the beginning. We know that Arrow or rather the Green Arrow and even the Flash were not the popular names around here, and I am pretty confident that the names were not even known around here. The popular ones had their titles ending with “man” except for The Phantom and Mandrake. Spider-Man, Batman, Super-Man and the He-Man – these were the superheroes of those times.

During my childhood, I remember believing that the most powerful of the heroes always required their superhero name to end with “man”. For some reasons, a few superheroes were always more popular than others around here. One surely wouldn’t doubt the case of Superman though, as everyone wanted such powers. Batman and Spider-Man successfully represented two creatures, and He-Man provided a certain not-that-super alien side to it, and it was the most watched cartoon series of my childhood. The one memorable team of superheroes was X-Men which followed.

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The Avengers is one of those movies which expanded that horizon further after Marvel had come up with a few earlier and also with the Age of Ultron later. We have quite a lot of superheroes right now, and those like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk has reached the next level with their popularity. As of now, it seems that if you watch the television series Arrow, there will be another one added to the list of the big superheroes; there will the Green Arrow, and the Black Canary, and something more.

So, in Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), the well-known billionaire playboy from Starling City returns there after being shipwrecked and lost on an island. With his father dead in the shipwreck, his remaining family of his mother Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) and sister Thea Queen (Willa Holland) welcomes him. But he is no longer the man that he used to be, and intends to correct the mistakes of his father and that of himself while getting back to his world after five years of absence.

Arrow has a little bit too much of drama at times if you ask me. There is something repetitive about it when coming to the real lives of the superheroes and the rest of the mysterious people especially when related to their flashbacks which keep going on and on, but otherwise Arrow is a very interesting watch. I initially liked the flashbacks, but when there were too many of the same, that made me feel strange, and later even stopped looking at the screen when the flashbacks arrived.

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Still, Arrow is the kind of television series which you can just keep watching because it is thrilling and entertaining, and you keep wondering what is to happen next. Green Arrow will remind you of Batman as the Dark Knight a lot. Starling/Star City’s problems are not so different from that of Gotham City. There are no superpowers to our protagonist once again, and the darkness stays throughout its run. After you watch this one, among the three better known superheroes with names starting in the form of “Green” this one surely will be your favourite.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television series, Arrow.

TeNy

Bat and the Metropolis

As a child, I was less of an admirer of Batman than a number of other superheroes. But there was still something that I have always loved about the story. It was all about the villains then; none of the heroes had the villains like Batman could face. They were special and Batman was not. I did like the movies on Batman at that time too, but that was about villains too. The Nolan trilogy of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises made that clear, many years later.

So when I read that there was a television series about the origins of the wonderful villains as well as the city itself, I was certain that I wanted to watch it – The Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, The Riddler, The Joker, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze. The story here revolves around James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) of the Gotham City Police Department during his earlier days of his service. Paired with elder and the more experienced detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he will have a lot to do.

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So, the Gotham City is the kind of world which has quite a lot of crime, as you would expect. The corruption is everywhere, and a long time before Batman, there were the two officers doing their duty, surrounded by crime lords and their henchmen who control so much. It is not easy to handle crime and corruption without going through them, as the crime lords have their people in the government as well as the police department. With morals and the hope to change the city for the good, James Gordon will do what he can.

Gotham television series actually starts very slowly, and it took some time for me to get into the story, characters and the environment, it was with the sixth episode that things got a lot more interesting. It is mostly due to the return of Oswald Cobblepot known better as The Penguin, the future villain of Batman who has the most interesting past. Robin Lord Taylor as the intelligent thug who makes it big despite his troubles, has some moments which are just top-class.

After The Penguin and his master manipulations, there is Camren Bicondova as the young Selina Kyle, long before the Catwoman had a chance to be the big cat. I knew that I had seen her before, and that was in the 2014 movie Girl House, with that first sequence. The Cat is the next most interesting character in this series, and this girl has so much talent; The Catwoman is a character who has always deserved an origin story like this, close to the oiriginal Batman story and not alone.

Meanwhile, Benjamin McKenzie and Donal Logue manage to do some great job at the same time as the police officers doing their work, against all odds as you can guess. The prettiest face should be Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins, the love interest of James Gordon after Erin Richards as Barbara Kean had brought the charm earlier. But everything in the city is connected and revolves around the murder of the parents of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). It is all about the name “Wayne” in the end.

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I have only watched the first season, and it was nice to watch such a prequel to Batman and his villains. I believe that it can only be better with our villains transforming into what they are to be later. Even though The Penguin and Catwoman are the ones who were in focus here, The Riddler was very close to being there as the bad guy. We also know that Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and Two-Face are already there in the present form before the transformation. What comes with them is the past of Batman as the little Bruce Wayne.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Gotham television series.

TeNy