Arrow came on the air a year after Smallville went off of it and SV, as I have bemoaned many a time in my posts, was for me a very traumatic ten years of viewing. For the first seven, even eight years, it played up so many troupes and moments that on any other show foreshadowed a heck of a lot of stuff that was totally dropped for comic canon when new show runners took over which basically messed with my head and translated to me not trusting my tv watching skills to know what was supposed to be happening specifically when it came to shipping. So the LAST thing I was ready to do was watch ANOTHER superhero show on the CW.
But I had a friend that had cut the tv cord and, assuming I'd watch, asked me to tell him if it was worth him catching up once it was on Netflix. (Or wherever it was the first year). He'd put up with my Smallville rants so I figured I owed him, lol.
So I set my DVR and even watched the Pilot live. I knew going in that the show had a comic canon love interest so I told myself it would be safe to watch and I tried to be positive about her but her first scene grated and it only got worse between her and Oliver in the first episode. The only moment I actually liked the character was when the actress had a flirty moment with Tommy. I felt the pilot was well shot but not sure the brutal downer feel was for me even if I did love the actress that played Thea and also Paul Blackthorne from other stuff they'd done, I did not watch live the next week. I liked Diggle but all the problems of the pilot were amplified in the second episode. I might have quit if not for that promise to the friend to give it a fair review. Still, I let the shows backlog on my DVR for months.
Finally many weeks later, I forced myself to watch that third episode and the very first Olicity scene hadn't ended before I paused the DVR and looked up who that IT girl was, crossing my fingers that she would be back and by then they'd already made her a REGULAR for the next season!
Suddenly, I was eagerly watching, binging what i had recorded and the show just kept getting better. Diggle was joined Oliver, Felicity was brought deeper into the mystery and soon joined the team. And that spark that I saw between Oliver and Felicity in their very first scene only grew.
I hated myself for doing again. Falling for the impossible ship on a comic based show. I knew what what I was seeing would mean on any other show but I was sure I was setting myself up for heartbreak again but I couldn't stay away. By the time the first couple episodes of season two aired, I started to hope that maybe this time they would do right by what I was seeing on the screen.
I mean first Oliver (shirtless) swinging on vine to save Felicity from a landmine! And then in the next episode that stunt out the window? OMG! It was impossible to not have hope my ship actually would sail!
It was a massive roller coaster ride after that and I would not have remained sane without the forums and the posters to help us all through it. Arrow feels like my do over superhero show, one that honored the chemistry and potential beyond comic canon to create something unexpected and incredibly special.
It restored my TV viewing sanity and restored my faith in shipping. Oh boy did it restore my faith in shipping, lol.
Arrow is an imperfect show that still managed to somehow do better by their love story than perhaps any other show I've ever seen.
It is still mind blowing to look back from where we started and how far we came. Amazing.