Friday, February 28, 2014

ARROW: "Time of Death" -- Hit and Miss

Just one look... can ruin a relationship.

And that's exactly what happened in the last 30 seconds of Arrow's "Time of Death" episode when, as Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) babbled adorably about being his girl (but not his "girl-girl"), Oliver (Stephen Amell)gave her a pitying look. 

With that look, Felicity was transformed from an unsteadily sexy computer wiz with moxie (and a puppy-love crush on her hero boss) into a piteous creature.

Now, before anyone gets all up in arms that I seem to be criticizing the talented Amell (and he is, him and Rickards, and David Ramsey and the rest of the cast, and crew, and writers etc. are why I watch the show -- I'm not normally big on comic-inspired shows), let me assure you that I'm not. That look was right for the scene as written, it's just that the Felicity-Oliver story arc went awry halfway through the episode.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. That moment wasn't the only misfire in the episode. 

Defining "Better Television" (And Blanket Spoiler Alert!)

Reality shows, over-the-top comedies, on-the-nose dramas -- there's little subtlety in television today.

Well, except for shows like "Mad Men," "The Walking Dead," "Suits," "Downton Abbey," "Luther," "Game of Thrones," "Orphan Black," "The Americans..."

The list could go on -- possibly endlessly if one chose to include shows recently or long ago off the air, like "Friends," "X-Files," "Gilmore Girls," "All in the Family," "The Shield," "The Sopranos" etc.

That got me thinking -- what makes some television shows so much better than others? The hook? Dynamic characters? Interesting story lines? Yes. Yes. And Yes.

But it's so much more than that.