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Doux Top Twenty! Number 16: Arrow

Arrow is number 16 in Doux Reviews’ top twenty hitting shows.

Arrow ran from 2012 to 2020 and spawned a Berlanti-verse of spinoffs with lots of crossovers (that I still haven't finished updating). Doux Reviews was fortunate to have Samantha M. Quinn on board to review the first five seasons, and Shari willing to take over for the final three (with a little help from Mallena in the transition).

Samantha and Shari both contributed some words (below) about how they came to review the show and what it meant to them.

Samantha M. Quinn: A long time ago, before the Arrowverse existed, there was a show called Smallville. It was getting very old and finally ended, but there were persistent rumors that one of the main characters was going to spin off: Green Arrow.

This was supposed to be what happened, a Green Arrow spinoff of Smallville starring Justin Hartley in the role. Rumors persisted for a while that it was going into production, until one day it wasn’t. This new guy, Stephen Amell, was going to star and it wasn’t going to be associated with Smallville at all, and would start its own unique continuity.

I was mildly upset, but signed on to review it without seeing a single episode. Initially just a pilot review turned into five seasons before I hung up my review hat and happily became a simple viewer of the show.

At least I got to spend my years talking about characters like Oliver and Quentin, Diggle and Moira, Shado and Slade and of course my favorite: Felicity. I wonder, if she had never shown up, would I have stuck with the show? To be honest, probably not, and that would’ve been a shame.

Now that the Arrowverse is dead and buried, I have yet to return to the series, but it is on my list as a someday watch. I also plan to re-read my reviews as well, and cringe at words written... my god... twelve years ago! I'm happy to have contributed to the start of the Arrowverse, and I'm sad now that it's gone.

Shari: I was ecstatic when I heard the CW was rolling out a new show based on the Green Arrow. I’d loved Smallville, and I was suffering from superhero withdrawal since it ended. I was less pleased when I discovered Arrow wasn't the spinoff I assumed.

However, the creators gave me the Green Arrow show I never knew I needed, and I’ll be forever grateful. It was dark and gritty and filled with morally gray characters that I soon grew to love. Or loved to hate. Oliver, so self-righteous and yet utterly broken. Diggle, the moral man who willingly followed a vigilante into the dark. And Moira (one of my favorite characters), who, despite loving her children unconditionally, would undermine or even outright sabotage them if she believed it was in their best interest. Thea, Laurel, Quentin, Felicity, Slade. This list goes on and on. Each on their own journey from darkness into the light.

Unlike many other shows of the genre, Arrow had a clear vision of the tone it wanted to set and the type of story it wanted to tell right out of the gate. The dual timeline felt fresh and inventive and made me infinitely curious about how a spoiled rich brat became the dark and brooding vigilante that prowled the streets of Star City. That Stephen Amell was doing the majority of his own stunts (and was so easy on the eyes) only upped the cool (and the wow) factor.

How I came to review the show was not quite so linear. I became a fan of Doux Reviews when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and La Femme Nikita were still in their heyday and I’ve followed the site ever since. At one point, my admiration led me to take a stab at creating my own review-centric blog where I reviewed Arrow alongside Orphan Black and Sleepy Hollow. Note: It is way more time consuming than it seems. Needless to say, it didn’t last long.

However, it provided me with a ready-made writing sample when I saw Billie’s reply about needing more writers in answer to a comment asking why no one was reviewing The Flash. I dutifully followed her instructions. I also might have stated that while I would review The Flash if asked (which I went on to do), could I review Arrow instead. Pretty please, with a cherry on top (those may or may not have been my exact words)? Lo and behold, the rest was history.

The later seasons of Arrow may not have all had the narrative clarity of the first few (season two remains my favorite). There were many a time when I bemoaned the fact that characters were serving the plot instead of the other way around. But there were bright spots (Adrian Chase’s storyline springs to mind). That said, I was so glad they chose to go out while I still wanted more instead of dragging on past their sell by date. Was Arrow’s final season a bit of fan service? Maybe a teensy bit. But it was also everything I could have hoped for.

And that Arrow was responsible for introducing me to the tribe of fellow genre geeks known as the Agents of Doux was just the cherry on top.


  1. I didn't watch all of Arrow, but I enjoyed a lot of it, and I really admire how Berlanti created a whole verse: not all of it was perfect, but of course real life isn't really perfect, either.

    Stephen Amell's stunt work was inspirational. I saw a video of him just casually doing a parkour workout in a gym, and he put less effort into it than I put into getting up from the couch.

  2. Felicity is absolutely the best part.

    I got weary of watching Oliver blame himself for things and then yell at his friends. But I never stopped watching.

    Probably because of Felicity.


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