If you were not aware Greg Berlanti is the creator of various shows notably Arrow & The Flash.
A superhero is a person that has some powers or skills & abilities and uses them to help fend of threats against the innocent. (TV Series Wise)
It depends on how you picture a superhero, whether he has a cape or a mask it can be Superman or Supergirl it doesn’t matter.
In this case we have:
1. Oliver Queen – Arrow later Green Arrow
2. Barry Allen – The Flash
Note: Others like the Canary, Spartan etc are not the main focus as they are supporting team members.
Looking at the two series, you can actually notice patterns or similarities among them. Since it is created by the same person it is bound to have repetition.
Take for example, love triangles are common in both and so far the only thing separating them both is that Oliver got Felicity and Barry hasn’t gotten Iris yet but who knows what the future holds.
Another pattern is that both characters face problems from their nemesis till the mid season after that they begin to find a way to end him.
Last one for this article is the introduction of one episode villains as in bringing a villain which is always caught up at the end of the episode.
Those are some of the various similarities shared by the two shows.
But talking plot wise, Arrow has more story-lines than The Flash.
Arrow: the whole flashback style gives the show unlimited addition of plots and it runs at the same time as the present day story-line.
The Flash: due to Barry becoming The Flash there are 40 minutes to kill and having just one story-line makes them have to try to make the story long thus the one episode villain being more common in The Flash now than in Arrow.
Let’s examine Arrow:
While watching every episode you will feel like watching two series at the same time. What makes it even special is the fact that it they are both connected somehow and both go forward at their own pace.
Another attribute which isn’t very common in superhero series is that the person should loose and make it look like they lost. Take for example Oliver got hit pretty hard and the episode ended. Every fan knew he would be back because the series is about him but did anyone complain about the story-line being boring? I don’t think so but everyone was rather excited to see what happens next.
Now the whole hero falling makes any superhero series be a little realistic and it also gives the writers the space to make an incredible story on how to bring the character back like the whole finding his Japanese friend.
Another example can be the death of Felicity, we will discuss this part later but if you see she was shot now it doesn’t matter if she comes back or if she is done for good this made the plot even juicier as everyone thought she was untouchable and it was unexpected.
With her death we will start to see an angry Oliver and the plot becomes interesting as he will be going after Damien with more motivation.
These kinds of twists is what makes Arrow special and not repetitive even though we know he will be the eventual winner. The how he does it makes the series special.
Examining The Flash:
Looking at this season only, you will notice that there was a villain either brought back or introduced for one episode only like for example bringing in Grodd for one and then every episode had a villain sent by Zoom. These are repetition as the villain comes hurts him and at the end of the episode Barry beats them up. The same was seen last season. The plot is so bad that now the better story seems to be the son of Joe than Zoom as we only saw him do some damage in the finale otherwise the usual 5 minutes addition of the story-line is what we see,
For The Flash to improve they must find a way to make a whole season based on a few villains and not bringing in new ones every episode to send them back at the end. I hope that at some point they don’t make Star Labs get attacked and all villains get released again that would be an awful way of continuing the story.
In reality The Flash has little development to the plot in the first half of the season. Just like in season 1 the whole story began to become interesting from episode 14 or 15 after the return in January this season seems to be heading towards the same direction.
The worst part about The Flash is that he never was only hurt once this time and by Zoom which lasted for one episode only and the series still wasn’t peaking one’s interest as everyone knows he will be back. Comparing it to Arrow this series really needs a good story.
What are the buzz-kills in these two series?
Starting with Arrow, the whole reviving system is making the series kind of sucky as it seems like we are watching The Vampire Diaries now where anyone can come and go back. Furthermore Sarah and Palmer came back for the new spin-off and they were used for just one episode like you don’t bring back a previous main character and send him away in that episode and never mention him again. In addition Damien Dark is just extreme now with his super powers, it is really going to be difficult to make a great ending as in the way they kill him because of the problem is very hard the solution is complex as well and if they make the kill of Damien a simple one the whole season will go to waste. Moreover Felicity being shot was just too fake, think about it the driver was hit many times by the bullet but somehow Oliver managed to not get hit once and still drive the car and he who was jumping to the front doesn’t get hit by the bullet but Felicity who was lying on the back seat gets hit. That was a very unrealistic way of killing a main character. At the same time the whole screeching of Laurel is really irritating, how she manages to just shout all the time and others start to feel the pain but if you remember the episode when Felicity was in jail the other prisoners shouted due to pain but she just covered her ears how is that even possible. Finally the worst thing in Arrow is how Oliver never wears a mask but noone recognizes him even in the broadcast he made which clearly showed his face. Oh and before I forget Diggles who never wore a mask never got known as vigilante or arrow’s friend and now that he is covering his face he is using a motor-bike helmet like seriously? And he too never gets hit by a bullet…
Moving forward to The Flash, the time-jumping thing Barry does makes it too unrealistic it’s like nothing bad can ever happen as he will just jump back in time. In addition the whole Barry and Iris thing got too old and at least now they introduced Patty who seems to be cool. Furthermore the episode where Patty managed to get this thing on to Barry and make him not be able to run as she wanted to kill her father’s killer was a stupid move by the writers, if the enemies of Barry who have weapons way better than this gun can’t stop him how did this gun do and since there is a gun that can stop him then the whole villain group should have gotten it like come on it doesn’t make any sense. At the same time bringing in one episode villains makes it seem like they have no clue about the plot. Yes Zoom is sending them but you don’t do that for the some 5 episodes. Moreover the problem-solving plot is the worst kill of the show, in short Barry faces a villain, villain wins then he goes to the lab comes back and beats him. That is the way every episode works. Finally the whole Earth 2 thing made things very complicated it’s like they had no more stories for earth that they had to add another Earth to bring in villains to add more to the story.
Talking about cross-overs. Usually in The Flash’s episode they loose and in Arrow’s episode they win. In addition the last cross-over had no link to the plot and it was just like the whole Sarah and Palmer thing where they introduced a new character for another show for an episode. But at least they were able to add some twist when Malcolm took the ashes. But cross-overs are the best!
What are the risks that both shows took?
Arrow made a risky move by making Damien Dark this huge super-power villain, unlike Slade who had an injection that made him powerful this guy is just powerful and can control things without touching. At the same time they have been trying to kill him and attack him for the half of the season, this means that the man is very powerful. Powerful people need to have shocking deaths, and if Oliver beats him in a one on one duel it will be boring as he never was able to do it. Another risky move Arrow took is taking Diggle’s brother’s story. So far he has been silent but he has been playing a major role in this season. It is smart how they manage to play it for 3 seasons and finally enter it into the plot in this season as he was found. So far he has been quiet and after spending 3 seasons after him seeing nothing come from him could be disastrous as he is supposed to be a second important part of the present day story-line rather than just a piece that helps further the plot a little.
The Flash has its own fair share, starting with introducing a new girl for Barry even though Iris is single now. In every superhero series the superhero gets his girl and so far he hasn’t. Now for fans that love to do a lot of shipping this surely isn’t what they expected. Moreover introducing another Earth where you can find the same people and more villains. This is risky in the sense that they can end up killing the plot if they begin to introduce another Iris for Barry or maybe bring Reverse Flash back from there. But in general the whole Earth 2 picture gives 2 ideas. It’s either the show has run out of ideas for a new villain from one place they had to introduce another Earth to bring villains or that they are super smart that they will somehow at the end integrate the whole story in this epic way and they have the capability to do that.
What are the awesome stuff in the series?
In Arrow, the way the writers make the heroes defeat the villain is special, the manner they plan and it isn’t a repetition but rather mind-blowing events one after the other. At the same time they aren’t afraid to kill main characters take Tommy, Moira or even Felicity, this gives it the Game of Thrones excitement but thankfully we know that the main heroes will never leave although Sarah was a shock. Moreover the small details they add which later explodes into the main story is amazing like the way Damien finished Thea’s blood lust I suspect it will lead to an epic discovery, the ashes Malcolm took etc. Furthermore the hero isn’t always going to be the winner makes you not know the ending of the episode. At the same time every episode isn’t about a villain but rather addition to the story like they captured the brother then they tried to get information from him instead and he didn’t give any but then it goes on to them getting captured etc. There is continuity rather than a break in every episode. Lastly the flashback system makes it epic, it’s like you are watching a whole new story and it has its fair share of excitement as you want to know what happened to him in the 5 years he went missing.
The Flash has this family and brotherhood style which makes it nice to watch. At the same time the villains are not the normal everyday ones but rather speedsters as only apparently speedsters can beat speedsters. Moreover The Flash has several funny moments and awkward moments like the family reunion of Joe that was very awkward. Furthermore when the plot becomes juicy it remains juicy (after mid-season) you may want to just want a week to pass by quickly because you will be super excited to know what happens next. Moreover The Flash has betrayals and trust issues which makes you not know what happens next like the whole Dr. Wells situation. At the same time they have some kind of plot left out for his father as in he leaves him after spending the whole season trying to prove his innocence it is safe to say something will happen soon.
I will leave you to this:
The Flash returns on 19 January & Arrow returns on 20 January.