Arrow

by Jinryu

I’ve been meaning to start watching Breaking Bad because of all the recommendations I’ve been getting.  I will get to that next.

RIght now, I’m running through every episode of Arrow that has ever been made.

I grew up reading comic books– in particular, Batman comics.  I see so many similar ideas between Arrow and Batman comics; I don’t necessarily feel that’s a bad thing or a good thing though. It is what it is– there’s always going to be superhero tropes that every comic goes through.

I don’t know enough about Green Arrow comics to know how canonical Arrow as a television show is, but I know a thing or two about Justice League and Birds of Prey comics, so generally, the DC universe in which all these characters exist.

Arrow is a lot of fun, I think.  It reminds me a lot of Smallville (the first 4 or 5 seasons, before it became unwatchable to me).

But there’s one thing that annoys the shit out of me.  Or rather, one person: Laurel.

Laurel is essentailly the Arrow version of Smallville’s Lana.  It is essentially a terribly written character who is supposed to be the main character’s ambiguous love interest.  It doesn’t really matter whether I speak of Laurel or Lana, because they’re both absolutely useless women who annoy the shit out of me.  I’ll just merge both characters into [LL] because they essentially are identical.

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LL is everything in a woman that  a guy in his right mind would simply steer clear of because she’s way too high maintenance.  She’s fiercely independent, but all that is an illusion because she actually has zero control over her own life.  She’s prone to making snap judgements based on outrage and anger.  She is incapable of patience, and extremely prone to hipocrisy.  You can never really trust anything she says, because, frankly, she has no idea what she’s saying due to an intense aversion to introspection.

The only purpose of LL is to make the protagonist’s life hell through sheer inconsistency.

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I’m not sure who writes for Smallville or Arrow, but it’s a terrible character design which enforces my general view that the comic book industry needs more female writers.  THis is, of course, assuming that female writers will be less prone to writing mysogonist bullshit to stroke the egos of mostly male viewers who think they identify with a protagonist who has knight-in-shinning-armour syndrome.  The essential function of LL is to be so broken an chaotic that, you can rescue her a billion times– you will never save her because she’s fucking crazy.  Ah, but you see– that’s the whole point!  Save her once, save her twice, save her three times– this is the ideal superhero (as opposed to the ideal superheroine):  He’s the selfless man who keeps on saving those in need, no matter how great that need is, and no matter how much personal sacrifice.

While it is certainly fun to fight evil and stuff, and I love comics for all their absurdity, I’d like some female characters who are actually interesting for a change.  Female characters who don’t just go batshit insane just so that we can have another episode of saving or fighting or making up or rejecting the protagonist.  A female character, especially the “love interest” of the protagonist, should never be just a randomisable accessory.

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If you want an interesting female character, check out Claire Danes’ character Carrie Matheson in Homeland seasons 1 and 2.

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