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  1. #16
    Site Groupie President_Luthor's Avatar
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    TWD is in a way looking into the future.

    A case can be made that TWD roster is indeed too bloated and inevitably some characters get thrown under the bus because they just don't have the airtime to give them. Was Hershel axed too soon? Did Beth stick around too long? etc. It's easier for them to drop characters that have run out of steam - they just feed them to walkers or serve them up to the bad guys. That TWD is trying to balance in S7, what is it, three or four new self-contained communities and inhabitants is in many ways similar to what Berlanti and Co. probably believed, on paper, they were doing with the DCTV universe. On this, TWD scores ahead of them (a truly shared Berlantiverse is more a theory than fact, with the crossovers being a bit of annual myth-making that it is "shared"), but at the same time the weight of bearing all those characters is starting to show on TWD too after seven years.

    It becomes a dilemma and a matter of taste. Is Diggle, or Quentin, Thea etc.'s value simply in being a familiar face and confidant to Oliver or others, or can they contribute more to the story than that? There is no correct answer, there is probably truth in their mattering to Oliver on an emotional level and in advancing his journey. But in terms of being "indispensible", I don't think I've felt that away about any of them for at least this season as they've all been largely spinning their wheels as characters.

    If we set aside Felicity's obvious talisman as the Primary Love Interest, then the Helix subplot is something that she can own herself ... because without it she basically has squat. Same with Quentin maybe taking on the mayoral chair if Oliver is drummed out. He'd have squat without that possibility. Unless they have some last minute plans for Diggle and Thea, neither of them have anything like that on-deck. Their characters are essentially running on fumes. It's possible the last eps may hurl them character lifesaving buoys, we can only hope.

    It truly is a conundrum because they still have value to Oliver (as a character and to the story), but after five years my impression is that this value has diminished of late. If the show deems them as critical, I would think this season was the time to double down on them and I'm not convinced what they've done with them in S5 so far amounts to that. If Quentin doesn't become mayor and carries on Oliver's civic legacy in that way ... what more is there for him to do?

    After five years, I want and expect more than the same and the comfort I get from seeing them doing the familiar/repetitive stuff is now outweighed by the show's real need to reinvigorate itself next season -- a rare blank slate opportunity in S6, free from the 5-year arc stuff and flashbacks to either set a bold course for the show or just do the same old and peter out with lukewarm material in a season or perhaps two.

    I wouldn't have a problem if one or even all the supporting vets became relegated to the lower division aka recurring star or Special Guest Star, if it served the story better. It means they still contribute but it doesn't constrain the show by keeping them upfront based on seniority alone, when perhaps their character's best before date is closing in fast.

    Realistically I don't think or want Arrow to go as long as SV -- as longevity doesn't always equal quality. If they only have about a season or two left of ideas, then they should go full throttle with those and give the show a decent wrap up. This would be an opportune time for even a change of showrunners to chart a new course (like S8-10 on SV), but I'm thinking that's not going to happen.

    If we see an exodus or 'special guest-starring' of older characters during or after S6 simply because the actors want to move on, then this would be a sign of Arrow entering some final lap. I don't know if WH cutting back on her Arrow time is an early harbinger of this, but it would be something to be mindful of.

    I think Flash is about a season or two away from coming to a similar series 'road to Damascus' moment.

  2. #17
    Forum Whiz Amarice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by President_Luthor View Post
    If there's throwing under the bus, it's Susan's and definitely Billy's characterizations. Billy may as well have been a chair or table from the prop department. Burned by Prometheus, skewered by Oliver, humiliated by the premature I Love You -- the show threw Billy under the bus.
    And it's a very true and a very sad observation.

    About the importance of the characters or so-called "core" - as I've said before in other topic(s) - the only character crucial for Oliver Queen's journey is Oliver Queen himself. Family, childhood friends, his "teachers", friends made after his return, acquaintances, supporters, allies - they can come and go, and support his journey at various stages. If they would be gone, Oliver would have to go on - because the life would go on. Those character can have their own sidestories, why not. But it should never lead to a situation when the titular hero is a guest star in his own show (The Curious Case of Season 4).

    When they've no more stories for a character I would prefer the writers to leave him/her at peace. As much as I love Quentin - his journey seems to be complete, and his relationship with Oliver is the exact opposite to the one they had in season 1. What they can do with him? He's run out of daughters they've could kill. Of course they can always organically introduce a plot with Dinah Drake being his illegitimate daughter (Quentin was a very faithful man, but shortly after Laurel's birth he had that moment of weakness and one-night stand and then *organic plottwist*).

    Another problem "Arrow" has is the lack of consistency in creating the characters and leading them from point A to point B in logical, believable way. Minor characters, like Amanda Waller or Walter, or generally those who lasted only one, two seasons tops (I think about Tommy and Moira) showed consistency. But Oliver? Thea? Felicity? Dig? Quentin? They've been making 180 turn almost every season. At most of those changes were off-screen because that's the organic writing [tm] - you don't show the viewers a proper transition.

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