Wednesday TV: #Arrow + tangent

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I’m surprised by how much I like Arrow, a story of a masked vigilante trying to fight injustice in his hometown.  But I’m going to be honest, a huge part of my enjoyment comes from the shirtless Stephen Amell working out in every single episode.  Although, the reason why they show his character’s fitness regimen is to try and make the idea that one can turn themselves into a superhero/vigilante more plausible.  Funny thing: this is not the part I find most unbelievable.  My issue is that I simply cannot get over that the story takes place in a made-up city.  It may sound ridiculous, but this has been a cause of concern for me since I first saw Batman, Forever in 1995.  As a child, I considered myself somewhat of a geography connoisseur (I studied my US Capitals place-mat daily) and I remember asking my mom where Gotham City was located.  When she told me it wasn’t a really place, I was aghast.  Not only was this movie asking me to believe in a masked superhero with a fear of bats, it was asking me to believe that this was taking place in an American City in an unnamed state.  Obviously asking way too much of me, my imagination couldn’t grasp this concept.  And it’s been that way ever since.
But back to Arrow: the characters live in the fictional Starling City, a place overrun by crime (remind you of Gotham? It should).  But for the show’s establishing shots, they take turns using an aerial view of Liberty Place (as Queen’s Headquarters) and the NYC Skyline for the bulk of Starling City.  Each time I see those shots, I’m taken out of the lovely TV-induced haze I sit in and am reminded that this is fiction.  I think the greatest part of watching TV is the escape (and ‘shipping couples, please see my post below) – when a show doesn’t allow for that (or when my mind doesn’t allow for that),  I will never enjoy my experience quite as much as I could.  But, despite the show’s locale and my weird aversion to it, I’m enjoying the episodes as each dives further into the mythology of how “Arrow” came to be.  I’m also impressed thus far with the show’s use of flashbacks (which Lost perfected so I judge other shows harshly) and the B storyline of Oliver’s best friend, Tommy, who I can only assume will eventually become Arrow’s greatest enemy (in the spirit of Spiderman, of course).

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