So here’s what happened.
I started watching Arrow the first season and liked it, but it wasn’t appointment TV. Then a bit player connected with the lead and I started deconstructing it to see how that happened, and then I got hooked. Wonderful show, terrific cast, I’m a fan. And then everything shifted, and the hero changed, and there were all these people crowding up the Arrow cave, and I got bitchy about it, and then the next week, the story repeated things I already knew and I got bitchier, which helps nobody. Then this week I found myself disliking the lead character and his whiny super-girl-friend so much that I quit before the episode was over. I don’t think I’ve ever had this experience with a TV show before. I’ve gotten bored with shows over time, but I’ve never had one go from can’t-wait-for-the-next-episode to can’t-stand-to-finish-this-episode in a month.
So I have come to the decision that I’m not doing anybody any favors by talking about Arrow. The world is full of TV shows for me to watch that I really enjoy (The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Leverage). Clearly it’s time I stopped talking about this show and stick with stories that work for me.
So here’s what worked for me on Arrow:
1. Oliver Queen fighting crime, being a flawed but smart, good guy who doesn’t think he’s superior to anybody even though, hey, superhero.
2. Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity figuring out how to fight whatever is attacking the city, standing by each other through everything, a team founded in hard-earned trust.
3. Moira Queen, doing anything. Moira can do her nails for all I care; that woman and a sharp object will always make great story, especially if the sharp object is her tongue.
4. Great antagonists in full assault. Slade, the Clock King, China White, the Count, Merlyn, this story universe is full of good bad guys.
But the first two are gone, changed so much that what originally drew me to the show has been destroyed, and the last two aren’t enough to make up for the loss. In the words of Emma Stone, “It’s not you, it’s me; I don’t like you any more.” I really do wish you the best of luck in the future, Arrow. We had some really good times. Good-bye.
So how about you, Argh People? Have you ever fallen out of love with a show or a novel you were invested in? What happened? Or to put it another way, how do writers piss off readers/viewers so much they never come back?