11:15 am EST, June 22, 2018

Why won’t ‘Arrow’ focus on and develop existing characters?

By Jay Ruymann | Edited by Karen Rought

It seems as though Arrow is quite lost in the midst of their many characters, and even more have been promised for season 7. Why are the writers always pushing out older characters for new ones?

It’s a shame what has happened to Arrow in seasons 5 and 6. Instead of focusing on the dynamics and developments of Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Thea, Quentin, and even Laurel now (RIP Earth-1 Black Canary), a slew of new characters have been created and introduced, and, honestly, they’re not necessary.

Dinah, Rene, and Curtis, while all characters that would probably do well on their own shows or a show more properly suited for them, are exceedingly underdeveloped and seem to just be placeholders for a team once loved on Arrow.

Not only that, but the slim focus on these characters takes away from time that could have been used on existing characters that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Instead, every character suffers and no one is developed.

For example, Oliver, the main character, took a seat for much of Arrow season 6 as he wasn’t even allowed his superhero mantle. Diggle took over as the Green Arrow briefly, and while it did allow Diggle a brief chance to shine, it came at the cost of the main character becoming a supporting character in his own life.


What made the show so successful was the characters first introduced in the early seasons, and no amount of new characters can ever make up or take the place of those chosen few. The show still feels the loss of Tommy Merlyn, and he died in season 1, so it’s unrealistic to believe the show can continue to go on with how the current balance is.

Dinah, Rene, and Curtis can all be downgraded to recurring characters because they don’t really add much to the show other than a sense of team betrayal, as we saw when “New Team Arrow” turned their backs on Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle.

And, with the return of Roy Harper and the *spoiler* casting of a “new Speedy” for Arrow season 7, there’s two more characters the show doesn’t have time for.

The writers are bulking up their selection of heroes, but they’re failing at properly building up these characters to make their hero’s journeys believable. Also, are they just tired of writing for Oliver and co.?

The decision to kill off Earth-1 Laurel Lance was because there were “no more stories for her,” and it’s questionable whether that’s how the writers feel about all of the main characters at this point. If it were an option, maybe they’d even kill of Oliver Queen.

There are plenty of stories to write with Oliver, Diggle, Laurel, and Felicity, and even Roy Harper now, but the rest of “Team Arrow” is pretty replaceable and they don’t add anything to the story that past characters haven’t already.

I’d love to see an Arrow that goes back to basics, or as close as possible considering the show has been on air for more than half a decade. With the team we had in season 3 (kind of, since Laurel is actually Black Siren now), the show could greatly succeed, and new characters aren’t necessary to freshen the show.


Sure, once in a while new characters can create interesting dynamics and build onto a show, but Arrow has proven it isn’t capable of that with anyone except the villains, and even that doesn’t always work.

Arrow is best when they’re creating stories focused on the main characters and their development, and Roy Harper’s return is really a chance to get back to that. Roy and Oliver made a great team in the field once upon a time, and considering they’re so far along in their lives now, it’s going to be interesting to see how Roy fits back in.

Plus, Thea is gone, so Roy is potentially on a completely new path now. We don’t need another Speedy.

Fans just need for the writers to develop characters in a way that they all grow, rather than attempting to develop one and taking eight steps backward.

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