When Is ‘Arrow’ Finally Going to Get the Credit It Deserves?

When you stop and take a look around at all of the glorious comic book shows that fill our televisions every week it’s hard to believe there was a time four years ago when there was just one superhero show on the air. The show that is responsible for all of this. Arrow.

While Green Arrow has never been a superhero synonymous with the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash, he quickly rocketed to popularity when The CW debuted its adaptation of the Emerald Archer with Arrow starring real-life superhero Stephen Amell.

While it took some time for Arrow to find its groove – when they established the heart of the show with the Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity dynamic – it quickly evolved into one of television’s best shows regardless of its home on the often overlooked and dismissed CW. Arrow was able to bring a groundedness to the superhero genre that had not been seen before and was equally entertaining and action packed as it was full of heart. It was drawing the eyes of critics everywhere and receiving praise abound.

And from Arrow came the show’s first spinoff, The Flash in 2014, which quickly rocketed to success with the well-known hero that first made his debut on Arrow. Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow followed this year along with other comic book adaptations ranging from DC Comics to Marvel. We live in the dawn of the superhero/comic book television age, but sometimes people seem to forget that Arrow was the show that started it all. Namely The CW’s PR department and the show’s producers.

Since 2014, when The Flash was incorporated into the universe, we’ve seen Arrow used as a jump-off point for other superhero shows. We’ve seen characters used to prop up other characters that would soon go off to these other shows. And all the while there’s never proper acknowledgement or repayment of services rendered to Arrow.

Most recently it was announced on Wednesday that a much hyped about crossover would be taking place on Supergirl in March. Considering a Supergirl crossover with both Arrow and The Flash was discussed even before Supergirl‘s premiere, it sounded like it might happen. But no it wasn’t Arrow, the show that ultimately made Supergirl possible, but The Flash, which continues to get most of the attention of the network and producers. We get it, The Flash is a more prominent superhero, a lighter show and is the network’s No. 1-rated show, but why does it feel like Arrow is always getting the shaft? Oh, that’s because it is.

The Flash gets all of the hype – the promotion, the focus – while Arrow quietly continues to slay it on television relying on the show’s passionate fandom to do the network’s job and promote it. In fact, Arrow has far been the better of the two shows this season story wise and ratings wise (as it has seen an overall rise in ratings this season in comparison to The Flash), which just goes to show that Arrow doesn’t necessarily need the promotion to be successful. But it would be nice if the network gave the show the credit that it so clearly deserves but doesn’t receive enough of.

But where the network fails to promote Arrow the show’s fans have rallied to create their own buzz that is truly inspiring. The fans promote the show every week, through the season and during hiatus, keeping the discussion going even when the show is off the air. They have generated buzz for the show and teamed up together to win the show major awards, including MTV’s Ship of the Year.

So why won’t the network give Arrow the credit it deserves? Sometimes it feels like they’ve forgotten all about Arrow. And it’s been something that has been going on for a while, but after watching The Flash and Supergirl take center stage with this crossover announcement, it made me angry enough to feel the need to write this.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love The Flash and Supergirl and all of the other comic book shows out there. But when your favorite show – the show that made all of these other shows possible – is constantly being ignored — not by the press — but by those involved with the show it’s beyond frustrating as a fan. It’s especially frustrating this season as Arrow is having one of its best seasons yet.

And something that is less noticeable is when Arrow is brought up on The Flash sometimes it’s in a demeaning manner, as if The Flash producers – you know the same ones who produce Arrow – are the ones taking shot at the hero and the show that made The Flash possible. I understand that Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg always dreamed about making The Flash, but can we at least refrain from trashing Arrow in the process? It goes back to the argument that Barry Allen is a better hero than Oliver Queen, which is completely ridiculous. Just because he’s more lighthearted? That’d be like saying Jimmy Clausen is a better quarterback than Jay Cutler because he smiles more than Cutler does. It makes no sense. To make that judgment you need stats to back up your claim. Same applies with Oliver & Barry and Arrow & The Flash. It’s not about appearance it’s about results.

So I find myself sitting here wondering when Arrow will finally get the credit it deserves? But more than that I’m wondering if it will get that credit. Because despite the fandom outcry for more promotion of Arrow, The CW doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. And that’s incredibly frustrating as a fan that continues to promote the hell out of this show. The fans respect it, the actors respect it, so why won’t the network?

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  1. I almost wish Arrow was airing on the USA network. Every show and I do mean EVERY show got promotion and love from that network. When the networks’ oldest show Psych was in it’s EIGTH and last season they were still getting promotion and love and after the series finale the network even gave a cast and crew after show, before that the whole week was dedicated to the finale including fan contests hosted by the network, social media campaigns, promos etc. This makes me wonder what will Arrow get in their final season and more importantly when the series finale comes around?

    1. I agree with everything you said! The CW’s PR for Arrow is a joke.

      1. It really is. They just need new PR people

  2. Really nice and truthful article. I’ve been apart of that out cry of wanting more promotion for the show that so many care about. I follow more of the actors on Arrow than I do any of the other DC shows. Every list that Arrow is apart of I vote, every article that is written I read and comment. The Arrow fandom is strong in many ways and will always continue to voice their opinion about what they like, don’t like, need and want. It’s true most of the time we fans feel as if justice in the PR side is not serviced, so we take it upon ourselves to show the powers that be who we are and what we want. While other networks and show force their # on you, Arrow & the CW does not and I can appreciate that. Don’t tell fans what they want, allow them to show you.

    Sorry this went long.

  3. Arrow fans, let’s just stop watching other superheroe shows for one or two weeks… let’s them see the power of Arrow in DC universe!

    1. I wouldn’t want to hurt the other shows, b/c I like them as well, but I totally agree with your sentiment! Enough is enough. Maybe we need to get their attention. It’s an insult to the show, the fans, and even more insulting to Stephen Amell. On top of being an awesome human being, that guy works his ass off to promote his show. The PR department could throw Arrow, the flagship, a bone from time to time.

  4. This is everything I’ve been thinking for a while now. You know, it would be one thing if they just didn’t promote Arrow as heavily as The Flash, I get that The Flash is the more well known hero and draws more of a crowd from the name alone, but that The Flash openly takes shots at Arrow and Oliver Queen week after week pisses me off. I love Barry Allen and The Flash is decent, but as far as story and characters go, Arrow is by far the more engaging show. The Flash dissing Oliver, a hero who has grown tremendously since the show began, every chance it gets honestly does nothing to endear me to it or its characters. Especially since The Flash no longer has the moral high ground it did in its first season, because Barry has killed at least a couple meta humans, something that The Flash never even bothered to take a deeper look at, unlike Arrow that’s all about what killing means to being a hero.

    This is a sensitive topic for me, apparently. Lol.


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