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Why you should give the Arrowverse a chance (all 300+ episodes)

You know all those super hot television shows that everyone was watching in 2017?

Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, Riverdale, Orange is the New Black, Broadchurch, The Crown, GLOW, The Good Place, Dear White People, Silicon Valley, Mindhunter, The Handmaid's Tale, Twin Peaks....

...I've not see any of them*.

Because, since May, I've been knee-deep in the Arrowverse with the goal of completing all 300+ episodes by the time 2017 was out (which I managed). For anyone unfamiliar with the Arrowverse, it's a fictional universe comprised of the DC superhero shoes Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. So there's a lot of episodes, characters, and story lines to get your head around. It's the biggest tv-binge I've ever completed and I thankfully enjoyed it when I reached the end of the most recent episode. I regret nothing.

Here's why you should give it a try too, even if it will take you the best part of a year to complete.

Lesser known comic heroes take the stage

I was originally inspired to start watching Arrow when I found out that Black Canary - one of my favourites - would be brought to life. While Black Canary isn't that unknown to comic fans, she's not exactly going to be popping up in the DC Cinematic Universe anytime soon, is she?

Other lesser-known characters that have been brought to life in the Arrowverse include Livewire, Captain Cold, Lena Luthor, Atom/Ray Palmer, Deathstroke, Damien Darhk, Vandal Savage, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Hawkboy, Kid Flash, Heatwave, Killer Frost, Vibe, Nyssa Al Ghul, Constantine, Firestorm, and Martian Manhunter all make an appearance.

You'll spot Easter eggs that reference the big-name superheroes
The Flash’s Welcome to Earth-2

The film studios have been protective about some of DC's big-gun superheroes so we're not going to see Batman or Wonder Woman in the Arroverse. But keep your eyes peeled and you'll catch the references. The most obvious was the back of Harley Quinn's head, but keep your ear's open for a conversation about Oracle and eyes wide for billboards with Ferris Air plastered across them.

A racially diverse cast

While the main characters - Supergirl, Arrow, and Flash - are all white (and that's not a good thing, main characters should be diverse too!), the wider cast is one of the most diverse I've seen. And they don't shy away from commentating on race either.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow is the most prominent example. Several members of the team are non-white, and when they go back in time to periods when racial tensions were far higher than they are now, it's not brushed under the carpet. One African American member of the team was so distraught by the treatment of the slaves that he frees them knowing it will blow up their current mission. And when they travel back to the 1950s, an older white male member of the team was reminiscing at what good a decade it was - only to be shut down by two members of the team who weren't white or straight.

And sorry racists, they changed Iris West's race for the show.

Women in STEM

Women are very rarely portrayed as scientific or tech geniuses in pop culture - not in the Arrowverse though. There's Felicity Smoak aka Overwatch: a hacker extraordinaire who is the eyes and ears at home base when Team Arrow run out on their nightly missions.

And there's Caitlin Snow. She's honestly a bit over-the-top and is some doctor/bio-engineer/chemist/hacker wonder women. But this is fiction and she's brilliant.

And LGBT+ characters

While it is frustrating that the writers haven't made Sara Lance utter the word bisexual, polysexual or pansexual - they don't use the word heterosexual or straight either. She consistently has relationships and casual flings with both men and women as the show progresses and her sexuality isn't treated as confusion or a stepping stone. But the word would still be nice....

Then over on Supergirl, we have a later-in-life coming out story. I won't say what character is it, but just that it is handled well.

A couple break up over wanting children/not wanting children

(I wasn't going to choose a gif that involved the couple due to spoilers, so here's one with Kara Danvers and Supergirl looking sheepish). 

It's still rare in pop culture to see characters actively choosing not to have children. So it's no wonder that so many regular real-life people don't understand that some people make the choice not to have them.

It's refreshing to see a fictional couple realise that it doesn't matter how long you're with someone or how compatible you are otherwise - a partnership where someone wants children and someone doesn't can't have a long-term future. It makes this child-free lady fist pump.

(Monica and Richard Burke from Friends, and then Robyn from How I Met Your Mother are the only two examples I can think of).

The acting

While there are a few bad eggs here and there, the acting is second to none. Whether it's Tom Cavanagh playing multiple versions of Harrison Wells from different earths, or Grant Gustin playing a future version of The Flash, these actors know how to immerse themselves into a role. 

You'll end up with a new fictional crush

It's Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen aka Arrow) everyone seems to be crushing over with his chiselled jawline and six-pack. But I've developed a little (okay, big) crush on Grant Gustin (Barry Allen aka Flash) because cute nerds with choppy hair cuts who wear Converse will always be my type. Plus, a male friend of mine totally has it for Felicity Smoak.

It's gives us DC fans something to watch

That's Thea Queen - ain't she cute? 

I'm a DC girl through and through. However, even I know that the DC Cinematic Universe leaves a lot to be desired. All we have right now are the TV shows (and the animated series, which I've not seen, but heard amazing things about) until the film executives sort themselves out.


Let me know if you'v watched the Arrowverse. What was your favourite bit?

* I did make an exception for 13 Reasons Why and Game of Thrones most recent season.

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