Two Seasons of Arrow, Seven Women for Oliver Queen

If you haven’t seen the first two seasons of Arrow, this post will have some *SPOILERS* (come to think of it, the title is kind of a spoiler already—oh well).

After some Arrow bingeing on Netflix, I discussed the cast of characters with my friend who thought the show forcibly added attractive women into the cast and didn’t know what to do with them (story-wise). In that friend’s opinion, a lot of the female characters are underdeveloped.

This prompted me to list the main and recurring characters to see how many characters were of either sex. With just the characters off the top of my head, I found there were more male characters than female: seventeen men, and thirteen women. What I found most interesting was that of the thirteen female characters on my list, Oliver Queen—the show’s protagonist—sleeps with six of them and is romantically interested in a seventh.

1. Dinah Laurel Lance, Esq.: Oliver dated her prior to the start of the show and they have some relapses during Season 1 (poor Tommy).

2. Dinah Sara Lance/Canary: Oliver cheats on Laurel with her sister in flashbacks, and when Sara returns on the island, and as the Canary, there’s a bit of something going on there.

3. Felicity Smoak: It’s been demonstrated that they at least have crushes on one another—Felicity lets it slip that she imagined Oliver holding her, and that she likes watching him do that pull-up-cross-fit-y exercise (looked it up—it’s called the Salmon Ladder), and she’s also jealous when Oliver’s with other women; and Oliver is super jealous of Barry Allen when Felicity is all smitten with the Flash-to-be.

Caity Lotz as Sara Lance aka Black Canary - Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance - Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

Canary, Laurel Lance, and Felicity Smoak

4. Helena Bertenelli/The Huntress: Arrow sleeps with his fellow masked vigilante.

5. Detective McKenna Hall: A female detective showed up, so he had to date her.

6. Shado: Oliver’s island-flashback relationship in Season 2. Why have Oliver be taught archery by a man when you can kill that man off and let Oliver roll in the sand with his daughter?

7. Isabel Rochev: Yay, Summar Glau’s here—oh, well, couldn’t stop Oliver from getting all up on her for too long.

The Huntress, Detective Hall, Shado, and Isabel Rochev

The Huntress, Detective Hall, Shado, and Isabel Rochev

To be fair, the character of Oliver Queen is a billionaire playboy in the comics, so Arrow giving the guy so many romantic interests stays true to the source material (and, I suppose in real life, lots of people date seven or more people within two years).

Notably, John Diggle also has two romantic interests on the show: his brother’s widow, and his own ex-wife, both of whom aren’t very developed as characters. When I tried to come up with a list of shallow male characters who exist primarily as love interests for a main female character, I couldn’t come up with anything (Roy Harper, Robert Queen, and Walter Steele are considerably significant characters).

Overall, though, you can’t say that Arrow capitalizes on women’s looks alone:

Pointlessly Shirtless Men of Arrow: Slade Wilson, Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Roy Harper

Pointlessly Shirtless Men of Arrow: Slade Wilson, Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Roy Harper.

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Major Influences #4: The WB (The CW)

The WB - Roswell - Smallville - Buffy - Angel - EverwoodThe CW (formerly The WB and UPN) is a force to be reckoned in the world of teen drama. I watched a good number of their shows, back when I was a more appropriate age to be watching teen dramas, and they’ve definitely left a lasting impact.

Vampires before they sparkled

Angel and Buffy

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Angel (David Boreanaz)

Attractive young adults in a show about vampires? No frickin’ way.

Before The Vampire Diaries TV series, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I started out somewhat interested in Buffy, but I didn’t get sucked into Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse until the Angel spin-off. I watched both shows religiously even after Buffy was booted from The WB lineup to second string on UPN.

Though I watched all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, I’ll always remember Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof as Willow and Wesley (before Lily and Sandy Rivers). At E3 (don’t ask me how I got in), I once awkwardly shook Eliza Dushku’s hand: the most interaction I’ve had with a Hollywood celebrity in all my years living in and around Los Angeles (unless you count walking past Ashton Kutcher a few times on the way to and from the restroom on the set of Jobs).

Beside the paranormal setting, what I love about these two shows is the sometimes-ridiculous character banter, and how no character gets to be cool 100% of the time. When a character’s cool-meter gets close to being full, the writers have something comical happen to him or her (I’ve noticed people other than Whedon doing this, a recent example being Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy—the humor in Guardians reminded me so much of Whedon I had to double check to see that he wasn’t involved).

So, if the characters in my novels have borderline-annoying back-and-forth conversations, and something embarrassing happens to my protagonist when he or she is trying to be cool, you probably have Joss Whedon to blame. Luckily, I didn’t watch Firefly until after I finished several drafts of my novel. Otherwise, it might have been too Whedoned-out. Continue reading