I’ll be honest here, I was totally flabbergasted when I read one of the Arrow groups that I joined on Facebook that the show’s executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle were stepping down. I almost didn’t believe it at first and I spent a good five minutes staring at the Entertainment Weekly article that confirmed Beth Schwartz is going to be the new showrunner in shock.
Like many other Arrow fans, I’ve been unhappy with the direction the show has been going since the third or fourth season. Between the constant focus on the romantic drama, the recycled plotlines, and the execution off of such an iconic character like Dinah Laurel Lance, I often wished that I could meet the two showrunners and ask them what the heck they were thinking. I mean, ratings were nose-diving and there were always a tons of complaints on social media about how bad Arrow has become.
Personally, I’m glad that the two former showrunners are stepping down and the CW brought in some fresh blood — which I’ll elaborate more on in the list underneath. I wish they had done it a few seasons earlier, but hey, better late than never, right? With any luck, this is the kind of shake-up Arrow needs to restore its former glory.
16 Stop Disrespecting Dinah Laurel Lance 2K18
It's clear from how former showrunners (Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle) treated the character of Dinah Laurel Lance that they didn’t know how (or care) to respect her comic book history and legacy. I mean really — kicking off THE iconic Black Canary and never allowing her to shine with her metahuman Canary Cry will never fail to baffle me. WHO THE HECK DOES THAT? It would be like the DCEU kicking off Superman and giving his mantle some random dude that Batman picked up off of the street — it’s just not a good idea and it SERIOUSLY ticked off the fans.
Heck, the Black Canary fans were SO ANGRY that Laurel was so cavalierly kicked off that they created the Twitter hashtag #NoLaurelNoArrow. In a video that a Tumblr fan called @Primal-Slayer posted from the 2018 Dutch Comic-Con, Katie Cassidy admitted that the entire reason why Black Siren was brought back to Arrow was due to the overwhelming backlash from the viewers that were OUTRAGED that Guggenheim and Mericle had the nerve to off such an iconic and important character.
Now that Arrow’s got some fresh blood, perhaps the new showrunner will actually respect the REAL Black Canary and her legacy. Katie Cassidy worked hard for the role and after getting the short end of the stuck by Guggenheim and Mericle, she deserves the chance to shine as a comics-accurate Dinah Laurel Lance/Black Canary.
15 Let Olicity Sink Like The RMS Titanic
Part of the reason why Arrow’s ratings have sunk faster than the Titanic is due to the “Olicity” (Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak) romantic relationship. Sure, there is a group of VERY vocal fans that seem to the adore the ‘ship, but all of the lovey-dovey drama has put a bad taste in the non-Oliciters mouths.
You can’t blame the other fans for hating Olicity — Arrow is supposed to be about a superhero and his team that fights crimes committed by nefarious villains, not some stupid teen romance with pointless drama. If I REALLY wanted to watch a drama fest, I could’ve binge-watched The Vampire Diaries or The Young and the Restless. I know that other Arrow fans feel the same way, too; in some of the Facebook groups I read, there are several that express their frustration with the constant focus about the romance between Oliver and Felicity. It’s cute and all, but only in moderation — we want to see action, dagnabit!
Besides, the showrunners did a disservice to comic book canon when they ditched Laurel Lance as the romantic lead and shoved Felicity Smoak in her place. Dinah Laurel Lance and Oliver Queen are ALWAYS together in the comics, it would be like breaking up Arthur Curry and Meera or Barry Allen and Iris West — it’s just not a good idea to destroy such an iconic couple.
14 Tossing Grimdark Storylines Into The Trash
With any luck, Beth Schwartz will realize that Arrow basically being a low-rent version of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy is NOT doing them any favors and will drop kick any writer that suggests anymore “grimdark” storylines. And they better realize this while working on season seven.
It’s one thing to up the stakes every once in a while, but Arrow has strayed SO FAR from Oliver Queen’s comic book history as a rich guy turned snarky fighter for social justice, that it is not even funny anymore.
It is truly a crime and a shame that Arrow has had so many dark storylines because Stephen Amell has a wonderful sense of humor and great comedic timing. LET OLIVER QUEEN BE FUNNY AND HAVE A LIGHTER STORYLINE ON THE TELEVISION SHOW, YOU COWARDS!
I mean really, would it REALLY hurt the writers and the directors to let poor Amell crack a flippin’ SMILE every once in a while? Ollie is supposed to have a good sense of humor and this version of the Emerald Archer probably has a world record in brooding about his manpain. Amell seriously deserves better; he must want to tear his hair out every time that he sees Oliver is brooding again over something stupid in the scripts.
13 Time For Fake Drake To Say Bye, Bye, Bye
One of the worst decisions Marc Guggenheim, Wendy Mericle, and the rest of the writing team has ever made is the introduction of Tina Boland (AKA “Dinah Drake”) during Arrow season five. This was in the wake of the backlash they received for kicking off Dinah Laurel Lance in the previous season.
They didn’t realize that giving Tina—someone who is essentially an OC (original character)—the metahuman Canary Cry and fighting skills, that they denied Laurel. Shoving the mantle of Black Canary onto her was a slap in the face to poor Katie Cassidy who worked so hard for the role. AND don't even get me started on the fans of Laurel that wanted to see her take her rightful place as a superhero.
Besides, the mantle of Black Canary is only passed from mother to daughter in the comics and Dinah Drake is NOT Laurel’s mom. Hopefully, Schwartz sees how much fans hate Fake Drake and write her off the show. I feel sorry for Juliana Harkavy because the Laurel brou-ha-ha was not her fault and she’s doing the best she can. “Dinah Drake” just feels like a cheap knock-off of a beloved character that we all miss and want to see return so that she can reach her full potential.
12 Bring Back The True Black Canary, Dinah Laurel Lance
It is a major insult that the Arrowverse can bring back Damien Darhk—a man that got rid of the ONLY Black Canary AND allowed his sorry self to be redeemed before he was FINALLY kicked off in Legends of Tomorrow—along with other characters. But nope, they are apparently allergic to bringing back Earth-1 Dinah Laurel Lance and giving her the metahuman cry.
Seriously? Now that the Lazarus Pits are back in play on Arrow and Constantine is BFFS with the Legends, there is no good reason why Schwartz can’t resurrect Earth-1 Laurel Lance, have Constantine restore her soul, and give her back the Black Canary mantle from that awful imposter Fake Drake.
Everyone loves and misses Earth-1 Laurel, so why not shake the show up a bit and bring her back?
If they did, that would be an instant ratings boost, not even going to lie. Cassidy admitted that they brought Black Siren in due to the backlash, but it is weird that they didn’t just own up to their mistake in the fourth season and resurrect Earth-1 Laurel. I'm pretty sure tons of Arrow fans, myself included, would throw a raucous party if our favorite Laurel comes back to life next season.
11 Redemption For Black Siren
If for whatever reason Schwartz doesn’t want to bring back Earth-1 Laurel Lance, then for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Beebo from Legends of Tomorrow, REDEEM EARTH-2 LAUREL LANCE/BLACK SIREN.
They have laid the foundations of redemption and there are enough crumbs to set it up, so they should just go the whole hog of having Siren become good and becoming the new Black Canary. It won’t erase the mistake the former showrunners made in kicking off Earth-1 Laurel, but it would go along way in rectifying the mess they made.
Of course, there needs to be flashbacks to her past on Earth-2 so that we can understand why she became a villain and joined Zoom’s army on her world. This would make her more sympathetic to the audience, especially if she works hard on redeeming herself and taking up her doppelganger mantle. Plus, everyone loves good storyline about an antihero that tries hard to redeem themselves. Just look at the fan response to Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier from the MCU.
Besides, think of how awesome it would be to see a fully trained Dinah Laurel Lance with the metahuman Canary Cry fighting side-by-side with Team Arrow in season seven.
10 Take A Page From Jessica Jones' Book
Part of the reason why Marvel’s Jessica Jones is such a hit (especially with women) is because the female characters are ALLOWED to be well rounded and have their own flaws. Jessica suffers from PTSD and pushes people away when she’s upset, Trish struggles with addiction and growing up with an emotionally abusive mother, and Jeri is attempting to come to terms with her ALS diagnosis.
They are not shoved into a box based on the same tired old tropes that have been used for years in both Hollywood and television, but they’re allowed to shine in the spotlight, warts and all.
Sadly, Arrow has never allowed their female characters to shine. They are either the love interest, the former love interest, or the superpowered, tough hero that needs no man. They’re kicked off on a whim or disabled to further Oliver’s manpain and fans are tired of it.
I know many fans loathe Felicity because she’s shoved into the box of “whiny love interest” but it would be AWESOME to see her grow and show her flaws. They had a perfect opportunity to do that when she was shot at by Damien Darhk in season four, but dropped the ball. Emily Bett Rickards is a fine actress and I’m sure she’d throw a party if Felicity was allowed to be something other than the snarky nerd girl love interest.
9 Go Back To The Canon From Whence You Came
As it stands right now, Arrow is NOTHING like the original comic book and that is a crying shame.
With any (comic) book to television adaption, there will be some changes along the way due to format, but it is sad that The Flash manages to stay true to its comic book roots and honor the lore while telling their own stories and Arrow consistently drops the ball when it comes to comics canon. It really isn’t THAT hard to stay true to the comics while crafting their own original stories — or do we need to contact Harry Potter to whip up some kind of creativity potion for them to boost their imagination?
Now that Guggenheim and Mericle are out as showrunners, many fans are hoping that Beth Schwartz will reboot the series so it will stay true to the original comics. Given the fact that she announced that writers D’Eric A. Hughes and Benjamin Raab will be joining the Arrow team for season seven, and they are both huge fans of the comics, there’s a good chance that the show will actually start respecting the comics.
If that’s true, it's about time! The CW should’ve kicked Guggenheim and Mericle out after the fourth season and replaced them if they wanted any hope of salvaging the show.
8 Get Rid Of New Team Arrow
As much as I like Echo Kellum and think he’s a good actor, the “New Team Arrow” has been a massive dud for the fans. I am not a fan and neither is the world. Fake Drake is pretty much disgraced, Rene is boring, and Curtis is kind of cool, but the stupid Civil War ripoff they chose to use for season six was boring as all heck. It just doesn't work.
If fans really wanted to see superheroes fighting, all we have to do is watch Captain America: Civil War or Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Both movies at least took the same concept and wrote it better than the pathetic mess of a storyline Arrow is doing.
Please, Beth Schwartz, fans are begging you — PLEASE GET RID OF THE NEW TEAM ARROW ONCE AND FOR ALL. Let Felicity and Curtis have their own storylines that allow them to grow as characters without being part of Oliver’s team, ditch or kick off Fake Drake and write Rene off. Keep Diggle around as Spartan, make Black Siren the new Black Canary and have a proper team to help Oliver and Roy fight crime in Star City.
7 Enter The Dragon
Kirk Acevedo has been compelling as Richard Diaz/Richard Dragon and he has been one of the few bright spots of Arrow season six. Most of the villains have been easily defeated in previous finales and the entire cycle repeats for the next season. It makes the show stale and boring, so Schwartz could shake up Arrow by having Richard Dragon be the big bad for next season too.
It would be a fantastic cliffhanger for the finale to have Siren realize that she doesn’t want to be a lackey for whiney male villains like Dragon (or Zoom) anymore and wants to be a better person, which is why she decides to join Team Arrow. Heck, the writers could have her help Oliver and his team try to take down the Dragon, only to have their efforts fail miserably. It’d be fun to see them all looking at each other like “Welp, what the heck do we do now boss?”
This curveball finale would be a deviation from the usual formula that the Arrowverse shows have a tendency to (over) use and it would be really cool to have an over-arching “big bad” that follows them for a few seasons. It would make the stakes higher and keep the show from following a repetitive formula.
6 Give Quentin Lance Something, Anything Else To Do
Paul Blackthorne is a gifted actor, but for the past few seasons his character Quentin Lance has been relegated to the sidelines and given pretty much nothing to do other than weep over his dead daughters. In my personal opinion, Quentin should have been the one to die at the hands of the big bad in the fourth season instead of Laurel. The show could’ve used that as fodder to give Laurel her metahuman cry and have her be the one to ultimately take down Damien Darhk during the season finale.
Since it is unlikely that Barry is going to travel back in time again and give the new showrunner a convenient way to change the timeline, hopefully Quentin will have his own storylines independent of Oliver’s struggle.
If Black Siren is redeemed, it would be cool to see the two of them learn how to be a family. If Earth-1 Laurel is resurrected, I’d like for the two of them to work through all the unspoken familial dysfunction that haunted them during the first four seasons.
Both of these options would provide plenty of fodder for Blackthorn that isn’t connected to the main plotline AND it would provide the audience with plenty of drama.
5 Ladies Respecting Ladies
One thing that has always irritated many Arrow fans (myself included) on social media is the fact that there really isn’t many supportive female friendships on the show. Felicity, Laurel, and Thea were supposedly all very close, but the show always TOLD us that and never wrote scenes where all three women had their own plot that didn’t in some way tie back to Oliver.
Since each female character was in some way defined by her relationship to the male lead, it was easy for toxic fans to tear each one down and pit them against one another. This, of course, has led to plenty of animosity in the fandom.
Now that the new showrunner is a woman, it would be nice to see a wary Felicity make an attempt to get to know a redeemed Black Siren and have the two form an unlikely friendship. Thea could return from her Lazarus Pit and learn more about her BFF’s doppelgänger and grow as a character.
In television shows like Jessica Jones, female friendships are allowed to shine and it is my greatest hope that this will occur in the seventh season of Arrow because I am tired of seeing women getting pitted against one another.
4 The Return Of Dinah Lance
It is SO irritating that the Arrow writers introduced a Dinah Drake when Alex Kingston’s character was a perfectly good Dinah Lance (her last name was implied to be Drake) and the show did absolutely NOTHING for her aside from make her weep over Sara and treat Laurel like dirt.
Whether Black Siren gets redeemed and continues living as her Earth-1 doppelgänger, or the real Earth-1 Laurel Lance is resurrected in season seven, it would be AWESOME if Kingston could return for a few episodes.
I know she is currently busy working on the television adaptation of A Discovery of Witches, but if her schedule allows it and they could write her character better, it would be neat if she could come back for a short arc.
How cool would it be to see the REAL Dinah Drake interact with her deceased daughter’s doppelgänger? Schwartz and her team could use it as a way for the audience to learn more about Siren’s past and her relationship with her own family.
If Earth-1 Laurel comes back to life, it would be bold of the showrunner to have mother and daughter clear the air between them. I always got the impression that Sara was her mother’s favorite and it would be a juicy storyline for the two women to work through their dysfunctional relationship.
3 Make Oliver Queen Strong Again
One criticism that has popped up consistently when discussing the latest episodes of Arrow this season is that Oliver Queen is SO weak; not just physically, but emotionally too. He’s wallowing about the stupid argument with New Team Arrow and he can’t beat Richard Dragon in a fight.
Oliver shouldn’t be written as a mindless hurting machine, but for the love of DC Comics, this is a dude that has canonically been such a good fighter that even Matt Nable’s Ra’s al Ghul was impressed and wanted Ollie to take his place as the next Demon’s Head. He should at LEAST be evenly matched with the Dragon. It would be SO COOL to see both the Green Arrow and the Dragon locked in battle, breathing heavily, and realizing that they are each other’s equals as fighters. C’mon Schwartz, give us some juicy scenes like THAT in the upcoming seventh season and the fans will go wild.
It would also be nice to see an Oliver that is emotionally strong and does not regress nor make the same mistakes of previous seasons. At this point, he should have learned to trust and open up to people. We’re almost seven seasons in, let’s stop regurgitating previous lessons.
2 Time For William To Go Bye-Bye
No offense to Jack Moore, he’s decent for what the role requires and I am sure he is a nice person in real life, but the introduction of Oliver Queen’s illegitimate son was one of the worst ideas the Arrow writers have ever had.
Not only did the audience have to suffer through that god awful baby mama drama in the fourth season that CONSTANTLY saw Felicity throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that William’s mother Samantha ASKED Oliver to keep his son’s existence a secret, but poor Samantha herself got “frigged” in the season five finale. Ugh, just ugh.
It would have been better if Samantha survived Lian Yu and the showrunners wrote both Claytons off so that we the viewers would only have to see them every once in a blue moon, but that didn’t happen. Now we’re stuck with Oliver’s kid.
Maybe we should bake cookies and give them to the new showrunner so that William gets sent to boarding school and the snooze-worthy “family drama” storylines can FINALLY be put to rest.
All jokes aside, this is a superhero show, not a family drama. Less children of superheroes and more crime fighting is what’s needed to fix Arrow.
1 Stop Recycling The Same Old Plotlines
There was a time where Arrow was just as good, if not better, than The Flash. Unfortunately, that time has passed because Guggenheim and Mericle kept recycling the same old, same old and it made the show utterly boring to watch.
As much as I like John Barrowman, the constant back-and-forth with Malcolm Merlyn was ridiculous and he should have been kicked off in the fourth season. Oliver can never seem to grow as a character; he always reverts back to trusting no one and that tendency to push people away ALWAYS starts up the same old arguments.
I’m not sure why exactly the two former showrunners kept recycling the same exact stories over and over again, but it made Arrow too repetitive. Why should anyone bother watching a television show if the hero never learns from his mistakes and grows as a character? What is the point if Oliver keeps doing the exact same thing over and over again every single season? That’s not compelling television. Now that Schwartz is the new executive producer and seems to be adding two new writers to the team, there’s a good chance the repetitive cycle will be broken and the seventh season will be a breath of fresh air for fans.