Here’s why you need more ‘Arrow’ in your life

If you’re not caught up on Arrow, the CW’s sci-fi superhero series, you’ve got a few hours to make up for that before the third season premieres tonight. Arrow rethinksthe classic DC Comics’ character Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, a crimefighter who spent five years shipwrecked on an island before returning to Starling City. But that just scratches the surface of Arrow’s premise. Here’s why the show should be your latest TV addiction.

1) The Ultimate Badass: Felicity Smoak.

And Thea and Moira Queen. And Sara Lance. Okay, really. All of the women on the show are amazing and well-developed, strong willed characters, but Felicity Smoak by far takes the cake for being the best female character on the show. She starts as an IT specialist at Queen Consolidated who eventually figures out something is up with Oliver after a string of strange requests. She quickly becomes one of two people who know the identity of the character, Vigilante.

The reason she’s so great is that Felicity isn’t just smart; she’s absolutely brilliant. She’s great at what she does and becomes a voice of reason when Oliver has outlandish plans in his quest for justice. Without Felicity’s help and calm demeanor, Oliver would have been caught or died within weeks of his crusade. She protects Oliver and helps him believe in himself. She’s brought to life by the amazing Emily Bett Rickards who shows how women can be multifaceted, strong, intelligent but also sensitive, caring and vulnerable all at once. She’s a phenomenal female role model. That’s pretty awesome.

2) You don’t have to be a giant comic book nerd to appreciate or love this show.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the first in line to see the new superhero movie that’s about to hit theaters and I have learned to appreciate graphic novels over the last few years, but for whatever reason, comic books and I just never really connected. That’s OK, if you’re watching Arrow. You don’t feel overwhelmed with confusing backstories if you haven’t read the comics. The show flows really well and is easy to follow for non-comic book nerds.

So, if you don’t know that Oliver’s first appearance was in More Fun Comics #73 in November of 1941, that he’s part of the Justice League or that he only enjoyed moderate success in his first 25 years of stories, that’s fine. Over the course of the show, you’ll find yourself more and more interested in the different aspects of the comic books and, if you’re at all like me, you’ll find yourself Googling around after episodes to figure out why certain characters have intense music and commercial breaks right after they’re introduced.

You don’t even have to like superheroes to love this show. See: #3.

3) Arrow has some of the most gripping storytelling on television.

I watch more television than is probably considered normal and while I get excited for shows like Shameless, Downton Abbey, The Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones, it’s Arrow (and the breathtaking Sons of Anarchy), that have me psyched about fall TV more than anything. It’s a testament not only to the original stories of Oliver Queen, but to the current staff for writing episode after episode of action-packed, emotionally driven television. Not only that, but Arrow is full of surprises. You never know what’s going to happen next and I have—more than once—found my nails between my teeth while watching the show. I’m an interactive viewer and also find myself screaming at the TV for characters to watch out, not to trust someone, not to walk into that obviously shady warehouse. Often it’s because I was thrown a total curveball within the last 37 seconds of an episode.

You will absolutely find yourself invested in the lives of those in Starling City and on the island in Oliver’s flashbacks. You can’t help but feel sorry for Laurel or cheer for Roy or wish Thea knew the truth or absolutely loathe Malcolm. Finding the balance between action and emotion is no easy task on a show like this, but it’s spectacularly achieved. Waiting the week between episodes becomes excruciating (especially during that dreaded winter break every network thinks we need).

Trust me. I have suggested this show to many friends and none of them have come back telling me they regret the decision to hit play. The first season is currently streaming on Netflix with the second season to follow on 9/16. Or you can just dive right in with tonight’s premiere. If nothing else, follow Colton Haynes on Twitter. Just trust me.

Megan Mann is an aspiring author living in the suburbs of Chicago. She believes in the healing powers of solo dance parties, wears a lot of black and loves any food with melted cheese on top. If you need to find her, she’s probably watching Netflix or screaming at her laptop asking her book to write itself. Follow her musings @MissMeganMann.

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