In January Arrow came to an end after eight seasons, having defied the template for superhero TV and breaking all the rules along the way. Not only did it reinvigorate the Green Arrow for a new generation of fans, but it also launched the highly successful and lauded Arrowverse, which features shows such as The Flash and Supergirl.
With Oliver Queen’s trailblazing show over, it opened the door for the other heroes to step up and become the focal point of the Arrowverse, A new era, so to speak. Unfortunately, it’s been anything but, as the shows have dragged along—not really adding anything of value to the lore. In fact, the Arrowverse has been about as exciting as a toilet seat, with The Flash being the biggest culprit.
Sadly, Barry Allen’s adventures on TV haven’t wowed for some time now. After an iron-strong start in the first two seasons, the quality sharply declined as it became a shadow of itself and embroiled in the expected CW melodrama. Even when The Flash tries to adapt some of the popular storylines from the comics, they fall flat, with the ambitious storytelling never translating to what’s seen on screen.
With the departure of several characters and a noticeably reduced budget for special effects, The Flash now feels like a show from the early ’90s that’s overstayed its welcome. Right now, it’s more nonsensical and frustrating than engaging or enticing. Stitched together by plot points from previous seasons and overstretched arcs, there’s no innovation or novelty as it’s more of the same. Every. Single. Week.
Take the Iris in the Mirrorverse concept from the last season as an example. An interesting angle and development, for sure, but the whole thing could’ve been wrapped up in half the time. It dragged on for too long as it’s evident the writers ran out of steam for the rest of the season.
While Arrow made several unpopular choices throughout the years, it still did its best to remain fresh and different with unexpected twists and grandiose ideas. The same can’t be said about Team Flash and the groan-inducing beats that make every episode as predictable as a politician’s ability to lie.
More importantly, the launch of HBO Max and the continued investment in DC Universe shows prove that the Arrowverse is on borrowed time. It’s evident that those shows have higher budgets and production values, but the only thing they’re missing is the reach of The CW’s series. Once HBO Max’s subscribers rise, though, there will be even more of a drop off in the Arrowverse.
Look, there’s no denying the impact that the Arrowverse had.
It’s due to its influence that superhero and comic book shows have experienced the success they’ve had in recent years. The crossovers were ambitious and delightful for DC fans, but it’s time to let this universe end.