Garry and I have been binge-watching DC comic book hero shows. It started innocently enough, but now it’s a full-scale immersion. First, we dipped a toe in the waters and watched a single season of “The Flash.” We had three seasons of “Arrow” on Netflix, so we are almost finished with that. Hopefully, the next two seasons will be offered soon.


Did I mention that we’re already watching “Supergirl”? Not sure what city she is in, but obviously, it’s nearby. Not Gotham. Garry watches “Gotham” where baby Batman is learning to be super-duper. It’s so confusing!

We are almost done with our three Arrow seasons. The show has gone from moderately intelligent and occasionally funny, to All-Violence-All-the-Time and … well … a bit (more than a bit) dumb. Oliver Queen, our not-very-secret hero (who in Starling City doesn’t know he’s the Arrow?) seems to be getting increasingly stupid. Maybe it’s those explosions … or he doesn’t get his arrow polished often enough. Whatever.

Starling City 2

Ollie, or Oliver, aka The Arrow wants nothing more than to protect his loved ones and what’s left of Starling City from (further) harm.

I grew up in New York which has a bad (undeserved) reputation as being especially violent and crime-ridden. Then I lived for a decade in Jerusalem where, according to the news, terrorism rules. Then I came back to Boston where … well … y’know, there was Whitey Bulger and the Irish “mafia” (oxymoron). If you could take the dangers inherent in all the cities in which I’ve lived , added their crime levels then multiplied them by 10, you would not come close to the peril of living in Starling City for a week.

Those people should go live somewhere else. Between the crazed assassins roaming the streets with automatic weapons, biological onslaughts of epic proportions, and scientists with earthquake machines. At least once each week, a quarter of the city is leveled.


Starling has been under continuous attack by evil overlords of every stripe. The League of Assassins. That weird Aussie who was Oliver’s friend on The Island, but took some drug and then hunted Oliver for killing someone who he didn’t kill (someone else did it, but it’s complicated). Ollie’s mom was murdered. His father killed himself. His sister was murdered, but came back from the dead after Oliver agreed to become the new Demon Head of the League of Assassins (it’s very complicated). His girlfriend’s sister is currently dead, but I bet she’s coming back. She became an assassin, was briefly a superhero, and is now dead and buried, but on these shows? Who knows?

No one in this DC world stays dead, not even if you see their rotting corpse. Unless their contract with the network is finished, they WILL be back. Maybe with a new name and new role, but alive.

On the final show we watched last night, Ollie (the Arrow’s) friends are trying to rescue him (or escape?) from the secret, impregnable castle of the ultra-dangerous bad guys and Felicity (don’t worry about who’s who because it doesn’t really matter) said:

“I’ve watched a lot of movies, so I KNOW that there’s always a secret exit from the impregnable castle.” Wow, so that’s where she’s getting her information! I was wondering.


And finally, there’s Ollie, troubled by the feeling that he and “The League of Assassins” have a date with destiny, says: “I can’t escape feeling that everything in my life has led me here, to this place.”

Well, duh. Wherever you may be, everything led you there. Whether you are in the kitchen making a grilled cheese sandwich, or being inducted into the League of Assassins, everything led you to the current moment. True of everyone, everywhere because how else did you get there? Seriously?

Every character in these series has lost one or more people they love and is obsessed with revenge, which means destroying entire cities — or,  alternatively, trying to save the world. We’ve all suffered losses. I don’t know anyone who felt obliged to level a city because someone they cared about died.

You can get over this stuff without a high body count.

And if you were contemplating a move to Starling City? In a word? Don’t.


Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!


  1. You lost me somewhere on the way I think. Mr. Swiss is the person here that does the binge watching. I don’t know where he finds them all, but mostly they are english productins, although he did collect the Harry bosch films. He isn’t so much into the heroes, more into the police stories. sometimes I might get interested. I remember watching the Fargo series, that was good, I quite enjoyed it. Otherwise I prefer to read a book.


      1. Ollie & “Arrow” beginning to more and more resemble some former colleagues and our “war room”.


      2. I tried to watch “Arrow” and “The Flash” and, of the two, I may return to the Flash at some point. Presently I’m caught up in “Person of Interest” and anxiously await the third season of “Better Call Saul”, and hopefully more of “Longmire.” I will admit to watching an occasional episode of “SuperGirl” and can’t help giggling at Calista Flockhart’s transition from ditsy lawyer in “Ally McBeal” to partially evil, somewhat rude, corporate head person.


        1. We are in an Australian prime time soap opera called “A Place to Call Home” which is really good. We’ve been somewhere in the British empire for a while. England, Australia, Canada. Good shows.


          1. And of course “Murdock Mysteries” (Canada) made more interesting because of the number of historical figures that show up in several of the episodes. HG Wells in the most recent I’ve viewed. From Australia is an interesting one, on Netflix, called “The Gods of Wheat Street” dealing with a family of aboriginals adjusting to modern life. I’ll have to look into “A Place to Call Home.” Then there’s “Luther” a series involving a troubled British detective. Too much good stuff out there.., my ass is disappearing from sitting.


  2. Well, I’m hooked on Worlds of Warcraft. I’d say between the (or is it among the) three of us we have all the important fantasies covered. Oh, the joys of retirement.


  3. The interesting thing about the DC shows is that they are all done by the same production company so they all can cross over like the real comics do. This also leads to all the shows doing the same plot lines. The most basic one is. “You don’t understand! The reason I did this stupid thing was I WAS TRYING TO PROTECT YOU!!!” And of course next week the person the hero was talking to does the exact same thing.
    None the less they are fun. Get Legends of Tomorrow. It’s very good and has all the heros you’ve seen in the other shows and time travel. Sadly the DC TV shows are as good as the DC movies aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We really liked the Flash, but we can’t seem to get the next seasons without buying them. Since I’m already paying for Hulu, Netflix, every cable station in the universe … and Amazon Prime, I figure I’m paying enough, so I’m waiting for seasons 2 & 3 of Flash, and the next two seasons of Arrow to show up on some service we already have.

      Garry, who is in NY this week visiting Billy, will probably go into withdrawal without his nightly comic book fix.

      Lucifer is REALLY good, but that’s Mike Carey and Neil Gaiman, so it’s a notch upwards and has much better dialogue.

      I’m waiting for all the “dead” characters to show back up because no one is dead unless their contract ends.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will attempt to help all of you.., but you must concentrate and repeat the mantra at least 100 times for the first time.., “Just Say NO to DC Comics on TV”, “Just Say NO to DC Comics on TV”, “Just Say NO to DC Comics on TV”


          1. Well I like “em both but I liked pot too.., there’s a point where you have to pull back and accept reality. No matter our wishes that super heroes could really exist and along comes another Ass H— like Donald Trump and not a Super Hero in sight.


        1. I have a bunch of the Lucifer graphic novels in my Kindle library. I can lend you the books. You’d like them. Mike Carey is already one of your favorite writers, even if you don’t know it.


    2. Agree. That’s why I need old westerns. Currently catching up with John Payne aka Vint Bonner, “The Restless Gun”.


  4. Through Craigslist I found a nature blu-ray I wanted and the guy also had the first two seasons of Arrow for fairly cheap. I had never heard of it but I thought I’d give it a try. I’m a sucker for shows filmed where I live and discounts. It annoyed me how everyone was super rich and good looking. I thought the first season was good enough and the second season better. I’m a little discouraged now to watch the third. HA!


    1. Well, Flash has his own show and of the bunch, I think it’s got the best writing. Arrow is more frustrating because it’s basically the same plot over and over again. So why do we watch it? Why not? Otherwise, we might have to watch the news and that would be really really stupid.


  5. My children are both into the Marvel series. At least in the latest film the heroes are held to account for the high body count. (So I have read and being told). And this is where it becomes interesting. My children have made sure that I am up to date with all the films. They don’t like the DC comics at all. Not as interesting or fun so I am being told. There is definitely too much collateral damage, and no-one really cares, especially the heroes.


    1. I’m an old child of DC comics. Never liked the angst-ridden Marvel heroes, but these days, they are ALL angst-ridden. But fun. I don’t like the movies. The TV shows are shorter. I can’t sit through a couple of hours of this. Too much for my aging brain.


  6. Netflix UK is behind the US for a lot of these shows (eg Arrow series 2 was quite recent), so I hope you’ll forgive that I stopped reading your post round about all the spoilers 🙂


    1. I’m glad it’s not just us. While you’re waiting, take a look at “Angel,” also on Netflix. Five full seasons (YES!). It’s a Joss Whedan production. Vampires. Angels. Vengeance. Protecting the weak. All that good stuff. Not so many explosions and somewhat more entertaining dialogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the reasons I quit watching movies (especially action movies) a long time ago was the complete lack of regard by the characters (and of course, those who make the movie) for the extensive collateral damage. YAY! We saved the world from the bad guys! Now let’s celebrate and forget that half of the skyline got destroyed in the process along with a death toll that would make the 9/11 attacks look like child’s play. Oh, and never mind that 3/4 of the police force just got shot up or exploded to bits… the cop that was the main protagonist of the movie not only survived, but he finally killed the gang leader! Now that’s a happy ending!!!

    Sorry, Hollywood, but I often care more about the red shirts than I do about the star and co-star who take up all the screen time…


    1. The thing is, the more they ramp up wholesale violence, the less impact it has — on us. In the beginning, there was dialogue. Wit. Characters. Then, somewhere in the middle, there were explosions, massive body counts, utter destruction and it became funny in a bizarre way. “Flash,” by the way, is (at least in its first season which is all we’ve seen), much better written. Also “Lucifer.” Arrow is just mayhem. Given the level of violence and heaps of dead and injured, it’s amazing there’s anyone left living in the city. After one of these destruction near-apolalypse episodes (2 out of 3) by the next show, everything looks FINE again … a neat trick. And Oliver Queen is a numbskull.


  8. I binge watched after finding the first episode. I really enjoy the entire series. I have to agree about the violence, however. There are episodes I am unable to watch. Can’t say why I am so intrigued with these shows since they are incredibly violent and I can’t watch when something horrific happens. If an episode is more than I can handle, my won warns me in advance, as he does with every show, because I readily can’t handle it. After watching I’m with you, and often figure, if life were that horrific, NO one would EVER leave their house and would be so completely terrified of every encounter they wouldn’t, couldn’t make friends, ever. have to say I completely concur with your take on the entire thing. Agree with evilsquirrel’s take too.


  9. Thank you for such a funny perspective :). I do watch the Arrowverse TV shows and think all of them are relly entertaining. Though I have to agree that in some scenes, episodes (maybe in more than a few) there is not much logic. Still I have a lot of fun watching Arrow and think it is hilarous when Oliver speaks Russian.


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