It's about time to shake up The CW's Arrow.
Following the show's sixth season, showrunners Wendy Mericle and Marc Guggenheim are stepping down. They're set to be replaced by longtime series writer Beth Schwartz, and needless to say, I'm thrilled. After a few lackluster seasons plagued by bad stories, lackluster plots, and terrible character "growth," Schwartz is looking to reclaim the glory of Seasons 1 and 2, which were beloved by fans and critics.
In a recent interview with Newsarama, Arrow producer James Bamford dished on the new direction of the show and how things will change moving forward.
"In the premiere you will find some elements with the Season 1 feel," he said, "but you will find other elements that is new, uncharted territory. Beth and I had a phone call with BNSP, which is our censors… a very lengthy phone call about a particular scene that we never had before. So we are really trying to push the limits on the show in the gritty factor.
"We are trying to go as far as you can go within the confines of our network," he continued, "and what is expected of us and what we can and can’t do. We are not on Netflix so we will never be able to X, Y, and Z, but we are damn sure going to try."
In other words, Arrow is spicing things up and heading into unknown territory. Series writers and execs have supported the decision to make the Green Arrow a dark television series (unlike the lighthearted comic book version of the character) but the show hasn't pushed the boundaries of, uh, anything since the end of Season 2. Every choice made since Season 3 has been predictable and boring, but Schwartz seems to be ready for a new era. It's always wonderful when someone with a genuine passion for the show and its characters steps up to push it into the future, as we've seen on The CW's Supernatural.
The question on my mind is, what could this "boundary breaking" scene be? I'm willing to bet it'll be a scene involving Oliver in prison. In the same interview, actor Stephen Amell promised his character will be in a much darker place than we've seen before. He also recently shared Oliver makes a controversial choice in the Season 7 premiere that he hopes will cause a stir.
"The thing I really enjoy playing in the premiere is there’s absolutely nothing heroic about Oliver," he said. "In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. If you are a fan of his, and you root for him, I would really hope the premiere makes you mad."
Now that Guggenheim and Mericle are moving on, there's so much room for growth. Arrow could easily reclaim its place as the most interesting, thrilling show in the DCTV universe — but it all depends on Schwartz. Perhaps the series can rise from the ashes. I'd love to see fresh plots, real character development, and interesting arcs for all of the characters in Season 7.
Arrow returns Monday, October 15 on The CW.