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I was not impressed with the most recent (s2e6) episode of Arrow,… - One a day, plus iron
November 15th, 2013
09:00 am


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I was not impressed with the most recent (s2e6) episode of Arrow, which is my most current fascination. The reason for my lack of impressed is mostly what they're doing with Felicity. (Oliver is Our Hero, Felicity is his Girl Friday, Our Lady of IT.) It's not a problem that they're dangling unrequited Olicity in front of us. Everybody likes a good yearn, after all, and that's definitely the kind of fun that House spun out over six freaking seasons. No harm, no foul there. My problem is in the way they're doing it.

Last season we had Laurel, the old girlfriend from *before*. Laurel is now friendzoned by way of "It's way too damn complicated". This season, it looks like we're playing the Olicity angle. Okay. I like Felicity. She color-coordinates well and she gets good lines, insofar as there are good lines in the thing. She's also cute and has more than three facial expressions. I would be rooting for Olicity except that she is so clearly an entire target demographic's stand-in that it pains me to do so. I feel like my media-savvy chops require me to resist being pandered to so obviously. (But still. Felicity deserves Oliver. They should totally be doing it. Look. I'm media-savvy, not made of stone.)

So this season, Oliver has Isabel, a chick who is his 'partner' in Queen Consolidated (Oliver's family's business). She was trying for a leveraged buyout or whatever and didn't quite manage it, so she is now partners with Oliver. Fair enough. Isabel is sorta-hostile regarding Our Hero, but apparently not hostile enough to stay out of the sack with him, as we saw (tastefully) in this episode. Given the entire lack of boning scenery (There was not even shirtlessness, ffs. We see more Oliver nudity in the club basement than we saw during this hookup.) it's pretty clear that the point of this episode was not voyeuristic entertainment (I feel moved yet again to point out that this show is totally not above voyeuristic entertainment. They hired a guy who's built like a brick shithouse to portray Our Hero and they're not afraid to use him. Yay.) but rather to beat up the Felicity/Oliver dynamic in a way that I find kind of offensive.

Oliver bangs Isabel in Russia (they're in Russia this episode) more or less right under Felicity's nose and then has the unmitigated gall (is there ever 'mitigated gall'? Anyone ever see that used? Gall is apparently *always* unmitigated.) to tell her that it "didn't mean anything" and that "because of the life he leads, he doesn't feel he can ethically pursue a more-meaningful relationship with someone he could actually care about (with meaningful glance aimed directly at Felicity's heart)." (I am paraphrasing.) Felicity then says she thinks he "deserves better".

This is bullshit writing of the sort I will accept from fanfic authors because they're, like, twelve. Where I come from, actual writers-for-television are held to a higher standard than fanfic authors.

Because apparently the writers-for-television are unable to provide Oliver with Better Responses to Felicity's "Why did you sleep with her, besides the obvious leggy model reasons?" question, I have provided some below...

1. "Isn't that reason enough?"

2. "Stress relief."

3. "We couldn't figure out the hotel's wifi."

4. "She said she didn't have a gag reflex and I couldn't let that statement go unchallenged."

5. "Stock options."

6. "She reminds me of Laurel."

7. "Have you seen that ass? Seriously, Felicity, you need your eyes checked."

8. "Boredom. And vodka."

9. "That's an interesting question, Felicity. Here's another: What grounds do you have to question where I stick my dick my choice of partners?"

But no, we didn't get any of those gems. We got "B/c of Life I Lead, I Don't Deserve A Good Woman (like you)." ARGH. Writers, you suck. You suck a lot.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Also, Felicity is problematic because she isn't the canonical love interest. In DC canon, Oliver is with Black Canary. The pairing is kind of solid, like Lois and Clark. It's a given, no matter how boring it may be and no matter how much I like Felicity's lipstick and skirts. I grant that we don't have to get from Felicity to Canary in one go, but we do have to get there eventually. *sigh*

Note to writers: It is NOT OK to kill off Felicity in order to free up Oliver for the Canary. That is NOT COOL and I will vilify you forever if you pull that shit.

Just once, I'd like to see the not-main-character woman who doesn't-get-the-hero live happily ever after instead of Dying Tragically to cement our hero's resolve or dedication or whatever. Felicity should not be a tragic heroine. She can just... y'know... decide she's worth more than the fraction of Oliver's attention that he is willing to share around the edges of his crime-fighting vendetta thing and go off with some (equivalently hot and clever) dude who is more willing/able to commit to her so that the pair of them can pursue a meaningful (albeit more-normal) lifestyle that does not involve rooftops, arrows, or tight leather-ish pants.

Let me reiterate: It's OK for things to just-not-work-out. It's OK for her to just give up on him (Oliver) and get on with her grown-up life. You can let Laurel (or Sara, whichever) take the somewhat-damaged half-a-loaf Oliver's got on offer and be damn glad to get it. But in the end, Felicity is smarter than that and she deserves better and I would like at least once for TV writers to have the balls to show that. You can, of course, run with the Olicity ball for a while, but in the end, let Ollie fumble it. He doesn't have enough time for her, he's never willing to set aside the duties of the Arrow for the reality of being-Oliver-Queen, he's just not willing to commit. He can mean well and just not... follow through. If you pitch it correctly, people (women, damn us as a gender) will buy the idea that Oliver's City-Saving is more important (why can't Felicity just see that? Gosh, she's being such a bitch and it's not like she didn't know this about him before they got serious...) and that Felicity is being a little bit selfish in wanting a real, grown-up relationship and they'll be a little sad but mostly ready to see her glorious ass depart when she exits stage left with her clever, smart, talented, and devoted new man.

PRO TIP: Felicity's new man is not a villain to be defeated in one last rescue by Hero Oliver. Felicity just leaves, with her dude, presumably to go run a successful startup in computer security or some technobabble thing and also get married and maybe have kids if that's what she wants. Oliver can send a nice set of sterling to their wedding and then seek comfort and validation in the arms of the one woman who truly understands him. Ta-dah!

Come on, writers-for-tv, you can do it! (Imagine yourselves as collectively being dressed like Rosie the Riveter, here.)

Edited at 2013-11-17 12:56 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
Have you been watching Dracula? I just caught up on it last weekend, seems like it might be your sort of thing. Although I'm not sure how far we can go with an anti-hero who regularly eats people off the street. It's sort of like they took The Dracula Tapes and some sort of Tesla steampunk fanfic and tossed them both in the blender. It's the sort of show where Dracula "doesn't drink... wine" because he's downing two fifths of bourbon a night. Seriously, the only scenes Jonathan Rhys Meyers doesn't have a tumbler of whiskey in hand are the ones he's screwing somebody or killing somebody.
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
Saw JRM in The Tudors, do not think he's particularly hot. (A fluff-television requirement is eye candy.) Liked Suffolk (Henry Cavill) much better. Brother-the-elder recently suggested I might enjoy Sleepy Hollow on grounds of snarky dialogue... but I've got a full plate of recreational activities for now, so suggestions are being tabled for when it gets too cold for lathe/horse after work.

Edited at 2013-11-20 05:27 pm (UTC)
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