I’m back with my second installment of a newcomer’s CW guide. If you’re wary of the CW network, check out my blog on 4 myths about the CW. For the Monday and Tuesday shows, I covered them on Monday.
Wednesdays: Arrow & The Tomorrow People
This night is jokingly referred to as Amell Wednesdays. I think the more accurate description should be Amell Shirtless Wednesdays. The star of Arrow is Stephen Amell and the star of The Tomorrow People is his cousin Robbie Amell.
I guess the powers that be at the CW were afraid their regular female audience would lose interest in shows that were based on comic books with lots of action and explosions if they didn’t throw in a little eye candy. Whatever the reasoning, the poor Amell cousins are going to catch their death of cold for all the shirtless scenes they have to shoot.
On TTP, not having the last name Amell doesn’t even mean you’re safe, as fellow cast member Luke Mitchell has also been sans shirt a lot lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, per se, just pointing out that the shows are strong enough on plot that I don’t need the beefcake to tune in.
Arrow is about reformed billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. If you like Batman, Arrow’s storyline is one of the closest I’ve seen. He got stuck on a very nasty island for five years where people did bad things to him and he learned his family had done some equally evil things back home. He returns to Starling City and becomes the vigilante Arrow, with the help of his best friend Digg and the amazing Felicity, his IT girl and the best character on the show.
The writers have been trying really hard to convince us his one true love is Laurel Lance (as the comic books dictate), but I’m sorry, the chemistry between him and Katie Cassidy, the actress who plays Laurel, just isn’t there. Oliver and Felicity, however—in the words of Sheldon Cooper, “Bazinga!”
I’ve also already described the plot of The Tomorrow People here. If you liked Heroes before it got terrible, then you’d like this show. Sadly, they don’t have a villain quite as amazing as Zachary Quinto’s Sylar, but then Quinto’s just an exceptional talent. I don’t think it’s been quite as good as Arrow was in its first season, but Arrow was exceptionally good right away. TTP is a solid first season show.
I have to say, though, that although I like the lead Robbie Amell just fine, supporting actor Luke Mitchell is eating him alive on screen. Mitchell is just so dang charismatic. I’m not sure that’s good when Mitchell and Amell’s characters are in a love triangle together for the same girl. I know I’m supposed to be rooting for the hero, but basically I think Luke Mitchell should get whatever he wants. Like the previous shows, Arrow’s first season can be seen on Netflix, and the current seasons of both are on CWTV.com or Hulu.com.
Thursdays: The Vampire Diaries & Reign
That dance I did on Tuesday? I do it again on Thursday. The Vampire Dairies was the show that got me watching the CW. I had heard about it, and I had seen bits of an episode that someone else was watching. Quite frankly, from the outside looking in, I thought it looked juvenile and idiotic.
However, I read Entertainment Weekly, and they could not shut up about this show. They kept giving it covers and feature articles and cross their heart swearing that it was good. This is the same magazine that kept pleading for people to watch Fringe and Parks and Rec, both underwatched gems, so I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. It was summer, and so I decided to do a little Netflix binging and watch seasons one and two before season three came on. People, this show is stupid good.
At its most basic it follows the lives of the two Salvatore brothers, vampires Stefan and Damon, and the woman they both love, Elena. There is much more here than a love triangle, though. The storytelling is wonderful, and you’ll fall in love with the characters.
Now in its fifth season, it is 100% worth it to go back and watch the previous seasons. You can just jump in if you’d like, but this show has a pretty deep mythology, and I can’t promise you won’t get lost, but they did at least just wrap up a long story arc and are starting a new one.
While I think you’ll enjoy watching the past seasons, if you want a faster way to catch up that also happens to be hilarious, then read through Price Peterson’s photo recaps of the previous season’s episodes. Even if you do watch them, still read his recaps when you get the time. Half the fun of watching TVD is reading Price’s recaps the next day on TV.com. He also does shorter reviews of The Originals.
Reign I have gone on about in a couple of different posts, so I won’t bore you again, but this is another show that I don’t understand why everyone isn’t watching. Not only is it visually stunning, every week it takes the sort of risks that make my jaw drop. If you’ve enjoyed the insane story telling of Scandal, then you’d appreciate what the writers of Reign are trying to do.
Also not to be missed are Lily Sparks’ hilarious next day photo recaps. She gives Price a run for his money.
Fridays: Go out and have fun; they’re not showing anything good.
Fridays is currently where they are running off episodes of shows that are already dead in the water. The Carrie Dairies airs at 8 followed by Nikita, but I don’t believe either of them will be back after January. They have two midseason replacements in the hopper, The 100 and Starcrossed, both of which look intriguing. However, I doubt they’ll put both new shows on Friday night. It’s more likely the whole schedule might get a shuffle. Friday nights is generally where they stick proven low performers. Ten bucks says Beauty and the Beast is headed there midseason.
So have fun and get watching!