Could a less-spoiled Arrow season prove to be, by definition, a better season?
If the superhero series’ visit to this month’s San Diego Comic-Con made anything clear, it’s that new showrunner Beth Schwartz — and by extension, her cast — will be holding things much closer to the leather vest as Oliver Queen navigates his supermax situation and Roy Harper somehow resurfaces, stag.
At Comic-Con, Schwartz described herself as “the spoiler police,” explaining that she prefers to have fans “enjoy [the show] when it airs, and not find out things too early.” In turn, series lead Stephen Amell & Co. proved more guarded with Season 7 preview, not even (to cite one example) elaborating on the well-teased Longbow Hunters element, even though casting for three of Ricardo Diaz’s cohorts had been trumpeted at the Con.
Mind you, Schwartz’s predecessors, Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle, seldom “overshared” in the course of delivering preview, but they did freely hint at the direction a storyline or character was headed. Schwartz seemingly prefers to not go that far, and the cast accordingly has fallen in line. Heck, the show’s Comic-Con panel, combined with a Season 7 trailer, the cast’s (admittedly distracted) visit to TVLine’s video suite and assorted press room chit-chats only added up to the same handful of story points: Oliver’s having a rough time behind bars! Felicity and Diggle are lonely/missing Oliver! Rene, Dinah and Curtis are struggling to uphold Green Arrow’s legacy in a vigilante-free city! Diaz remains a threat!
Arguably the “most” heavily “spoiled” storyline might be Colton Haynes’ series-regular return as Roy, if only because the actor’s loaded-if-ultimately-vague word choices left themselves open to much interpretation.
But a less-spoiled Arrow season could be a good thing. Maybe even a great thing. The fact is that after six years, there aren’t a ton of places for the show to go, so the slightest half of a breadcrumb will get fans speculating, perhaps correctly, about what’s next. Plus, a Schwartz-led Arrow could be a markedly different beast than what the show has been in recent years, so how better to safeguard any upcoming zags by clamping down on intel?
All of which is not to say that I will give anything akin to a “free pass” when it comes time for fall, sweeps or midseason preview, or actor Q&As pegged to a specific episode. No, my job is now more fun than ever, trying to find new and clever ways to coax interesting soundbites from interview subjects. (As I have always said, I am not out to spoil shows but tease them. Many a time I have elicited or stumbled upon spoilers that I just knew were too revelatory for their own good, and thus promptly tucked them into the proverbial back pocket. And don’t get me started on the things I see, but know to keep mum on, during in-person set visits. Similarly, over the past year or so I have dialed back on the “post mortems” that now inundate our industry and thus have become far less “special” than they used to be. Seriously, no one needs a weekly “explainer” on Life in Pieces.)
New Arrow boss Schwartz unfortunately couldn’t make it to TVLine’s Comic-Con video Q&A, but that only has me more eagerly anticipating our very first 1-on-1. We then can each see what happens when an unstoppable, scoop-seeking force meets an immovable, “spoiler police” object. Again — fun.
What do you think about an Arrow season with potentially fewer spoilers? Might it actually enhance your interest in the series?
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