Superhero TV shows don’t exactly have the best track record. There are classics like The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman from the 1970s, but these are remembered more for their camp and cheesiness than overall quality.
Some of the more successful titles in recent memory don’t hew very close to the superhero model at all. Lois and Clark had as much to do with romance and drama as it did fighting crime. Heroes didn’t reveal itself as a pure superhero program until later in its run. Even Smallville had to include plenty of high school angst and adolescent worry to sell its comic-based premise.
That’s why the latest news from Variety is so interesting — as well as heartening for comic book show fans. It seems that the CW’s Arrow has gotten a full season pick-up, which means it will be on the air until spring. It apparently had the highest rating for a CW program in three years, which isn’t something any network should take lightly.
There may be a couple of reasons for the success of Arrow. First, audiences are becoming more and more comfortable with superhero fare, thanks to blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Additionally, the socially conscious message of the show’s Green Arrow character may be engaging in an era when politics and the economy dominate many people’s lives.
Of course, it could just be that the kids love bows and arrows these days.