Thursday, March 21, 2013
Action TV writing, and Green Arrow
"Just to be clear, I'm not signing on to be a sidekick. But you're right: fighting for this city needs to be done. And you're going to do it with or without me.
But with me, there'll be fewer casualties. Including you."
"Dick, I'm not looking for somebody to save me."
"Maybe not, but maybe you need somebody just the same. You are fighting a war, Queen, but you have no idea what war does to you. How it scrapes off little pieces of your soul. And you need somebody to remind you who you are. Not this thing you're becoming."
... And they shake hands. The hero, young, handsome and well built, with eyes as empty of reflection and experience as windows into the desert night. I doubt he would recognize anything scraped off his soul if it bit him on the ass.
Why are TV action show always written so damn awful? Toe-curlingly horrible? Among the 20,000 writers in Hollywood, some of them must be good, and surely one of those would be writing action if they paid him?
Also, I'm realizing what makes 'The Clint' special. He is and was the one action hero actor who has something behind the eyes. You can tell he has a mind.
By the way, this show is called Arrow. When I went back to it to write this down (I'd just caught a couple minutes), I realized, when he was called "Queen", that it's a Green Arrow show! They are trying to make a superhero show without a superhero, eating their cake and keeping it too. Good luck with that!
Funny thing: when I was a kid, the Danish translation of Green Arrow was "Red Arrow"! My guess is the Danish editors felt that a Green Lantern and a Green Arrow both in the Justice League was just too much green in one party. And they had a point. Why a green arrow exactly? The only connection with the color was from his sillier-than-usual origin story where he was a Robinson Crouso-like character, surviving alone on his wits and his... trick arrows??!!
I yield: the one thing sillier than TV action writing is the bulk of comics writing. I love comics, at least in principle still, but reading the history of virtually any superhero comic character on Wikipedia will give you a quick idea of the incredible silliness of those stories.
Aha: from Wiki:
When Mort Weisinger was creating the character, aside from the obvious allusions to Robin Hood, he took inspiration from a movie serial, The Green Archer, based on the novel by Edgar Wallace. He retooled the concept into a superhero archer with obvious Batman influences. These include Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy, his use of an Arrow-Car and Arrow-Plane for transportation, his use of an Arrow-Cave as his headquarters, his alter ego as a billionaire playboy, the use of an Arrow-Signal to summon him, and a clown-like arch foe named Bull's Eye, similar to Batman's arch-foe, the Joker.
"Arrow cave" and "arrow signal"? Woa. Sigh. Never say plagiarism never makes for quality writing!
Pascal gave these links to the "Charles Atlas superpower" and the "badass normal", both about the idea in pulp fiction (from Tarzan over Doc Savage and up) that hard training can give you powers way above normal humans.