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Arrow episode 416

Image Credit: The CW/Katie Yu

Why 'Arrow' shouldn't get Oliver and Felicity back together

It’s an unavoidable fact of life that the DC superhero shows on The CW are going to have some soap-opera elements. That’s been the case for Arrow since the very beginning, with Oliver Queen often as busy navigating love triangles as he was fighting crime in his early days as a bow-wielding vigilante.

Season 4 upped the ante on relationship drama with the consummation of the #Olicity romance (whose seeds were actually planted toward the end of season 3), and while the pairing of Oliver and Felicity Smoak wasn’t the primary focus of the show, by the time it wrapped up, it dominated big chunks of the series for weeks at a time. Fandom was essentially split in two, with people who watched Arrow strictly to ship two of its leads delighted, and others who longed for more Green Arrow action irritated.

Both factions ended up at least a little unhappy by season’s end, as Oliver and Felicity ended up on the outs as a couple, but still united, or so it seems, in cleaning up Star City. Even Stephen Amell himself seems to realize something went amiss during season 4, telling Entertainment Weekly that he’d like to see the show “get back to focusing on some of its core elements” in the fall. He was talking about the series being overrun by superpowers, but he could just have easily been referring to ensuring one relationship doesn’t crowd out everything else Arrow brings to the table.

To be fair, the showrunners and writers have a tough decision to make going forward, because they risk alienating half of the fan base if they don’t get Oliver and Felicity back together. Yet if their plan is to keep them on cordial terms, teammates but not lovers, they should stick to their guns, because it’s absolutely the right call.

There’s a reason that so many superhero properties, from comic books to TV to movies, have avoided committed-relationship storylines, even if it would be more faithful to what’s come before to run with them. They’re simply difficult to do in compelling ways, and they have a tendency to suck all the oxygen out of other running subplots — something we’ve already seen happen on Arrow.

On top of that, television is littered with series of all kinds that went downhill in terms of quality, popularity, or both when two characters they teased getting together actually turned into a couple. Romantic happiness between two people might be an ongoing journey in real life, but it’s best used as an end point on TV.

RELATED from FanSided: Amell hints at meaner, darker Arrow season 5

The unevenness that plagued season 4 of Arrow can be attributed in large part to the #Olicity drama. It helped stall any momentum the show had from one week to the next, even pushing the threat of Damien Darhk, one big enough that it ended up threatening much more than just Star City, into the background.

That’s not to say that Oliver and Felicity couldn’t get a happy ending at some point; it’s just a realization that it doesn’t need to happen right now. To get back on track, Arrow should have them worry more about the city and less about the feelings they obviously still harbor. Fans who tune in for superheroics will get what they want, and the shippers will keep watching if there’s even a chance the couple will reunite at some point.

Everyone wins, and at the end of the day, that’s a scenario that anyone who cares about Arrow sticking around for a few more years should appreciate.

Nick Tylwalk is the Senior Entertainment Director of FanSided and Entertainment Editor at FanSided.com.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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