Sunday, May 13, 2012

An open letter to the powers that be at CW

Dear powers that be at CW:

First of all, I'd like to commend you on your decision to make a Green Arrow show.  While Green Arrow doesn't have the same name recognition as Batman and Superman, he's still a viable part of the DC Universe.  Plus, the Robin Hood/social activist component of his character makes him particularly relevant in our post economic meltdown world.  So well done on that.

That being said, I see that you've made one major mistake in this project.  So major that it may doom the project before it gets off the ground.  You decided to name the show Arrow.

You may ask why this is a mistake.  Let me explain.  Two words:  John Carter.  Hopefully you now understand the nature of your mistake and can use the time you would have spent reading the remainder of this letter to begin fixing the problem.

What?  You're still here?  Okay, then.  Let me elaborate.  Even people who've heard of but never read Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom books would get that John Carter of Mars is a reference to those books, which would kindle interest in a movie of that name.  And even people who've never heard of Burrough's books would, upon hearing the name John Carter of Mars figure out that the movie involves a guy named John Carter and that he is on Mars, which could inspire them to look into the movie more.  But upon being presented with a movie named simply John Carter, people are most likely to go "Who?" as the movie's title gives them no idea what the movie's about.

Likewise, by naming your series Arrow instead of Green Arrow, you're passing up a chance to give people information that will make them want to check out the series.  After all, the Green Arrow character has been around for 71 years - even people who aren't regular comic book readers are likely to have heard of him, whereupon they'd likely say something to the effect of "Hey look - CW's made a series about the Robin Hood guy from the comics.  I think I might check that out."  Whereas after being told that CW has a new series out called Arrow, they're more likely to say something along the lines of "Arrow?  What's that about?" and some other shiny thing will probably catch their interest before they take find out.

Also, I don't know if you're aware, but FX has a series called Archer.  Now stop for a moment and ask yourself:  Is the average person likely to be confused by two series with 5-letter titles that start with 'A' and make reference to archery that are airing simultaneously on networks with 2-letter names?  If you honestly thing the answer is "no," then please get in touch with me - I have a lovely bridge you might be interested in buying.

Mr. B.

PS:  Seventy-one years of history behind the name!  That's not something you just give up at the drop of a hat.

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