Renewed for a second season, the success of Arrow rests to a great degree upon the shoulders of a bare-chested star, Stephen Amell. CW's Mark Pedowitz said that the casting of Stephen Amell was carefully considered and was informed by market research by what audiences were looking for in their leading men. Amell is square jawed and bearded as opposed to the clean shaven "pretty boy" male actors previously emplyed by CW, he also moves away from the slim toned bodies to a much bigger and more muscular physique where the emphasis is just as much on the size of the muscles than just muscle definition. Says Pedowitz, "We were begining to understand that American women had started moving away from metrosexual men and looking for more heroic men. There is no question when you look at Stephen and the network's male actors now, they are more of the heroic type."
Stephen Amell talked about how his heroic build led to a "pectoral" dilemna. He trained his pecs, which are gratuitously displayed in every single epsiode, so enthusiatisaclly and so hard that they got extremely well developed and huge, surely a good thing right? Wrong says Amell, "I have to be shirtless every week for my TV show. I don't want to get bigger in the chest. On screen, that can look like boobs." He has instructed his trainers accordingly.
Cating aside, the show-runners did not get everything right at the first go, they had to feel their way through the first few epsiodes to get a grip on the material. Says writer Andrew Kreisberg, "We were making the story-telling overly complicated. By epsiode 10, we figured out a traditional type of storytelling: A crime is committed at the begining, Arrow gets on the case, solves it."
The writers also struggled with incorporating the various disparate supporting characters and coming up with story lines for each of them. Kresiberg says, "The early espiodes creaked a little bit from making everything work. Now every scene can be as much as it could possibly be, as opposed to just checking off, 'Great! We got them in the episode this week!'"
Due their learnings, Amell thinks the episodes are getting better and better. "I like where we're headed. I went back recently and watched our fifth episode, and I liked it. But it's nothing compared to what we're doing now. It feels like a completely different show."
DC Chief Creative officer and a writer on the show, Geoff Johns is positive about the arc of the character taking a more profound turn soon. He says, "There is so much room in this show to explore the future of the superhero. He may represent the cynical view now, but by season's end you are going to see a big move toward a more heroic Oliver Queen."