Arrow: Pilot Review -

Arrow: Pilot Review

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  • Episode: The Pilot
  • Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy and Willa Holland
  • Written By: Mort Weisinger (characters created by), George Papp (characters created by)
  • Directed By: David Nutter
  • Network: The CW
  • Series:

Arrow: Pilot Review

The CW aims at comic fans with a new Green Arrow

By Tim Janson     October 11, 2012

So let me get this straight…Green Arrow had been a recurring character in the CW’s Smallville for several seasons.  When Smallville ended its run last year, actor Justin Hartley, who portrayed the character, expressed an interest in a spinoff series.  For whatever reason it the spinoff fell through…only to have Warner Bros. and the CW develop a new Green Arrow series, with a new actor in the lead role, and completely tossing out the continuity that was established in Smallville…and that turns out to be a good thing.

It’s clear from the beginning that this is not the Smallville Green Arrow.  This is a darker, grittier take from the character himself to the style in which it is filmed with a palette less dependent on bold, primary colors,  A brief prologue shows how young and wealthy playboy Oliver Queen, son of billionaire Robert Queen, was shipwrecked on an island in the North China Sea when his father’s yacht sinks.  Oliver is the only survivor of the wreck that also included his father and  girlfriend Sara Lance, the sister of Dinah “Laurel” Lance.  For five years Oliver (Stephen Amell) is a castaway on the island who hones his physical and archery skills to the highest degree when he is finally rescued by a passing fishing vessel.

Oliver returns home to Starling City already with an agenda.  Before his father died Oliver learned he wasn’t the honest, charitable businessman that he thought he was.  Oliver returns to settle the score with some of Starling City’s most dishonest and corrupt powerbrokers by donning a green hood and his bow as the Arrow.  

With all due respect to Justin Harley, Amell has already got him beat hands down as Green Arrow.  He’s bigger, much more rugged, and more believable as both Oliver and Green Arrow.  The dichotomy of his performance as the ultra-rich spoiled son of a billionaire and the avenging Arrow was never established as strongly during Smallville’s run. This version has no qualms about using deadly force as we find out quite quickly when Oliver is kidnapped by a gang of masked thugs.

Arrow had too much soap opera drama for my tastes, especially in the pilot episode.  Too much is thrown at the viewer at once.  Oliver has friction with Dinah who blames him for her sister’s death; his mother is now married to his father’s business partner and they can barely hide their sinister intentions; Oliver’s teenaged sister Thea is running with the wrong crowd and involved with drugs; and best fried Tommy Merlyn appears to have his own agenda going on.  That’s a lot of bases to cover within the span of an hour and much of the drama seemed contrived.  And stately Queen Manor looked an awful lot like stately Luthor Manor.

The selling points for Arrow is that it does seem like it will feature a lot of action and will also feature a lot of characters from the comic books.  We’ve already met Dinah Lance and Tommy Merlyn, as well as Constantine Drakon, who plays the bodyguard to one of the crooked businessmen who Oliver goes after in the pilot.  Other characters set to appear in future episodes include Deadshot and The Huntress.  

Arrow didn’t knock it out of the park with the pilot but it did hit a solid double and is definitely worth a look.


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DarthBob 10/11/2012 4:33:56 AM

C rating at best; it was nothing more than an episode of Days of Our Lives with a main character that likes to shoot a bow.  The acting was terrible and there was nothing gritty about it at all.  Green Arrow is a comic book character so make a comic book TV show.  This will only go down hill from here and will make Smallville look like must see TV.  DC continues to stand for Dumb Comics!

Dazzler 10/11/2012 4:57:22 AM

I liked it, going to keep watching.  What can I say I have a thing for islands ala Lost.  I like the split time with real time and past time on the island.  That black dude that is married to Green Arrow's mom is that guy from Resident evil that got diced I think.  He has a smooth voice.   They also have Dresden files guy also for a cop.  I miss Dresden files. 

wish 10/11/2012 5:38:28 AM

yeah I thought it was awesome, it stumbled a bit here and there but it's the CW and it's the most honest effort they've put forward since Supernatural to make a quality series for adults. Stephen Amell did a great job, he's a good actor and being one of the few peole I know that actually watched Hung with Thomas Jane, he's familiar to me and surprisingly diverse. There are some solid actors in this show and I'm definitely tuning in for the next few weeks to give it all the chance it needs.

The action was brutal and awesome, far better than I expected.

Mayhem101878 10/11/2012 5:43:10 AM

I kinda liked it and think it has some potential. I'm not that big of a comic reader, I love comics just haven't had much time or money to get the comics, but I think that helps me sometimes since I have nothing to compare it to other than other TV shows. I'm going to keep watching this.

rogue188 10/11/2012 6:19:13 AM

Yup, this was barely a C. Horrible acting. Unbelievable dialogue and situations that reek of cliche. The troubled teen sister, the spurned lover, the likeable goofball friend and the manipulative mother. There is nothing original about this show. I'll give the second episode a try...but I have low expectations.

MrEt 10/11/2012 9:29:45 AM

Not sure if this will have the staying power of smallville, it just did not grab me as much, will give it more time to develop but I myself am not in love with what it is yet, and GA would not be the first character I would want to do a spinoff from smallville anyways.

fft5305 10/11/2012 10:18:59 AM

Arrow reminded me a lot of Spartacus. The first episode of that was just good enough to get me to watch the second. Each episode got progressively better until the show was a must watch by the end of the first season. If Arrow can do as well, I'll be happy.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 10/11/2012 11:07:57 AM

Wasn't great but not too bad.  Way better than that awful puddle of Superman's diarhhea that was Smallville.

rogue188 10/11/2012 11:42:16 AM

Oh hell no, MrJawBreakingEquilibrium. If we are comparing pilots, Smallville's was miles ahead. The special effects seemed better too, and Smallville is 11 years older. .

monkeyfoot 10/11/2012 12:02:42 PM

Haven't watch it yet. I dvr'd it. I can't have an opinion yet, but reportedly the ratings were huge. This show, like it or not, will probably be around awhile.

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