Review: CW’s ARROW

ARROW is a dark moody glob of fun with twists for everyone!

ARROW-TV-Series-Cast-Promo-600x222First things first. If I do not personally like a movie, I will never ever tell you not to go see it. I will tell you what I liked and what I don’t like and leave that decision up to you. My tastes are not the same as yours and vice versa.

I have not read a lot of GREEN ARROW comics, the DC comic that this show is based on, and know enough to pass a test if it’s graded on a curve. That’s still not a lot. I’ve heard that this show will portray Oliver Queen a little darker than the comic books have.

I’m reluctant to watch anything on CW because the usual fare just seems to be teen angst and drama. Most of the shows on this channel are geared towards the younger set of which I am not a member. I’m a man in my forties and like my action mixed with a  little twisted drama. And Arrow does not fail to deliver this for me.

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he's become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow - a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be - flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle - while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel's father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver's own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.

Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels published by DC Comics, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti ("Green Lantern," "Brothers & Sisters"), Marc Guggenheim ("FlashForward," "Eli Stone"), Andrew Kreisberg ("Warehouse 13," "The Vampire Diaries") and David Nutter ("Smallville," "Supernatural," "Game of Thrones"). Melissa Kellner Berman ("Eli Stone," "Dirty Sexy Money") is co-executive producer. The pilot was directed by David Nutter from a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim, story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim.

Courtesy of www.cwtv.com

***Possible Spoiler Alert***

ARROWRight out of the starting gate, I like Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. Not just as an actor, but how he portrays Queen. Within the first couple of minutes, you realize that something really jacked up happened to him on this island. And it was bad. I have to admit I really thought the acting was kind of wooden at the start, but then realized that was just the character remaining composed and observant. The flashbacks to his playboy days helped me get to that point.

The other characters of import are Laurel Lance, played by Katie Cassidy, and her father Detective Lance, played by Paul Blackthorne. Some of you may know Paul as Harry Dresden from THE DRESDEN FILES, based on Jim Butcher’s series of novels by the same name. In the comic books, Laurel is full name is Dinah Laurel Lance, hinted about in the show, and she is Black Canary, a superhero with exceptional martial arts skills and a “canary cry” which can shatter objects and incapacitate bad guys. Though she’s just a ordinary average Jo Anne in the show, they may try to develop this later on.

I also like the action scenes. Though they were a little too frantic at times, I really loved the combination of parkour, capoeira, and bow-fu to take down the bad guys. Though this is the DC Comic’s GREEN ARROW, he definitely doesn’t hold back and you’ll find a body count going on. I think this may lead to more viewers who like a little grit in their entertainment. Me? I was raised on the Lone Ranger and original Batman. In the westerns, the bad guys were usually shot in the hand and when you ran out of bullets, you threw your guns at each other! I like the grit, but it would not be a killer (no pun) if they had him just knocking out people.

One last item that will bring me back for the next episode is the reveal at the end. Not only did Daddy have secrets, but it seems others do, too. As I said, I like twists in my shows, and it’s a doozy. It’s hinted at in the blurb above and I wish they had left it out or only hinted at it and it would have made the end even better!

Now, I do have some problems with it. There not big ones but problems none the less. Mainly, there is the problem with his bodyguard. Without revealing too much of the story, after a failed kid-napping, Ollie has a body guard, named John Diggle and played by David Ramsey, assigned to him by his mother. He ditches him, not once but twice. We never hear anything else about it. Did Diggs ever report him and even if he didn’t why isn’t there some sort of confrontation with Ollie about it?

CW Arrow One Hour Series PromoOliver has a lot of money. That means he can purchase pretty much anything he wants. On the consumer market. He’s also smart. He’s a pretty tech-savvy guy. But, when he goes to set up shop, he’s bringing in what looks like military-spec gear. Especially, his weapons. He may have designed them, but he didn’t build them in his lair. So, who or what is getting him his goods? A contact? From where? Black market? From who?

The next few episodes will introduce two new characters. One has already been hinted at on the island. In the flashbacks to when Oliver gets picked up, you’ll see a mask. This belongs to the character Deathstroke. We will also meet Deadshot and China White in future episodes. Did anyone catch the nickname he gave his little sister? Google it. Or ask nicely.

In summary, I really liked the pilot. It’s got action, it’s got drama, it’s got high tech gadgetry, so I’ll be watching it for at least the next couple of episodes. Though there is a love interest, it wasn’t too much for me to handle, though that may change in a few episodes. I look forward to seeing what the CW has in store for us.

The CW: Arrow

DC Wiki: Green Arrow

DC Wiki: Black Canary

Review by Starman at My Geeky Geeky Ways – check this out for a more detailed review.

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