CliqueClack TV

CW’s Arrow preview: Surprise! It starts out asskickingly good!

I went into the pilot for CW's 'Arrow' with expectations of it being pretty awful and full of teen angst. As it turns out, it's none of that, and so far it's the best pilot I've seen for the 2012 fall season.

Many of you probably don’t know the story of the DC comic book character Green Arrow. Some of you who do know of him either do so in passing or have seen his involvement in the Justice League or the cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Overall, though, he probably comes across to most people as a pretty lame “superhero.” He’s a guy with no super powers, dresses like Robin Hood and shoots funky arrows with a bow. Yawn.

Well, get ready to wake up. CW’s new fall series Arrow promises us a hero/vigilante who’s clearly no slouch. He may be armed with a bow against foes with firearms, but he’s clearly got one up on all of them. A few necks are broken and several human pincushions are made; and that’s just in the pilot.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Green Arrow story, I’ll give a quick introduction to, at least, CW’s version. Billionaire young man Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is a tinsel town jackass. He’s the center of paparazzi attention due to his wealth, good looks and party-guy demeanor. During a trip on his father’s yacht in the China Sea with his dad, girlfriend and a small crew, an accident throws everyone overboard. Oliver is the sole survivor, having made his way to a desolate island. Cut to 15 years later, Mr. Oliver Queen is discovered and rescued from said island, a very different man than before. He’s quiet; he’s tough; and he has a lot of knowledge given to him from his father during their bout at sea to think about. Most importantly, though, Mr. Queen has learned many skills he did not have before landing on that island, and we’re not privy to how he got them … yet.

This is a very different man from 15 years ago, and he’s doing his best to keep people in the dark about that. Queen’s got some work ahead of him, and nobody can know what he’s up to or what he’s learned all those years. Those who do find out are quite quickly made extinct. Broken neck. Arrow through the chest. Whatever works the quickest.

As I said, I went into this show thinking the worst. I thought we were in for a teenager vigilante, who tries to go to high school dances with his green cloak and bow in a backpack; that arrows would be used against bad guys as merely piercing noncritical areas of limbs or snagging jacket hoods to walls. Not so. As Queen’s friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), notes: something happened to Oliver on that island. Oliver Queen may try to continue to portray his party-guy self from fifteen years ago, but he’s not entirely fooling everyone.

The show has decent action, a series-long story arc and an actor who many ladies may find … ahem .. physically appealing. I mean, seriously, this guy’s abs are legen- wait for it because you haven’t seen the pilot yet – dary. In the episode, the guy does these chin-ups with a metal bar and he … what? You just have to see it, OK? It’s re-donk-ulous.

In many ways, Arrow is a lot like Batman. He’s rich, lives in a mansion, has no super powers, and has a whole slew of gadgets at his disposal. He also tries very hard to keep authorities off his trail by putting on a very different persona in public life than one would think a crazy, bad-ass, hooded vigilante would. Some may consider this a big ol’ rip-off of Batman, in fact, which I guess one might consider a minus for the series. If you put that aside, though, you’re in for what looks to be a great addition to the network.

It’s always, always incredibly difficult — impossible, even — to fully assess the possibility of success for a show based on a single episode, especially when that episode is the pilot and very likely does not reflect the flow of subsequent episodes. I was wrong — oh so wrong — about several other shows in the past; I’d like to think I’ve learned a bit since then. Though Arrow has caught me with its strong pilot, the show will only win me over completely if it continues to keep the same pace of not holding back from Queen’s streak of badassery. Once CW turns him into a compassionate wimp, they’ve lost me.

Now for some fun commercial-worthy jibber-jabber for CW: Arrow is on target to being the best show of the new fall season. – CliqueClack TV

Come on, that was good, right?

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Categories: | Features | General | News | Previews | TV Shows |

3 Responses to “CW’s Arrow preview: Surprise! It starts out asskickingly good!”

June 4, 2012 at 9:28 AM

After getting hooked on Young Justice (where Green Arrow has a smaller role but is voiced by Alan Tudyk), I’m excited about this one. And let’s face it, The Avengers got us kind of stoked about handsome non-superpowered archers who like to show off their biceps. JUST. SAYING.

June 5, 2012 at 2:01 AM

I know Green Arrow more from Smallville than anything else. It will be interesting to see the new version and try to put the other one aside.

June 5, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Now, if they could get Kevin Smith to consult on a few episodes…He did an awesome job of bringing him back to life in the series he wrote for DC.

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