Of course, I was going to watch Arrow. And make the obligatory joke about it lasting ten seasons like Smallville did, like: I'll only watch ten seasons of Arrow, no more, no less.
The good news is that Arrow is good. It's a more mature, more action-oriented and violent show than Smallville was. It's also rather dense. Surprisingly dense. There's a lot going on.
The basics: After five years alone on a deserted island in the North China Sea (called "Purgatory" in Chinese), Oliver Queen is rescued and returned to his home in Starling City. His father, the sister of his girlfriend (Dinah) Laurel Lance, and an employee of his father all died when their yacht "Queen's Gambit" sank during a storm. The island changed Oliver, Ivy League dropout and rich boy womanizer, in ways we're slowly discovering. For one, he's cut, chiseled and jacked, he has awesome survival and martial arts skills, he can speak Russian now, and he's a crack shot with a bow and arrow.
Oliver returns to a Starling City populated by tons of recurring characters, all of whom are interrelated to him in some fashion, many living under his mother's roof.
Let's see, there's Oliver's mother Moira Queen, who remarried (Hamlet-style) to Walter Steele and together, they run Queen Industrials.
There's Oliver's seventeen year old sister Thea, who he used to call "Speedy", but is now secretly a cokehead.
Also always around is Oliver's best friend Tommy Merlyn, who is secretly seeing Laurel Lance, now an attorney, who used to be Oliver's girlfriend until Oliver ran away with her sister Sarah, who died when the boat sank. You get all that?
Well, there's more, like police detective Quentin Lance who doesn't trust Oliver Queen and is the father of Laurel Lance and the aforementioned deceased Sarah Lance.
Geez, and we haven't even gotten to the villain of the episode, who Arrow targets and steals $40-million dollars from.
Oliver Queen came back from the island with a mission and a book his father gave him with a list of names on it. Before his father committed suicide, he told Oliver he was a bad man and Starling City is full of bad men, but his job was to go back and make everything right. Nowhere did he say, "dress up like Robin Hood and shoot arrows at them." Oliver came up with that on his own.
Before the hour is up, Oliver and Tommy will have been abducted and interrogated by masked men, Oliver will have saved them both while claiming they were rescued by a mysterious hooded figure, Oliver will have a bodyguard assigned to him he has to repeatedly dodge before outright beating up, Tommy will have thrown Oliver a bitchin' welcome back party with strippers and booze and tons of hotties, the Arrow will have gotten into a bloody battle in the villain's skyscraper and killed a bunch of his henchmen before stealing $40 million from him, and there'd be a shocking revelation that Moira Queen herself had Oliver and Tommy abducted because she wants to know what he knows, i.e. what her late husband told their son. That's a lot to fire at the audience in one hour.
Of course, there are things that don't immediately make sense, like the sheer number of arrows Arrow leaves behind at a crime scene. A lot of physical evidence. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out Oliver Queen is Arrow. After all, there was no Arrow until Oliver Queen reappeared in Starling City, and he's not exactly hiding his newfound skills and abilities. Also, Oliver Queen took over an abandoned Queen Industrial factory and turned it into a high tech Arrow HQ all by himself without anyone noticing. Plus, it seems weird he lives in his mommy's mansion with his little sister and creepy stepfather. Maybe Oliver Queen ought to move out, get his own pad?
Stephen Amell is a fine, rugged and physically impressive Oliver Queen. Colin Donnell is an intriguing foil for him as Tommy Merlyn. Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance (Black Canary in the comics) and Willa Holland as Thea Queen are appealing female leads. Fun to see Paul Blackthrone and Roger Cross, both alumni of 24, show up as police detectives.
So. Arrow. Guess I'll settle in. It'll be a long ten seasons...
(edited by John Orquiola on 10.10.12 2021) @CMPunk “@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Pilots are always busy getting it all in. I liked it.
Ollie was always sort of a left wing arrow shooting batman, so I am hoping they work in the underdog thing, which they kind of did at the end with the charity workers getting money.
Colin Salmon is an actor I like who plays Steele.
I was pretty happy with the show, on a series record.
We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift
I really don't want Arrow to go 10 seasons. I liked it, I guess because Oliver Queen pretending to still be into the vapid socialite scene, while really wanting to put on a hood and be a remorseless killing version of Batman really endears me to Ollie.
How is the bodyguard gonna explain he lost his client twice, the second time by being taken down by the client himself? You'd think that would be a bad way to hide your identity. I also can't wait to see how they explain the Deathstroke mask from the very beginning of the episode.
I actually dug it so much that "obvious off-again-on-again love interest", and "douchebag socialite friend who's obviously gonna turn on Oliver later" on didn't even get a roll of the eyes from me.
I gave this a shot and I liked it! I know some people wrote off Stephen Amell for the crime of "not being Justin Hartley," but he pulled the title role off very well. I think he's going to make a fine lead.
I think the villains are muddying things up, because there's way too much going on right now. You've got a police force that's been bought off, a corrupt millionaire, and Ollie's mom (WHAAAAAAAAAAT???) all on the wrong side of things and much of it is a little difficult to follow.
The interaction between Ollie, Laurel, and Tommy made this pilot solid in my eyes. There are a lot of human moments between these three and Ollie's friendship with Tommy is a lot of fun to watch, similar to the dynamic that Clark and Lex shared at the start of Smallville. Tommy's going to make a great sleazebag bad guy when the time comes.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaPlus, it seems weird he lives in his mommy's mansion with his little sister and creepy stepfather. Maybe Oliver Queen ought to move out, get his own pad?
I can actually buy this plot point. Given that the guy has been shipwrecked alone on an island for five years, I can understand that he needs some time at home to adjust. But I expect he'll be getting his own place sooner than later.
What I'm not so keen about is essentially taking the Mia Dearden character and turning her into Ollie's sister, but I guess it works for the purposes of the narrative.
About 4 million tuned in for Arrow, which is huge for The CW. That's about a million more than Smallville's series finale drew in May, 2011, though it's about half of Smallville's series debut on October 16, 2001 in a much different TV landscape.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Saw it due to all the positive reviews here. Minus the fact that he doesn't look like Ollie, not loving the crew cut, and the possible annoying bodyguard plot that he will have to get out of each week, its good. Very good. I loved the nods to other characters. Hopefully, it won't fall into the Smallville trap of random villain of the week that sorta knows his identity.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Originally posted by CEOIIIAlright, I'm more of a Marvel than a DC fan, what of Green Arrow should I get from a comic shop to get the broad strokes?
The clear touchstone for much of Arrow is Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunter by Mike Grell in which Green Arrow got rid of all of his trick arrows and went back to using just regular arrows to take down bad guys.
Any Green Arrow that has Mike Grell's name on it is worth a look.
Josh & Diggle's Green Arrow: Year One while nowhere near as good as the Frank Miller Batman: Year One (but how could it be?) is still a highly enjoyable look at the early Oliver Queen and another obvious touchstone. Great artwork by Josh.
Kevin Smith's best super-hero work is the stuff that he did on Green Arrow with Phil Hester, especially Green Arrow: Quiver. This is where the female Speedy comes from.
The obvious comic series that everyone points to with Green Arrow is the Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow. These include the Speedy is a Junkie storyline. The artwork is gorgeous and - at the time - these were groundbreaking work, but even at the time they were astonishingly unsubtle.
They haven't aged well is what I am saying. I still have a really nice oversize hardcover of them on my bookshelf and I take it down everyone once in a while to look at the gorgeous Neal Adams artwork, but all things considered I would rather have an Absolute edition of O'Neil's The Question run with Denys Cowan, easily the best comic book of it's time (the late Eighties).
The other obvious influence on Arrow is Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, making two prime time series very very loosely based on that book on the air right now. (The other one being ABC's Revenge)
The Arrow New York Comic Con sizzle reel left an arrow in my pants. Lots of Deathstroke and who looks like The Huntress too.
(edited by John Orquiola on 14.10.12 1143)
I think the Huntress might actually be Cheshire, but I could be wrong. The Deathstroke made me squeal out loud, but not as loud as what I'm pretty sure was Deadshot (albeit sans costume). As a Suicide Squad mark (and seriously, what kind of awesome show would THAT be?), I'm psyched.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
I'm a few days late to this story, but it looks like it's the end of the road for Stephen A. Smith at ESPN. The thought of SAS as the next Olbermann is a disturbing one, indeed. But at least he's finally off my TV and off my radio...for now.