Last week Arrow debuted on The CW and while I wanted to write a review I didn’t I decided to put my thought in an afterthoughts column why? It’s an easy answer I am big DC Comics fan and a HUGE fan of Oliver Queen maybe even more so than Batman Ollie is the everyman hero a guy that has it all but decides to help those less fortunate not solely out of vengeance or because he believes he can save everyone( looking at you Superman )but because he seeks redemption for his past actions. So for me this show was difficult because I didn’t want to come off as a biased fanboy so I waited it out and now I will share my afterthoughts on The CW’s Arrow.
First and foremost there are some changes to the Green Arrow mythos( which to be fair has had its alterations in DC Comics )that I went into the show aware of but still kind of threw me off. Oliver’s mother is alive and remarried, he has a sister, he and Merlyn are friends( even though Merlyn was Ollies inspiration to become an archer )and Star City is now Starling City. Now with all of these changes I wasn’t turned off by what Arrow offered. His mother seems to know more than she lets on which could add to some decent storytelling, his sister Thea rhymes with Mia as in Mia Dearden who was Speedy is nicknamed Speedy( SHOCK!). At first I was weary of the idea until the girl is doing drugs and clubbing with her friends the contrast between her and the comic version of Speedy is pretty darn close and what better way for Ollie to keep an eye on his troubled sister than to let her become his sidekick, of course if it comes to that. Tommy Merlyn that was weird but Colin Donnell seems to have the right type of energy to play the villain Merlyn so instead of me nerd raging over it I’m interested to see how it will play out. As for Star City being changed to Starling City whatever that bothered me much less than I thought it would. The changes are there but they aren’t so much that I’m turned off by the show and the writing and acting is good not great but good.
That isn’t to say that the writing and acting are terrible because they aren’t there’s just some cheesy dialogue here and there which honestly is a given it’s based on a comicbook I’m not expecting Shakespeare but I could understand how some could be turned off. The acting I enjoy except one thing Amell is an amazing( Green )Arrow but when he tries to double as the old playboy he once was he isn’t convincing. It’s like you can tell he doesn’t want to be a party boy anymore, which I don’t understand why he is because in the comics he stopped that lifestyle, stepped up to taking care of his business( even became Mayor )and punched the crap out of bad guys when he wasn’t having conference calls. As an origin story I can see why they show him still trying to party but honestly I hope they don’t play on that for too long, I’d like to see him not only mature as Arrow but as Oliver as well. The one last complaint I have is something again I came into this show knowing, the producers, writers, and director wanting the grounded reality. Look you can work GA grounded but at the end of the day it is based on a comic book simple as that, I’m not saying I want to see him fighting Chemo in this but I would like to see Brick eventually and that guy is not grounded in reality. Who knows though the show is on its first season and the budget probably isn’t huge things could change in the future but if they don’t I will keep watching.
Now on to the things I loved about the show FAN SERVICE!!!! From the get go Oliver on the island he’s got the whole old school beard going and then oh crap Deathstroke mask. Deathstroke is a DC fan favorite so actually seeing the mask in the show was cool it just worked and what made it better was them actually announcing Slade ‘Deathstroke’ Wilson as a villain in the show!!
It seems as if there is one thing they learned from Smallville is fanservice( which is the only thing that show got right in my opinion )along with Deathstroke there is Deadshot, China White, The Royal Flush Gang, Huntress, and they’re teasing a HUGE reveal for episode 9 plus who is The Well Dressed Man they won’t even say the guys name come on it’s just cool!! If you haven’t watched interviews of the actors on this show check them out they’re really into it Amell said in an interview he’s now a big fan of GA, Katy Cassidy wants to become The Black Canary,these are the type of people you want playing in these roles they make their art much better. In all honesty only the head honcho’s of the show know what’s in store but so far they’re doing a great job of pleasing the fans.
As for the action not much can be said but wow! The scene in the parking garage was great it was silver screen choreography Ollie gets down!!! They have the feel of vigilante crime fighter down to a science I mean this guy’s fight scenes rival that of any hand to hand combat in a superhero film ever, I will argue the crap out of that statement too!! But along with the action is how the show is directed it has a very cinematic feel to it almost like it’s too big for television which is a good thing. It also has a very The Dark Knight Trilogy feel to it and hey if you’re going to imitate a style why not imitate what to some is arguably the best superhero trilogy in history. It may have been risky to do but the similarities between Queen and Wayne are so doggone close it was worth a shot. At the end of the day Arrow is a very good show and from the pilot episode it shows that it only has room to grow, now whether it does or not remains to be seen. Hopefully they can improve on its weaknesses and continue to fortify its strengths I have a good feeling about Arrow and I have to say it is my favorite new show this year.