Hollywood has had mixed success with superheroes as the subject of primetime TV series. Unfortunately, one season shows (Birds of Prey and The Flash) are more common than longrunning series (like Smallville). The CW’s Arrow has been getting a lot of hype but can the show live up to viewer expectations? Is it worth watching?
Arrow revolves around young billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who, after having to fend for himself on a deserted island for years, returns to civilization a changed man. He assumes a vigilante identity and tries to help others and atone for the selfish actions of his wealthy family and previous life. The TV show’s cast also features Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Susanna Thompson, and Paul Blackthorne.
Is the series worth your time? The critics seem to think so:
LA Times: “Although darker in tone than most tellings of the Green Arrow tale (including the subplot on Smallville), it is the story of a hero, not an anti-. Smooth without being slick, textured but not self-indulgent, Arrow reminds us that the best stories we tell are both revelatory and a whole lot of fun to watch.”
Kansas City Star: “The CW’s Arrow is part soap opera, part nerdfest. It probably won’t win any Emmys, but it’s a step up in quality from its comic-book-show predecessor, Smallville.”
USA Today: “Granted, it’s all standard superhero stuff. But the action scenes are well-handled, the emotions and the characters mostly ring true, and the plot offers enough twists to keep you intrigued. By almost all measures, Arrow is one of the season’s more promising pilots. And yet, fairly or not, it must hurdle a substantial problem most other pilots don’t face, and it can be summed up in two letters: CW. Whether from budgetary restraints or management problems, there’s no company out there, broadcast or cable, with a worse record for turning promising pilots into terrible series.”
Boston Herald: “Each episode apparently will feature flashbacks to Ollie’s time on Purgatory, to depict what he endured to become that ace archer. Do we really need another show with island flashbacks? Arrow has so much going for it, it doesn’t need to linger on the past.”
Salt Lake Tribune: It’s all sort of dark and mysterious, which works better than the brief attempts at comedy. But, overall, the show works surprisingly well. This could actually be a superhero shows that works. Comic-book fans, I’m begging you. Don’t nitpick Arrow to death. No, it’s not exactly like the comic books. Because it’s a TV series. Not a comic book. Get over yourselves. Relax. Enjoy. You can’t take Arrow too seriously. It’s supposed to be fun.”
Newsday: “The pilot’s a slam-blam (kazaaam) action-packed thriller that also manages to lace in a pleasing romantic triangle, interfamily intrigue, a flawed hero and, of course, a mystery: How the hell did Oliver learn so much about archery on an apparently deserted island? Just about every element is exactly right here, including casting… Solid start to what could — and maybe should — be a future CW franchise.”
Boston Globe: “Genre fans should be pleased by the action-oriented hour. Eye-candy addicts will enjoy Amell’s moves, and he’s got the broody superhero attitude down. And for drama fans normally unwilling to dip their toes into comic-book waters — and suspend disbelief that a boozy party boy nearly driven mad on a remote island for five years would now know how to hack computers — it has an ensemble of good players. Arrow isn’t quite a bullseye on its first shot, but it hits the target.”
What do you think? Will you be watching Arrow on The CW? If you’ve already seen it, will you watch again?