Stephen Amell - Arrow poster

Last month at Fan Expo in Toronto I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the first episode of Arrow. I really dragged my ass on writing this review of it but that’s okay because CW also dragged their ass on actually airing the show which will premiere on October 10th. I’ve put together my thoughts on the show. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum. Keep in mind I know very little about the Green Arrow comic on which I’m told this show is based.

Savage island native Oliver Queen in Arrow

The story is simple enough. Some super rich playboy, Oliver Queen, crashes on an island, spends a ton of time there, *something* happens, he becomes proficient with a bow and arrow, then he’s rescued and … he fights crime! With a bow and arrow! He fights criminals that are armed with guns with a bow and arrow!

Okay so the concept is kind of insane but it’s pretty much Batman. Did I just offend all the Green Arrow fans or all the Batman fans? Oh I don’t really give a shit, it’s kind of the same. But you know what? I kind of like the concept because I’ve seen Batman’s origin like five billion times and I’ve seen Green Arrow’s origin zero times. Well I guess it’s once now…

Lex Luthor's Mansion - Arrow

So Green Arrow, as he’s never referred to in this show, is rich as balls. How rich? So rich he lives in Lex Luthor’s mansion! No really he literally lives in the mansion they used for Smallville, also a show on the CW. A lot of people, myself included, were concerned that this show would be just like Smallville because frankly Smallville got really horrible really quickly. I quit four seasons in and I have no idea how I made it quite so far. In fact this show isn’t really like Smallville at all. Besides some passing similarities the entire cast is different, it’s shot quite differently, the writing isn’t really the same at all, the tone of the show isn’t really close. It’s a DC superhero show on the CW, besides that this is as far from Smallville as anything could be, and that’s damned awesome!

Arrow's gonna shoot someone!

One thing that separates this show from other superhero shows is Arrow’s willingness to kill. It’s a bit shocking at first but this guy just goes around killing people citing excuses like not wanting people to live if they’ve seen his face. That’s hardcore! The whole show is pretty intense like this.

The story is pretty interesting. Here is a guy dealing with the repercussions of having been dead for a while (see Batman Begins…) and trying to get acquainted with his friends and family. Let’s look at them for a minute…

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Willa Holland as Thea Queen in Arrow

Willa Holland plays Thea Queen, his little sister. He calls her Speedy at some point. This is apparently a reference to some sidekick of his. Will Willa Holland be dressing up in tights and kicking ass? That would be absolutely fantastic because she just happens to be incredibly hot. Yes that’s right, they cast a hot girl on a CW show, I know, right? She appears to go to some sort of private school as can be seen by her wearing of a schoolgirl uniform which is totally excellent. Also she does coke and stuff. If the show gets bad I will probably keep watching it just because I think Willa Holland is pretty.

Willa Holland as Thea Queen in a schoolgirl uniform in Arrow

Also in the show is the love interest played by the only less hot because she’s in the same show as Willa Holland, Katie Cassidy. She’s the daughter of David Cassidy of the Partridge Family so yeah… I guess she’s all angsty because maybe Oliver’s responsible for her sister’s death or something. She’s a pro boner lawyer or something. A real goodie two shoes. I didn’t think much of her beyond this but some guys told me that apparently she’s Black Canary. No seriously I don’t know anything about Green Arrow I wasn’t even joking. I guess she’ll be hot in leather!

Katie Cassidy as Dinah Laurel Lance and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow

Guy also has a friend who’s kind of a douche bag. Whatever.

Stephen Amell is Oliver Queen in Arrow

Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow is pretty good. He does a decent acting job and he’s kind of crazy ripped. He looks like a young Garret Dillahunt, not that Garret Dillahunt is terribly old…

The cast of Arrow

Overall the show was actually really good. I really enjoyed the story and can’t wait to see where it’s going. The cast is pretty good for a CW show. Hoping this gets the legs that Smallville had without the suckiness.

Arrow panel at Fan Expo - Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Colin Donnell and Willa Holland

Following the screening we were also treated to a Q&A with the cast. It was interesting to hear them talk about Green Arrow comics. People foolishly asked them what their favourite Green Arrow books were and bull shit questions like that. These are actors, they don’t read stupid comic books. But actually a bunch of them had! I guess they were encouraged to do their homework and they really did. Stephen Amell mentioned that the only people who care about this property more than the loser geeks in the crowd (not his actual words) were the writers for the show and I believe it. They weren’t allowed to elaborate on a ton but it really sounded like there was some great stuff in store for later episodes.

Arrow panel at Fan Expo - the lovely Willa Holland

Check out Arrow in a couple of weeks if you like good stuff! I certainly will because the screening we got was not only in standard def but also in 4:3. What the hell CTV? It will play on CTV (in Canada) and CW (everywhere else) on Wednesday at 8pm starting October 10th.