The Ninjabot

About Last Night: The CW Premiere of “Arrow”

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 10:00 am by Amanda Andonian

So last night marked the beginning of the CW’s new show Arrow, which is based on the Green Arrow comics, I guess? The series was developed by Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Green Lantern, No Ordinary Family), Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone, No Ordinary Family), and Andrew Kreisberg (The Vampire Diaries, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Batman Confidential). If you’re a fan of the Green Arrow, you might recognize Kreisberg from his work on “Green Arrow and the Black Canary” as well. I don’t know if it was any good because I don’t read comics, but there’s some context for you.

The show starts with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) escaping from an island in the middle of the Pacific that’s poetically named “Purgatory” in Chinese. This was the first eye-rolling moment for me, and it certainly wasn’t the last. He makes it back home to be greeted by incredulous family members, and he wastes no time in setting up his secret hideout so that he can go out and start righting the wrongs of his family or whatever. There’s mostly just a lot of him training without a shirt on in the beginning.

Honestly, this origin story doesn’t give us much of an origin. Everything remotely interesting already happened to Oliver in the past, which I imagine they’ll unfold later on in the course of the series through flashbacks; but I hate writing that depends on flashbacks to tell a story. Lost really set an incredibly annoying standard in that respect, and it seems like every new show just has to pack in as many flashbacks as possible to “reveal” the sordid truth of someone’s past. I want to see how Oliver became the way he is now, but I don’t really feel like having it fed piecemeal to me over the course of 22 episodes.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the CW without at least a little teenage angst. Oliver’s younger sister, Thea (Willa Holland), is obviously going to play a role in connecting him back with his family, or at least to serve as a side plot to distract him from his mission as the Green Arrow. I imagine there will be at least one or two episodes where he fails her or disappoints her somehow because he had to go and be a vigilante. Unsurprisingly, she’s something of a wild child, apparently because she does some drugs. What sickeningly rich teenager doesn’t? It’s hard to feel a ton of sympathy for her whiny ass.

There’s also Oliver’s driver, John Diggle (David Ramsey), who I guess is going to try and shadow him for episode upon episode to try and figure out what he’s doing. The drama would not be complete without a pain in the ass best friend (Colin Donnell), an ex-girlfriend that he obviously still has feelings for (Katie Cassidy), and a detective who thinks that he’s up to no good (Paul Blackthorne of The Dresden Files fame). None of these characters seemed the least bit interesting to me in the hour that I watched them, due in large part that everyone is just so one-dimensional.

To steal a comment from Snackbar, Oliver Queen’s basically Batman with patents and a bow and arrow. He wants to clean up his city from all the corruption that’s poisoning it, and he plans on doing so one bad guy at a time. The end of the episode is somewhat saved by the revelation of how his father killed himself to make sure that Oliver would survive, as well as the somewhat less impressive twist that his mother might be involved in all the crime that sweeping the city. It kind of sets up an interesting situation for the course the series, but the writing did not do a very good job of making me give a crap about anyone on this show, so I don’t anticipate remembering to watch Arrow next week.

I don’t really know who this show is for, in the end. Amell spends a ton of time without his shirt on, which I guess is supposed to appeal to the female demographic; and the show is based on a comic book character, so by virtue of that alone it’s supposed to draw a male audience? Or maybe I’ve just got it all wrong and the CW’s target demographic is still teenage girls, so in which case this show is for them. Since the show leads into The Vampire Diaries, I’m willing to bet it’s that last one.

Did anyone else watch the premiere? Is anyone a fan of the Green Arrow comics? How did you feel about this take on the superhero? Were you as bored as I was?

If you’re not bored by her ramblings already, you can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

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