11 October 2012

Arrow -- The Series Premiere Review

This Week in TV -- ARROW: The Series Premiere 

Every now and then, the press and TV critics will come to an agreement that a great show is born. From what I can see, the press and TV critics are unanimous about ARROW. I have been told by those who have seen the Pilot that I am going to love it! The CW and DC have been doing a great job in promoting the show. In recent weeks, I see nothing but positive feedback from the media. There is so much love for this show already. On Twitter, EW calls ARROW not only it is "the network’s best new show, it’s also one of the the best freshman fall shows." When the series premiere aired on Wednesday and it was the number one trending topic on Twitter.

ARROW is a show that I have been dying to watch because I like Justin Hartley's Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen (Smallville) enough to check out this show. I think ARROW has an existing fanbase, and The CW has been keen to hold on to Smallville…I mean, hold on to audience who are comic book fans, males and females! I mean, Stephen Amell is a hottie. The show has the 'the girls are gonna love him and the guys will want to have a Amell six-pack' vibe to it. It is a VERY COOL SHOW! If there must be a comparison, ARROW is closer to Batman Begin than Smallville.

The Pilot was directed by David Nutter. It is written by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (story), and Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim (teleplay). David Nutter is a legend, he has directed many awesome shows including Smallville, Dark Angel, Roswell, Supernatural and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. You may know Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) and Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe). A few familiar names are also attached to the show in some capacity. Guy Bee (Supernatural) has directed an episode and Geoff Johns has also written for an episode already.

Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC -- who penned a number of mind-blowing episodes for Smallville including Absolute Justice (season nine) -- has written episode seven for ARROW. This episode will feature Huntress, I have no idea who she is. This is great news, right? Geoff Johns is the king of geeks, and he knows his stuff.  He always known for reviving/ re-introducing characters such as Hawkman, Dr Fate, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. So I'd be interested to find out more about Huntress. I don't know too much about comics, as I have mentioned it on a number of occasion, but whenever I see his name attached to Smallville, he made headlines. I see how exciting the fans and the press were. So it is a big deal to see Geoff Johns writing for ARROW. In fact, I'd be surprised if the producers didn't ask him to collaborate for ARROW. His contribution is a sign that the show has tremendous support from DC. It's a great thing!

Another thing I am looking forward to is Katie Cassidy. I always like her portrayal as the Original Ruby in Supernatural, I have seen a bit of her in Gossip Girl, 90210 and New Girl, I think while these roles are not great, but her performance is always sharp. I think
ARROW is her best role to date and I can't wait to see her shine as Laurel Lance/ Black Canary. Laurel totally has the Rachel Dawes vibe. But she'd kick Katie Holmes' ass. She is Black Canary and I hope we will get to see that on the show. At the end of the episode, when Laurel has this smirk on her face, I was kinda half-expecting to get a hint of her being a superhero too. But I don't think we will see that just yet.

What about the new Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell? I admit, I have not heard of him before and I certainly not seen Hung or Private Practice, and I was one of those people who think Justin Hartley should carry on as Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen. But it is what is it. I was actually very reserved about the casting. But boy, am I wrong?! I am sold! Stephen Amell is brilliant as Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen in ARROW. It's amazing to see how convincing he is as Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen. The acting, the action, the look, the bow and arrow skills, the whole package. When he came on my screen, I nodded and said, "YUP! HE IS GREEN ARROW!!" Hey, I like Hawkeye/Barton, but I think Green Arrow/ Queen will kick his ass if they get into a fight.

Other few quick thoughts on the Pilot:

-- Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Quentin Lance -- I knew he looked familiar!

-- Random Docter -- He is Hiro Kanagawa aka Mr Nuttercracker Game Show Host from Supernatural's Changing Channels

-- Oliver's mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson) -- She totally has the Angela Petrelli or Lionel Luther vibe.

-- The Island as Purgatory -- I love that, especially when Purgatory is a prominent location on Supernatural.

-- The cast has good chemistry. However, Thomas and Speedy are not working for me yet. And I LIKED Speedy in Smallville. Not sure if it's the same Speedy.

-- The Queen's Housekeeping -- Will she become 'Alfred' one day for Oliver?

-- I like the fact that everyone is treating Oliver like an idiot, but he is kicking ass when they don't see it.

-- The soundtrack -- I hope they stick to this soundtrack, which I like very much. It took me awhile to get used to the pop songs as featured on Smallville, especially in the earlier seasons. There isn't anything wrong with using pop songs, but let's not make it too 90210.

-- The Queen Mansion -- I swear that's like the Luthor Mansion. The show is shot in Vancouver, so perhaps they use the Smallville's old set. Source: GreenArrowTV.

My first impression of ARROW is that this show GOT IT. Stephen Amell GOT IT. Katie Cassidy GOT IT! The dialogues, story and action GOT IT! This show has it all. ARROW is a lot darker than Lois and Clark, and Smallville. It looks very mature from the get-go. It has the Batman Begin vibe. Stephen Amell is as cool as Christian Bale, but there is something very warm about Amell. May be because I am following him on Twitter? The Pilot was brilliant! Very smooth! It sets up the story nicely. It almost looks like a movie. And this Pilot should've been a two-hour premiere if it was up to me!

I think Oliver Queen is very well established in the Pilot. There is not confusion about his character, he has a plan, he knows what he wants. He is very cool headed and he is very similar to Batman/ Bruce Wayne in a way. Unlike Superman/ Clark Kent or Chuck Bartowski, Green Arrow has no problem in killing bad guys. I hope ARROW's Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen won't go through the same angst and depression as Justin Hartley's character on Smallville. I would rather not see this again. I get the whole hero's complex thing, but I guess we will see if and when that happens on ARROW. Stephen Amell's Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen is a lot cooler than I expect. He has this look on his face and it's stone cold sometimes when he is in his Green Arrow mode. And his interpretation is A LOT cooler than Justin Hartley's Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen, who was a lot more relax and very upfront with his playboy, smartass personality the first time he appeared on Smallville. Amell's performance is what ARROW needs. I wonder if his contract say he has to go topless in every episode like Captain Awesome and Justin Hartley?

Superhero movies are no strangers to the theatres, audience love them, but their chance of survival is very slim on the small screen. Smallville was the only long standing television drama in recent years. Didn't somebody try to do Wonder Woman? Other popular superheroes such as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are all off limit for TV creators, unless they are animation. The CW's decision to do ARROW is a smart move. The network has the fanbase and ARROW can bring back those who stuck with Smallville all these years. The show can attract fans who appreciate a good superhero story, regardless whether it be on a big screen or small screen. I think ARROW marks another fresh era of live action superhero shows on TV. And don't forget, Joss Whedon is also working his magic for Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. These shows will set the trend for the next few years! As DC and Marvel go head-to-head and bring the fight from the big screen to the small screen, the entertainment only get bigger and better and fans will benefit from it the most. Both DC and Marvel will continue to dominate the big and small screen, and tell others to suck it! The next decade belongs to the fans.

In summary, I will go as far as saying, I love the ARROW Pilot slightly more than Revolution. I am glad ARROW happens. I love it already! It's a winner!

Here is the promo for next week's episode 1.02 Honor Thy Father.

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