Friday, January 10, 2014

Arrow, S1E1: The Pilot

I'm trying to actually cut down on my TV watching, in exchange for drawing and writing (hello blog!). So the TV that I actually do watch, I want to be good.

Some of the players in my game group have been heavily recommending Arrow. As a CW show, I had an bias against it. I never could get into Smallville, and as Smallville continued, I got less interested. My initial impression was that Arrow was a spin off from Smallville, as Smallville appeared to have a Green Arrow character. My friends let me know that Arrow had nothing to do with Smallville, and that they really thought I should check it out.

So today I watched the Pilot episode. I was impressed. While not 100% into the lead actor who plays Arrow, I thought that over all the episode felt VERY solid for a pilot. They knocked it out of the park on several aspects: action, drama, character development, mystery, romance.

Having his 5 years on the island, his origin, left as a mystery gives the show room to develop the character in various ways while they were still able to establish how Oliver Queen gained his abilities, and the abilities felt grounded. His actions scenes were believable in what he was able to pull off, and how he did them. I enjoyed the interplay between Queen and his bodyguard.

We're given enough pieces of his motivation to see why he is driven, yet we can see we don't have the entire picture. We have a list of bad guys, and within this first story arc, he was able to cross a name off. He sets up his base of operations in a montage that seems to happen within a day, but as a montage, I'll give it a little leeway.

You get the sense that Queen has a agenda and a plan in how to accomplish everything. He even has an idea of his secret identity. But the vague name of the "Green Hood"? Is that really where the idea stopped for him?

You do get the feeling that Queen is haunted, and they drew a great comparison of who he was before the island. This isn't Batman using a mask by the name of Bruce Wayne. This is a millionaire playboy through and through who has experienced a life-threatening trauma that has changed him. And Queen is willing to kill for his goals.

Compared to other superhero TV fare, this is the strongest series out of the gate. I'm looking forward to watching where they take us from here.

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