Had I seen it before: Not only had I never seen this before, but I know absolutely nothing about the source material. I’m only barely aware of the fact that the Green Arrow is a superhero and not some lawn and garden store.
What IMDb says: Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.
Why I picked it: Look, I’m the first person to admit that superhero tv shows/movies aren’t really my cup of tea but I also can’t deny their popularity. I wanted to include the genre in this project because regardless of my personal tastes, a large amount of people like them and so a large amount of money is invested in making them.
I’m also intrigued by the notion of multiple tv shows taking place in the same universe. The “Arrowverse” includes not only Arrow, but also The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, plus a few animated shows and then some crossovers with Supergirl. (You can read the full Wikipedia page here if you’re more interested than I am.) Since Arrow is the first show in this universe, I’m curious to see what (if anything) the pilot does to hint at that world larger than the one contained within this specific show.
(We’ll look at the Marvel version of this with Daredevil tomorrow, though to be fair, that’s a Netflix original rather than a network tv show, and so it’s not an entirely fair comparison.)
What I liked: I do think the pacing of it was good. We learn the initial premise right away (yeah, they had to use some VO, which is a little annoying but it’s tolerable here) and then we gradually learn more info about what happened while Oliver was believed to be dead. We end the pilot knowing that he’s planning to exact revenge against shitty people, as per his father’s wishes.
Also, Stephen Amell is pretty.
What I didn’t like: The protagonist of this show fucked his girlfriend’s sister and was a general asshole. He wasn’t even a funny asshole like Tony Stark, just the kinda stereotypical rich kid no one likes.
The story is supposed to be about how this asshole finds a new purpose in defending the little guy against bigger assholes. He’s supposed to be a changed man. I know because IMDb told me. And I guess that’s cool and all, but we don’t see enough of that change in the pilot. And it’s really hard to get into a superhero show where you don’t really like the main superhero.
I’m also a little confused as to whether or not he actually has superpowers or is just a really good archer. I think he found an island in the middle of nowhere that gave him magic powers? But then if that’s true, good archery skills is a little lame as superpowers go.
Do I want to watch Ep. 2: Not particularly. But I’ll reiterate that this is also not a show I would typically watch anyway, so I’m not really sure that it’s a bad pilot just because I wouldn’t keep watching.