Fall TV Preview

Did The CW's Arrow Hit the Spot?

The CW’s Arrow hit primetime on Wednesday night — but in your opinion, did it hit the bullseye? Or did it land in, like, that first ring just outside dead center?

PHOTOS | Hot Shots: The CW’s Arrow Takes on Deadshot

Arrow presented Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, an uberwealthy cad who loses his father — and what was left (i.e. not much!) of his innocence — in a tragic yachting accident. After five years of isolation on a remote isle, a megabuff and brooding Oliver returns home to Starling City where he assumes the after-hours persona of Arrow, a hooded, bow-toting vigilante who targets, among other ne’er-do-wells, the slithery slimeballs on a list left to him by his dad.

Populating Ollie’s world are Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place) as Laurel Lance, his legal activist ex-girlfriend; Susanna Thompson (Once & Again) and Willa Holland (The O.C.) as his mother Moira and kid sis Thea aka “Speedy”; Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Laurel’s detective dad, Quentin; and Colin Donnell (Pan Am) and David Ramsey (Dexter) as his BFF Tommy Merlyn and bodyguard John Diggle.

RELATED | Arrow Casts Torchwood‘s John Barrowman and Battlestar‘s Tahmoh Penikett

Arrow packed in several thrilling action sequences, and Oliver’s island existence is plenty ripe for revisiting via flashbacks (Hi, Deathstroke mask!). But his day-to-day life hit a bump here and there, momentum-wise. For one, as I said in my First Impression, the jury is out on how Donnell’s sorta-goofy, hottie-hunting Tommy — who, according to lore, has his own dynamic destiny — fits into this stark, edgy narrative. But there certainly is great potential for the series as a whole.

What did you think of Arrow? Assign a grade below, then hit the Comments with your review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sg.Grant says:

    Probably the best show the CW has.


  3. Jake says:

    Sorry but I didn’t like it. The actors had no chemistry together and the show in general is boring. Green Arrow is not a fascinating hero in this so I give it a C. I was quite bored.

    • lll says:

      While the actors do not have chemistry together, I still think the show was good. I gave it a B.

      • Foreverland says:

        The actors all had lots of chemistry, they are a really strong cast. This is one cast on the CW which isnt filled with teens. There are 3 generations in the cast and a lot of good stories to tell for all of them.

        I think the acting was also good and can only improve as the actors get acquainted with their characters and each other. I can see this being on of the best shows on CW. Its not bad if CW has vampire diaries, supernatural, Arrow and Nikita to rely on. Lets make it happen fans and watch our shows to keep CW alive

        • JUDE says:

          Never watched Supernatural huh? The only TEEN cast member they’ve ever had was just hired as a quasi-regular (Kevin the prophet) late in their 7th year of the show…… unless you count three episodes that had flashbacks to the Winchesters’ childhood memories. Sam’s character had finished pre-Law at Stanford in the series pilot 8 years ago and Dean was four years older than him. So………… definitely NOT a teen angst show………….

          • Serena says:

            Supernatural isn’t a CW show, it’s a WB show taken in by the CW.

            Therefore, Arrow is the FIRST CW show (i.e. premiered on the network) without teens.

          • Dean says:

            Serena: If you go that route, then Nikita was the first show without teens on CW.

          • Serena says:

            Dean:You don’t count Alex and the other recruits in Division as teens? She was a teen when it started right?

    • dude says:

      I don’t know how anyone can say a pilot that fast paced was boring.

      • Tiff says:

        This. I was shocked by how much I liked it, but the pace really made it. It feels like the producers tried as much as possible to emulate Batman Begins, and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

        That said, I also think the acting could use some work. But I’m willing to give the actors some time since it was so fun.

        • Mikael says:

          It was basically a copy of Batman Begins. You could replace Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy with Christian Bale and Katie Holmes and no one would notice. Especially the theme of Ollie having to play up his playboy persona so no one could think he was Arrow. I definitely like the show, but it’s very Batman… except Green Arrow has no problem killing

          • Dean says:

            And that isn’t a bad thing. Green Arrow was based on Batman and Robin Hood when it was created in the 40’s.

  4. Laura says:

    It was awesome!! It’s my new must watch show. ;)

    • Leo says:

      Agreed! Who cares if it’s like watching Batman or Smallville? It’s a fresh show at this moment. One of a kind. I’ll definitely be tuning in. But no chemistry, bad acting? The hell? Some people really need hugs. It may not be the best, but it’s tolerable, I love the dynamic between Ollie and Tommy, Ollie and Thea even Ollie with Diggle.

      • JUDE says:

        Way to go, Leo!!! Agreed! Someone on another blog said that Ollie was too stiff..!?!? WTH ??? I wonder how’d they’d be after 5 years of virtual solitude and witnessing your Dad killing someone else and HIMSELF just to give you a better chance to survive ???!!!!!! I too enjoyed those particular relationships…………… poor Diggle…

  5. JC says:

    I saw the Laurel and Tommy thing a mile away. But that was quite the twist at the very end.

  6. ChuckieChk says:

    loved it! as a long time fan of smallville, i will support this show as long as its on!

    • Erin says:

      I enjoyed it, but I think my love of Smallville made it hard for me to love it. I spent most of the hour wishing it were Justin Hartley. But I’ll definitely be giving it a few more episodes.

      • Emgee says:

        I agree 100%. I too will give it a few more episodes.

        • Carrie says:

          I agree. Justin Hartley has a lot more charisma than this guy. I won’t be giving the show another shot, though. I thought it was dull and the acting was pretty bad. It just bored me.

          • Foreverland says:

            That maybe true, but I think Stephen is supposed to play a more serious Oliver Queen, he has periods were he is like that in comics. This is exactly why they changed the actor. This Oliver is supposed to have PTSD and has been through hell in purgatory lol, so he isnt his old self or the lively Olllie.

            I think stephen has charisma, how it compares to Hartley I dont know, they have slightly different versions of the characters. Stephen did a good job in my opinion of what he was required. On twitter he seems like he has a wicked sense of humour and in the show his character looks like that as well. His humour is subtle and sarcastic and not flashy but it works too.

      • Kristina says:

        My husband and I did too. Still wish they’d done a spinoff instead, nothing against this actor.

      • Rose says:

        I too am a die hard Smallville fan and especially a green arrow/justin hartley fan in season six. However, I am loving Stephen Amell as Oliver. And, I am glad they went in a different direction. I was impressed.

      • Yanez says:

        I did too. I love Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen. He would have been perfect for this show. The show did keep my attention so i’ll definitely tune in next week

      • ChrisGa says:

        Overall, not a bad start. However, gotta say Stephen Amell, while a stunning physical specimen, has about one tenth of the charisma that Justin Hartley displayed on Smallville(I think he and Katie Cassidy would’ve set that screen on fire) and frankly isn’t a particularly compelling lead(another show that suffers that problem is Grimm; gorgeous guy but comes off totally flat). Still, Katie Cassidy and Susanna Thompson can sell anything and I like the guy playing Tommy so I’m onboard for the time being.

  7. Mick says:

    Overall the show has great potential, but they need to kill the voice overs because they messed with the pace of the show and didn’t match the tone of the scene sometimes.

  8. Tj says:

    Oh, yeah! Ready for more.

  9. I love love love love it, I think it was very dark for a CW show, which is what CW needs, CW needs action shows like TVD, SN, & Arrow, that is what brings in the ratings for CW, as much as I love Hart of Dixe & 90210 CW is no longer for little cute shows or teenage shows, that was back in the WB when they could do it good, but CW needs to start showing more action shows if they want thier ratings up. I will watch this show,I liked it snice the start.

  10. Kristen says:

    I really enjoyed it, I think it has a lot of potential.

  11. Emgee says:

    I give it a B-. It was good and I will probably watch it again, though at times it did seem to move a little slowly in the backstory. The twist at the end was unexpected, though also pretty early in the series for such a revalation.
    I think one of the major problems that the series will suffer from is converting Smallville fans who are used to Justin Hartley in the role. I will watch a couple more episodes before maing a final judgment on te show. I’m not hooked yet, but I’m interested enough to tune in again next week,

    • E says:

      Agree 100% with everything you said. It was ok but I really just found myself missing Justin Hartley!

    • D says:

      I don’t understand how much more you Smallville fans want! You had 10 frickin’ seasons! Let it go! Arrow was awesome for everybody who love Nolan’s Batman movies!

  12. Mad Hobbit says:

    needs to be canceled, too dark, too formula, not green arrow more like the green hooded killer.

  13. Dave says:

    Loved it! Very entertaining and I love both Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy!

  14. Patricia says:

    Loved it this was on my must see list and it did not disappoint. Can’t wait for more

  15. Sara says:

    I totally thought that it was on an hour later than it was, so when I got home from work and it was already half-way through the episode, I was pretty annoyed at myself. I have so been looking forward to this show! I really liked what I saw in the second half of the episode. Hopefully I can see the whole episode. Maybe the CW will replay the premire this weekned. Fingers crossed!

  16. Taryn says:

    looks very promising

  17. I don’t understand all the love this show is getting. Sloppy writing, bad directing and such bad acting. It had so many cringeworthy moments, at times I thought I was watching a Lifetime movie/Smallville/Gossip Girl mixture with all their bad ingredients mixed together.

    Really disappointed, gave it a D.

  18. LS says:

    Call me a Smallville loyalist, but I just can’t. Starling City? A mother and a sister? I just really, really can’t. There are other shows on at 9 that I’d much rather watch. They should have waited a few years before trying to replace Hartley as the Green Arrow.

    • jaz says:

      Like smallville did not change a lot of things?

      The show will not have problems converting smallville fans, by the way, I know a lot of smallivlle die hards and casual fans who are on board and have said they will support the show. They understand that smallville the show is over and its time for new things. Basically they are superhero fans, and just need a new superhero show too watch and they are true Green Arrow fans too who just want to see Green Arrow. Green Arrow is not an actor but a COMIC CHARACTER since 1941 not 2006. There is no need to wait to make something for him because of some actor, this is a business my friends, whats good for the character is the first priority not some actor and his fans, and a new TV show is good for his exposure.

      Its just some pesky Hartley fans who are mostly bad mouthing the show, not all smallville fans. Like wow, if you guys love the actor so badly, go watch and support him in Emily Owens md rather than whining over this show, the former is more productive.

      • Dean says:

        Well put. Let me add this, Emily Owens is actually a sweet show which I want to watch and goes completely against my nature.

  19. Kristina says:

    I liked it, although I agree with other posters, I miss Justin Hartley and the Smallville Green Arrow. But this could be good, and will fill the void that Smallville left.

  20. Grant says:

    Not impressed. The writing was subpar and the acting/chemistry between the actors was not good. For me the over the top killing felt very forced, major turn off – and they tried to hard to be edgy and dark but ultimately failed. It had not heart or charm.

  21. Jules says:

    What the heck is up with these shows trying so hard to be dark. LOL all this Chris Nolan Batman crap fest they were trying to copy did not pan out. I smell cancellation because it didnt make me want to tune in again. What happened to a good ol’ superhero story that everyone can aspire from; not this dark depressing crap fest that Arrow was trying to project today. I can’t support a hero who kills people, period, so I’m a goner.

  22. James says:

    I really liked it, I might be biased because I’ve always been a fan of the Character and I thought they totally captured the nuances of Oliver Queen they just pushed it to the extreme. it wasn’t a perfect pilot, I agree that the voice overs should go. It definitely has potential.

  23. Erica says:

    Did anyone else get a serious “Revenge” vibe from the pilot? I mean his dad told him all about a corruption he was involved in and now he has a list of people involved that he’s going to take out?

    • Drew says:

      Yup! Not in a rip-off sort of way, but when he was crossing the name off of the list, I did think of Emily Thorne. And by the way, Emily Van Camp would make an awesome Batgirl/Oracle.

    • arianeb says:

      YES! That was my exact reaction. I have always wondered if Revenge would be more interesting if Emily Thorne had more action sequences, and now I have Arrow to show me exactly what it would be like. As a big fan of Revenge, I’m looking for a similar but different take on the genre. So many movies and TV shows have the same look and feel as their comic books, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I love how Arrow drops the comic book style, and plays it out as a gritty action drama. If they can keep the writing at a high quality level, Arrow is likely going to be one of my favorites.

    • lll says:

      Totally felt that vibe, especially with the list. But I like that the show is a mix of revenge and an edgy batman. It has potential.

    • Irishgirl says:

      Speaking of the list of baddies he has to take out, it occurred to me tonight….during the replay……but how did he get that list? And how did he find out what awful things they did to the city? He’s been on an island for 5 years…..an island that he landed on alone. We saw in the pilot that his father died in the life raft, so where did the list come from and how does he have all that backstory on the bad guys?

  24. Martin says:

    F-in A!! – Loved It, Best new show this season for me, so far at least. Much better suited actor to this version of Oliver Queen, didn’t even think of Justin Hartley once during the entire episode so that is good. Definitely will be coming back for more, hope the ratings match the high quality of the show.

  25. Beth Ann says:

    Justin who?! Stephen Amell = delicious!

  26. Drew says:

    I watched Smallville from the day it first aired, until the day it ended… and then watched it all again on DVD. I am a fan of Hartley’s Green Arrow as well. That said, comic books fans have been used to this sort of change for years. A new writer means a new character. A new artist means a new look. A retcon means he has a family or doesn’t have a family, depending on the mood of the company.

    So, it all comes down to what this version has to offer. So far, I think it’s interesting. It could go either way, but the characters that have been set up could provide some good storylines and interactions. Having him actually kill people makes him unlike the Superman or Batman stories we’ve seen before on TV and will make the character that much more nuanced, because the audience will be well aware of any line that he crosses.

    It does have a lot in common with Batman Begins, but that’s hard to avoid when the characters have so much in common. Usually, Oliver is more liberal than Bruce and that helps to define their differences, but this Oliver didn’t strike me as a bleeding heart, so we’ll have to see where it goes.

    So far, one of the stronger new shows of the season.

  27. Karen MT says:

    I refused to watch Smallville ever, so I’m not biased by Justin Hartley. Arrow seems interesting so far, with some pretty flashy fight scenes. Of course, if they made a tv show starring Amell’s abs, I’d be happy. Oh, those nice, nice abs…….

    • Locke says:

      You should try and watch it, I think you will benefit from both versions of Green Arrow.

      • Karen MT says:

        Green Arrow? Maybe. But I’ve never been big on whiny teen angst shows. Everything I’ve heard from people who like it make me not want to watch it. :/

  28. dude says:

    LOVED IT! Best new show of the season.

  29. J says:

    It was okay. Was a bit boring at times. I hope it picks up.

  30. Jared says:

    While I do like Justin Hartley..Ive never seen Smallville where he plays Green Arrow so for me..watching the pilot I had nothing to compare it to. That being said I would say it was pretty solid. Not sure how well it will hold up..but considering the buzz this series received early on..i would say the CW will at least hold on to it for a full season .

  31. BL says:

    I’ve never seen Smallville nor do I read comics, but I have been anxiously awaiting this show since I first heard about it. I am pleased to say that I was very happy with the pilot.
    Sidenote, I hated his character in Lipstick Jungle and I hate Paul Blackthorne in this.

    And yes, I am getting all sorts of Revenge vibes…in a really, really good way.

  32. Yasmin says:

    The acting in this show was horrid. But overall it was okay.

  33. Christa says:

    It was awesome!!! I don’t watch CW shows, probably won’t except for this one, but wow!

  34. Freyja says:

    It was much better than I thought it would be, the Pilot was way stronger than I thought it would be.

  35. Russ says:

    I think it has potential. Personally I like Stephan Amell better than the guy on Smallville. I liked how he called his sister Speedy, hope the develope that sooner rather than later.

  36. Margaret says:

    dear CW, thank you for gifting us with Stephen Amell’s abs!! any chance we’ll get to hear Colin Donnell (Tommy) sing?! saw him in Anything Goes on broadway & he was fantastic!! i really liked the pilot, interested to see what they do once they begin to flesh out the characters…

  37. Mo says:

    I never got into Smallville (too PG for my tastes) so although I am familiar with Justin Hartley as Green Arrow I didn’t go into this premiere very biased in my view of the character. While it could use a few tweaks here & there (pacing, voiceovers) overall I really liked it. I also don’t have a problem with the darker tone… that was actually a plus for me. Although this Arrow is willing to kill, I don’t mind because at this point he’s less of a hero and more of a vigilante. There are so many good directions they can go from here, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  38. cb says:

    Don’t really love his costume but maybe he will fix it in future versions. I ironman changes his suit with every new one, clark in smallville wen’t from red and blue clothes to black to red and blue again before he finally got the suit. To fix his suit he should go greener, I know it’s called arrow and not green arrow but it’s based on him and also the painted eyes hide nothing he needs sunnies or a bit of material around his eyes

  39. Anonamus says:

    Not to nitpick, but did anyone else get annoyed with the sister being in high school? when the best friend guy made the your sister got hot joke i seriously wanted to yell at the tv, Seth Cohen made that exact same joke 7 years ago, when she was actually a teenager.

    As for everything else. the action beats were good, but otherwise the show got really bogged down, on pointless stuff that didn’t seem to serve the plot. Overall i think this is a below average pilot, but the series has Sky high potential if they work it out

  40. Alex says:

    Best pilot episode of the new season! And I honestly wasn’t expecting much… just thought the Arrow actor was super hot. Definitely hooked and eager to see where the show goes from here.

    • knox says:

      The pilot of Arrow was way better than the over hyped revolution. But of course the show wont even get near revolution ratings because of the stigma people have over CW network and othe problems.

      Wish the show the best and Revolution too, honestly Im glad for its sucess. We need more archers on Tv and sci fi/action shows too. Just didnt think it had a good pilot (revolution). Arrow was way lively and had a clear direction. Best luck to both shows, we need less “reality crap”.

      • Dean says:

        The best pilot episode, for me is a tie between – Last Resort and Arrow. But the best new drama is definitely Revolution. That show is improving every episode and the fourth episode just made me a huge fan.

  41. Amy says:

    It had a few problems like many pilots episodes do. But I’ll keep watching because it has potential. But so it’s clear: lose the V.O. Don’t hire any more campy villains. Avoid any more CGI oceans. Keep up the stunts, inter-character tension and the abs.

  42. Kenji says:

    I like that it was a little darker than most comic book heroes. It wasn’t perfect – but really first episodes/pilots rarely are. Lose the voiceover. It has potential & I’ll keep watching, honestly there isn’t much out there in this timeslot – so good placement. I’m a Supernatural fan, but I look forward to seeing what happens next. B-

  43. Grayson says:

    It was alright, but it was very much by the numbers, and brought not a lot that was new to the table. It seemed as though the writers picked things from Revenge, Batman, and other shows. [Granted, early in his career, Ollie was a Batman knock-off with his Arrowcave and Arrowcar, but regardless.]

    If the show continues, I’m interested to see how much of this goes on to become early installment weirdness.

  44. Arrowlife says:

    I am a Justin Hartley fan and smallville fan,thas how I first became familiar with Green Arrow. I have since became a big green Arrow fan, and have read lot of his comics old and new. I loved the pilot and will continue to watch the show, in fact I will always support Green Arrow in any way. I thought Stephen Amell was great and amazing as Green Arrow. Im still a big Justin Hartley fan, as well as of his Smallville Green Arrow and now I have a new Green Arrow to be a fan of as well as a new actor to be a fan of ,oh an new show too.

    I couldnt thik of a better way they could have done a Green Arrow TV show, definately one of the best shows of this season. The only new show I will be watching.

  45. jaz says:

    If you are a fan of the character you wont be so hung up on the actor. This is a true test of who the real fans of Green Arrow are and those who are just in it for because there was a pretty boy. The true colours are showing now.

    This is good news for our superhero Green Arrow and his fans, many of us have waited for a day like this for a long time and will wait for a day when he has a movie. Its a pity some cant share in it and are so hung up on an actor who has moved on, no longer cares for Green Arrow and is enjoying his life and career in a new show with a new character. Rightfully so it was just a job.

    So fake Green Arrow fans we will be seeing you later, no reason to continue whining about a show you aren’t interested in. Truce and may you enjoy whatever it is you are liking this season.

    • D says:

      Except for teen girls, I don’t really think anyone watches this show just for the abs on that dude. It was the best premiere of this season and it should make fans of Batman happy. Screw Smallville, it was horrible.

  46. mariam says:

    LOVED IT!!! I will give it another chance… Sure, he is not Justin Harley’s Oliver/Green Arrow but in the Real SuperHero world, Smallville’s Green Arrow was supposed to be a watered-down version with not real controversy….That said. I love both representations of the character but I am giving this show another chance…It is a perfect, dark tie-in to Supernatural for me…
    It usually takes more than one episode for a show to find its voice, and as I recall all the naysayers out there would not be comparing Smallville and Arrow if they abandoned it by the first episode. IT took at least 12 eps for people to really like Smallville, (At least according to alot of fans that I know)
    Give it another chance… I thought it was really good.

  47. wrstlgirl says:

    It was okay but I didn’t live up to all the hype. I watch again next week though.

  48. Polly says:

    best new show of this season imho

  49. Chase says:

    How can you give him a surviving Mother and a sister who is supposed to be his future protege “SPEEDY”?!?!?!? Then call it “Starling City” right out of the gate?!?!? Smallville never had the nerve to mess with “Smallville or Metropolis”! Yes, Smallville had some tweaks to the Superman universes BUT Superman has several mythologies….GREEN ARROW DOES NOT! How does he have all these skills without learning them from the “Archer” – What he just self-taught on a deserted island and now he is a fighting expert?
    Having his mother alive and using “Luther Mansion” as their home is a weak attempt to set up a Lional vs Lex dynamic with Arrow and his mother – and how could you change the way his dad and parents dies anyway? That is a huge part of his backstory!?!?! I’ll give it a while but he has less than half the charisma of Justin Hartley and the suit?….Who can’t tell that is him? REALLY at least put some sunglasses on him!

    • Katherine215 says:

      Who cares if they changed things from the comic? Not everyone watching the show is a fan of the comics with knowledge of that back story. There’s new takes on lots of old stories, people should try to look at them individually and not compare them to the old story.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        THIS!!! People need to stop comparing new shows to old shows, book and/or comics. Let them stand alone and create their own history.

    • sarah says:

      Stephen said the speedy comment does not mean for sure that she will be speedy as he said it would be far fetched if a tiny thing beat up guys twice her size….

    • Drew says:

      Revenge doesn’t exactly stay true to The Count of Monte Cristo either, but the inspiration is still there.

      As a comic book fan, I understand that things need to be translated differently to television. Oliver needs more of a life on TV than he does in the comics, where the readers are looking for more Green Arrow than Oliver. You can’t survive on that on TV.

      And he wasn’t alone on the island. We don’t know how he learned a lot of his skills yet, but we do know that Deathstroke was there.

  50. Elyse says:

    loved it!!