Entertainment Television

TV review: CW's 'Arrow' hits a bull's-eye

Green Arrow has been a bit player in the DC Comics universe, but The CW's new take on the character, "Arrow" (7 p.m. Oct. 10, CW; 3 stars out of 4), could change that.

Stephen Amell not only looks super as the hero with a bow and arrows, he has the charisma and brooding presence to make us believe millionaire playboy Oliver Queen's saga.

Oliver was a womanizing, rich jerk until his businessman father's yacht sank in the Pacific and Oliver was lost on a treacherous island for five years. While there, he learned Buddhism, lightning-quick jumping techniques and archery skills to rival Katniss Everdeen. He also grew into a bearded Bruce Wayne with vengeance on his mind.

Before Ollie's father died, he told his son how he and others wrecked Starling City, and that Ollie must right the wrongs perpetuated by his family and various thugs. Back in civilization, a more mature and ab-tastic Oliver launches his plot to exact vigilante justice.

Oliver becomes a squatter in his father's abandoned factory, where he builds a gym, archery range and computer center. He then dons a hoodie and some green face paint and starts whooping ass.

Of course he has to keep all this secret from his family, including his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), who has married one of his dad's former business partners, and from his best friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). His ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), doesn't want anything to do with him—probably because he dumped her and took her equally hot sister on that fatal yacht trip. She drowned. That explains why their father, detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), hassles Ollie so harshly.

"Arrow" leaves a lot of details unexplained. Who imparted the Buddhist teachings to Oliver on the island? Where did he get that awesome bow? When did this former party boy acquire the know-how to outfit his lair with such advanced technology? How can I get abs like his?

At San Diego Comic Con, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter promised that those questions will be answered in flashbacks to Ollie's time on the island. (Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim also executive produce.) The flashbacks, which we get just a taste of in the premiere, look to create almost two shows in one: Ollie's quest for justice and how that desire was forged on the island.

"Arrow" landed in my list of Top 5 pilots of the season, and I hope future episodes are as enthralling and well-made. The premiere ends with a neat little twist that, combined with Ollie's island time, hints at a wonderful mythology.

If "Arrow" keeps such a steady aim, I'm in.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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