Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Arrow?

We've seen the pilot for Arrow, The CW's newest live-action superhero story. Will it fill the void in former Smallville fans' hearts? Will it draw the male viewership The CW desperately seeks? And most importantly, should you watch it? Here's a quick FAQ that might help you decide.

What’s Arrow about?

Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, Arrow chronicles the story of Oliver Queen’s return to his home of Starling City after a shipwreck leaves him stranded on a deserted island for five years. As he begins to reconnect with the loved ones who long presumed him to be dead, he creates the secret identity of Arrow. Armed with a bow, arrows, lots of money, and a list of names supplied by his late father, Oliver sets out to return his city to its former glory by wiping out corruption through vigilante justice.

When can I see it?

Arrow premieres Wednesday, October 10, at 8pm on The CW.

Who created the show?

If you have any doubts about Arrow, you might find comfort in the creative forces behind the show. The series was developed by Andrew Kreisberg, who's worked on The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, and Justice League; he also wrote Green Arrow and Black Canary for DC Comics. Then there’s Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. Berlanti’s the mastermind behind Everwood and the co-creator of Jack & Bobby; he and Guggenheim previously worked together to create Eli Stone. And in addition to his TV work, Guggenheim has written extensively for comics, including The Flash and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Who’s in it?

The regular cast features Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Arrow; Katie Cassidy as Laurel, a lawyer and Oliver's ex; and Colin Donnell as Tommy, Oliver's long-time best friend. There's also Susanna Thompson as Oliver's mother Moira, David Ramsey as Oliver's loyal bodyguard, Willa Holland as Oliver's younger sister, and Paul Blackthorne as Laurel's dad (and a detective who wants to bring down Arrow).

Who’s the target audience?

With Arrow, The CW seems ready to expand beyond its (perceived) identity as a network for teen girls. That the production is making sure people know about the various DC characters slated to appear (including Huntress, the Royal Flush Gang, and Deadshot) would seem to indicate that Arrow wants comic-book fans (and former Smallville viewers) to tune in. However, the pilot shows promise for lots of romance, interpersonal conflict, and soapy melodrama (all of which are things that Berlanti excels at). If it hits the bullseye, Arrow could be the best of both worlds.

Let’s hear the pros!

The pilot features some solid action sequences, thanks in no small part to David Nutter’s direction (he also directed the Smallville pilot). Stephen Amell is engaging and brings some real credibility to the weight that rests on Oliver’s shoulders (and his abs should get their own screen credit, wowza!).

And the cons?

Despite his strength on-screen, Amell’s voiceover work is not great in the pilot. His voice is stiff, and he’s struggling to find much to do with the clunky and overly expository writing. Beyond that, the CGI is pretty wretched, and hopefully it’ll be scaled back. The entire premise could be too cheesy for some.

Make a decision for me! Should I watch it?

Yes. The pilot’s heavier on the action side, but with a romantic triangle and Oliver’s mother plotting against him, there’s the potential for Arrow to have something for everyone.

Do you have a clip or a trailer I could look at?

But of course.

What should I drink while watching this program?

Oliver (jokingly) mentions that he really missed tequila during his five years on the deserted island. So do a shot of tequila with a dash of green food coloring (for thematic consistency!) every time you hear the whoosh of an arrow.

Arrow premieres Wednesday, October 10, at 8pm on The CW.

Arrow Photos

Like TV.com on Facebook