This Is Not a Review: The CW's Pilot Arrow

Alert! This is not a review. I repeat, this is not a review. Throw a "p" on that, please, 'cause this is a preview of the early version of a pilot, a pilot that will almost certainly undergo some form of change before it airs in its final form. Consider this a first impression of a work-in-progress.



Arrow (Wednesdays on The CW, starting October 10 at 8pm)

STARRING: Stephen Amell (The Vampire Diaries), Colin Donnell (Pan Am), Katie Cassidy (Supernatural, Gossip Girl), David Ramsey (Dexter), and Willa Holland (The O.C.).

THE GIST: Based on the DC Comics character The Green Arrow, Arrow follows Oliver Queen (Amell), the son of a billionaire who returns to Starling City after being shipwrecked for five years. He adopts a new persona called The Green Arrow and goes about beating up bad guys to atone for his past life as a club-hopping playboy. He'll also spend a lot of time trying to make nice with his ex-girlfriend Laurel Lance (Cassidy), because he's kind of responsible for her sister's death. And he was having sex with her. Oops!

SNAP JUDGMENT: This show is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a CW superhero show, but slightly better. Hot dudes! Hot chicks! Mysterious pasts! Messy relationships! But it also has neck-breaking, impalement via arrow, and some great Parkour action, making it a little more serious than what you'd expect from a CW superhero show. But it wouldn't hurt Arrow at all if the show lightened up a bit. This is a perfect stand-in for Smallville for people who like the new Batman movies more than the Spider-Man movies.

PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: Thanks to flashbacks, the pilot does a good job of mostly showing and not telling its exposition, and gets straight to the blueprint of the series with a case-of-the-week. But there are some serious pilotitis symptoms threatening portions of the dialogue.

FACE(S) TO LOOK OUT FOR: Forget faces! Check out that bod on Amell! Hubba hubba, ladies!

RANDOM THOUGHT(S): Katie Cassidy changes her hair color and all of a sudden she looks completely different. She's a hair chameleon!

EXCITEMENT LEVEL: It was better than I thought it was going to be, and with drama vet Greg Berlanti behind it, expect lots of twists and turns. Out of 10 on the excite-o-meter, this is about a 7.

TRAILER:


Arrow has been locked into Wednesday nights at 8pm on the CW, starting October 10.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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May I just say that I love the fact that especially you and Price Peterson are never afraid to appreciate/objectify an example of an excellent male human specimen?

I, and probably the rest of your female readership thank you quite dearly!!! <3
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Meh, looks like it would of been better as a movie! Might be good, but i dont care for Hawkeye the series/movie, so I certainly dont care about this solo hero story. Put him with other superheroes to make this archer interesting is all thats gonna really work for this show!
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If they put other superheroes in with the Green Arrow, then it'd feel like a cheaper version of The Avengers.
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I would join the Tea Party if they promised a constitutional amendment outlawing the "meh"
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I'm planning on checking this out. It looks pretty good. But I'm a little cautious when it comes to checking out new shows on The CW after they cancelled The Secret Circle (still pissed at them for that). But I disagree with the suggestion to lighten up the series. The more dark it is, the more I like it. What can I say, I'm attracted to the Dark Side.
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I just had to jump through some hoops to get on here. Sometimes tachnology sucks these day, but such is life I guess and I'll most certainly live. Anyway this looks fun and yeah it's the Luthor mansion, so what - get over it. My wife was an assistent director from the mid-80's through the 90's and it has somewhat messed up her perception of TV. She catches every mistake when someones hair isn't right from scene to scene and she doesn't even bother with the ever changing cigarette lengths from scene to scene anymore because smoking is pretty much banned everywhere these days. And she pretty much knows where most things are when the filming is in Hollywood Like most - but not all - mansion scenes are filmed in or around Greystone Manor up on Doheny. But she really didn't care for Smallville so she wouldn't know the Luthor place from Adam. My point is that her job screwed up her ability to watch TV and her last job of being a legal secretary has ruined any Lawyer shows and she refuses to watch even if it's good - Bummer eh...
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Did your wife, worked those jobs back in the day?
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Why not just make a show based on Batman or the very angry Red Hood this guy is way to serious to be Ollie, stop trying to be cool all the time and stick to the character is that so hard.
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I would rather it stay dark or get darker.
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Has nothing to do with 'Smallville', and yet they used Lex Luthor Mansion for the show?
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Okay a lot of cliche dialogues in the preview, but it actually looks good to me especially the action sequences. Has potential.

I'll be watching it.

Honestly not only CW shows but every superhero movie or tv show pretty much follows the same formula, a hot serious mysterious past lead and some hot girlfriend/love interest etc etc.

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i thought about it, but i watch too many shows already, trying not to watch anything new. i love the hot chicks cw gets for their shows though.
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For those who know the Green Arrow comics. You think if this show last let's say 4 or more seasons, do you think they would add his sidekick Speedy/Red Arrow into the show?
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Which Speedy though?
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The first Speedy who becomes Red Arrow, not the girl Speedy. Though the girl Speedy did show up in Smallville.
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I'm actually looking forward to this. I don't know much about the Green Arrow, except for the bit I saw in Smallville when I was still watching it. It will be interesting to see what they do with this.
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It's the same mansion as Lex Luthor's from Smallville! I know cause i've been there in person, its in BC. It's called Hatley park.
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It's also the X-Men Mansion.
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"Hot dudes! Hot chicks! Mysterious pasts! Messy relationships! "

This in no way indicates a "super hero". It is not super and their is nothing heroic about it. Just the same kind of mess the Smallville turned out to be, someone is in critical condition in the hospital, some fighting occurs, show some skin and agonize over decisions with don't require it while complete overlooking lapse in mortality that do.
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At 0:45, does that look like the Luthor Mansion from Smallville to anyone else?

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Look below, somebody already commented on it.
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I'll try it. Hopefully, unlike Smallville, it won't have to start us off with a buttload of Jimmy Eat World, and it can stick with knockoffs of the original themes as God intended.
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It's "$4498.99" not "$4499" *wags grammar nazi finger*
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His last name is "Amell" not "Arnell".
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its star city not starling city
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Interesting that the Deathstroke mask from the comics is at the 3:21 spot.
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Sound Graet Arrow
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i think this program will fill what smallville left but how come they used green arrow and not nightwing he could have been so much better for a program
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i like how retarded it is that there recycling the Luthor manor for the next rich playboy
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It's nice seeing Willa in something that's not about teens living in Newport or the Upper East Side. Same goes to Katie but I did like her as Ruby in Supernatural. She was the much more awesome version of her than the one in Season 4.
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Exactly, I call her 'good Ruby' and stupid Mrs Padalecki 'bad Ruby'.
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Do we have any faith in CW actually bringing these DC pilots to life after the failed Aquaman (who became Green Arrow in Smallville) and Blue Beetle that can't even finish post production? Why not keep the Smallville audience and branch off the continuity and actors instead of making something completely different at a risk?
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because smallville was only good from season 1-4 okay for season 5 bad season 6-7 then once you get to season 8-10 majority of people were just watching out of loyalty



to be honest its because this has nothing to do with smallville that I will actually watch it
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I like Justin Hartley and wish him the best, but since the show is being revamped then it needed someone new in the role. Hartley brought him to life in the world of Smallville, this show needed to go back and give us something new. I'm glad they did and I'm looking forward to it. Its the only new CW show I'm interested in checking out.
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Wait, Stephen's from The Vampire Diaries? Which episode? I can't remember.
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He was one of the werewolves.
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Ohhhh. Was he Jules' werewolf boyfriend who tortured Caroline?
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Yes, and that is why he had to die.
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Wish they had recycled Justin Hartley for the role.
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Looks like it could be good
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I guess they will cancel it after some episodes of the first season, like other shows :(

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But Arrow looks like it'll have a good chance of succeeding than the other new shows on the network. Bet that Beauty and The Beast or Emily Owens M.D. will fail.
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How can Beauty and the Beast possibly succeed? Based on the preview it looks absolutely dreadful.
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Which is why I said that BATB or Emily Owens will FAIL. Did you read my comment?
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@MelodyParis I'm honestly confused. If you were being sarcastic, does that mean you think Beauty and the Beast doesn't look dreadful? If so, that's a viewpoint I don't think I've ever heard.
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I was sarcastically agreeing with you.
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Looks okay. Looks very much in the same vein as Smallville, which is kinda odd, considering their version of Queen was only a year or two ago. I wonder if other heroes will turn up, though they probably won't be super-powered. Batman is do-able but not legally. I suppose Arrow could just be their own way of having a Batman series without Batman. Therefore he could gain a Robin/Nightwing type character. Huntress is a shout, mind you.
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I believe using Green Arrow on Smallville was their way around the Bat Embargo... close enough to Bruce to do what they wanted (non-powered hero to work with / against Clark).



Now though, they're probably just building off the popularity of Smallville's Green Arrow. People did like him on the show... though the actor isn't the same and I guess it's in a different continuity.
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I might check this one out!!!
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I think the show has a lot of promise. It looks like it'll be pretty action packed and maybe even have a little bit of romance and intrigue?

But I'm concerned that Arnell sounded a bit stiff in the preview. Am I the only one who caught onto that? His voice was really monotone. His main selling point, though, is his abs. He took on that salmon ladder like a pro Ninja Warrior! I admit that I drooled slightly.

You're right though. I didn't recognize Cassidy at all! I had to look her up on IMDB, and when I realized that she was Ruby in Supernatural, I was completely shocked.
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Now only if the pilot episode would leak online!



By the way, I didn't read your review, because I make it a practice never to read reviews of anything!
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Then you can read it. This is not a review, Tim just said it.
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It's still a review, I don't care what he called it!
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There are subtle clues to where to find the pilot episode for free online scattered throughout the review. You have to read very closely. Maybe five or six times.
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You just want me to read the review, if you're so smart, tell me where to get it, because I've looked in all the usual places I go for things!
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couldn't be any worse than the cape



hopefully will be as good as smallville and the phantom remake



i reckon we should have an ironman tv show once the movies are done..
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you forgot to put and melrose place for katie cassidy?
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Maybe it's because Melrose Place was such a fail that they didn't bother to add it in there.
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yeah they might've did?
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Why would anyone watch a new show on a network that canceled their highest rated new show last year?
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But theCW didn't cancel it's highest rated show, which is The Vampire Diaries, nor their second highest rated which is Supernatural, nor did they cancel their worst rated show (Nikita). The only reason TSC got canceled instead of Nikita is because Nikita was closer to the 88 episode mark, which is pretty much the entire point of CW shows.



That sucks and all...and I feel you. I feel the same way about NBC because of Heroes. But there's always gonna be that 1 show that you really want to watch (like with me, it's NBC's Community and Chuck before that) that I just watched the ratings for their new shows before I watch.



I NEED a Smallville replacement, so I'm having high hopes for this
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I couldn't decide which citation to give you because there are so many. TSC WAS their second highest rated show, not Supernatural. Here's one of the many: http://entertainment.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981335691
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And The Secret Circle nonsense begins... get over it. The show was canceled and it's not coming back. As for the ratings, they started great but ultimately the hiatus killed the show leading to a decline in the ratings in the second half of the season and the fact that the show was expensive didn't really help.
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It's not about wether or not anyone is over it, it is about wether or not you can trust them enough to invest in one of their new shows. Their history has shown that they cannot be trusted. There is an implied contract: "if enough of you watch a show, we will keep making it", but when they cancel their second highest rated show, they've thrown that out the window. There's no reason to watch their shows live to give them ratings because they don't use those ratings to make decisions. They don't respect their viewers and don't deserve their patronage.
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We can't just "get over it". It's been about 2 months. Let us stew in angst for a few more months.
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I would because I didn't like that show.
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For the as-promised neck snaps?
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As I said on my comment on the trailer earlier, and confirming what you said, I felt some "Dark Knight" vibe from it. I might enjoy Arrow, as I like Batman more than Spiderman.
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This looks interesting. I have to agree with the others, I think CW really wanted Batman and couldnt get it because of the ongoing movies. Im glad though because if it was Batman, I wouldnt watch it... this show however I might give a go.
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I am shocked, SHOCKED to hear that you liked it, Tim. Between your previous comments (entirely reasonable based on the trailer and promos) and the really terrible preview on Youtube, I thought this was going to be way worse than Smallville. I guess I'll check out the pilot next week at Comic-Con, probably at its panel instead of Preview Night.
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Really looking forward to this one. Why do you keep using the same picture though? I'm pretty sure the second picture is the same one used in your preview of Red Widow...
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"But it wouldn't hurt Arrow at all if the show lightened up a bit."



I disagree with you about this one. I haven't seen the pilot like you seem to have, but I'd want the show to be serious and fairly dark. A big reason why I haven't been in anticipation for Arrow as strongly as some other shows is because I figure being on the CW will make it too "soft," "light," or "mild." If it's as dark as you say it is, I'd probably want it to say at that mood.
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Those abs O_O

You're right, Katie Cassidy looks a lot different. All that talk about an island that changed him and its mysterious powers, just made me think that some guy with a hobo beard would emerge screaming, "WE HAVE TO GO BACK!"
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I'd definitely watch that.
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Not bad. But I'm still waiting on a Mantis show.
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Or the Dragonfly!
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The fact is they wanted to do Batman but couldn't get the rights because they're all tied up with the movies. So they picked Green Arrow which is the closest thing to Batman.

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Which is a better choice anyway, IMO. Batman's been done to death, and with Christopher Nolan's films killing anyone's chances of ever making a Batman story as good as his, it's better that the CW chose a hero that's not as well known but has a similar vibe.
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I'm pretty excited for this. I've begun referring to him in my head as "Poor Man's Batman"
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Exactly!
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That's how the character was conceived in the first place, so it's entirely reasonable.
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I'm actually really exited about this one..
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Still not happy about the severe lack of Justin Hartley, but positive news nonetheless.
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Hartley would've been a terrible choice. He has a baby face, and looks like he doesn't even have to shave. The new Arrow is darker and more rugged, and doesn't look like a Californian surfer.
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He could've pulled it off...
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He already did pull it off...several times and the CW didn't greenlight a spinoff then. And now we're stuck with this GA that pale in comparison to Hartley's.
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Well, maybe he could. Actors can be very versatile.
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Casting Justin Hartley to play the role of Green Arrow again would have made this seem like a Smallville spin-off when that's not what the creators of the show are going for.



Time for people to learn how to let go of what they are so used to and try and adjust to what's new and already done.
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To be honest, my opinion is based solely on the fact that I like Justin Hartley, nothing else.
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THIS! So tired of people complaining it's not Justin Hartley. How much harder would it have been for them to rationalize, this has nothing to do with Smallville but it stars the guy who played Green Arrow in Smallville.
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Because Hartley is a great actor and showed he was capable of playing the role as both charismatic (which is needed for the lead actor) and brooding unlike Mr. Arnell who so far (in the previews) seems to be only brooding and have no personality. So far he's boring! You have to be likeable to sell a show about you!
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Like mrjimmyjames says, Hartley balanced the brooding, tortured hero and the charismatic, fun playboy very well, which is what I want to see in Arrow as I understand Amell is going to be playing an Arrow with a duel life/personality.



Anyway I wish we could hear more of other characters in these "reviews", Like Dinah Laurel lance, Ollie's best friend for now, his non canon little sister and his sudenly alive parents etc. I guess I'm impatient to see the full pilot, comic con cant come soon enough.



Sorry I write too much, but like I said I'm passionate about Green Arrow. He is my baby, OK , lol.
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As much as I'm afraid to agree with you @mrjimmyjames because I love Green Arrow and just wanted a show for him so badly, you have a point. A point which expresses gut feeling that I have been having for a log time ever since this casting was announced. The guy may just not be charismatic enough to pull of GA, Green arrow is a total goofball, fun and sarcastic. Charisma is something that's cant be taught in acting school IMO, you either have it or you dont. Hartley isnt the best of actors, but the thing that works for him in the role of green arrow is he naturally has charisma and is a fun guy,you see him and you see Green Arrow not superman or batman. I dont know much of this Amell guy but he seems like he enjoys the role and is working very hard but he has me worried about the personality bit. I just hope the writers got it right, and that they just did not decide to change Green Arrow's personality into only a brooding hero like Batman. They just cant afford to do that, sometimes I feel like they are setting themselves for failure. Smallville set the standard for Green Arrow that this new guy is going to be measured on whether we like it or not. And it would be good to keep somethings consistence like Green Arrow's such as his strong personality, his city's name, just as is in the comics and in Smallville. The viewers are gonna think this arrow is boring if they don't get their act together. You cant get away with a brooder with Green Arrow they have to be some fun and light hearted stuff. I'm not suggesting they have Hartley because its a new show and new fresh faces are needed, but if they couldn't find someone as charismatic then in that case recycling Hartley would have been an exceptionally welcome case. So here is to hoping they got it right with Amell and he will just be as charismatic as the role requires, with time.





CW is known from going from one extreme to the next, the network is getting too dark. Its OK to have fun blonde characters too.
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Not according to the CW business model. The more brooding, self-sacrificing, know-bettering, and generally suicidal you come across as.....the more likely your show is to succeed.
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Still not feeling it.... no quiver of anticipation.... Groan, sorry.
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