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