Plot: Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.

Review: I’ll admit I was a late starter with this show; several people kept saying to watch it so I finally relented and got the DVD of the first season. I’m pleased to say that my friends were indeed correct and Arrow is one of the best shows on television.

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow) is not the usual pretty boy actor you’d expect in a show like this; he’s more layered and brooding with a very expressive face. The character is rather dark (shocker) but it’s no wonder, after the Hell he went through on an island for five years. He’s also a complete badass who makes me now want to own a bow and arrow.

The cast in general are excellent, especially Colin Donnell who plays Oliver’s best friend Tommy Merlyn. At first he comes across as the rich playboy but as the show progresses we find out about the darkness within his family and himself. He is quite a tragic character who lives in his father’s (John Barrowman) shadow; it doesn’t help that his father is a complete maniac who wants to blow up the city… and he does in one of the best Season finales I’ve ever seen.

Manu Bennett almost steals the show as Deathstroke, one of the coolest characters of all time; he has an intimidating presence and an awesome voice. I want to see this guy in more projects as he has “action hero” written all over him.

David Ramsey plays Oliver’s bodyguard/sidekick John Diggle who is essentially his conscience too. If Oliver seems to be straying from the path then he tries to reign him back in.

I’m a huge fan of Paul Blackthorne as cop Quentin Lance; he blames Oliver for the death his daughter Sarah and always looks disheveled and upset. He really comes across as authentic and a good cop. You just know eventually he will team up with the “Vigilante/Green Arrow” because they both essentially want the same thing; to keep the city safe.

The character of Moira Queen is one of the darkest of the show; played by Susanna Thompson, she’s pretty damn evil with more secrets than Oliver or frankly anyone else. She’s well-developed and Thompson is well cast; there is no doubt that she loves her family but she sure has a strange way of showing it.

There are two characters I just can’t stand though and those are Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Thea Queen (Willa Holland); they are both complete bitches and utterly unsympathetic. Admittedly Laurel is probably quite convincing as she is a lawyer and they aren’t known for being nice people. I’m hoping she gets killed off though which you really shouldn’t be saying about the love interest in a show. I hope they soften her up a bit in Season two and make her more likable.

Thea is a spoiled brat and is essentially just there to get into trouble and be rescued; not a fan at all but at least they do make her a little more sympathetic as the show progresses.

The best female character is Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) who is the obligatory computer nerd character who, as soon as she is on-screen you know she is going to be helping our heroes save their city. She’s practically the same character as Chloe from Smallville, but hotter. She’s really likeable and a fun character with some choice lines too.

I was expecting Arrow to be like Smallville where it was mostly about romance with little action. That is not the case and every episode of Arrow has plenty of action, but still has time for character development too.

What I really like about the Arrow character is that he actually kills people; he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty for the greater good. There’s none of this “we don’t kill” crap that Batman has… Batman still rules though.

At times the action is a little hard to see as it’s so darkly lit but the majority of it is excellent. It’s very well-paced too, in fact maybe too well paced and could do with slowing down a bit.

I do love the way the narrative flows though, going between modern day Starling City and the island where Oliver learns the skills for his trade and becomes a new man. It feels a little “Nolan-esque” and is almost like a TV series of Batman Begins and even has some similar dialogue/scenes.

There is just the right amount of humour and darkness in terms of the tone of the show and it engages right from the start.

There are all sorts of familiar heroes and villains from the DC universe like Deadshot, Huntress and many more. If you haven’t seen it yet then I won’t say anymore in case I spoil it.

Overall, Arrow is one of the best action shows on television and besides some annoying female characters, it’s well paced, has great action and they make a guy with a bow and arrow seem unbelievably cool.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.