In recent months, DC Comics has been heavily publicizing the release of its new TV series, Arrow, based around the character of Oliver Queen and his super hero identity of the Green Arrow. Some of the names have been changed (not to protect the innocent) but tonight, the CW debuted the first episode of what they hope will be a big hit. Now that the pilot has officially aired, we’ve got some material to weigh in on.
Instead of Star City, the new urban backdrop is now known as Starling City. The base story is still the same with the billionaire playboy Oliver Queen stranded on a deserted island after a shipwreck. He has a life-altering experience in his solitude and becomes the Green Arrow, or in the case of the new television series, just Arrow.
The emerald archer himself is played by actor Stephen Amell. Amell has appeared in shows such as Fox’s New Girl and HBO’s Hung. Now he gets the lead spot in Arrow, but how’s his aim? Before that gets answered, I need to add that any less-than-spectacular acting blame shouldn’t fall solely on him. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, well, Amell has the chiseled looks, but his acting chops need some work…and so does the rest of the cast.
Arrow has some sufficient action sequences and Amell looks convincing with a bow. When it comes to dialogue though, believability starts to fall apart faster than than a straw hut in a sand storm. It’s very underwhelming if nothing else. There’s very little substance to the manner in which lines are delivered. Reactions by the actors are as equally disappointing, defining the opposite of ‘authentic’. In short, everyone seemed too flat. One character who wasn’t found himself on the other end of the spectrum; a villain by the name of Adam Hunt. The actor was so over-the-top in his delivery that it was just too much to handle. It became an unpleasant roller coaster with more valleys than peaks.
Halfway through the hour premiere, I found myself not really developing a connection to Queen or anyone else in the show. By the time it ended, I was glad to be done with the one-hour viewing experience. It’s not that this show simply didn’t meet my expectations. Rather, it’s that this really isn’t a good TV show. The insufficient acting is an arrow in and of itself and its target is a viewer’s attention span, of which it severs against its own will. I believe the series has potential with better actors while staying under budget. My advice is hire talent, not just beautiful people who know how to stand in front of a camera.