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Arrow: Impressions after the first five episodes.

When a comic superhero is turned into a live action show, I've always approached it with a bit of apprehension. Until recently, such shows have been known for excessively cheesy lines, poor acting and ridiculous stunts that defy the laws of physics. Regretfully, I'm not entirely convinced Arrow rises above these problems yet, and it really is a regret, because the show has clearly had a huge amount of funding put into it. Luckily for Green Arrow fans, CW has more faith in their show than I do and have already renewed it for a second season.

Arrow follows the story of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who is the victim of a shipwreck, along with his father and the woman he was having a romantic encounter with at the time - which just happened to be the sister of his girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). Straight off the bat we are shown glimpses into his character, that he is a spoilt playboy with the ego to match. Honestly, I have issues with the personality of his character and find him more arrogant than I would have liked. Thankfully, Oliver has his golden moments where he appears to rise above the arrogance, if at least for just one scene, and show us his potential to develop into a character you might one day find yourself caring for.

Oliver Queen hosting a party
As the only survivor of the shipwreck, he is forced to live on an island inhabited by an unknown military group that have no interest in being friends and treat him with hostility from the first moment they see him, going as far as to torture him to get information on the one man living on the island who, separate from the military group, chose to help Olivier, instead of trying to kill him. After years of living on the island, learning to hunt and kill, Oliver is rescued by a fishing boat and brought back to civilization, where he finds his now ex-girlfriend working as a lawyer and still suffering from the grief over her sister's death, which she blames Oliver for. It is made worse by the over-the-top anger directed at him by her father, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), who is literally out for blood and will do anything to bring the Queen family down. Luckily for Quentin, I like the actor who plays him, which allows me to forgive his psychotic antipathy towards Oliver.

Practicising with the bow
Oliver comes back from the island a scarred man, haunted by his experiences on the island, but determined to fullfill a mission his father gave him in his last dying moments; to rid Starling City of the corrupt business owners who are slowly eating away at its heart. Taking it upon himself to rid the city of the names on his father's list, he turns vigilante and adopts a superhero identity, the Green Arrow, a modern day Robin Hood. Using his father's money, he develops batman style gadgetry to help him in his quest. The Green Arrow character is well known to be a rip off of Batman, and while the show does well to stray away from these roots, it is still clear that Arrow draws inspiration from the batman franchise. Both shows star billionnaire heroes that have nothing better to do with their time or money than use it to develop fancy toys and fight crime outside of the law. Future episodes will tell whether it manages to break away from batman and form its own image, or continues to steal concepts and ideas from its big brother.

Oliver's ally and bodyguardOne of my favourite characters in the show would have to be his bodyguard, John Diggle (David Ramsey), who in the line of duty, discovers Oliver's secret identity, but instead of reporting him to Laurel's father, Quentin, who is hunting the vigilante known as the "Hood", he instead chooses to help him fight against the crime bosses of the city. There is a depth to David's character that many of the others are missing, a past history involving other members of his family that I am very curious to learn more about.

The worst parts of this show would so far have to be the lack of opposition to Oliver's quest. The crime bosses offer no challenge to his all but invincible skills, although saying that, the latest episode showed us a glimpse of possible things to come, in the form of a well known antagonist from the comic; Deathstroke. And while it was not Oliver who fought him in the latest episode, hopefully soon the Hood will be in for the real fight I've been craving to see. Second to that would be the painful voiceovers that are riddled with Oliver's arrogant tone of voice and bad scripting.

Fighting his nemesis

Overall, the show has provided enough entertainment for me to keep watching, but I'm still waiting for that moment where the real story gets underway. From the looks of it, that story might start through the flashbacks to the island, rather than the activities he is getting up to in present time. Is Arrow worth watching? I believe so.