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Arrow Season 1 Review

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

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This was a series that I was really looking forward to watching, but unfortunately couldn't due to not having Sky, the channel that it was aired on in UK. I have thus been even more eager to watch it, and now that the DVD is out I finally have.


Oliver "Ollie" Queen has returned after being trapped on an island for five years. Now that he's back in Starling City he plans on righting his fathers wrongs and making the city a better place as the vigilante known as the Hood.


This was overall an amazing season, as although the quality was slightly inconsistent throughout the season, it was always enjoyable with the overall tone and concept being phenomenal. Where this season excelled the most however was with it's opening and closing episodes as both these episodes managed to harness all the qualities of the series that made it brilliant, also adding much more excitement and suspense. Besides this however the season managed to have very deep character developments, that managed to make the season that much more interesting and dramatic. These developments did however sometimes slow the season down slightly, but overall I was very impressed with this opening season and can't wait to see the next.

The cast in this series was overall very well chosen, as although I initially questioned some of the choices, for this realistic style I felt that it was a well chosen cast. Stephen Amell was just brilliant as Oliver Queen, managing to show the naive act that he puts on, whilst making the vigilante seem the threatening figure that he should be. I also really enjoyed the performances of Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn, Willa Holland as Thea Queen as well as the rest of the cast. I did however also really enjoy Manu Bennett portrayal of Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) in the flashbacks, and although I questioned whether John Barrowman would suit the role of Merlyn, he managed to do it perfectly, showing this character in a new light, whilst also showing his darker side brilliantly.

The Cast
The Cast

The Green Arrow himself, or the Hood as he's called in this series was obviously the thing that anyone interested in the series was looking forward to. Now I enjoyed the Green Arrow in the Smallville TV series, but this version of Green Arrow was much more interesting, as besides being much more intense, you could see that he's been through a lot, and that he's no longer the person everyone knew before he was trapped on the island. I also loved how much this version is different from the comic version, as although it's not that far away from the current Green Arrow that we see in the comics, he feels more intimidating and empowering in this series, making him a unique character at the same time.

The season would also see flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island, showing the start of his transformation. I personally was extremely interested in these scenes, as although the main plot lines of the season were brilliant and dramatic, this recurring plot line was very mysterious and suspenseful, also being very exciting at times. Another thing that I enjoyed was the difference in tone, as it managed to stand out from the rest of the series very well. I also found the other characters that were involved in these scenes very interesting, and the fact that Deathstroke would become a recurring character really made these scenes more suspenseful and mysterious, and when Manu Bennett portrayed him with the mask off later in the season he got much more interesting.

Lian Yu
Lian Yu

Besides Deathstroke this season would see a lot of comic book character make appearances in one form or another, whether by their comic book names or in a more unique concept. This included the likes of Deadshot, Huntress, Firefly, Count Vertigo, Roy Harper, and of course Merlyn, as well as more. I especially enjoyed seeing Huntress and Roy in this season as I loved seeing a character with a similar skill set as Oliver and the fact that we might eventually see Arsenal excites me. I also liked seeing Deadshot, and found the way they changed Firefly and Count Vertigo to suit the series to be very smart. I also really enjoyed Merlyn as well, as having one of Green Arrow's closest villains certainly helped build the atmosphere of this season.

This season would also see somewhat of a love triangle form, as upon returning Ollie learns that his best friend Tommy is in love with his ex-girlfriend Laurel, and that the two have had a relationship whilst he's been gone. This however would get interesting as although Ollie appears to be fine with this it is still obvious that he has feelings for her, and as the season developed this would become very interesting. I did however feel that it was sometimes poorly paced, as although it added great drama at times, there were some development points that either happened too soon or too late in my opinion, and overall I don't think this was developed properly over the season, even though it was overall very interesting.

Final Verdict

This was definitely one of the better opening seasons that I've seen, and especially for a comic book TV series. It was however slightly inconsistent throughout, with some plot developments being poorly paced and developed. In saying that most of the season was extremely interesting, and the way it transitioned from the current events to the flashbacks was very slick. The season also had a lot of depth to it, with brilliant characters and a lot of excitement. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this season as it is simply amazing.

Rating: 8/10