Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in "Arrow" on The CW.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in "Arrow" on The CW. Credit: The CW

THE SHOW "Arrow"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Wednesday night at 8 on CW/11

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Multimillionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns to civilization after being shipwrecked for a lonely -- but apparently very educational -- five years on a desolate island. The Starling City he returns to has been overrun by underworld elements, and it is his self-appointed role to clean up the streets with his trusty bow and arrow. But will his old girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) -- a crusader in her own right -- forgive him for a past infidelity? And why did his beloved mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) remarry in his absence?

MY SAY Based on DC Comics' old "Green Arrow" franchise, producers have dropped the "green" in the vain hope that an evocative single word title will attract more than the man-children who will naturally be drawn to this. But who's kidding whom? "Arrow" is a straight-to-the-screen comic book -- oops, sorry, "graphic novel" -- filled with every trope known to every fan. The pilot's a slam-blam (kazaaam) action-packed thriller that also manages to lace in a pleasing romantic triangle, interfamily intrigue, a flawed hero and, of course, a mystery: How the hell did Oliver learn so much about archery on an apparently deserted island? Just about every element is exactly right here, including casting. For instance, who had the exceedingly bright idea of getting veteran actress Thompson ("Dragonfly") as Oliver's possibly treacherous mother? She was the Borg Queen from "Star Trek: Voyager," a fact well-known to those aforementioned man-children who will love this newcomer. (Borg Queen . . . Moira Queen . . . I get it.)

BOTTOM LINE Solid start to what could -- and maybe should -- be a future CW franchise.


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