The Pilot Script for CW's ARROW Is A Little Off The Mark
Spoilers! Marc Berman, a writer that runs a blog devoted to reading reading and reviewing pilots early, has gotten a hold of the script for CW's new Green Arrow television series.
"I think it works emotionally, even if it's not breaking any new ground."
Marc Berman runs a blog, Travis Yanan Watches TV, a place where he often gives an early review of pilot scripts. He recently got a hold of the pilot script for Arrow, CW's next foray into the DC Comic universe.
The story was pitched by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. The writing duo that brought us that steaming pile of poo, Green Lantern. The story was adapted into a screenplay by Andrew Kreisberg, and Marc.
Oliver Queen is a spoiled rich kid who got lost at sea with his massively wealthy CEO father, their head of security, and the girl Oliver was banging. Five years later, Oliver is rescued from an island in the South China Sea. Somehow, he survived (none of the others on the boat did). And he's been changed. He's strong, wily, and is on a mission to clean up Starling City (something we later learn is basically his father's dying wish).
I actually really like the idea of having Oliver marooned on an island for a great length of time, but they immediately ruin it by having him rescued. I really hope that they don't gloss over this, and only give brief flashbacks. This is a setting that they could utilize to it's fullest to shape Oliver. I happen to enjoy Tom Hanks in Castaway and if they could delve into those type of struggles one would endure physically and mentally by themselves, it would go a long way to hooking me as a loyal viewer.
But, I'm sure we'll only see snippets of Oliver's life on the island, and never really feel the pain that he went through. Imagine being isolated on an island after witnessing the death of your father, and your girlfriend.
After he is taken off the island, he appears to go back to a semi-normal state, but that is just an illusion as he puts together his secret identity. And then...
He and his best friend are kidnapped - ooh, conspiracy! - and he rescues himself while his best friend (Tommy) is supposedly but probably not unconscious.
Then you'll meet Oliver's new stepfather, Walter, the head of the Queen business empire. There is a twist involving Walter that is so juicy that even the reviewer wouldn't spoil it.
There will also be an odd, bordering on disturbing love triangle. As I mentioned before Oliver had a girlfriend, but she died in the boat accident. Well, that girl had an older sister, and her name is Laurel. You ready for the twist? Laurel, was also an ex-girlfriend of ... Oliver. The guy was banging sisters. But wait, there's more. Laurel is currently dating Oliver's best friend, Tommy. Well that is a tad awkward, and a tad too soapy for my tastes, but so be it.
Now we get to the main beef of the pilot. The lack of a formidable villain.
Adam Hunt is a terrible villain. Not terrible like terrifying. Terrible like... pathetic. We're made aware of him through Laurel's legal story, a class action against him for fraud and predatory lending. It isn't going her way because, from the get-go, we're told what he did was deplorable but technically legal.
So Oliver, on the outs with Laurel but hearing her plight, goes outside the justice system to rectify the situation by scaring the bejesus out of Hunt, telling him to wire $40M to an account by such and such a time, or else. Hunt doesn't do it, of course, but surrounds himself with guards and calls in the cops, and Oliver is still able to get inside the supposed stronghold and hack his way into Hunt's computers / accounts, and escape largely-unscathed (there's a close call with Hunt tossing a grenade - both a laughable action villain line and an actual grenade - as he runs into a panic room), then anonymously transfer $50K each to the people in Laurel's class action law suit. So, fear not, there's very much the expected Robin Hood aspect to the story.
And after all that, Marc actually thinks there are reasons to be optimistic. To be fair he came to this conclusion after reading more pilots that were so atrocious that they made CW's Arrow look a whole lot better. Eh, you take it however you can get it.
I think it works emotionally, even if it's not breaking any new ground. It's solid, broad-audience popcorn entertainment (action! suspense! love triangles! family secrets! conspiracies!) and unless there's some epic fail in rest of the process, I have to think this gets picked up.
If you'd like to read the full review with even more details click here.
CW's Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen.
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