Arrow

CW, Wednesdays, 8 p.m. ET/PT |

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ACTION

This superhero adventure, about a hooded crime-fighter who announces his presence with the zzzhwoop! and thwack! of perfectly aimed arrows, is the CW's best show since Gossip Girl arrived in 2007. Based on a DC Comics character, it has a forthright narrative seriousness, a respect for the gobbledygook that makes up any superhero's backstory-and a game cast performing with the correct degree of seriousness (which means not too). Stephen Amell is Oliver Queen, a playboy just returned to normal life: Presumed dead in a shipwreck that claimed the life of his billionaire papa, he actually washed ashore on a mysterious island. There, some kind of shaman-instructor disciplined him in the skills that, when he's finally found alive, allow him to assume Arrow's solemn identity. Amell doesn't do enough with the playboy-hero duality, but given that he has the looks of a fighter pilot turned male model, he's still doing plenty. Besides, Susanna Thompson as his duplicitous mama and Katie Cassidy, playing a lawyer who happens to be his angry ex-lover, are right on target.

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YOU'VE GOTTA SEE THIS...

SCANDAL

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NEW GIRL

Max Greenfield submits to an odd, erotic fling-shades of 50 Shades of Grey-with his boss Carla Gugino. FOX, Nov. 13.

WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

A salute by Grammy winners (including Jennifer Hudson) to the late, great singer. CBS, Nov. 16.

THE SEXIEST "VAN" ALIVE!

the SEXIEST MAN • ALIVE

ON SALE NOV. 16

Nobody has a better time poking fun at himself than James Van Der Beek. So when the former Dawson's Creek star-who plays a fictionalized version of himself on his ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23-heard that the Nov. 13 episode (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) revolved around his character's quest to be named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive, "I thought it was a funny idea," he says. In the episode Van Der Beek's pal Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter, "barges in to PEOPLE and takes over," says Ritter. "It's something Chloe has done in the past. All you have to do is walk in with confidence!" And does the "real" Van Der Beek think he has Sexiest Man potential? "When the issue comes out every year, I look at it to see if they've gotten it right, and they haven't yet because I haven't seen myself on the cover," the actor, 35, says jokingly. "Brad Pitt, George Clooney? They try, and I give them credit for it. But my day will come."

MY OVARIAN CANCER BATTLE

YOU'VE BEEN BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR SECOND BOUT WITH OVARIAN CANCER ON PEOPLE.COM. WHY SHARE THAT?

You can pretend and smile through it and say, "I'm fine." But you're not fine. So to be honest and say exactly how you feel and document it all has been amazing. I'm not hiding from it anymore.

YOU LET YOUR HAIR FALL OUT RATHER THAN SHAVE IT BEFORE CHEMO, AND FILMED IT FOR THE BLOG.

I would never in a million years think I would look like Uncle Fester with no makeup on and be like, "Yeah, let's take a hot video of myself!" I really did not know how that video was going to go down, but I'm blown away by the support I got.

YOU'RE STILL IN THE MIDST OF TREATMENT. HOW ARE YOU DOING NOW?

What's funny is that once your hair goes, you feel like the chemotherapy is working. I'm really happy right now. My dream would be to be done with chemo before the end of the year. And I'm looking forward to being able to write that blog saying I'm cancer-free!