Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pilot Episode of "The Cape"

I like a good superhero show as much as the next geek.  So I thought I'd give NBC's "The Cape" a look.  A look is all it deserves.  You can read a synopsis online somewhere, but this is the jist:  Good cop gets set up by his BFF and BFF's evil boss, who also happens to be in charge of the city.  Everyone thinks he dies in big explosion.  He didn't.  Good cop gets kidnapped by criminal circus.  Which was the coolest thing on the show-- these circus performers who go about robbing banks and such, using their abilities as performers in the process.  Good cop trades his life (which they threaten to rid him of) for help with a couple of big bank jobs.  Then he develops into a vengeful dark-caped, flappy, flashy crime-fighter.  Trouble ensues.

The pilot is 2 hours long, and there is a lot of repetitive dialogue.  I'm guessing this is because the writers suspected (wisely) that viewers would fall asleep or take a long bathroom break and forget the basic premise.  As stated by The Cape, and I'm paraphrasing due to my sad lack of DVR at the moment, but he says, "He took my name, my family, my home.  And I want them all back!"  This (or something close to this) was said more than halfway through the show. Yeah... we know.  You told us about 5 times already, dude.

There are some serious rip-off elements at work here.  Here they are:

Batman:  dark city, ruled by evil man with unusually evil tendencies running an organization called "Arc". There are poisons involved, a corrupt police force, and one honest politician (named Patrick Portman and played by the very good Richard Schiff) that the Cape talks to from the shadows to convince him to help stand up to King Bad Guy (Peter Fleming), who wants control of the prisons. Uses phrase "You're not alone" to convince Portman to stand strong and be helpful.
Spiderman:  The Cape uses his cape to snatch and toss or pull items, bad guys, not unlike Spidey's web. 
Iron Man: So King Bad Guy (Fleming) has this amazing computer that opens up a 3-D screen that pops images in the air for him to manipulate and spin magically around above him.  Yeah.  Seen it.

There are probably other references, but unfortunately, my comic book knowledge is limited to recent-ish films.  I don't do a lot of actual comic reading.

The one redeeming factor in this show is that they cast the cute young actress from the late, lamented TV show "Firefly" and the film "Serenity", Summer Glau, as the Cape's computer and tech-savvy assistant.  She goes by the pseudonym "Orwell".  She's attractive, smart, brave, and helps save lives.  Too bad the show isn't about her character...

The music is cheesy, his costume is funny (not intentionally-- my husband says it looks Robin Hood-esque. But it's black...), and the bad guy has blue cat-eyes sometimes.  Gah.  In spite of all this, I doubt I'll be back for another episode.

My son just walked in during the last 30 seconds of the show and said, "Is this Batman?  It looks like Batman" as the closing music and black cityscape pans out...

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