Thursday, January 6, 2011

Half a Review: The Cape

Last night, thanks to the awesome people at DC and NBC, I was able to preview the first hour of the two-hour series premiere for The Cape. According to Mashable, only iPad users were able to watch it, after downloading the DC Comics app (so happy I got an iPad for the holidays! Squeeee!). The video streaming wasn't great and I have a good connection. If you try to watch it on your iPad, be patient.

The Cape stars David Lyons, who I remember from the last few seasons of ER, as Vince Faraday. He is the hero cop who gets pulled into the city corruption by the mysterious Orwell, played by Firefly alum Summer Glau. They both perform their parts to the best of their abilities, which is outstanding. James Frain really stole the show as the supervillain Chess. He could switch on and off the creepy but you always felt that he was not quite right.

I have to admit, this show reminds me of the plot of a few hero tales. The whole plot takes place in Palm City, which reminds me of Gotham from Batman Begins, with corruption in every level of government. Vince Faraday, the good detective (a la Jim Gordon from Batman Begins) seems to want to believe in his fellow cops but after the Police Chief goes boom, he decides he has had enough. His best friend, Marty, convinces him to join the private company that's taking over the police department. Yeah, if it had been called OCP and a cyborg walked in, I wouldn't have been surprised.

Instead, enter Peter Flemming/Chess, a billionaire by day and villain by night or whenever he gets bored. Well, Marty and Chess betray Vince when he asks questions and frame him as a super villain. They think Vince dies but he is saved by a criminal circus troupe. Yes, I just said Criminal Circus Troupe. Now, before you roll your eyes and stop reading... they are freaking hysterical. I would watch a show just about them! Faraday hides with them to protect his family from Chess while he trains to become the Cape, his son's favorite superhero. He teams up with Orwell, who has a techno-filled garage just to help stop crime. They work to stop Chess, but he gets away in the end until next week.

Despite all of the borrowing of plot points, I really enjoyed it. The creator, Tom Wheeler, took everything I loved from superhero stories and rolled it into one great hour. I enjoy this superhero who uses illusion and some cloth to fight crime. Does it have some campy flair? Of course, but superhero stories need that, and this show has a lot of potential to grow. I will continue to tune in.

The Cape two-hour series premiere is January 9th at 9/8c on NBC.

Thanks to for some of these great photos. They also have a great interview with the creator, Tom Wheeler here.