Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why You Should Give "The Cape" a Chance

Like any freshman TV show, The Cape is taking a little hazing. After the deep downward plunge that Heroes took after its first season, viewers and critics are pretty hard on the latest made-for-TV comic book series. But now that I’ve seen three episodes of NBC’s newest show, I have some good reasons why you (and I) need to give The Cape a chance to grow.

#1 – It’s got mystery

In three shows, we already have enough hints of a potentially rich back story for the writers to pull from. The cape itself is more versatile and powerful than it initially seemed in episode one. Exactly how much can it do? What did our hero, Vince Faraday, do in his military days? There are hints some of it was secret. Hmm. Who is Chess, where did he come from, and what kind of powers does he have? Is he even human? Who is Orwell? Could she be the daughter of Chess? Or perhaps she once worked for him before she went over to the good side? That's mystery enough to keep me interested, and there are ample possibilities to build on, if the writers use them all wisely.

#2 – It’s got attitude

Sometimes, Chess looks like a normal guy. And then he turns around and he’s rocking the snake eyes. But that’s not all. The Cape also has a killer Houdini hero outfit that has a freaky life of its own. It’s got a trippy circus with trippy acts, all of whom wear outfits I half expect to see on display during Fashion Week. I mean they're out there, but tjhey're hot too. And Vince's so-called widow is more than a drooping daisy. She goes out and gets a job with her kick-ass attitude. I like her. I like all of it. It’s like a comic book written by Green Day. Punk rock heaven!

#3 – It’s got heart

At its core, The Cape has a simple yet powerfully convincing reason for anyone to put on a costume: The hero wants to expose the bad guys and clear his own name…so he can go home to his wife and son. Whom he loves. Vince Faraday is driven by love as much as he is driven by justice, perhaps even more so. That’s why he visits his son. His fatherly advice doesn’t always sound cool. In fact, he often sounds a bit goofy, like a good dad should. But that’s what gives The Cape its heart. Vince isn’t trying to be Batman; he’s trying to be Mr. Cleaver or Mike Brady. And he comes across as one of the better father figures on TV today. That’s something to dig.

So, this season, let’s give The Cape a chance to grow on us. I think we just might be glad we did.

Copyright © 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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