The Cape made its two-hour premiere on Sunday night, and I can almost hear the jeering derisiveness many of you probably feel toward a superhero show that’s not artily moody or grittily grim. Me, I welcome The Cape: It was fun, refreshingly free of irony, and had a sensibility that allowed for a sense of humor without slipping into tiresome campiness.
It’s a superhero series about a guy (ER‘s David Lyons) with a cool — what else? — cape. Lyons’ Vince Faraday is a cop–turned–crime fighter who can flick the hem of his cape and snag people, objects, or anything in its path. His chief nemesis is a criminal billionaire played by True Blood‘s James Frain who’s also a killer known as Chess; his chief ally is a mysterious blogger called Orwell, played by fan-fave Summer Glau (Firefly; Dollhouse; Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
Like my colleague and fellow comic-book fan Jeff Jensen, I am attracted to The Cape for the way it’s steeped in comic-book lore, and the hero is most similar to non-superpowered do-gooders such as Batman and Daredevil, who rely on training and smarts. The show is melodramatic, sure, but its sincerity takes it far: I felt a kid’s thrill when the Cape sewed his own mask and tied it on for the first time.
I look forward to seeing whether The Cape can remain as entertaining in its second, hour-long episode. (The two-hour pilot is being repeated on Monday night, and then will air hour-long editions on subsequent Mondays.) I wish NBC had sent out a second episode for viewing. Do I think The Cape has a chance to become a hit?
I doubt The Cape can build much of an audience with casual viewers who’ll dismiss it as lightweight, and hardcore superhero fans who feel burned by NBC’s other super-saga, Heroes. I hope I’m wrong. It’s probably doomed to cult status, but The Cape is primal fun.
What did you think of The Cape?
P.S. Check out the latest EW TV Insiders Podcast as Dalton Ross, Mandi Bierly, Adam B. Vary, and I tackle subjects ranging from The Bachelor (thank goodness Mandi watches that) to Adam’s exclusive scoop on the new American Idol judges panel to what mid-season TV shows are worth watching (that’s where I come in). You can hear it right here.