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?

Twitter: @kentucker

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.


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the action and heartbreak of Clark Kent — before he was all things Super

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