The Cape Series Premiere Review: What Did You Think?

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There isn't much more that I can say about The Cape that I didn't already say in my advance review.  Upon re-watch, I still find many of the same complaints I had before to mostly hold true.

Something Max Malini says in the first hour of the premiere sort of sums up what the The Cape is from my perspective: "I want to say something profound, last words and all."

As The Cape

The Cape wants to be a dark, edgy twist on the costumed crusader bit, but doesn't ever really achieve the level it's striving to reach.  The "one man can make a difference" ideal is not a new concept by any means, so if you're going pull from that well, you better make certain there's some fresh water in the bucket.

I suppose I'm expected to leave my cynical disbelief at the opening credits, but this is meant to be the story of a man in the real world who adopts a comic-book persona, not simply an adaptation of a comic book.  There's a subtle, but tangible difference. It's been done before, and far more realistically, in films like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight - which were themselves adaptations.

Perhaps I'm overly judgmental because of my enormous attachment to Batman, but so much seems to be culled straight from those films, such as the scene where The Cape goes after Scales and his crew at the docks, using his cape to yank henchman into the shadows. 

Instead of feeling ominous and daunting, it was limp and rushed, ending with Scales easily thwarting him.  I wouldn't fear The Cape if that's how altercations with him were going to go down.  It came across as a paltry ripoff compared to the similar, better executed scene in Batman Begins.

I know, television and movies are practically apples and oranges, but it's nearly impossible not to make comparisons here when the subject matter is so very much alike. The final scene with The Cape standing on top of one of the tall buildings looking out across the city just couldn't have been more derivative.

As for the performances, they're mostly adequate.  I don't find David Lyons nearly as off-putting as some other critics, though he does have one of those "two faces."  In some scenes he's a handsome fellow, but then at certain angles he just looks... odd.  In any case, he does a decent job with the material, and I did find his scene with Trip on the balcony to be surprisingly touching.

Jennifer Ferrin does a decent job as Dana Faraday, but spends more time crying and acting exasperated with Trip than doing much else.  When she stood up for her last name trying to get the job at a legal firm, I saw a glimmer of hope that she'll get better material in the future.

Summer Glau as Orwell

I think James Frain is an amazing actor, but when he's asked to utter lines like "I'll find out who you are. I'll find out who you love. I will make them scream," I can't help but cringe, half expecting him to break out into a Dr. Evil-style extended maniacal laugh. 

Just because this is comic book subject matter, the main antagonist has to feel like a cartoon character?  If that wasn't annoying enough, all the chess references he makes in his villainous speeches remind me the inane snow and ice puns The Governator recited as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (and we know what a quality film that was).

I do somewhat like the character of Malini, even if if I find his frequent pontificating a little grating. But I guess his role as Vince's mentor requires some of that.  At least he adds a bit of humor to the mix, such as his non-death scene when Vince came to rescue him from Chess.

Summer Glau's Orwell is easily the character I like best, probably because it's Glau, but I am curious enough about her backstory to come back for more.  It's a major plus for Glau to finally be in a series where she can emote coherently, and she completely won me over as she elicited shades of Sydney Bristow in the scene where she went undercover.

The second hour, "Tarot," felt more a bit more realistic than the first, and Cain was a more threatening, if not fully-fleshed, villain, so I'm cautiously optimistic about the direction the series is preparing to take.

The strongest thing The Cape has going for it, I think, is the father-son relationship.  If they focus the show on their connection and tell the story of a boy's faith in his father, and a father's self-sacrificing love for his son, without getting lost in campy dialogue and one-dimensional villains-of-the-week, there's a chance it could find its footing and evolve into something that's actually profound.

Review

Editor Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
  • 2.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (88 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I loved the show CAPE! can't wait to see it tonight...its differant and it was interesting to me at any rate.Getting my husband to watch it tonight.

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Accidentally, hit submit :O*( without a grammar or spell check... Sorry guys.
Anywho, in Batman Benin's type fashioned we're introduced to the Cape, who will use his Martial Arts Skills and Illusions to save the day, no super powers here. And by the looks of it, he'll need every ounce of skill he has as the Villains are very colorful and endowed with powers of their own..although I don't think a pair of Creepy Contacts qualifies as a power.. unless you're in the thriller video. As much as I want to like it I feel I won't. What this show could use is an Erkel. A comical good guy character/ side kick to fill in for Comic relief... hey Ekel did save Family Matters show! Beyond this, the Cape should have a love interest and our Hacker friend should have a suit and some onscreen heroism of her own. I'll watch one more episode to see where this goes...but it looks like this is going to be another bad attempt by NBC to resell us the Hero Story . Gman out!

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NBC is at it again :(! I've learned in the many years I have been a live that while a Mediocore Essay or Story can get you flunked in English class, it may still be worth millions of dollars. Some how even the worst of Ideas or hokey ones like the AB Belt, can still produce a fortune.
That being said I don't know if The Cape will last that long or generate that much. NBC is notorious for trying to re-invent the super hero story; a trick that will automatically get me engaged but without a clever execution won't keep it ...
Some past attempts by NBC
" Manimal "
"Auto Man"
"Heroes" - Most clever .. but failed in my opinion by trying to be dragged out. Now on to the Cape... It seems every moment of the Pilot was spent trying to tell us every detail of The Cape! I found it odd that soo much was packed into one episode.. I would have preferred them dragging the story a bit for Character development. A cliff hanger Ending would have done it good as well.. ( take a cue from the Hughley succesful lost)

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love love love it all my children were loveing it. Something new is allway's good. My son's 7,10,12,14 really loved it they found a new super hero. it's more of what we need.they recorded it and even whachted it again and again.Remmber it's not only adult's whaching also kid's my kid's so thank you for putting up something different something that my kid's enjoyed.hopefully those who think different eaither don't have kid's or are not a kid at heart. Remmber batman,spiderman,superman, what ever happend to those super hero's it's about time we seen a new one.

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Lots of comments about fast pacing, eh... pacing isn't the problem. Holes in the plot are a problem, though. Cape jumps through the window of Chess penthouse apartment, and falls splat on the ground with NO BROKEN BONES, but wait, he jumps into Orwell's car and Cain grabs the wheel? WTF-- how did Cain get to the street so quick, did he skip the elevator and jump out the window too (presumably the only way he could have gotten there so quick. But Summer Glau is so lovely and hot, how can I not watch? So, I'll keep tuning in.

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Didn't mind the ep...however David Lyon's patchy accent was extremely distracting. The flat Australian vowels were very noticeable....dude needs a dialogue coach STAT!

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Overall I thought it was interesting and had potential but as it has been said the concept is over done and becoming tiresome. I am familiar with David Lyons earlier Australian work and he is a tremendous actor so I hope that the show remains on long enough for him to establish himself. I always love watching Summer Glau so from that point of view I hope the show remains on telly or is at least given a fair chance at redemption.

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I thought the show was interesting and well acted. I hope it remains on the air I'm tired of good shows being canceled without hardly being given a chance to shine through like the amazing show the gates that was very mistaking canceled in abc! So many good shows with interesting and thought provocing plots are taken off the air while ones with pathetic storylines like cougar town are left on and repetitive shows american idol and the bachelor keep wasting air time. And shows I don't like I don't watch so if you hate just turn the channel

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all superhero stuff is good. takes you away from real life for a bit. heroes was great in the 1st season and then it just got really bad, i used to still watch it hoping that it would 1 day become like season 1 but secretly hoped it would get cancelled too! but misfits is a great show, really funny sense of humour especially nathans character, proper teenage UK humour. i think any american would like it also. i think this show was okay and it should be given a chance. i agree with most of the negatives but it can still be pulled back together. he needs to seriously build his superhero skill set and do some creative action.

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I already seen it.I had no idea what it's Cape about. I just know that Izabella Miko is on it. Love her. She radiates beauty. I don't know why she hasn't hit big yet. She has the look and she is an incredible actress funny and smart.Wish I could see more of her in show.
I loved her interview on LA Talk Radio.

The Cape Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

We are in the middle game. Pawns become crucial and out of your inexperience, you left your king vulnerable.

Chess

Police Chief: I hope that Chess character had a front row seat.
Chess: Backstage Pass.

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