NBC ran Heroes into the ground, and are out in search of a new superhero tale to fill the time-slot.
The last honest cop in town discovers that a local bazillionaire is the supervillain, Chess. Cop is subsequently framed and presumed dead in an explosion.
Cop is discovered, and trained to be a Batman-like superhero by what amounts to a roving band of carny thieves.
He can’t go back to see his family, so he chooses to fight the forces of evil in the hope that he will one day clear his name.
The plot is pretty thin and cliche, but it works. It’s basically The Punisher, except the good cop’s family isn’t dead, so he stays on the rails and doesn’t become a villain murdering psychopath.
The show seems like it’s going to follow the Buffy the Vampire Slayer model:
- Each season has an overarching threat
- Each episode has a new big bad guy to defeat
- Weave in character development in between the action
- Repeat until the actors leave, the writers tie up the story, or the show jumps the shark
The Buffy model works, so long as there is quality writing.
Summer Glau plays a sexy and mysterious blogger/ hacker Orwell, and ultimately partners with our hero. She is basically Oracle without the wheelchair, and it works. Glau is great at playing unusual characters, and her presence helped lift the show’s script.
Keith David plays Max Malini, the hero’s mentor, and his performance was standout. His character is completely ridiculous, but he sells it 100%.
Vinnie “I’m the Juggernaut bitch!” Jones reprised his role as a super-powered version of himself. I’m tired of it.
As I mentioned before, this show is jam-packed with cliches. It’s not a deal-breaker, but the writers need to be mindful of it. They are treading into territory that has been covered over and over again.
I don’t know why the hell it took our hero nearly two episodes to put on a damn mask. His face is all over the news, and he’s marching around in a hoodie like it’s a disguise. This completely took me out of the narrative on a number of occasions, and drove me positively batty.
There is potential here, but this show is far from a “must watch.” It’s more of a guilty pleasure, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’ll be back for more next week.