The Cape Review : New NBC Series 2011

Posted on January 11, 2011


Set in the fictional metropolis of Palm City, The Cape follows an innocent cop who has been framed for a crime he did not commit and then left for dead after he is caught. He is eventually saved by a circus ringleader who prepares him with special abilities to defend himself against his foes. Separated from his wife and son, he tries to clear his name while protecting them from being killed if he was ever reported alive. He takes the law into his own hands by taking the guise of his son’s favorite comic book hero, The Cape, after he is given a special suit that has unique capabilities. Vowing to get rid of the corruption that has taken over both the city and the police force, he goes after the person responsible for setting him up and causing his “demise.”

The Cape is NBC’s answer to their former superhero series Heroes. It’s the show that comic book geeks could get behind, if not for such a generic premise and hero. The Cape is a hero that is similar to Batman or Punisher; a guy who relies mainly on practical training and intelligence. There are a lot of camp and superhero tropes to wade through. It’s enjoyable, but never quite lives up to the potential.

But the hook comes in the very essence of the show being so campy and over the top at times. The opening episodes of the series are not remarkable television, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone saying they are. David Lyons (ER) takes on the role of Vince Faraday/The Cape with sincerity. Perhaps too much as the character tends to lean toward the brooding Batman side of the superhero coin. Luckily the Carnival of Crime offers much levity to balance things out. Three hours in and I’m ready for a spinoff with this group.

I can’t help being enthralled with the little moments such as Faraday waiting for his nemesis Chess – played deliciously evil by James Frain (True Blood) – to look at him, stare for a moment, and then with purpose wrap the cape around himself and disappear in a cloud of smoke. The cape itself is honestly horrid, especially when being used to grab items. But as a cloak to help the titular character vanish it almost makes me giddy to watch.

It’d be nice for the series to get a chance to spread it’s wings and fly, but with the level of comic book lore involved there’s a high probability The Cape will join cult shows like Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on the cancelled way too early list. This would be a shame because television needs more shows that are as fun to watch as The Cape.

The Cape premieres Sunday, January 9 at 9:00 pm ET on NBC. The premiere will repeat the following night in the series’ regular timeslot at 9:00 pm ET.

Posted in: TV SERIES