An unusual move for a network drama, NBC is now airing “The Cape,” a drama about superheroes. Yes, the network that once pushed a show about “Heroes” to stardom and a quick demise is now giving it another go.
Set in fictional Palm City, Vince Faraday is one of the few good cops in a heavily corrupt crime force. Palm City cedes its crime prevention to a private-security force, run by billionaire Peter Fleming, who is secretly a masked supervillain known as “Chess.”
Faraday is betrayed by his partner and framed for the identity of “Chess,” forcing him to fake his death and go underground. With the help of an underground circus of thieves known as “The Carnival of Crime,” Faraday becomes The Cape to fight against “Chess’s” evil empire, save the city and reunite with his family.
The show’s got a dedicated cast going for it; David Lyons does a great job of holding Faraday, or The Cape, together, despite an inconsistently written character; Summer Glau brings her typical stoic yet commanding character to Orwell. James Frain plays the show’s villain reliably snarly and sinister, while Keith David serves as both comic relief and the mentor figure in our hero’s journey.
At times hokey and predictable, and with plenty of convenient plot devices, the show is nonetheless a well produced television fantasy drama. The plot two episodes into the season is somewhat akin to a comic book, which could be a big draw for the fanboys; with deeper mythologies are being hinted and several intriguing plotlines developing, many looking for a serialized fantasy will be attracted by “The Cape.” And with a lot of interesting questions and directions on the board, the show has plenty material to craft a compelling drama.
Palm City’s kind of like Gotham City in many ways, from the rogues gallery to “Orwell,” an obvious omage to “Oracle” (and 1984). If the show’s writing coalesces like the first season of “Heroes,” this could see its audience grow as more give it a chance; “The Cape” might even be a suitable heir to “Smallville” after it departs.
Through two hours, “The Cape” is an enjoyable entertainment appointment. It’s pure octane, and as exciting as any drama on television.