Pointless 'The Cape' offers lame superhero

TV Review

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Maybe if you're a sheltered 12-year-old boy, there are elements of NBC's new superhero drama "The Cape" that make it watchable. But for anyone who's seen the "Spider-Man" films (or even the last, worst season of NBC's "Heroes"), there's little to recommend about this new series that has its bloated, two-hour debut at 9 p.m. Sunday. (The network has chosen to stitch together two episodes, which only makes the whole endeavor feel even more tedious and pointless.)

Palm City cop Vince Faraday (David Lyons, "ER") agrees to go to work for private police force CEO Peter Fleming (James Frain, "The Tudors"), who, seemingly without motive, frames Faraday and makes the public believe he is Chess, a twisted killer responsible for murdering Palm City's police chief. Faraday escapes when it appears he's blown to smithereens in an explosion, leaving his wife (Jennifer Ferrin) and comic book-loving son (Ryan Wynott) bereft.

Faraday can't tell his wife and child that he's alive -- and innocent -- because it will put them in danger from Fleming. So he joins forces with a blogger named Orwell (Summer Glau, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") and a circus of robbers (shades of late-in-the-run "Heroes") and gives himself a superhero makeover in the guise of his son's favorite comic book character, The Cape.

If that seems like a lame superhero identity, well, the show acknowledges it up front. When The Cape stops a store robbery and the owner learns what he's named himself, the store clerk says, "Well, you'll work on it." It's one of the few amusing moments in the premiere and the only scene that feels honest and earned.

TV writer Rob Owen: rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.


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