‘The Cape’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 9th, 2011 at 10:23 pm,

the cape official promo The Cape Series Premiere Review & Discussion

NBC’s The Cape is the network’s newest attempt at perfecting the serialized superhero television format. Set in the fictional Palm City, The Cape is centered around the soon-to-be masked vigilante Vince Faraday (David Lyons) – the last remaining “good cop” in a city filled to the brim with corruption.

Following the explosive death of the Chief of Police at the hands of Palm City’s super villain Chess (James Frain), Faraday must seek employment with Ark, the corporation seeking to privatize every governmental element of this struggling city.

After stumbling upon Ark’s secret transportation of illegal weapons, Faraday comes face to face with the mysterious Chess – who turns out to be none other than Peter Fleming, the billionaire owner of Ark and Faraday’s most recent (and final) employer.  Follow Fleming’s framing of Faraday as the nefarious Chess, Faraday loses his family, reputation and almost his life.

With the help of Max Malini (Keith David) and a gang of circus performing bank robbers, Faraday is able to transform himself into his son’s favorite comic book superhero and Palm City’s only hope at redemption, The Cape.

the cape series premiere transformation The Cape Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Series creator Tom Wheeler, the scribe of the upcoming Dreamworks Shrek spin-off, Puss in Boots, fortunately took a note from the numerous fans complaining about the long, drawn-out storytelling that plagued the now-forgotten Heroes and was able to include all of this back-story and Faraday’s subsequent transformation into The Cape within the first 15 minutes of the series premiere. This implementation of quick-paced plot progression, while typically resulting in disjointed storytelling, resonates perfectly within the graphic novel stylings of The Cape and thankfully continues throughout.

Helping along this accelerated rhythm is the investigative blogger and The Cape’s pseudo sidekick, Orwell (Summer Glau) who, with her police corruption-revealing website and Watchtower-esque handling of information, serves to quickly highlight our protagonist’s next objective and makes sure there is never a scene that lingers too long. Unfortunately, there are some exceptions where a heavy-handed attempt at emotion slows the story down to a crawl.

In terms of supervillains, Chess/Peter Fleming proves to be the most poorly realized nemesis of the series’ many. While his role as the main antagonist and proverbial patriarch is clearly defined, it is his stable of caricaturized henchmen that provides much of the great suspense and intrigue contained within The Cape’s two-hour premiere.

the cape series premiere orwell1 The Cape Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Despite Scales (Vinnie Jones) perfectly embodying the typical brooding enforcer for Chess’ malevolent plans, it is Cane, the master poisoner for the secret society known as Tarot, that not only provides the most enjoyment, but also offers viewers a glimpse at what intriguing subplots will be touched on as the series progresses.

Of course, one rhetorical question that persists throughout is whether The Cape is reveling in its inherent campiness or attempting to be seen as an equal to some of television’s best dramas. Whether intentional or not, the numerous scenes of awkward dialogue, obvious jokes and over-emphasized emotional sincerity makes for an endearing viewing experience, akin to the 1960s version of Batman, starring Adam West.

Unfortunately, it still remains to be seen whether or not television viewing audiences will warm to a series such as this. While there are enough action scenes to keep everyone on the edge of their seats, a musical score equal to that of many theatrical releases and a unique take on television’s superhero genre, the overall jocular delivery may cause many to wrongly dismiss The Cape for being a poorly executed series, rather than the enjoyable ride that it most surely is.

the cape series premiere cane The Cape Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Without seeing any episodes following the premiere, it’s hard to tell whether or not this quirky, yet entertaining, style of storytelling will continue. But, if one thing can be unequivocally said about The Cape, it’s that it has promise.

Final Thoughts

Despite preconceived notions of skepticism and disappointment from potential viewers, The Cape delivers – for those able to suspend disbelief – a thoroughly entertaining viewing experience, with solid action scenes, a terrific score and an intriguing plot paced so quickly, you’ll feel as if you’re watching a visual representation of a graphic novel.


The Cape premieres January 9 @9pm, on NBC. Following its premiere, the series will move to its normal timeslot on Mondays @9pm, starting January 17.

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  1. hmmmm ill prob watch it tonite

  2. I’ll echo my comments from Facebook:

    Not sure. NBC seems to have a thing for genre-y fare, like Heroes and Kings. The effects don’t seem all that great. And Kings was a good show but didn’t last. Not that it’s all that similar to the Cape but it was also a more limited appeal type show. Plot sounds a little too generic for me. I do like seeing Vinnie Jones. But didn’t these guys watch the Incredibles and the whole cape thing?

    Additionally the tone of the movie seems a tad confusing. I’ll buy your assessment that the series is going for an essentially campy tone. I don’t like it but I’ll accept it. NBC have not made the greatest scripted series choices over the last few years. This was the same network that aired Kath & Kim. Need I say more.

  3. I’m actually looking forward to this. Vinnie Jones=win. Plus i just need some fun TV for a change. This looks to be it.

  4. 25 minutes, including commercials, into the second episode now and I have to say that this show definiteley has potential. I agree that the score is pretty incredible/movie like (was just thinking that) and I also really like how they didn’t drag it out and got right into it without a long back story.

  5. The whole thing just sounds generic. Why not just use a character from DC? We know they can’t use any Marvel people because ABC has them on lock down. They will push this Dollar General store comic book hero but they pass on Wonder Woman. I really do hate NBC. Until further notice I dub thee Nothing But Crap.

  6. You mentioned a terrific score in the article. I agree! The music was cool. I liked it enough to give it another watch next week…

  7. Watched it..its awful.NBC probably wont cancel after two episodes like they should but it definately wont last til next year.Weak generic plot,cheesy effects,wooden leading man..sorry folks,not a cult hit here

  8. I agree that the show doesn’t seem to know quite which direction it wants to take. There were a couple of unintentional laugh out loud moments for me, though:

    - When it was revealed who “Chess” was, they flashed back to a scene that aired only minutes earlier so we’d “remember” who it was. What are we… idiots?

    - The fight scene in the kitchen of the fancy restaurant: Besides Cain and Summer Glau’s character… it was completely empty. Not a single chef, waiter, busboy – NO one. Pretty damned funny, that.

    - Oh and my daughter’s comment: Why does every villain in this show have an accent? :-P


    • Despite those lol moments… what did you think Vic?

      • benji,

        I’m a sucker for superhero stuff, so I’ll stick with it for a while. Although I also thought the head of ARK was ridiculously over the top. If the guy had a mustache, I would have not been surprised to see him twirling it. 8)


        • I thought it was just an all around fun premiere Vic, i just hope it lasts long enough for others to catch on. Oh yea your daughter is funny lol. I’ve been asking that question here lately too :)

    • I thought the same thing with the revealing of Chess, but then I thought “There are some people out there who needed that…”

    • Old ’60s Batman villains would fit right into this show.. Egghead perhaps?
      Or a cameo from Adam West himself would be great.

  9. They probably made the kitchen empty because its the only way they could show how easily Cain was able to walk with a syringe and poison that steak.
    Sloppy writing all around.

  10. Amazing. An absolutely incredible two episodes that completely lived up to the hype. There’s great action, a good amount of interesting characters, back story with flashbacks but brief and not trying to rip off Lost like what The Event does, it’s funny and just terrific. Seeing the main character train to be The Cape was awesome. Studying the villains and trying to find ways to beat them, he’s just as much a detective as Batman. It feels like you are watching a comic. Lost will always be my favorite show all-time but The Cape is officially my first favorite show (that is currently airing new episodes) in the post-Lost era.

    • so how much did they pay you to say that?

      • I didn’t get paid anything jackass. But thank you for thinking my review was so professional that I probably got paid for it. You can pay me if you’d like.

    • wow you must not watch much tv , but to each their own ,

      • OK, kids, let’s all play nice, please.



  11. After watching the first two epsiode I have to say this is going to be one of my fav shows to watch! I didnt know any of the actors except for vinnie jons and Summer Glau but All the actors rock in this show. Summer Glau though is my fav character and i think the myster around here brings a certain soemthing to the show! They better not cancel this show its just too good to cancel!

    • Holy sh**! You really ARE a hack for the network……or a poser from the writing team. This show sucked big time. We await NBC’s next attempt at good programming. How ’bout checking your 1986 archives?

  12. I think this show has promise. Just suspend disbelief a little. Hopefully Glau will get a replay of her fighting in the movie “Serenity”. That and Wheeler give her powers to rival those in his show “Heroes”. It was a kick in the pants when Glau said “I’m nobody special.” The show has Glau and a great ‘take-down corruption’ theme. I have high hopes.

  13. I sqaw the trailer for this and it told me all I needed to know, it just looked awful, I’m willing to put money on this not lasting a full season.

  14. thought my fellow screen ranters would want to know that the show is having a “create the next “The Cape” villain contest”

    i watched the show last night and found it more or less enjoyable. There were a few moments where i caught myself laughing out loud.
    i loved the fact that the capes big debut end with him getting his butt handed to him by a guy who later gets bet up by a midget strongman.
    its enjoyable, but i just don’t see this show really going anywhere.

  15. Just watched it.

    In a word, dull.

  16. As a long time comics, tv movies fan I found the shows nostalgic nod to the shadow and other old cult classics fun, in todays world of grossout and rude humor, found it’s old fashioned toned quite refreshing, but it also might be it’s kiss of death as well, most of todays show can’t all be so raunchy and ultra violent,comic fans should give a chance, and support it rather the usual whinning and complaining I hear from every from every comics and movie webexperts, I think that the producer would love to hear ideas and positive feedback( like I think the cape should have some more protective powers ie teleportation ie nightcrawler) I grined from ear to ear as I watched it with my son I had fun.

  17. I’ll keep watching but it will mostly be background noise for when I’m on the internet. The writing and editing wasn’t very good. Summer’s character just pops out of nowhere all of the time and Chess was going to blow up half the city while he was on the boat with the explosives? Right…

  18. So , I wasnt all that impressed with Cape, felt like it should be on SyFy and not as one its premier shows, we will have to wait and see where it goes but the first two episodes seemed alwfully rushed , its almost as if they thought the show wasnt going to be around very long so they are pushing the story rather then letting it develope. Vinnie Jones turned out to be nothing more then a bad joke and was completely under used and he got his ass handed to him by a little person, (I was going to say a circus midget, but went for the politically correct term, even though he is a circus midget.) That said Summer looked hot , she has killer legs, Keith David, whom I like was a bit over the top at time but felt like the true star of the show in the mentor roll and really have the better lines through out. All in all it was an ok show which reminded me af the last season of Heroes, but really not even that good. I would give both episodes a D+ and a C-

  19. I watched “The Cape” yesterday night & say it was alright, has alot of potiental, we will have to see after a few more episodes for sure.

    • Gina, I actually liked it a lot, but then again I am a sucker for “bad TV” lol.

  20. Just watched the show while, I was going to bed boy this movie is a mystery like “The Shadow”

  21. I will keep watching it, I’m a big fan of superheroes & action packed movies.

  22. An absolutely dumb show that I loved every minute of. It seems like all TV is these days is ultra-serious drama’s or reality TV.

    A fun, campy little show like this is a nice break. TV doesn’t need to be award-winning, it just needs to be entertaining. And this one was definitely that.

    So in other words, I’ll be very sad when it gets cancelled before the end of the season though. At least Chuck is still limping along though, so there is that.

    • I hundred percent agree with BobbyD

  23. “I’m ‘The Cape’”

    “You’re not wearing a cape”

    “I’m aware of that”

    Well dispite all the downers, if you’re looking for a stupid, enjoyable, goofy, superhero show, give “The Cape” a watch. If you’re looking for award worthy writing and exceptional acting… well, you’d probably be trollin’ afterward.

  24. OMG this show is horrible. I truly thought you couldn’t get any worse than Smallville. Guess I was terribly mistaken……..damn.

    • You have issues if you think Smallville sucks.Seriously

      • Prophet King,

        Come on. Smallville may be a guilty pleasure, but high art it ain’t.


        • I like it, but the most predictable show ever. Who did NOT know that Orwell would turn out to be the daughter of Chess.
          Then we have the case of “who are you fooling?” Was anyone, especially Faraday, supposed to be in suspense as to who the man behind the mask–with the HIGHLY RECOGNIZABLE ACCENT is? And how about the boy, talking with The Cape, without one of the voice changers like “The Red-Blue Blur” uses–and not saying “Daddy?”

          OH HEY Vic!

          (Sorry everyone, this is just an aside.)

          Speaking of Smallville, I’m pissed that a current bad guy is a dead ringer for a certain Senator from Arizona–that is, if he was on steroids and lost the mamby and the pamby).

          • Thanks for the spoiler! “Sylar’s Hunger Continues”!

    • you are so ryt! this show is soooo F..ing boring!!!!! God! such a waste of time! Days of super hero comic stuff are done….unless they try another angle…. but this show wount go far! thats for sure!

  25. With the overabundance of ghost hunters and American idiot, I mean American idol, I though the cape was pretty good. I am just so tired of watching a show during it’s time slot and then the show getting cancelled. Let’s hope the cape makes it, at least for a couple of seasons. I agree, it was pretty entertaining and it did move along well.

  26. I thought it was great. I like how they will have those villains come back on and off like vinnie jones character
    Thats ow the superhero life is done!

  27. i just caught the end of it but it looked good

  28. I’m not really sure a guy armed with “Cape-Fu”, some boxing skills, hypnosis and a vanishing act is enough to hold the general public’s interest for very long. I mean Heroes had a cast loaded with superpowers and it wasn’t enough (plus the writing got silly) Add to that a bunch of ‘C’ rated criminals that are pretty lackluster and uninteresting (a guy that throws knives and uses poison isn’t exactly exciting in my book) and I have to wonder about the show’s chances.

    Also worried about Summer Glau being a part of this. She has been a part of two other doomed projects (Firefly and The Sara Conner Chronicles) and I hope the trend doesn’t continue.

    I will keep watching though for moments like a little person with an attitude that takes people out with a pipe wrench to the kneecap. :D

    • dont forget she was in dollhouse lol :)

      • EEK! I never saw that show but that is just scary. I looked up her bio and she was also a part of ‘The 4400′ which I barely remember and was canceled after a few seasons.

        • lol scary

          • And don’t forget she also guest-stared in The Big Bang Theory!

            Oh wait..TBBT has just been renewed for…three years!!!

  29. Dullest thing I’ve seen in a while. Looks like I’m stuck not having anything to watch on TV again.