ReCape: Watching The Cape

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Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Yeah, it's weird, normally I do to. But, I dunno, maybe it's because she's picking on a new show, which I feel is unfair. If you go back to stuff that aired years ago, or things that should be evaluated in a vacuum (like a videogame), I think the snark works, because you are mocking a something that is fully realized. It's akin to trading friendly banter with a long time buddy. "Hey, remember that time when you had an episode constructed of nothing but bad cliches because the media watchdogs were on your case?" etc. etc. But in this instance, she's brutally ripping the pilot of a brand new property to shreds. That's more like kicking the crutches out from under the cripple and saying it's his fault he couldn't run away fast enough.

In summation: This article feels less like a humorous commentary and more like vicious bullying. But, hey, you're pretty good at this stuff Shamus, why don't you teach her the ropes.

Well, that sounds... forgetable. But then, it's not easy to predict the value of a series from the pilot alone. Might end up pretty darned badass. I'll probably do what I always do; wait, listen, and if the first season meets with general approval, I'll pick up the DVDs when they come out.

Mysnomer:

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Yeah, it's weird, normally I do to. But, I dunno, maybe it's because she's picking on a new show, which I feel is unfair. If you go back to stuff that aired years ago, or things that should be evaluated in a vacuum (like a videogame), I think the snark works, because you are mocking a something that is fully realized. It's akin to trading friendly banter with a long time buddy. "Hey, remember that time when you had an episode constructed of nothing but bad cliches because the media watchdogs were on your case?" etc. etc. But in this instance, she's brutally ripping the pilot of a brand new property to shreds. That's more like kicking the crutches out from under the cripple and saying it's his fault he couldn't run away fast enough.

In summation: This article feels less like a humorous commentary and more like vicious bullying. But, hey, you're pretty good at this stuff Shamus, why don't you teach her the ropes.

Yeah. Going by the pilot, Buffy The Vampire Slayer really shouldn't have turned out as well as it did. Pilots tend to be bad in comparison to the rest of the show, and I loved this pilot.

laryri:
This show reminded me of Batman and Robin.

So it was terrible?

Not only was the pacing bad, but the actual action was written like it was supposed to be a cheesy Schwarzenegger action flick, replete with the necessary stretch of "hero gets his ass kicked for no apparent reason". They were trying to ape Batman, but even as a rookie Batman was able to hold his own against the villains.

The way an action movie works, the hero can beat the crap out of a bunch of minions at the beginning, but is handily defeated by the big baddie until he learns some new skill, gets a new weapon, or mysteriously stops sucking for no apparent reason. In a superhero story, the hero is always outgunned but is almost never completely incapacitated as quickly as The Cape is. Usually, they hold their own and the villain gets away, leaving a mystery in their wake.

In the first episode, The Cape told you who the villain is, who the back-stabbing best friend is, who the mysterious and distant ally is, and about the shadowy organization that is behind the main villain. They told all the big secrets and stripped all the mystery out of a show that is a cheap ripoff of the Dark Knight in the first episode. Are they stupid?! You keep the mystery as long as you can manage before it starts to irritate the audience, that way they feel like they have to keep watching this piece of dross just so they know what happens next. They got rid of the only thing that would have made comic geeks care and what would make regular people interested (coherent continuity and suspense) in one fell swoop.

Whoever wrote this thing (and came up with the concept of his super-power being cape-proficiency) should not be allowed near any paper, computer, recording device, or anything that could allow them to inflict their "stories" on an unsuspecting public again.

When I first saw the promotional picture for this show, my initial thought was "Sweet! They're doing a TV series based on Thief?!"

Then I read the plot synopsis.

On the upside, that humongus crater my hopes left when they came crashing down? It's an in-ground pool now.

...I haven't watched TV in the last three years, and have nothing constructive to add to the conversation regarding the show itself, so... I'll get my coat.

A ridiculously boring summation of a ridiculously boring show. Hey, look at them both as comedy and I have the 2 hours + reading time back!

I liked it. Needs more Keith David and less boring family. And the computer chick needs some more acting lessons but has potential. 'Like, oh my god, I'm acting. Yaaahhhh.'

It'll be interesting to see who likes it and who doesn't. I don't think the over-thinkers of the world will enjoy it.

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Hah, you made this whole article for me :D

I thought it was ok. Both the article and the show. As soon as I saw the absolute irony of "Orwell is watching you," it immediately became a comedy to me. Also the chess piece contact lenses...oh god that's hilarious. And Summer Glau constantly saying she can't be caught but driving around in an uber conspicuous Mercedes. Incredibly cheesy but still kind of fun.

EDIT: Just wiki'd the writer and apparently he's doing a Shrek spin-off for Puss in Boots...they'll never let it die will they?

Mysnomer:

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Yeah, it's weird, normally I do to. But, I dunno, maybe it's because she's picking on a new show, which I feel is unfair. If you go back to stuff that aired years ago, or things that should be evaluated in a vacuum (like a videogame), I think the snark works, because you are mocking a something that is fully realized. It's akin to trading friendly banter with a long time buddy. "Hey, remember that time when you had an episode constructed of nothing but bad cliches because the media watchdogs were on your case?" etc. etc. But in this instance, she's brutally ripping the pilot of a brand new property to shreds. That's more like kicking the crutches out from under the cripple and saying it's his fault he couldn't run away fast enough.

In summation: This article feels less like a humorous commentary and more like vicious bullying. But, hey, you're pretty good at this stuff Shamus, why don't you teach her the ropes.

Pretty much this. I enjoyed the article on the Simpson's a while back particularly for this reason. Mocking an established franchise is perfectly fine. Even the mocking of GFWL. But this article was just done poorly. Some people are taking as a serious account of the pilot episode, adn will refuse to watch it. As a target audience (we're a bunch of geeks. We're (the Escapist) expected to watch things like the cape) doesn't tune in, the show is likely to get canceled before it can get better.
And we complain that there's nothing origianl on normal TV these days. Maybe because people watch the latest season of family guy or the Simpson's. I'm just glad I saw Cape all the way through rather than Burger Town.
The Cape was chessy super hero stuff. His "Don't give up hope" talk to his kid made me groan, but got a genuine smile when he starts lecturing Trip about math and listening to his mother. The villains were decent, and (for the guy saying they removed all the mysteries) the Totem, totec...whatever the card things are called group is still a mystery to be solved. Yes, it had pacing problems, odd dialogue, and plenty of other problems. but is was still fun to watch. Elizabeth just sounded like she hated it from the start. It was poorly done deconstructionist humor. If it stays at the current level, I'll probably stop watching. But, as has been said above, the pilot is usually the worse, and I hope for it to improve. Hopefully, it will have a chance to do so.

I thought the show was entertaining. Which is why I watch TV. Which is also why I have no business being a critic.

Well, yes it is cheesy, but it's the good cheese, y'know, the Batman and Robin cheese. Although it's understandable that we don't really care for that that type of campy-screwbally type of humor in "The Era of Gritty Remakes", but back in the advent of comic book hero TV shows, many shows relied on camp and cheese. Personally, I see it as someone trying to merge the two ages of comic book based media: "The Early Camp" and "The Later Grit". While it may not be perfect, it's only the Pilot episode, it could get better along the way.
One parting sentence: Don't judge a book by its cover.

For.I.Am.Mad:
I liked it. Needs more Keith David and less boring family. And the computer chick needs some more acting lessons but has potential. 'Like, oh my god, I'm acting. Yaaahhhh.'

It'll be interesting to see who likes it and who doesn't. I don't think the over-thinkers of the world will enjoy it.

No. No. No no no no no no no. Just go watch Firefly. I need only that to dismiss that statement.

Didn't watch it, but this recap is pretty much in line with the other reviews/recaps I've read. I certainly won't pass personal judgement on the show sight unseen, but when most people seem to be agreeing that it either kinda sucks or really sucks it's hard to ignore.

Eh...Neither the recap or the show really interests me that much. It's gotten to be were if you have seen one superhero you have seen them all these days (still gonna go see the Green Hornet and see if they did Bruce Lee's character justice or not.)

That being said, what's up with the hate always directed towards this particular writer. It's almost like it's a popularity hate thing like everyone does with Activision. Or is it a sarcastic hate? Did I miss something while I was not haunting this forums for a few months?

If anything I'd say the recap doesn't go far enough in tearing this show apart. The main character is vanilla as hell, the family is hokey and adds nothing thus far, Orwell/Summer Glau is just shoehorned in with no explanation and adds nothing except being there for fanboys to drool over, and the main villain is just evil because, well, he is. Which is the laziest and least interesting type of villain one can hope to create. And the entire show is just so damn rushed it's comical, he learns all his superhero abilities/powers in a two minute montage. Really? Movies take longer than that to set up their origins and they only have two hours to work with, you have at least several episodes before this crap gets cancelled. The writers though seem intent on just making this a villain of the week schtick instead of anything with a plot.

I applaud the idea of making a show that isn't a cop/medical drama, but everything else about this show was bad.

I thought The Cape was really badly writen, really badly acted. Total cheese on toast and a hodge podge of diferent super hero mythos without any originality what so ever. And for some reason I enjoyed every single second of it:)

I thought the show was good fun. It's not really supposed to be some deep Alan Moore comic with political undertones, it's just a fun cheesy romp through a superhero world.
The show is definitely better than this recap gives it credit for IMO.

i watched it and thought it sucked. didnt take any time to establish the characters, and i thought the acting was sub-par

Oh God... It cant be that bad...

I watched it (actually watching the rerun now on monday, nothng else is on at the moment), and thought it was pretty good. It's only the pilot episode, so chances are that everyone on the show is just getting the hang of their roles, and the writting hasn't hit it's stride yet. There is certainly quite a bit of room for improvement, the acting needs work (Keith David and Summer Glau being the exceptions, providing good performances, though Summer Glau seems to still be a bit unsure about her role), the writting can be incoherent and overly-cheesy at time, and the CGI needs work; but all in all, there's a heck of a lot of potential.

One more thing. Despite all of the shows flaws, I have to say that I've fallen in love with the show's soundtrack. The music is, quite frankly, awesome.

Maybe it's because I didn't know what to expect and had no expectations, but I actually thought it was quite good.

Of course the very first episode has "pacing problems" because they wanted to put the whole history of why and how he becomes the cape into one episode and I'm actually very thankful for that.
Seeing as we all know more or less that he is going to turn into 'The Cape' and become a super hero, we don't need or want that part to drag on over multiple episodes. Ergo I don't agree on the issues raised with the pacing at all and am very happy it was kept so short.

The thing with the Cape is, I think many of its "flaws" are intentional. It's not a comedy, but it also isn't one of the overly serious / pretentious dramas that have dominated scripted TV. It's a throwback to the days of the A Team, Magnum PI, or Macgyver where you didn't need long serialized plots, brooding emo characters, or conspiracies about conspicacies within more conspiracies. Just a simple good guy fights bad guys and has fun doing it story. Maybe it's no firefly, but then again Firefly got the axe because no one watched it because they couldn't get over flaws in the first few episodes, so maybe we should learn something here about letting a show grow into itself before we jump ship.

Besides, do we want The Event back in that timeslot?

HG131:

For.I.Am.Mad:
I liked it. Needs more Keith David and less boring family. And the computer chick needs some more acting lessons but has potential. 'Like, oh my god, I'm acting. Yaaahhhh.'

It'll be interesting to see who likes it and who doesn't. I don't think the over-thinkers of the world will enjoy it.

No. No. No no no no no no no. Just go watch Firefly. I need only that to dismiss that statement.

God forbid someone have a different opinion than you. Try getting off the pedastal.

On topic, I thought it was an alright show, the article seemed a little too into ripping into the show, but the points were valid.

I caught it tonight, and, missing the first couple of minutes, thought this was part 2 of a two-parter (since it referenced things like the police chief dying, and both the whole Orwell thing and the corrupt cops implied a previous introduction).

Apparently it wasn't. That's how bad this script is. (Also: seriously, my TV's over-the-air clock said 8 on the dot. I don't know how much I missed, but it couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 minutes.)

Seriously, two hours minus commercials is feature-length film territory. This story actually has a lot of detail and all the elements of a compelling (or at least entertaining) narrative, too. To bad it has barely any exposition (except when it has too much of it), and the writing is just plain bad. The pacing also gave me whiplash. This could have been good if they took the first half and extended it over the two hours and polished it up a bit.

Also, here's an example of the bad writing: the guy rings up his family and, saying nothing, hangs up. The circus guy then goes on to explain why he shouldn't talk with his family. This is confusing and backwards; they should have presented the dilemma before the conclusion, and failing to do so is what requires the explanation - which doesn't even make sense in-character since the character already drew said conclusion. Not to mention the whole scene takes place in mere seconds. (Edit: This is also an example of the no exposition/too much exposition problem the show has.)

At first I was like:

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Shamus, isn't this kind of response just fanning the flames? Sure, some of them liked the show, but that fact in no way improves the writing of this article, which is what they're commenting on in such a negative light. How does calling it "fanboy crying" help anything or, for that matter, do anything other than lump you in with them from the opposite side: the "fanboys" on one side calling foul on the article and basically saying it should be ignored because Elizabeth obviously didn't like the show from the start and blah blah, and on the other side people implying those detractors should be ignored because "they're just fanboys."

It makes you look just as bad as far as that goes.


But then...

HG131:

For.I.Am.Mad:
I liked it. Needs more Keith David and less boring family. And the computer chick needs some more acting lessons but has potential. 'Like, oh my god, I'm acting. Yaaahhhh.'

It'll be interesting to see who likes it and who doesn't. I don't think the over-thinkers of the world will enjoy it.

No. No. No no no no no no no. Just go watch Firefly. I need only that to dismiss that statement.

*facepalm*

Being able to portray a particular role well - especially if that role is addled/abnormal in some dramatic way (like, say, being a mentally unstable psychic killing machine from the future, or...a robotic killing machine from the future...wow, that's some serious range, isn't it?) - is not an indicator of being a great actor in general. It means you did that role very well.

For a good example of this, compare Milla Jovovich in Fifth Element with Milla Jovovich in...almost anything else.

That is undeniably fanboy behavior. Accepting that, this Cape article is still pretty dull. If it can't hold the attention of an audience that was expecting the show to be bad and clicked the article in the interests of seeing just how bad it was (that'd be me, not HG up there, obviously), that's probably not a good sign. But hey, subjective.

I like Keith David and Summer Glau as much as the next guy, but they can't save the show from being exceedingly boring, poorly-paced, and unoriginal.

I know us nerds are desperate for some of super hero or sci-fi show to come along and make it big, but that doesn't mean we should accept half-assed crap like this.

Shjade:
At first I was like:

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

Shamus, isn't this kind of response just fanning the flames?

I'd say it's more like watering the whine. And sad, sad whine it is. Are people really so desperate for a superhero show to champion that they'll get defensive over this bilge?

Shamus Young:
I love deconstructionist humor so much. This article was tremendous fun.

Post-article fanboy crying was a nice bonus.

I know saying that people who disagree with you are fanboys is sort of your thing now Shamus, but I don't think that actually makes sense in this context. Only the pilot of this show has aired and just a couple days ago, it's a little bit early to play the fanboy card if that is still supposed to actually mean something.

It was the fucking pilot episode give me ANY pilot episode of ANY series that wasn't SHIT compared to the rest of it. Everyone is tearing into the show and the article because it didn't suit your needs.

ITS A NEW FUCKING SHOW GIVE IT TIME.

Wow, this read as if the reviewer was just making this up as she went along.

So I just watched it Hulu. Mildly entertaining, but I smell cancellation. It can't tell if it wants to be dramatic or goofy and it does not blend the two together well at all. And some of the acting is really painful. All in all, maybe it will come together, but I can't see enough people getting behind this.

I think the show's premise holds potential, but that they rushed the pilot too much. The writing could have used a lot more polish, the direction could have been less schizophrenic, and I said to my wife as soon as it was over that they should have taken the events of the first hour and stretched them out over the two-hour run so that they could include some character development. Still... the similarities to the Batman mythos, Robocop, and Greatest American Hero could eventually work in its favor.

I'm seeing this as potentially being the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The pilot had horrible pacing, stiff acting, and pushed the plot ahead before you got a chance to know the characters beyond their stereotypes. But so did Buffy's pilot. Hell, I couldn't even bring myself to watch Buffy for the first year and a half because of how bad the pilot sucked. But after the first few episodes it found its stride and became iconic television. I think The Cape has the same potential. Then again, if they don't learn from the current reviews, perhaps they'll just become Heroes without the good first season.

Krion_Vark:
ITS A NEW FUCKING SHOW GIVE IT TIME.

COUNTERPOINT: A PILOT OF A SHOW NEEDS TO BE GOOD ENOUGH TO GET THE AUDIENCE TO WATCH MORE. IF IT SUCKS THERE WILL BE NO MORE EPISODES. BEING DEFENSIVE ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT SUCKS WON'T STOP IT FROM SUCKING.

I put all of that in caps because that totally ensures one's point comes across as non-insane and is taken in the serious, constructive spirit of robust debate!

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