One of my biggest TV problems is that I have trouble distinguishing between bad TV and good-bad TV. From the fall 2010 season, of the shows that started out good-bad, Hellcats turned out to just be bad, Law and Order: Los Angeles is good-bad, and Hawaii 5-0 actually ended up good.
If a show looks like it might have potential I like to give it a few episodes to try to find it’s footing. After three episodes of The Cape I’m pretty sure that it’s found its footing. Problem is, it’s completely the wrong foot. I can appreciate a world populated with superheroes – I loved Heroes and it’s fully-realized world – but The Cape hasn’t bothered to create a storyline that’s even remotely compelling. Give me a lead who has a little bit of charisma, and a script that doesn’t feel like it’s just trying to fill a cliche quota. Even an entire circus tent full of “wacky” characters can’t hide the creaky dialogue and plot. The only guy that I’m rooting for is a bad guy who seems like he might be good, but then maybe isn’t, even though I want him to be. Ambiguity can be good, but completely mis-directing your audience because you can’t seem to decide what direction the character will go in does not make me what to stick around while you figure it out.
I have no doubt I’ll watch a couple more episodes – if nothing else it’s good for a laugh – but The Cape looks like it’s well on it’s way to being officially bad TV. If it gets good-bad, I’ll let you know.