Last night NBC's new superhero show, The Cape, premiered, with exactly the mixture of deadly earnestness and accidental camp you might expect from a show that basically imagines Batman had been trained by a bunch of clowns. (Really. The Cape learns his skills from a circus troupe.) Good cop Vince Faraday, working in the corrupt, dangerous town of Palm City, is framed by an evil businessman who moonlights as a masked villain. Disgraced and left for dead, Faraday is found by the aforementioned circus troupe, and refusing to give up, becomes a superhero himself, this one armed with a deadly cape. The two-hour premiere, which you can watch again tonight (NBC, lots of programming!), showed some signs that serious notes were given between the filming of the pilot (the first hour) and the second episode. A character who appeared to have died in the pilot was ... just fine by the second hour. The Cape, who wasn't wearing a mask for the first hour (culminating in a ridiculous scene where the villain yells, "I'll find out who you are, I'll find out who you love, I'll make them scream," while the Cape's face is fully exposed), got one in the second. Oh, and also, in the second hour he stops running around in that extremely ridiculous cape. (Did the CGI get too expensive?) One thing that did not change from hour to hour: the level of dialogue, which was awfulsome throughout.
The ten most awful/awesome lines:
• "In the lion's cage you can't be worried about your family. You can't be afraid. The lions smell it. You just walked into the lion's cage and got eaten, my friend."
• "You must be very busy, what with your food blog. And writing for the Congressional Quarterly."
• "This L9 super-expanding chemical explosive officially doesn’t exist, but we know better, don’t we?"
• "Do you play chess? I ask because you have an aggressive opener. In the game I'd call it the Latvian gambit. You forced me to fine-tune. But we are in the middle game, and pawns become crucial. And out of your inexperience, you left your king vulnerable. Your family."
• "What you said about your boy, about showing him one man can make a difference, that stayed with me. You take it from a man who never knew his father, and who never had a son: That bond, it's what makes hero."
• "You give me your soul, Vince Faraday, and I’ll make you the greatest circus act that ever lived. "
• "I can't show my face, but I will watch your back."
• "You put this on your blog, you put my family in danger."
• "Omar the wise used to have a freak show in Santa Rio. Drank insecticide for his act. Always had nightshade on hand as an antidote to the effects."
"Yes, it was. Omar died young."
• "Raymond Lafleur. This guy is super French."
Oooof. Just to get that taste out of your mouth, watch Borat's Ken Davitian's (of the naked wrestling scene) cameo as a store owner getting held up. One of the pop-culture-savvy robbers is kind enough to tell him, "Hurry up, Borat."