I’m rather jealous of Rich Johnson at Bleeding Cool right about now. He got his hands on pilot scripts for two potential super hero-based programs. (As opposed to Heroes or Smallville, because you can’t call yourself a super hero show without the costumes. Just saying. Does anyone call Buffy the Vampire Slayer a super hero show? Thought not.)
One is being looked at by NBC and is a drama, while ABC is looking at an Incredibles-style comedy. There are some minor spoilers in Rich’s postings, so I can only gather a minor opinion on the two shows. I’ll post my thoughts past “the jump” for those of you coming in on the home page. If you want to see them for yourselves, though, take a look at the articles for:
First, The Cape. I’ve been meaning to write an article about how capes are becoming an endangered piece of the super hero costume (itself becoming an endangered species–do you see any costumes on Heroes? More than one on Smallville?, but haven’t had the time. Based on Johnson’s description, it’s about an ex-cop who goes underground as a criminal, but is also forced to adopt a super hero identity when he’s believed dead, including by his family.
Hmm. I’m not so sure about that last part. I can see that going bad, as I would rather see a family factor added in, like they’re in on hiding them. Johnson brings up Robocop but I would also point at Spawn or Deathlok, so it’s been done. Or if his family had been killed but he survived. Then again, that would match The Punisher, Dark Justice, and some low-budget movie I saw on ION. I’m just not sure that, considering how marriage is getting slammed lately, I’m that interested in scenes where he sees his wife moving on and meeting another man, or his kids miserable without a dad, or stuff like that. I’ve seen it before. I haven’t seen a family that secretly helps one of the members fight crime that often.
At least “The Cape” (which by the way is a rather weak superhero name, so I’m hoping that get a rewrite) isn’t the only hero in the story. There’s also a “mystery blogger” that seems to get the info on bad dealings. On the other hand, we’re getting corrupt cops as a standard, rather than an episode plot. There better be some good cops in the mix, too. Batman and some stories set in New Orleans already get the bad cops (and wasn’t there a Sylvester Stalone movie with that plot?), as does Roger Corman’s The Black Scorpion. It may be a better show that it sounds, but it’s still Roger Corman.
This is only a rough script, and one with most of the spoilers removed, so I’m being overly negative. Parts of it do sound interesting, and I might check it out if it comes out.
And now for No Ordinary Family, which already has me curious by bringing in The Shield and Fantastic Four alum Michael Chiklis (you may also know him from The Commish, which is the only one of the three I can recommend). Frankly, Rich has me worried with this statement.
No Ordinary Family shares many traits with The Incredibles, but thematically they both choose to show a family that is in danger of falling apart with superpowers used to fill the gaps.
So, are we talking dysfunctional family? Because if this ends up being Married…With Children I’m going to have to hurt somebody. Or is it a family brought together because they now have powers? And do we get to see them fight crime, or is this more like My Secret Identity, where some of the episodes had Jerry O’Connell’s character dealing with a bad guy only because fate brought him into the situation, but never put on a costume. (Also, most of the episodes were about Jerry’s character going through normal life, but with super powers. I almost want to make a connection to Small Wonder here, but that’s probably too extreme an example. This show may actually have a budget and more than five sets.)
I’m actually less excited about this one than I am The Cape. Rich may compare it to The Incredibles, but unless Brad Bird is behind this show, I suspect that the heart and soul he poured into the Parr family (which Mark Waid, surprisingly, and Landry Walker, not surprising at all, have done a good job continuing) may be missing. Today’s sitcoms don’t seem to have the same emotions as sitcoms of the past. And that’s not just me being old. I send you back to my review of the pilot for Modern Family to explain my perspective.
Still, both shows are rough drafts of pilots in production. Things could change and both shows would surprise me. At least one show is going to have costumes. You usually don’t get that in a live-action show without “Power Rangers” somewhere in the title.