CAPE SHAPE part II
So yeah, I watched the premier of Who Wants to be a Superhero? And my first reaction was, “eh.”
I don’t know if the excitement of seeing real people in silly superhero costumes has already waned since season one, but I wasn’t that impressed. I mean, even the best of reality TV is pretty formulaic, and this was no exception: all the heroes meet for the first time, Stan Lee appears on the big screen TV, they have to immediately jump into a mission, once resolved they hang out at the lair, they get another mission, then that night someone is arbitrarily cast out. End of show.
Things that stick out in my memory:
Feedback. Oh, poor sweet Feedback. The uber-geek winner from season one. This guy was promised fame, fortune and his own SciFi Network-produced TV movie… and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t received any of those yet. Well, maybe a little fame, in the insular geek universe, at least. I know he was at Mid-Ohio Con (Columbus, OH comic book convention) and I bet he was in San Diego for Comic-Con this past week. As far as comic book geeks go, he’s a lot more famous than me, I guess.
And he seems more than happy to don his costume again and gather up the contestants for the show; sneaking into their homes and workplaces to announce, “Stan wants you!”
The first challenge. I thought this challenge was actually pretty… challenging. Rather physical right out of the box. I thought they played up the “you’ve got to use teamwork!” angle a bit much… all you really needed was one big guy to handle the heavy lifting.
And it’s with challenges like this that I have a problem with the show. They are all supposed to be superheroes, with super powers, right? At least two of these heroes list flight as a power, and Mindset claims to have telekinesis… so why not use your powers? I know, I know, it’s not real, and I’m willing to suspend my disbelieve to a certain degree… but the premises of the show is that this is real, that Stan is shaping real superheroes. Why not create some excuse for them to not use their powers? All Stan has to say is something like, “Heroes, in this challenge I want to see how you would handle it if a supervillian managed to steal your powers!” or “There will be many civilians nearby in this challenge, so please don’t use your powers!”
Defuser. This guy quickly established himself as a leader, if not THE Leader (well, not The Leader, of course. BTW--best villain ever, and rumored to be in the new Hulk movie). Anyway, this guy’s a cop in real life, so no surprise that he’s large and in charge. I’m torn if this is a good thing or not… every team needs a leader, but Stan seems to favor the geeky underdog (witness Feedback). Stan may be looking for any excuse to eliminate the guy. Such as…
The second challenge. Hey, looks like the contestants were paying attention to season one! I’m glad to see none of them were lured into revealing their secret identities, and obvious superhero faux-pas that many of the heroes fell into last season. But then, most of them dropped the ball once they left the warehouse, especially Defuser, who was so focused on getting tires back on the trucks that he missed the real challenges.
Now, it can’t be easy to be on this show. I mean, set aside the fact that you’re wearing a ridiculous costume, but you’re under scrutiny at every moment and you’re just waiting for the next test. So when you come out of the warehouse to find your cars wheel-less, I’m sure it’s easy to think, “Holy shit, we need to get those tires back on the trucks, and like now!” Because it’s not a far stretch to imagine Stan berating them if they didn’t do it toot-sweet: “Heroes, what if there was another emergency?! A true superhero must be ready to react at a moment’s notice!” So they jump into action and most of them don’t notice the little old lady and guy carrying boxes and the dog--even thought the “lost dog” seemed like a real stretch. (Which, by the way, the SciFi website describes as an “obviously lost and frightened dog” to which I say buuuuull-shit! That dog laid on the sideway and calmly looked around. If it was howling or crying, it would have been one thing. But anyway.
So yeah, it’s got to be a tough call between jumping in and solving the obvious challenge and stopping to look around to see if there’s a more subtle challenge involved. Which, frankly, there always is. If these guys are smart they’ll figure that out and start to assign a person or two as lookouts for every challenge.
Mr. Mitzvah. Holy shit! Did I say in my last post that he was too ethnic? I had no idea. I mean, there’s no way that the guy really talks like that. He’s doing a dead-on impersonation of Jackie Mason! Oy vey! I’m kibitzing with the meshuggner when the shiksa drops the latke and she gets verklempt and oy gevalt the crying!
Ms. Limelight. Is she really only 18? Jesus, she’s certainly annoying enough for it. She was on the chopping block last time, here’s hoping she gets canned next go-round. I don’t think I can take much more of that voice.
Next week! New costumes! Mazal tov!