The worst Sci-Fi & Fantasy Shows - THE CAPE - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The worst Sci-Fi & Fantasy Shows - THE CAPE

Rob McCarthy continues his look back at some of the most disappointing SciFi/Fantasy TV shows. This time it's the 2011 superhero drama series, The Cape.

All superhero/comic book TV shows and movies require you to suspend your disbelief if you are to fully immerse yourself and enjoy what is on offer. The better the show (including story concept, scripting and quality of acting), the easier that is to do. The Cape requires enormous levels in suspension of disbelief, far too much of a leap in respect to the quality of the show. Ultimately that's the reason it is included amongst my worst sci-fi and fantasy shows of all time.

The Cape is the story of Vince Faraday (David Lyons), an honest police detective who is framed for murder by a mysterious villain known as "Chess". All of Palm City, including his family, believe Faraday died in a oil tanker explosion. But wouldn't you know it, he didn't!

Faraday is accepted into "The Carnival of Crime", a traveling circus turned bank robbery ring (I'm not even making this up). Their ring leader, Max Malini (Keith David), trains Faraday in circus skills and presents him with a special black cape made entirely from spider silk (still not making this up). With the assistance of investigative blogger Orwell (Summer Glau) he becomes "The Cape", and using his large stretchy black cape he sets out to clear Palm Ctiy of crime, expose Peter Fleming (James Frain) as "Chess", clear his name and return home to his family.

I won't include a mediocre show in this column, they all have to be bad shows that fail on multiple levels. The Cape does not succeed at any level. It's more camp than 1960s Batman, it's more clichéd than 'Dr. Cliché's Big Book of Clichés" and it offers up the worst of comic book ideas in an era when Marvel, DC and countless other independents are presenting their best work ever. I believe they were trying to emulate The Phantom or The Shadow, but between the very poor plot, dialogue and acting The Cape misses the mark by a mile.

David Lyons (who has recently been overacting on Revolution for two years) brings a level of ham that is rarely seen in a 21st Century prime time US Network Television show. Trying to out pantomime him is James Frain. Both are dreadfully cast, neither providing any level of belief to their respective characters which makes it almost impossible to feel any connection to them. No cheering for the hero, no booing for the villain.

Even poor Summer Glau is hindered with a character that's just not well thought out. She's an amazing computer hacker with this super cool holographic computer, but she basically uses it to update her blog. I hope she had words with her agent after seeing the completed pilot episode.

Then there's Vinnie Jones as recurring bad guy Dominic Raoul. Vinnie was very good in Lock Stock, but that was a long time ago now, he must have some friends in very high places to still be getting work with his limited range.

Faraday's family are also really badly portrayed. His devoted wife puts up little resistance in accepting that her husband was a killer, and his son can't recognise his own father's voice when he regularly visits him as "The Cape".

The Cape represent the very worst of comic book TV shows, clearly produced by people who have no idea about comic books. It deserved to be cancelled, and suffered the embarrassment of having the tenth and final episode broadcast online only.

The only good thing to come out of The Cape was this..., if they'd played The Cape for laughs maybe it would've been a much better show.


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