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The Cape: Replacing Many Heroes With One on NBC

He was a good cop, a loving husband, and a devoted father, but when the corrupt men in charge took everything from him, they made him into something else.

They made him into . . . The Cape.

NBC has released previews for “The Cape,” a new superhero drama, and it looks pretty damn silly. Maybe that’s a good thing.

For one thing, it looks silly because it has a simple premise. Yes, “Heroes” could be summed up as, “what if modern-day superheroes existed in the real world,” but it was also a lot more complicated and subtle than that. Complicated and subtle made for an excellent first season, but since then the show has undergone a long, spiraling fall over a cliff into a pit of fire, with twists, turns, mysteries, and shocking finales that were never resolved.

Secondly, “The Cape” looks silly because that’s what comics are sometimes. Silly. Sure, the first clip we see is of Vince Faraday, Wrongly Accused Man, hiding from an explosion under a piece of sheet metal. Sure, his wife and son watch the explosion on TV, thinking he’s been killed and shouting, “No! No!” Sure, he’s wearing a hat that makes him look like Uncle Fester. But isn’t that inflated beginning like most comic book origin stories? Superman escaped the explosion of an entire planet. And don’t even get me started on his silly outfit.

“The Cape” doesn’t really look groundbreaking. Unless there are some really surprise twists, I’m pretty sure that every episode is set up right there in the premise and that first clip. Vince is going to get a problem to solve every week, he’s going to brood while watching his family from afar every week, and every couple of weeks he’s going to get a clue about who framed him.

And honestly, that’s a show that many people do want to watch. It’s fun, melodramatic escapism, with the certainty of a “Law & Order” episode (if not the ‘dunk dunk’s). Of course everything depends on the quality of the acting and writing. If those are no good, then it’s time to give it up. But it might be nice to see a superhero show that you don’t have to do extensive research on in order to follow.

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