Friday, February 11, 2011

Adam Hates "The Cape" and is Happy to Hear it's Going to be Cancelled and Here's Why Friday!

My lovelies, I'm a little behind because of the blizzard, but hopefully this is it.  I made today's post super-sized to make up for the gaps. 

I'm hearing rumblings that The Cape, a show on NBC that is so dreadful I refuse to even link to it, is getting the ax, and I couldn't be happier.  Not that I enjoy watching things fail (well, I kinda do sometimes), but that debacle  was the worst thing for comics since the Adam West Batman show.  

Some of you young 'uns may not remember a time before 1989's Tim Burton Batman movie, but before that, people assumed that if you read comics, you were reading something meant for five year-olds.  You had to hide your interest in the hobby to spare yourself endless mocking, much more so than today.  So when I see some piece of crap like The Cape with embarrassingly bad dialog and hackneyed storylines (the show made the Darkman movies look like The Dark Knight), I see our cred taking a giant step back.  Kill it.  Kill it with fire, and spit on the ashes.

The hardest thing about The Cape is that non-comic nerdlingers actually thought this was based on a real comic.  Many times, I found myself saying (rather defensively) to someone, "It's not based on a comic at all."  Frankly, I like to think that a comic that terrible wouldn't survive three issues.

So, what else did I find that I've heard folks mistakenly assume was based on a comic over the years?


Manimal lasted 8 episodes in 1983.  He was supposed to be able to change into any animal, but it was a television show in 1983, so they could only show so many transformations.  This meant that if he was going to turn into anything but a hawk or a panther (for which they had stock footage), it had to happen off camera.

And, to save you the search, here's what it looked like when he transformed:

I remember watching all the episodes, and I kinda liked it, but even with the very limited special effects budget, it was still a very expensive show and therefore it was much more difficult to justify its existence, especially when it was going up against Dallas.

NBC tried again in 1985 to do another quasi-comic book show against Dallas when they brought about Misfits of Science:

Obviously, it was kind of a Heroes/X-Men thing.  To its credit, it lasted sixteen episodes.  And that is one young Courtney Cox.

Going back to 1983, ABC tested the nerd ratings pool with Automan:

There are thirteen episodes out there if you just can't get enough of Desi Arnaz, Jr.

And for those of you who think I'm being too hard on The Cape, I give you Exhibits "A" and "B," both of which ran from January to May of 1967:

not to be confused with 

These shows premiered and ended the exact same day, and were the direct result of the campy Batman television show of the day.  See?  See?  This is how we descend into crap.  We accept garbage and the folks quit trying.

And before you get all defensive, let me show you a little sampling of the afore-mentioned Mister Terrific: 

Yup.  And it's still better-written than The Cape.

See you Monday!


Britt Reid said...

Captain Nice was as well done a spoof as Get Smart...which ain't unreasonable, since Buck Henry created them both.
And, just to prove it, I'm posting the complete Captain Nice pilot for my YouTube Wednesday entry next week!
I dare you to watch it and not laugh!

Mr Terrific, though, was drek. Plus, considering DC had a "Mr Terrific" in the JSA, I'm surprised the show's producers weren't sued for trademark infringement!

Unknown said...

I remember them playing this song during one of the episodes of Misfits.

Kim Wilde was the shiznit back then.

Michael Jones said...

Shouldn't Greatest American Hero and Man From Atlantis be given some mention here? (Though there was a MFA comic spinoff.)

D.B. Echo said...

Wow, I vaguely remembered Manimal being somewhat better than that. maybe I just watched the commercials. I love the lion's "Are you getting this garbage?" look at 1:02, and the leopard's "I am so bored with this, somebody rub my belly" maneuver at the end.

And, of course, M.A.N.T.I.S., and Night Man (which WAS based on a comic, apparently,) and Exo-Man...

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Night Man wasn't all that bad, maybe because it aired on Sunday nights in Chicago and there wasn't much else on. I wonder if Simon McCorkindale ever changed his name simply to find more work.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Well hell I'll say it, I like the Cape. Yes it can be screamingly stupid at times, but it entertains me and beats frickin' heroes with a goofy stick. It doesn't make me want to hide the fact that I read comics.

So if I am to be pilloried for supporting the Cape let it begin now, and I'll take it like a man!

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

SallyP said...

Oh, were too good for this world. Dang it, I loved that show.

Comixbear said...

And let us not forget Once A Hero, which lasted a wonderful three episodes. After it was cancelled, I remember a one-shot coming out stating "Based upon the hit tv series" on the cover. It was already long cancelled by then.

Unknown said...

My Secret Identity, Isis, Shazam, Wonder Woman, The Phoenix, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, loved them all

Unknown said...

I almost forgot The Powers of Matthew Star

Anonymous said...

The Cape was great if you choose to see it as a parody of every superhero made ever out there.

it was so crock full of cliches, that it was horrible but at the same time it was funny as hell.

My Favorite part was where he ran around as an hero WITHOUT an mask on, and people didn't recognize him even though his hood didn't exactly hide his face. Even his own son didn't recognize him.

and then when he finally got an mask, he screams for no good reason when he puts it on.

I just found that hilarious.