NBC debuted their new superhero drama, ‘The Cape’, last night night with two back-to-back episodes. While it contained many of the elements needed for a successful comic book superhero, it was missing one main ingredient…personality.

‘The Cape’ is a new drama series starring David Lyons (‘ER’) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. Faraday becomes “The Cape” – his son’s favorite comic book superhero – and takes the law into his own hands.

Like all superhero tales, whether it’s a television show, comic book, movie, or video game, its’ tone has to walk the fine line of seriousness and good-old-fashioned camp. However,’The Cape’ tried to stay in that middle ground where everything is serious, even when the situation calls for some over-the-top camp.

While both of last nights’ episodes did a good job of setting up the world of ‘The Cape’, the show needs to take advantage of it’s strengths and cover up some glaring weaknesses.

In both episodes, our lead character needs to hide his identity to protect his family from harm. But ‘The Cape’ spends most of both episodes with his identity fully exposed to the very people who want to harm his family. And let’s face it, a cape is about the weakest superpower/weapon audiences have seen since the 1930s. The show needs to either up the mystical elements of the “capes” carnival history or create some really creative uses for it.

What does stand out is an excellent cast who are capable of rising above so-so writing and direction. David Lyons (‘E.R.’), Summer Glau (‘Firefly’, ‘Dollhouse’, ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’), Keith David (‘Pitch Black’, ‘Spawn The Animated Series’) and especially ‘The Cape’ standout
Martin Klebba (‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) need some stronger material to make the show a success. Let’s hope NBC gives the series enough time to find a strong direction and an loyal audience.

‘The Cape’ airs on Monday nights at 9/8c on NBC.