|"Bob's Burgers" & "The Cape."
||[Jan. 10th, 2011|04:39 am]
Just before I began to type this, my brain responded, ah fuck I almost forgot to type this!
That's pretty much 10 percent of the time I write an entry. The other 90 percent? Forget wins.
So, for a month and a half, I've been seeing some very terrible promos for "Bob's Burgers," a new cartoon show on Fox network on Sunday nights. In fact, every week, I've said, "you know (person I'm talking with), 'Bob's Burgers' looks like a horrible fucking show. Their shit isn't funny."
And, they agreed.
I also noticed ads on NBC, for over a couple of weeks, at least since Christmas, for this new show, "The Cape." It looked like a comic book live-action show. And it looked cool. One of the guys had reptile skin! I said as much to people I was talking with, and once again, they agreed.
Well, I watched both premiers tonight, and looks are deceiving, yet again.
"Bob's Burgers" turned out to be a halfway decent cartoon comedy about the Belcher family, the parents being the proprietors of a burger joint near the beach of what appears to be a close facsimile of New York's Coney Island.
A lot of the promos truncated longer jokes. In fact, there weren't many one-offs. Now, the show wasn't a complete hit, some of the jokes were flat, but for what it was promo'd as, this show was a lot better. I laughed, more than a few times. And it had a story that went somewhere. To sum the plot, the Belcher family run into trouble with a food inspector after one of the daughters purported their restaurant used meat procured from the mortuary business next door.
So, in sum, Fox may have given this show a death sentence by making everyone think it was a humorless throwaway. If I had to rate the debut episode, it's up there below but not quite far from the average "The Simpsons"/"Family Guy" quality, possibly on-par or slightly better than "American Dad," and clearly better than "The Cleveland Show."
"Bob's Burgers: Better than "The Cleveland Show," not quite "Family Guy."
Then I watched "The Cape."
David Lyons plays the caped superhero of the show's title. The Cape is the alias of Vince Faraday, an policeman for Palm City who was framed for a series of murders. Following the framing, it was believed that Faraday died in an explosion, leaving him free to adapt his new persona as vigilante and crusader for justice against Peter Fleming (James Frain), a billionaire arch-enemy and owner of Ark Corporation, the private-sector solution to Palm City's crime troubles.
I'm not lying when I say that every scene involves something either totally preposterous for plot, pungently poor for dialog, amazingly hilarious for unintentional comedy, or a combo of the three. I couldn't stop laughing at one part in the show where The Cape returns to his family's home and confronts his son. During this scene, the son is staring at his caped father, pretending to be The Cape to his son. The problem was that The Cape never made an effort to disguise his voice and hide the bottom half of his face. Most children would recognize their parents, even in disguise. Not The Cape's son. He was totally fooled, stone-faced, actually, while his father shed tears during a melo-inspirational pep-talk. I shed tears of laughter, and if this wasn't trying to be serious, I'd call it brilliant comedy in action.
This show clumsily ripped off sources like Robocop and the Batman series for scenes and plot points. Half of the scenes went nowhere, and people did inexplicable things nearly as much as they spent explaining things that were fairly obvious to behold. And the pace, oh my word. They were zipping along far too fast to cover the things that happened. One minute, Faraday's hugging his kid (they repeated establishment of how much Faraday loves his son for no reason). Next, he's getting framed. Next, he's sorting out his plans for revenge. What felt like five minutes later, he's back at his home (after what should have been months in the storyline), making contact with his kid. In other words, ass-backwards is the term to describe what unfolds.
Among the out-of-place in this tour de fart is Richard Schiff, who plays Patrick Portman, one of the few politicians invested in opposing Fleming's evil corporation in its quest to dominate Palm City. This guy is a sore thumb in this talentless lineup of acting. He was Toby Ziegler on "The West Wing." And he gave his supporting role in "The Cape" his best, but Schiff's presence is like dropping a glass of water into a dry lake bed. Money can't be that tight! Surely Schiff can find better shows. How the mighty have fallen.
Anyway, I highly recommend you catch the 1st episode, if you have 2 hours to kill and you want to laugh at some of the most miserable action television a network has ever produced.
The Cape: Incapable of getting anything right.