I didn't know much about this show except that it was based on a comic that I haven't read. But when I saw it on the Crackle streaming service, I thought "why not?" and started watching, and ended up thoroughly enjoying it and binged-watched multiple episodes per day, completing Season 1 within just a few days. This is a great show.
Themes: I loved how the powered people are viewed and treated in this world, as celebrities. Why wouldn't a celebrity superhero use their fame to endorse commercial products? If kids really had super-powers, they probably would be more interested in showing off to gain popularity than actually battling evil. It's interesting seeing an ordinary police force dealing with powered people who go bad, dealing not only with the powered criminals, but also with media coverage, interference from other powered heroes, etc.
The powers we see on this show are not particularly original. We've pretty much seen it all before in other more famous super hero comics: flying, super-strength, teleportation, energy projection, super-healing, absorbing other powers, body duplication, etc. But it still manages to portray some of these powers in interesting ways. For example, the multiplying man, Simons, seems to have separate personalities for each of his duplicates, which was weird. And this show sure doesn't hold back or limit some of these powers. The villains, Johnny Royale and Wolfe, have powers so extreme, I was constantly wondering how anyone in this world can possibly oppose them. This made me want to keep watching.
Visuals: At a glance, it may be easy to dismiss this show as silly, because the costumes are intentionally bright, colorful, and often cheap-looking, but that's how I'd imagine super-hero costumes really would look if people were making them themselves. There's an interesting contrast between the bright and colorful look of the show and the dark, adult nature of its content.
I've seen people criticizing the effects for looking cheap and I kinda see their point, but I'd say the visual effects are actually about on par with other modern superhero shows I've watched, like Supergirl or Agents or Shield, etc. What more can you expect from a TV budget?
Walker: Sharlto Copley is excellent as the star of this show, weird-sounding American accent aside. To his credit, I watched an on-set interview for this show and noticed that he was still doing the accent in the interview. Now that's commitment! He's an actor with more than enough intensity to play the role of Walker, this troubled, multi-layered guy, previously an arrogant bully, now humbled by the loss of his powers, but still reckless enough to put himself in danger in the face of danger. I liked this character.
Deena: Here's a character who could have easily been annoying, as the inexperienced partner who disagrees with everything the main character does, but she was actually pretty funny and often more relatable than Walker himself, showing just how reckless Walker was, which makes them both interesting.
Calista: She's the show's central mystery. What does she know that others don't? Why is everyone after her? I see people describing her as annoying, and yeah, maybe I see their point, but she was so cute, I'll forgive her.
Johnny Royale: This guy was interesting, possibly my favorite character on the show. He seems at first like nothing more than some sleazy drug-dealer, but then you quickly realize how extremely dangerous and scary his powers are, but then you find out there's more to the guy - He was Walker's best friend in the past? Why is he so seemingly genuinely caring towards Calista? - he's definitely not just some cardboard villain.
Wolfe: This is a very intriguing bad guy, a well-spoken philosopher villain. Right from when we meet him we wonder what level of powers could possibly have to warrant being restrained, monitored, and repeatedly lobotomized on a regular schedule? And then when we see what's he's capable of, yeah, he really did need that level of restraint! I love how the show slowly reveals what he could have done in the past that was so horrific and what was his relationship with Walker in the past. Slowly learning these details was the most interesting part of this show.
Retro Girl: She's this world's equivalent of Superman, revered by all as the greatest, and with the power level to back it up - when she shows up, watch out! But she seems to have grown embittered by her role as super-hero and status. I would imagine that someone burdened by such an enormous role as protector of everything wouldn't be cheerful for too long, so once again, I think this show gets it right, regarding how real people may behave in a world of super-powers.
Anyway, great Season 1. I look forward to Season 2.
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