• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 9, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jan 6, 2011
    83
    While critics like me count quibbles, kids of all ages should share my husband's assessment: "It's a superhero show. Superman flies. Give The Cape a little space."
  2. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jan 6, 2011
    80
    The Cape is far more economical in its storytelling, far less weighted by its own mythologies and a much better time. Someone in network land as learned a lesson [from "Heroes"].
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 6, 2011
    80
    If the premise sounds cheesy and busy, the execution is crisp and efficient--and manages to sell dialogue like, "Together, we can take this city back," which often sounds better in a word balloon.
  4. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Jan 6, 2011
    75
    Either you'll jump right in or you'll give up immediately. I think it's about time a drama embraces a super power that's long been forgotten: showmanship.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 5, 2011
    75
    It's probably doomed to cult status, but The Cape is primal fun.
  6. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 6, 2011
    70
    It's a self-aware superhero drama that manages to have some fun amid the righteous butt-kicking, and if it can develop its characters intelligently and keep up the sprightly pace, I'll stick around.
  7. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jan 6, 2011
    70
    Marked by logical elisions, word-balloon dialogue and conveniently located plot holes though it may be, this is a machine for putting its heroes in tight spaces and watching them kick their way free, and it does its work efficiently and with flair.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 6, 2011
    63
    A cape is simply not exciting or convincing as a superhero weapon. And making constant jokes in the dialogue about the flaw isn't the same as fixing it. To its credit, The Cape is at least easier to follow than The Event and is less mythology-burdened than Heroes.
  9. Reviewed by: Jethro Nededog
    Jan 9, 2011
    60
    Whether you like it or not depends on your ability to leap with the show. We won't lie, though. While the pilot is well-executed, once we get into hour two of NBC's planned two hour premiere, we got the feeling that this may be too much of a good thing in one sitting.
  10. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jan 6, 2011
    60
    While little about The Cape could be deemed fresh - from its noir-ish "Dark Knight"-esque color palette to the sometimes boilerplate dialogue - the show has several elements going for it.
  11. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 6, 2011
    60
    Like any good graphic novel, The Cape doesn't forget to sometimes be funny. It also at times asks us to suspend disbelief.
  12. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 6, 2011
    58
    NBC's The Cape aspires to be "The Dark Knight" but unfurls more like the campy 1960s "Batman" TV series.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 11, 2011
    50
    Every time he flaps into view in his baggy hoodedness, he looks like Batman in need of a tailor. [17 Jan 2011, p.40]
  14. Unfortunately, The Cape fails to fly. Lyons has all the charisma of a fence post, and the leaden scripts bring no fresh twists to the genre.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jan 9, 2011
    50
    Show creator Tom Wheeler goes a little heavy with the overwrought dialogue (sample line: "It's not all corrupt! One man can still make a difference!"), but he has a sense of humor that emerges more in the second episode.
  16. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Jan 9, 2011
    50
    As much as they have at stake, neither Vince nor Dana is as much fun to watch as Max. Master of the arched eyebrow and the sly grin, Max is better than a circus act.
  17. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    It's lighter than "Heroes," but also less coherent. Still, fans of Summer Glau (you know who you are) probably won't be able to resist.
  18. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 9, 2011
    42
    What's supposed to be a taut and many-splendored mythical yarn in league with Heroes instead registers as a topsy turvy laughable feast complete with chapter titles.
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 7, 2011
    40
    This isn't a catastrophe, mind you. It's not Knight Rider-Bionic Woman awful. It's merely forgettable. Which is just sad.
  20. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 6, 2011
    40
    All the color in the margins doesn't matter if the man at the center of the picture is a bore, which Lyons unfortunately is.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jan 11, 2011
    30
    The source of the show's downfall is more basic: It rushes through everything, pulverizing potentially engaging characters and story until the whole production starts to feel like a long trailer for itself.
  22. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 10, 2011
    30
    It's a series that looks like a whole bunch of cooks decided to build the most creatively awesome and different kitchen imaginable, forgetting for a moment that none of them can really cook.
  23. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 9, 2011
    30
    For anyone who's seen the "Spider-Man" films (or even the last, worst season of NBC's "Heroes"), there's little to recommend about this new series that has its bloated, two-hour debut.
  24. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 7, 2011
    30
    There are also, unfortunately, a stiff performance by star David Lyons, as a cop, on the run for A Crime He Did Not Commit, who becomes the eponymous superhero, and the kind of dialogue that gives comics a bad name ("One man can still make a difference!").
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Swanson
    Jan 6, 2011
    25
    The Cape falls into a wasteland of its own making, where neither the stakes nor the jokes can distract one from the thinness of its writing.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 42
  2. Negative: 8 out of 42
  1. Jan 10, 2011
    10
    The Cape is by far the best show on Sunday nights. A break from either a news show or a drama aimed at females, The Cape offers a good ol'The Cape is by far the best show on Sunday nights. A break from either a news show or a drama aimed at females, The Cape offers a good ol' superhero show that nerds and regular viewers alike can watch. Great performances by all of the actors. Tripp could be a little better but he's just a kid. Full Review »
  2. Jan 10, 2011
    9
    There were some cheesy moments but i found myself throughly entertained and expecting much much more in the following weeks. I was more thanThere were some cheesy moments but i found myself throughly entertained and expecting much much more in the following weeks. I was more than happy to see Summer Glau return to the small screen, and for all you Smallville fans i feel that this may fill the super hero void after the shows recent ending. I like the cape for a few reasons, he is very human and it shows. He is not the perfect superhero without any faults and seems apt to learn lessons from that. there are some funny moments although i did find myself wishing for a little more funny. As far as pilots go i enjoyed it and i look forward to next week, Monday 9 o clock. Full Review »
  3. May 11, 2011
    10
    This is the best new series I have seen in years. Reminiscent of The Shadow, with a good dose of quirky humour and story. Also graced withThis is the best new series I have seen in years. Reminiscent of The Shadow, with a good dose of quirky humour and story. Also graced with great actors and an originality lacking in many television shows today. Full Review »