Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pilot Review: Krypton

Krypton (Syfy)
Premiered March 21 at 10pm

I don’t really understand the enthusiasm for prequel series. Usually, it’s a supporting character that audiences want to see more of, and then a sequel might make more sense than something that takes place before the original events. The better question is, why would someone want to experience a planet like Krypton without its signature superhero (or his cousin)? This experiment was attempted and failed with “Caprica,” a less-than-engaging look at life before the Cylons on “Battlestar Galactica,” which got cancelled after just one season. Now, we have a series set two hundred years before Superman’s time which chronicles the disgraced house of El and the one man who has to bring it back after his grandfather is executed for treason and his parents are killed trying to save him. This show didn’t even make it halfway through the first hour trying to be interesting on its own, instead introducing a time-traveler from the future who, as far as I can tell, is a known DC character but not one who did this in the comics, and is heralding a message of saving this era for the sake of the more familiar Superman universe and timeline we know. For me, someone who watched “Smallville” for ten seasons even though only the first two and the start of the sixth were good, this is an incredibly lackluster and unnecessary prequel that highlights what’s least interesting and engaging about Kal-El and his home planet. Nothing about this debut felt worthwhile, and I’ll happily wait for “Supergirl” to return soon for my fix of capes and extraterrestrial adventures.

How will it work as a series? Our baseball-capped time traveler will surely be back to give Seg-El some guidance, but now he’s going to be on his own to evade the authorities well aware of what he’s up to as he might also try to rehabilitate his bad boy image. That doesn’t sound terribly intriguing or appealing to me.
How long will it last? Reviews appear to be decidedly mixed, which isn’t too surprising given that any Superman-related media tends to be despised by some and beloved by others. Its viewership on Syfy, a network that clearly is the right home for this series, delivered strongly, giving Syfy its highest premiere numbers in a few way and the network a big win in ratings, which suggests to me that this show will be back for a second season and maybe more if viewers want to return for more.

Pilot grade: C-

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