Saturday, September 23, 2006

WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO?

Stan Lee Who Wants To Be A Superhero? Directed by Rick Telles
Starring Stan Lee
Reviewed by Byron Merritt


THUMBS DOWN!

THUMBS DOWN TV SERIES REVIEW!

I’m sure there are worse things in the TV biz than trying to make a reality show filled with actors play as if it were "real", but I can’t think of any at the moment.

There was a certain amount of curiosity (that soon turned morbid) that made me watch this show. First, I wanted to know how in the hell it could be pulled off. Humans obviously have no superpowers, so I thought maybe they’d make it comical.

No.


The producers really wanted to create a new superhero with the help of comic book icon Stan Lee. But filling the entire cast with actors — and I’m not talking about actors who just happened to get picked, but actors who were obviously cast — made this TV series so shallow and a blatant marketing tactic to try and help sell the show to audiences, that it came off being both cheesy and phony.

It was obvious from the outset that this entire "reality show" was scripted. Unlike SURVIVOR or other series that plunk strangers together in often bizarre circumstances,
WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO had no angst, no interesting internal or external dynamics, and cared more about showing off lame costumes, large hooters, and moronic names (Lemuria?).

The barefaced scripting of the show became all too apparent when one of the cast was kicked off but then returns as the "evil villain" with Stan Lee’s help. How could that not be scripted?

The basic premise of the series was that it gathered a bunch of men and women together who (supposedly) really wanted to be a superhero. They had such names as Nitro G, Major Victory, Fat Mama (my personal favorite), Feedback, Cell Phone Girl, Monkey Woman, and the list goes on. These superhero wannabes were put through tests overseen by Stan Lee, creator of such comic heros as
Spiderman, X-Men, and The Fantastic Four. The tests tended to be twofold: to see if they can finish the task, and to trip them up (one of the first tests involved running to a finish line but before they arrived, we see a lost young girl crying out for her mother. The superheros are supposed to stop and help her but several simply whizzed by, showing they had no superhero tendencies at all). As the tests are finished, Stan Lee brings the group together and eliminates the weakest superhero until we’re whittled down to two. Then he picks the winner who will be the star of a new comic book.

If there’d been anything approaching reality for this "reality show", it probably would’ve engaged me on some level. But as it stands now, it’s an intellectual retardant.

Click here for the Who Wants To Be A Superhero TV trailer!

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