by Cynthia Boris
“I’m Homeless Man! I have the ability to think I can fly!”
Oh yes, it’s time for another season of “Who Wants to be a Superhero?” Comic book legend, Stan Lee has gathered together another “diverse” group of wannabe do-gooders and he’s ready to put them to the ultimate test. That test being, can they bring in a big enough audience to top last year’s success?
I must admit that a year ago, I thought this whole idea was insane. Imagine grown people with real jobs running around in costume, playing acting just to win a prize. Then I started watching CBS’s Pirate Master and suddenly this concept didn’t seem so foreign anymore.
What bothers me most about the show is how serious the contestants are. I swear a couple of these people really think they have super powers and that’s a frightening notion. Even scarier is the fact that one of the guys running around in too-tight tights, The Defuser, is a real police detective in Texas. Then again, kids are more likely to listen to Spider-Man than the cop on the beat, so maybe it’s a good thing.
When it comes to original, I’m for sexy but scary Basura, whose catchphrase is, “Is the Trash going to have to take YOU out?” Trouble is, she’s roommates with Hygena, who fights crime and grime with her weapons made out of cleaning utensils. These two heroes may cancel each other out before they ever leave the loft lair.
Mindset, who looks just like comedian Larry Miller, is a telekinetic time traveler on a mission to end all war. What needs to end is that bulky costume of his. You can’t fight crime if your cape won’t fit through the doorway.
Whip-Snap and Hyper-Strike both seem to have some natural abilities, while Braid and Parthenon just don’t got it going on.
But hey, what’s more important? The ability to take down the bad guys with a single blow or a dazzling smile? Ms. Limelight may win it all with her ability to be ditzy and then there’s Mr. Mitzvah who looks like he should be judging the gowns on the Oscar red carpet.
In the first episode of the new season, the gang has to deal with their first challenge — finding out that they must share a bedroom. After that it’s off to save Stan from evil kidnappers, investigate a robbery and then their powers of observation are put to the test.
It is fun to see a reality show with challenges that don’t all rely on physical strength or stamina. On “Who Wants to be a Superhero?” the players get more points for helping their fellow contestants, a good attitude in the face of defeat and random acts of kindness.
Come to think of it, maybe this show has the right idea. Where most reality shows reward underhandedness and backstabbing, Superhero rewards those who choose the greater good over the individual success. Now that sounds like an idea we should all get behind.
“Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” premieres on July 26, 2007 at 9:00 on the SCI FI Channel