I went into the show very excited, bursting with anticipation. After the 2-hour series premiere, I left feeling… underwhelmed. If it’s Marvel, you better believe they will have a strong marketing game. C&D was no different. With all the exciting sneak peaks and trailers, my only hope was that the marketing wouldn’t surpass the quality of the show. Currently, I can’t say that it isn’t the case.
While the pilot episode ‘First Light’, grabs your attention, the second one drifts. Set in New Orleans as opposed to NYC in the comics, teenagers, Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) are inextricably linked after a fateful night in their perspective childhoods. Tyrone witnesses his older brother, Billy get shot by a police officer and jumps into the harbor to save him. Nearby, Tandy and her father suffer a car accident, sending them into the same water. It’s there that they gain their powers and unconsciously save each other.
Flash forward eight years as we witness Tyrone’s middle-class household. He’s afforded an education at a private parochial school as well as being a student athlete. This all comes in large part due to his mother, Adina (Gloria Reuben) and her efforts to rebuild their lives after the devastation of his brother’s death.
Conversely, Tandy and her mother, Melissa (Andrea Roth) have moved into a lower-income house after failed attempts to clear her father’s name regarding Roxxon Corporation’s rig explosion. Tandy’s mom works as a waitress, prone to drug and alcohol binges. Tandy has picked up on some of the same habits while using most of her time to prey on rich kids, robbing them of their valuables.
THE BEST BITS:
Carrying an entire series is hard to do. To find two teenage actors with such talent and chemistry will be the lifeblood of this show. Casting did that. Their opposing gifts will make for an engaging watch just to see how their relationship develops.
Tandy has the ability to call daggers made of light from her hands and can see into other’s hopes. Tyrone teleports through shadows and can see into other’s fears. While it doesn’t appear that Tandy’s visions affect her subjects, Tyrone’s leave his subject feeling weak or dizzy. We’ll see how their abilities develop as the season continues.
They switched the roles in that Tyrone was the one given a middle-class upbringing while Tandy struggled financially. Those dynamics are real and we don’t get that very often.
The premiere excels in providing intimate, powerful moments. One that stands out is the talk between Tyrone and his mother and her fear of losing him despite his best behavior. As poignant as the moment is, the scene awkwardly fizzles out representing the show’s current lack in momentum between sequences. I hope (and suspect) this will change.
Considering Detective O’Reilly (Emma Lahana) didn’t have more than three words in all of her scenes in episode 2, it’d be nice if her presence wasn’t just…there. We don’t know her role yet and that’s cool, but so far, I’m not interested in what she has to do with the story and that’s unsettling.
Connors (J.D. Evermore) – the corrupt cop who shot Billy is very comfortable with shooting unarmed black boys (as evidenced by his repeated assaults against Tyrone). As his character develops it’s my hope writers don’t push the “he’s human too” narrative down our throats. Shooting Billy may have been an accident (gun drawn for what though), but what happened afterward in covering it up was not.
Honestly, I’m hoping a new villain arises from Roxxon that carries that delicious madness comparable to Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk or Luke Cage’s Cottonmouth.
Themes of light, darkness, hope, fear, faith, grief, power and control are all sufficiently introduced here, leaving plenty of emotional material to explore. The quality of its execution remains to be seen. Here’s hoping its potential is fully realized.