Krypton: 1.06 Civil Wars
I feel like I’m watching this show with three hats on; as viewer, as Superman fan and as a reviewer. By episode six I feel like throwing the first two hats in the fire...
As a viewer Krypton, no longer holds any interest for me. It’s turgid drama and predictable plot beats are laboured weekly thanks to un-engaging, boring performances. Rasmus Hardiker is a strong actor with comedy chops to boot but as with so many aspects of Krypton, we drift away from him as soon as he starts to develop any depth. Cameron Cuffe is a perfectly charming actor but looks like a reject from Hollyoaks. Georgina Campbell is so bad as Lyta, I keep expecting some plot twist that was dependant on her uninteresting performance all along.
As Superman fan I’m in distress. Krypton plays so fast and loose with what could have been an interesting concept but is never one thing or another; it doesn’t stick to the source material but it doesn’t subvert it either. It’s like America and the metric system: it sort of looked into it and dabbles occasionally but basically does it’s own thing.
As a critic I’ll keep watching, I’m interested, hopeful and amazed: interested to see what they actually do, hopeful they’re planning a big twist or rug pull and amazed that so much effort has been put into something so run of the mill.
After discovering the truth about Zod and his mission to save Krypton, Seg and Lyta are, not unreasonably, kind of on his side. Adam Ordinary... sorry, Adam Strange, realises that his mission must have in fact been to stop Zod - thus ensuring Kal’s future as Earth's Mightiest Hero - not Brainiac, something Seg and Lyta are not on board with. So Adam gets tied up while Seg and Zod go off to investigate the weapon that can defeat Brainic.
For some reason the door to this weapon needs both El and Zod blood to open it and inside is Doomsday, ooo, wow, big whoop, yawn. Doomsday is one of the least interesting narrative devices - because he’s not a character, he’s just a device - in Superman comics and seeing a glimpse here isn’t as exciting or interesting as the show makers had hoped.
This week has the (attempted) big coup, with Daron, Nyssa and Jayna planning to blow up The Voice of Rao. Things don’t go to plan after Brainiac/The Voice invites hundreds of Rankless to the event where the bomb is timed to go off. A morally conflicted Dev-Em, after being brought in on the plot by Jayna, evacuates the chambers just before the bomb goes off, saving the innocents but Brainiac as well. This is the most interesting thing Dev has done all season. Very much a supporting character, he’s offered nothing more than the lightest of romantic antagonism to Lyta and Seg. At least here we get a bit of an idea of what sort of person he is. Brainiac shows his true colours (well, almost, he’s not green yet) after all this, dispatching Jayna’s entire team after she sends them to kill The Voice.
The overall motivation of this show is Save Superman. We as audience want Superman to be saved and the drama should come from observing the sacrifices of the characters allowing Superman to be saved. There should be such great dramatic conflict generated by the idea of saving Superman or Krypton but unfortunately you don’t care about Krypton. If as audience you had two buttons to press and red saved Krypton, green saved Superman - you’d press green! I want to not want these characters to die, I want to care about the whole of Kandor and Krypton. But I don’t. The show doesn’t give me enough reason too. A mixture of unsympathetic characterisation and poor acting at the show’s centre leave me irritated when I should be engaged.
Two hats in the fire and Krypton is losing me.