7 March 2017 | hellraiser7
Comic book stories sometimes by their nature are wish fulfillment fantasies because it's always that notion that one day we will have are chance to become and do something great.
This show is one that has flown under the radar and it's another childhood gem of mine. Yeah, sometimes like most comic book stories it's not perfect but the show does gain some altitude.
It was unique for it's time because we never really had many live action shows let alone comics on the young populace having superpowers at the time; but have now became common place with shows like the movies "Cronicle", "Power Rangers", the graphic comic and upcoming TV series "Runaways", and many more. To me watching this show was almost a dream come true as we saw a young boy having superpowers and getting to use them. Let alone seeing this take place in Canada which is cool, so we have a little insight into the country.
The effects on the powers are solid and practical, mainly the one that stands out is the super speed where he can run as fast as "The Flash". And we get to see some decent action where he gets to use them. I even like the theme song which I think is very good, it's really catchy and memorable.
However I think what really gives the show power is the character Andrew himself. What really made the show unique from most superhero shows at the time, was that it really did focus on the identity behind the superhero hence the title of the show and made the superhero alter ego secondary; sort of like if you make a Superman story more about Clark Kent than Superman. I personally thought that was a interesting idea as I never got enough insight as to the personal life of a superhero.
Jerry O Connell whom I think is an underrated actor is really solid in the role. I like that he's a comic book collector/fan and how well he knows his comics, he's a big fan of a "Superman" comic called "Ultraman" which is ironic considering that was the name of Superman's alternate counterpart; that's also cool because I'm a comic book collector/fan myself and "Superman" is my fifth favorite comic book series. This I feel gives his character a reliability factor because he's sort of a common geek that does love these things but also has to deal with contemporary reality himself.
I also like that there is a light spin on the whole super powered motif where we see the character actually have fun and not get all mopey about the consequences or any other grief it could bring him which I feel is drama I've seen too many times already. This gives it a bit of a emphasis factor because if I was in the same situation yeah I think I would be psyched to be able to do all those things.
Andrew is a good natured person and has a clear conscious, he doesn't misuse his powers in anyway even though he could he's knows he shouldn't it wouldn't be right. But I like how he has this fun charisma and energy. Ambitionous as he is constantly wondering what more he can do and what he wants the most from life. And most importantly he cares about the well being of others.
Really like his back and forth with the Doctor which I feel really powers the show. The Doctor is sort of Andrew's mentor and uncle figure as he is constantly training and figuring out the extent of Andrew's abilities, while also worry about Andrew misusing his powers or something going wrong that could hurt him. Though it's funny as the Doctor is getting some uninteional grief from Andrew though most of that unintentional grief is really coming from himself and his own insecurity.
The show has some good messages on how people are capable of becoming and doing more with themselves. But also about heroism how you don't really need superpowers to be a hero. It's true Andrew has superpowers but in most episodes he doesn't really need to use them (except when the situation calls for it) because he's pretty much already a hero as it is as he is constantly helping people with social issues or anything else mostly as himself.
But the series does fly into some turbulence. One thing is Andrew doesn't get to kick enough ass. We never really get to see him utilize his powers nearly enough. Most of the time it's just for tacked on situations, not to say it's not life or death but it's not exactly a high Jepardy factor; which makes the show not that exciting. The comedy and drama focused on highly is also it's weakness you could say the show has a bit of an identity crisis, like it's more of one but not enough of the other. Last the third season was no doubt the weak point of the series, it tried flying a different direction but it was the wrong direction which sadly grounded the series.
I wouldn't mind a revival, though they could make it a bit more like "Static Shock" where the Doc does have his experiment go haywire but not just zap Andrew but create this wave that has affected the teenage populace. Have Andrew kick more ass or try to reason with others that have and misused their superpowers. Not to say we should do that super powered villain of the week thing just sometimes. It's a idea worth a test flight at least.
My Secret Identity flies.
Rating: 3 stars