The reality of covering TV shows is that, more often than not, they wrap up before the creators or the audience think they should. So is the case with Naomi, whose future was cut short by the CW shortly after its two-part season finale last week. Despite its lack of a second season, let’s look back at its sole season and hope that, perhaps, someone else will pick up the series.
1. Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!
After Anthony being surprisingly missing from the Prom a few weeks ago, it was good to see the whole gang together and, even more than that, with Anthony and Lourdes wised up, Naomi’s whole support system is aware of her situation. What I like about the approach the series took is that no one was mad at her for hiding the secret, which is often the trope that is hammered home in these types of situations. Now, that is somewhat mitigated, in part, because no one else in this world is aware of superheroes being real, so it’s not like there’s precedent for it.
That said, this crew is less than adept at handling dangerous situations than they are at making jokes and fake codenames. Every last one of them was almost killed by an alien, but they were busy calling themselves ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Doja Cat.’ The support they give Naomi has an excellent place in this show, but the stuff they do is consistently inane.
2. The Comics/Reality Connection
I wonder if there was ever a plan to delve deeper into the concept of how exactly superheroes are real, but the world thinks they are just comic book characters. All season, I kept waiting for there to be some light shone on this subject, because there are a million questions to answer. Is this a Bigfoot situation, where there were rumors of Superman, followed up by people fictionalizing stories about him to the point where the fiction becomes more prominent than the rumors?
This is absolutely fascinating to me, and I know I’m likely in the minority of viewers who care more about this than some of the plot points on the show, but here we are. I’m curious!
For a show that hasn’t always cast the most dynamic actors, Ray Porter, who portrayed Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, brought a very different, and charismatic portrayal to the character. Brutus, while physically imposing, speaks more like a philosophy professor, in a quiet, friendly manner. It’s a really strange portrayal in that everyone else on this show is so brooding. Both Dee and Zumbado barely emote at all, and Brutus is just overflowing with sentiment. I truly appreciate the change in pace, and it makes his villainy even more interesting.
Naomi has a vision of her parents, and they warn her to trust no one. At first, this seemed to be the coming Zumbado heel turn, to mimic the character’s early appearances in the comics. But after a minute or so, it dawned on me: the McDuffies are the betrayers. It was the only real move that made sense, but I didn’t think the show would have the balls to actually pull that move off. From the beginning, the McDuffies seemed too good to be true, and as the cracks appeared, there was a sense that the entire picture could shatter.
And shatter, it did. This is one of the things that is most missed by the lack of a second season. The relationship between Naomi and her parents has been ripped apart; is there a way to put it back together? Now, we’ll never know.
5. What’s left hanging
There are so many other plot points left dangling here. Was Akira killed by Brutus? Would Naomi heal her planet? Could she reunite the 29 (or, 28, now that Akira is back home)? Are there other heroes? Will Dee find his love? There’s a lot there, and the show was just starting to grow from its original premise. But sadly, it appears that’s all it will be.