So after the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2 and the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp, I hear you. You might be suffering from some superhero fatigue this summer. Well, let me tell you there’s a cure for that and yes it is another superhero show but this one is different. DO NOT SLEEP ON “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”.
“Cloak & Dagger” made their debut in the comics in 1982 and have become a fan favorite duo ever since. Freeform snagged the updated version of this show up and it is a match made in heaven. The show follows teenagers Tandy and Tyrone who are connected by an incident from their childhood. When they grow up they reunite and discover they’re even more connected than they thought – in that complimentary superpower kind of way. Tyrone is a star basketball player who goes to Catholic school while Tandy is a con artist who would rather live on the streets than with her pill-popping mom. One of the fun mysteries in the first episode is seeing just how these two are linked.
Now I know what you’re thinking – a superhero show on Freeform? Isn’t that the network with those dramatic teen shows? The answer is yes, but let me tell you – Freeform + Marvel + Cloak & Dagger – is a perfect fit. The show is about teenagers and there are teen problems but the issues discussed on the show are much bigger than that. They are universal. In the first few episodes alone the show tackles police brutality, racism, suicide, addiction and more. The show also does it in a very real, gritty yet grounded way.
The performances are some of the best I’ve seen from a Freeform drama in a while. Olivia Holt shines as Tandy and Aubrey Joseph also puts in a strong performance as Tyrone. Each are great on their own but when they are in scenes together, the chemistry is just electric and it leaves you wanting more since much of the first few episodes are them separated. Of course, great chemistry is a necessity since Cloak & Dagger are a linked duo and it is delivered. Also delivering strong performances are Rachel Ryals & Maceo Smedley as young Tandy & Tyrone.
My only gripe about the show is that it is pretty slow to take off. This is an origin story so we have our duo discovering not only each other but also their powers and what they mean but sometimes the pacing is just off but it has great potential. It’s also refreshing in a way to have that slow burn and know the show isn’t just about action and superpowers from the get-go, it feels like a real show that just so happens to have characters with powers.
The show has also moved locations from New York City in the comics to New Orleans which is a great change. New Orleans ends up being a supporting character of its own and as a viewer I even learned new things about the culture from the show that I immediately went and googled. The show also gives the parents substantial roles where often times they’re overlooked in similar shows. There are a few other characters that will hopefully have full arcs as the season progresses but are a bit distracting in the first handful of episodes.
So the bottom line, “Cloak & Dagger” is one of of the best entries into the Marvel TV Universe in a while. It is grounded, it is gritty, it is exciting, it is suspenseful, it is relevant, it is what you want in a good TV show. Plus, the star power of Holt & Joseph is just pure exciting and I can’t wait to see their progression as the season goes on.
“Cloak & Dagger” kicks off with a 2-hour premiere on June 7 at 8pm EST/PST on Freeform.