TV Review: Jupiter’s Legacy S1E1 By Dawn’s Early Light
The highly anticipated Netflix and Millarworld series Jupiter’s Legacy has arrived and the result is a bit of a mixed bag. The debut, “Dawn’s Early Light”, sets things up nicely but also delivers the cheese with special effects and action that feels a bit outdated and stale.
Bouncing between two eras, Jupiter’s Legacy tells the tale of the world’s superheroes through multiple generations. As the title hints, it’s about legacy, both that of the original heroes and their children. Based on the comic series from Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, the television series feels like it does a decent job of adapting the original material. It’s been a while since I read the comic but the show hits the themes I remember. It’s a show about old vs. new, legacy vs. modern times.
Josh Duhamel is the center of the show as Sheldon Sampson aka The Utopian. Having grown up in the early 1900s he’s a man out of time in a way. He holds traditional ideals, likes simpler things, and holds altruistic views. He has that “hero” sense that we think of in the simplest ways. And that makes things complicated for him. He attempts to hold those ideals and impart them to the next generation of heroes including his son Brandon, aka Paragon, and daughter Chloe.
Brandon, played by Andrew Horton, is a son who is in the shadow of his father. He’s focused on his legacy of stepping into his father’s boots and become the ideal that others look up to. Chloe, played by Elena Kampouris, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with it all, preferring to model.
The conflict and the root of the show is good. It sets things up well introducing us to the key players and the conflict to come. Where it stumbles are special effects that look a bit cheesy. Fights are against clear green screen with a weird transition from sets to clear soundstage. The movements of characters feel stiff and unnatural. The at times gruesome results looks like bad makeup and dummies. The costumes at times make the actors feel stiff like they’re literally restricted by their outfits. For as good as things are elsewhere, the superhero aspects fall short.
Duhamel steals the show in the debut. He plays a man out of time well and as the center of a dysfunctional family struggling with how to raise his children, he does well. This is a moment for him to really show we’ve missed out as him as a hero. And he pulls it off. “Dawn’s Early Light” overall though, feels like it still needs polish and to shift its focus from its clear weaknesses.
Overall Rating: 7.0