Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Andrea Roth, J.D. Evermore, Emma Lahana
June 7, 2018
Summary for Moms:
After the collapse of an oil rig off the coast of New Orleans, Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) suffer tragedies that will shape the course of their lives. Upon encountering each other as teenagers, nearly a decade later, the two find that the accident granted them inter-dependant superpowers, which can help them take control of their lives and solve the mystery of why the Roxxon Corporation is to blame for all of this.
While on the surface, the conceit of Cloak & Dagger is simple: two teenagers with complementary powers and upbringings find each other and discover their destinies, the show just did not work for my mom. At all. And, frankly, it didn’t work for me, either.
The show is only ten episodes long, but the first 6 are an unfortunate slog, and could not hold my mom’s interest. This was partially due to the very vague structure of the show, which doesn’t fully explain much of exactly what is going on. This is pretty much exemplified in the unique representation of Tandy and Tyrone’s ability to see other people’s hopes and fears, respectively, in weirdly abstract dream sequences.
But they may have been a little too abstract. I kind of understood what they were doing here, and had to struggle to explain to my mom, even though I couldn’t 100% pick up what they were throwing down. Add to that the side plots about a generational voodoo curse permeating the city, a repentant school priest, and corruption in the Roxxon Corporation, and you get a weirdly disjointed narrative that doesn’t quite know where it’s going. And when all these threads do finally sort of weave together during the end, they leave a lot of frayed edges.
Part of my issue with the series is that, at the beginning, in an attempt to explain the goings on to my mom, I assumed that the creators were going for something more avant garde that would coalesce into a tight narrative by the end. Thus, I was trying to convince her that there was an interesting sort of plan at work. So when the ending came and went without any compelling conclusion, I kinda felt like an idiot. Also, I was kind of mad that they seeded interesting dark pop music during the series, but ended it with “Come Sail Away”. I like Styx as much as the next guy, but that was complete musical whiplash.
So as to not end on a down note, the one bright spot in this otherwise cloudy series was Episode 7 “Lotus Eaters”, where Tandy and Tyron enter Ivan Hess’s mind and bring him out of his coma by going through a mental groundhog day of the oil rig collapse. It was brilliant, interesting, at times moving, and felt like a great episode of Doctor Who. It was also the only time my mom was interested, because Cloak and Dagger actually did something and helped someone.
Mom Rating (Out of Five):
I don’t know how to give a negative picture rating. Sorry, guys. I know it got some fresh reviews, but… ehhhhhh….
- “This is confusing. They didn’t put this together right.”
- “This is weird.”
- “It is like a small kid patching stories together.”
- “I don’t understand a thing. By the time they figure it out, I’ll be dead.”
- “I don’t want to hear about a second season. We’re not going to watch it.”