There’s nothing like a studio/company cancelling a new show when you’re halfway through watching it – cheers for that, Netflix. But, was it deserved or should it be offered a reprieve?
Jupiter’s Legacy is split between two timelines. In the ‘now’, we have a modern world where superheroes are real and have been for 90 years or so. Blessed with slowed ageing alongside their other powers – flight, super strength, mind control, etc – we join the story as the slow baton-passing to the younger generation is well underway. But can the youngsters live up to their parents’ Code – no killing, no seizing power – and as violence escalates on the streets, do they even want to?
To be brutally honest, I wasn’t initially impressed with this series. When it comes to superheroes, the two options seem to be bright and fun and silly, or dark and brooding and serious. Alas, this takes the latter approach, and my heart sank – was I really in the mood for all that angst? And worse, a large part of the storyline is the clash between the old school, led by The Utopian (Josh Duhamel), and the younger generation, including his own children. Stroppy young adults with daddy issue, yay o.O
I’m not entirely sure I ever wholly warmed to the modern timeline here, but what kept me going were the flashbacks telling the origin story of the original six. We meet Sheldon Sampson (Duhamel), his brother Walt (Ben Daniels), and his best friend, George (Matt Lanter), just before the big stock market crash of the late 1920s. The tale is spun out almost painfully slowly to begin with, but eventually an expedition is mounted – trying to follow the clues of Sheldon’s ‘visions’. Knowing how things turn out from the ‘now’ timeline, it’s completely intriguing seeing how things are going to come about.
Meanwhile, 90-odd years later, we have the tensions of the older generation versus the younger, the Union of superheroes versus the superpowered who just want to do their own (usually criminal) thing, and each group’s friction with themselves. And that’s before we meet any super villains!
Ah yes, the villains. We get a few glimpses, I suppose, and hopefully you like them because that’s apparently where the next series – from the same source material, if not the same title or cast – is going to take us. Am I disappointed with that? Yeah, I am. The show was far from perfect, but it got more interesting as we built to something of a climax. But, seems like it’s a story that’ll be left hanging, at least in TV format.
Recommended? Hmm. I don’t regret watching it, it was well-made and well-acted, and even fragmentary stories appeal to me. There’s a lot of parallels to make, 1920s v 2020s, the state of the world in both show and reality, and more. However, knowing that we’re not getting any resolution to any of the threads left hanging makes me feel that it really wasn’t worth all of those daddy issues angst.
First broadcast: May 2021
Episodes: 8 @ 35-56 mins each (average 45)
My rating: 6.5/10 – well made, I liked at least half of it, but 😛 for cancellations