Julien Neaves, Editor
Last month it was announced that new DC CW series Naomi had been cancelled after one season. The show, created by Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship and based on the comic book series of the same name, followed the comic-loving titular teenager who discovers she has super powers and goes on a quest to discover her origins.
I watched the entire 13-episode first season and it was decent enough. But yeah, I can understand why it got canned. The question remains for those who haven’t seen it (and I suspect there is more than a few of you out there) is whether Naomi is even worth watching. So with a mild SPOILER ALERT I’ll tell you why you should watch it and why you should skip it.
Kaci Walfall’s performance as Naomi McDuffie is the best aspect of the show. She plays the character with such charm, intelligence and believability that the viewer is immediately engaged. And I was genuinely interested in her journey. I predict Walfall has quite the future ahead of her in Hollywood. Overall the cast is very good. The young actors are all solid and endearing but my favourites were the older cast, specifically Cranston Johnson as the mysterious Zumbado, Alexander Wraith as stoic tattoo owner and Naomi’s Thanagarian (Hawk-people) mentor Zee, and Barry Watson and Mouzam Makkar as Naomi’s adoptive parents.
Another positive is the unfolding mystery of the show. It’s nothing mind-blowing (save for one very strong twist) but it was compelling enough to make me return episode to episode. And while the show is very much a CW teen coming-of-age drama it thankfully avoids a lot of the usual tropes.
Any DC fan going into this expecting a whole lot of DC universe will be sorely disappointed. There is a literal blink and you miss it of Superman in the pilot with zero payoff later. And in this world Supes is both a comic book character and also real. It’s kinda weird. And other than a flash of Superman (you see what I did there) and Zee being from Thanagar there are no other links to a larger DC universe. Maybe they were saving it for Season 2 and we could have got a crossover with Tyler Hoechlin’s Man of Steel from the fantastic Superman & Lois. The world may never know.
The show is also very light on the superheroics. I still have no idea exactly what Naomi’s powers are and they keep inexplicably adding other abilities. It was a bit annoying. And the superhero fights were always anticlimactic and kind of lacklustre. Oh, and the villains, including the much touted big bad, were varying flavours of bland. The plot is also not exactly groundbreaking, and they went one time to many to the old “earth-shattering twist” mill.
Naomi had a lot going for it and I thought it was pretty cool to have a superhero series fronted by a young black woman. And yeah, I would have watched a second season. But, unlike the masterful and criminally cancelled Swamp Thing, I’m not exactly broken up that the show has been prematurely canned.
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating tabletop games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.
So are you a fan of Naomi? And you can check out more DC TV content below: