If you needed to sum up most of what the CW airs, it would be an alliterative phrase: pretty people with powers and problems.
The types of powers can vary, as do the problems. But the people are also so doggone pretty, as if the network has a special gene pool for them. Both Stephen Amell of Arrow and Robbie Amell of the new series The Tomorrow People are cousins, for example, and the CW is airing their shows back to back.
Tomorrow People, premiering at 9 p.m. Wednesday following the second-season premiere of Arrow, finds Robbie playing Stephen Jameson, a forlorn young man who among other things is waking up in strange places with no idea how he got there — and hearing a strange voice in his head.
It turns out that Stephen is part of what the network calls the “next evolutionary leap of mankind,” people who have the ability to teleport, communicate telepathically, zap people with waves from their hands and generally be powerful within limits. (Apparently this genetic leap includes the inability to kill other people.) The voice in Stephen’s head comes from another Tomorrow Person, part of a band of young adults with similar powers and fears of being captured and killed by a secret group called Ultra.
The premiere is a tug of war between the Tomorrows and the leader of Ultra (played by Mark Pellegrino of Lost and Revolution) for the loyalty of Stephen, whose father was key to the Tomorrow movement, and who may be a step ahead even of the other Tomorrows. The tugging includes action sequences and discussions, and the premiere ended in a somewhat surprising place.
That said, the show was no more than slightly interesting as it showed Stephen discovering the extent of his powers in odd ways (are we really supposed to think a guy who looks as fit as Stephen would be easily bullied?) and fights that one would think could be easily ended with the most basic of weaponry. But the CW audience may be less interested in nuances of plot and character than in admiring Amell and co-stars like Luke Mitchell and Peyton List. After all, that fits the CW brand.
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online blog, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.