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Home > ‘Supacell’ (2024): A Review

‘Supacell’ (2024): A Review

In 'Supacell,' these characters can’t wait their turn!

In This World, Sickle Cell Anemia Gives You Powers!

Imagine everyday Londoners but… with powers. That’s the central premise of Netflix’s Supacell, which follows a group of unconnected individuals who suddenly get powers. These powers range from the standard super strength to telekinesis and super speed. The main cast consists of Tosin Cole as Michael Lasaki, Nadine Mills as Sabrina, Calvin Demba as Rodney, Josh Tedeku as Tazer, and Eric Kofi-Abrefa as Andre. Spanning six episodes with each running around fifty minutes, viewers will see these characters manifest their powers and use them for personal reasons. Co-directed by both Rapman and Sebastian Thiel, this feels like another attempt by Netflix at entering the superhero market. The question is, does it pay off in the end?

Pacing and Episode Layout

Fans of other UK series, such as Misfits and Skins, will likely feel at home with the way these episodes are spanned out. Each episode is named after one of the main cast members. Naturally, viewers would expect this to mean that said character would be the focus of that particular episode. Why else would each episode be named after a particular character? Who knows? This show is basically operating off of alien logic. If anything, it feels like the supposed characters meant to be focused on for a particular episode get the least amount of screen time. No joke, for the episode titled “Sabrina,” the titular character isn’t even introduced until eleven minutes in. This is eleven minutes out of a fifty-minute run time. This issue also has an impact on the pacing of each episode as well.

Thanks to the way these episodes are laid out, the pacing often feels like it’s all over the place. An overarching conflict is introduced in the first episode, with each of the characters having their own conflicts and storylines. These storylines, however, aren’t properly handled within each of the given character’s episodes, often not even moving their specific story along and, at times, bleeding into other character’s episodes. Due to this, the pacing can often be all over the place, as if the writers are trying to make up for not giving a particular character more time. This quickly ends up turning into an endless cycle. 

Wait Your Turn!

Naturally, the same issues plaguing the plot would plague the characters as well. After all, this is a character-driven story, so if the plot is falling apart, so would the characters. Before going into detail on how Supacell fails its characters, it’s important to understand how other shows with a similar layout succeeded. Shows like Skins would follow a specific character for that episode. Viewers would occasionally get insight on what was happening to other characters but this was typically through the view of the character in focus. The consequences of the previous episode could be explored but often in a way that felt organic like character A suffering for what character B did in the previous episode.

Supacell fails to accomplish anything similar, which is a big disservice to the characters.

The following is merely an example of the disservice perpetuated against the characters. Keep in mind that the actors do an excellent job of “working with what you got” and bringing these characters to life. In the previously mentioned “Sabrina” episode, part of the reason why it took so long to introduce her in that episode was because the previous episode had left off on a cliffhanger. Naturally, leaving viewers hanging would be just as bad of a sin. What makes this so frustrating is that this easily could’ve worked if they knew which characters to prioritize. After the cliffhanger is resolved, the episode jumps to a couple of other characters. Granted, the viewer learns a lot from these scenes, but they also could’ve been placed at any point in the episode without reducing the impact of these revelations. This episode would’ve landed in an impactful way. 

Shiny Eyes  

There are some seriously impressive shots in this show, most of which are close-ups. A simple glimpse at the show’s current movie poster will reveal why. Don’t worry about trying to remember it because the show will gladly remind you. Granted, these shots are genuinely incredible most of the time, but it’s still funny to see the show constantly slip a scene of the characters with their eyes glowing. For clarification, whenever someone uses their powers or gets ready to, their eyes glow.  A majority of these scenes are extraordinary when they happen, but when it happens more than ten times in an episode, it starts to feel corny. The MTV series Teen Wolf was guilty of the same thing with every werewolf with eyes that glowed different colors if they felt furry.

Speaking of CGI, it feels like they’re missing a letter. This continues the legacy of hero shows having hilariously bad after-effects. The Super strength dude and British Nightcrawler are the only ones unaffected. The other three, Rodney, Sabrina, and Tazer, aren’t so lucky. Sabrina, in particular, once again receives the short end of the stick. Her power is telekinesis, so no matter what, she would get bombarded with bad effects. This is hard to believe, considering one of the other characters has the ability to turn invisible, but they had the foresight just to shoot scenes where the character wasn’t in the shot minimizing cheesy invisibility effects.

The Verdict

Rating Supacell is frustrating, considering how much potential this show had. Despite the cliched central conflict, the individual character stories and their overarching narratives are where this show excels. This show would be easier to invest in if not for a few misguided decisions. On a scale of Skepta’s discography with” Microphone Champ” being of high esteem and “Konnichiwa” a blemish in human history, this series gets a “Rolex Sweep”.

Stream ‘Supacell’ on Netflix now! 

Supacell (2024) Official Netflix Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author

A lover of gore and over the top violence, no movie can make my stomach squirm. The only thing better than a bloody death scene is a well choreographed stunt. Whether it be action or horror, if it has blood in it, then I've likely already seen it.

Elke Simmons' writing portfolio includes contributions to The Laredo Morning Times, Walt Disney World Eyes and Ears, Extinction Rebellion (XR) News/Blog, and Dead Talk News.