The Sunday Stream

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting from the CW’s newest superhero serial, Naomi. Not sure if the fact that super producer Ava DuVernay was behind it made me think it would be different than anything else the network puts on its air. Not sure if the fact that the main character was Black made me think that it would be a bit more hip, a bit more edgy, a bit more “Black nerdy.” Honestly, I guess I expected all of those things, and what I got instead was a show with some potential but nothing that’s holding my attention. And I don’t like that feeling.

The series, adapted from the eponymous comic book, is all about Naomi, a cool, confident, comic book-loving teenager pursues her hidden destiny. When a supernatural event shakes her small hometown of Port Oswego, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, with a little help from her fiercely loyal best friend Annabelle. It stars young Kaci Walfall in the role of Naomi McDuffie, who is solid in her role as the adopted daughter of a military father (Barry Watson) and teacher mother (Mouzam Makkar).

Initially I thought I’d be intrigued by the adoption angle but it just turned out to be a convenient reason for Naomi to be living with the McDuffies while she discovers who she really is. So that was a meh for me. Naomi’s friends are also underwhelming in action, seeming more like a paint-by-numbers group that don’t add much to the proceedings. Again, not sure what I thought they’d bring but it’s been much ado about nothing thus far.

And then there’s the SFX, which follows in a long CW trend of being somewhat terrible, making anyone watching either what the budget is really being spent on or why they’re even watching since the effects on a SUPERHERO show are so unbelievable. Sigh.

To be fair it’s only been three episodes and maybe, just maybe the series isn’t for me. I’ve contemplated during every commercial whether I’m even its audience. And then I remembered how other shows that probably weren’t looking for my views at least kept me engaged, with Netflix shows like Atypical and On My Block coming to mind. That’s when I say that good storytelling is good storytelling. Period.

Anyway, I imagine Naomi is going for the slow build. So far we’ve learned the bare minimum about her origin story and instead we have been treated to her first ever discipline from her parents, a surprise cameo that hopefully will pay off in future episodes, and the introduction of a pretty cool character that is constantly failed by, again, the network’s non-commitment to SFX. All of it is frustrating and makes me not want to tune in each week.

Yet… I will. Because I still believe in Ava and I still believe there’s something there. I still believe that even without ever reading the comics, Naomi is a hero I should root for. I just hope that my loyalty pays off, and soon, before we are no longer talking about Naomi, Na, Na, Na (sorry, that was funny to me. Heh).

Naomi airs Tuesdays on the CW.

What are you watching? Please leave a comment and let me know.

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