By Dave B.
What if great power doesn’t come with great responsibility? That’s one of the questions posed by Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix) as it follows a family of superheroes searching for their place in the world. Sworn to uphold a code that stipulates they will never kill, a new generation of heroes find themselves at odds with rules and responsibilities that don’t fit their current world. Society balances on the precipice as hidden threat surfaces to shatter the foundations of the world.
Jupiter’s Legacy was nothing like what I was expecting. I’ve seen a lot of superhero shows and movies with big fights, resounding music, etc., etc. But Jupiter’s Legacy isn’t really a superhero show. It’s more of a family drama in superhero wrapping paper. In and of itself, that’s an approach I can appreciate. And the show’s overall story is interesting enough to keep viewers relatively engaged. When there are fight scenes, they tend to be good. And a decent amount of the many, many philosophical questions raised by the show are pertinent to our world today. But…
For the most part, Jupiter’s Legacy is a boring, disjointed, disorganized mess. In each episode, it repeatedly hops from the present to the 1920s/1930s, completely shattering any sort of narrative momentum the show may have been building. To make matters worse, none of the philosophical questions that the show brings up get addressed in a satisfactory way. Answers aren’t required, but the television version of navel-gazing is frustrating to watch.
Sometimes, structural flaws in a story can be made up for with strong performances, good pacing, and likeable characters. Well…while the performances are generally decent, the pacing of Jupiter’s Legacy is atrocious. It fails to strike a balance between character/story development and plot movement. There are episodes where basically nothing happens. Constant action isn’t mandatory, but truthfully, the season could easily be half as long as it is and be much better off for it. The fact that none of the characters are remotely likeable is a further slap in the face, but not caring what happens to any of them is a blessing in disguise, as it spares viewers from having an emotional investment in Jupiter’s Legacy that the show does not earn.
This review may sound harsh (and I suppose it is) but Jupiter’s Legacy isn’t terrible. It has all of the ingredients to be a good meal. It was just prepared by some incompetent chefs. Scale back on the flashbacks, improve the pacing, and make a few of the characters even a tiny bit more tolerable, and Jupiter’s Legacy could be a good show. As it stands, it isn’t and I don’t recommend it. However, I also won’t warn you away from it. It’s flaws outweigh it’s positives for me, but Jupiter’s Legacy is close enough to nearly decent that others may feel it falls on the other side of the quality line.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.