Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from Cloak and Dagger’s Season One.
If you haven’t watched Cloak & Dagger yet, you absolutely should, not only because it is a truly AMAZING show that covers so many important topics young people need to understand, but also because there are spoilers about the first few episodes in this article! Here’s a little taster for you!
Showrunner, Joe Pokaski, takes the characters from the Marvel comic of the same name and puts them in a whole new situation and makes them much more well-rounded. The show focuses on two teenagers who are Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt), who can make daggers appear out of thin air and see people’s greatest hopes, and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph), who can disappear and reappear where ever he wants and see people’s greatest fears. They both experienced a huge trauma when they were younger. Due to a Roxxon oil rig explosion, Tandy’s dad, Nathan, veers his car with Tandy in it off a bridge and into the water, and Tyrone’s older brother, Billy, is shot by a white police officer and falls back into the water. The oil gives Tandy and Tyrone the power to save each other but, unfortunately, they aren’t able to save Nathan or Billy. Everything is taken away from Tandy and her mom by Nathan’s bosses at Roxxon. Tyrone’s mom works ten times harder to ensure her son has a better life. Their powers remain dormant for eight years until they meet again accidentally at a party. At the party, Tandy steals Tyrone’s wallet and when Tyrone eventually catches-up to her, there is an explosion of lights and their powers are reactivated. In season one, they learn to trust and help each other to control their powers. They also work together to get the police officer who shot Billy to confess and to find out what Roxxon are hiding.
Tandy and Tyrone after reactivating their powers in a graveyard. Credit: Freeform/ABC Studios/Marvel Television
Cloak & Dagger is one of the only shows on TV that has only one white man in the main cast. According to Variety, in the 2017-18 season, only 20% of lead roles were played by people of colour and only 35% were played by women The casting is generally colour-blind and gender-blind. The cute and extremely talented Rachel Ryals and Maceo Smedley play young Tandy and Tyrone and they could definitely be the stars of the future! According to Fandom, Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director of the first episode, said at WonderCon 2018 that casting Tandy and Tyrone was “really, really tough… it was three days before we were supposed to leave [to begin filming] and we didn’t have actors for Tandy and Tyrone. People started getting willing to settle and the people that were on the table were 27, 28. They felt grown and it didn’t feel right for the show. Then Aubrey and Olivia walked in the door, and they had such great chops individually.” She also said on the diversity of the cast, “I have two boys and they want to turn on a TV and see a superhero that looks like them. That’s one of the main reasons I took the show because it’s so rare to see that.”
Olivia Holt may be a familiar face to you; since being cast as Kim in Disney XD’s Kickin’ It, Holt has had multiple roles in Disney shows and television films. Like many other Disney channel stars, Holt is also a talented vocalist; she released her debut EP, Olivia, in 2016. The EP showcases her incredible vocal range and Phoenix conveys such an empowering message! In an interview with Collider, when asked about how the show covers so many important issues, Holt said, “From what I experience, in every single episode, there are so many important little truths, throughout the entire season. I think it’s important for people to watch that and feel impacted by it, to want to make a difference, and to want to use their voice in a positive way, to the best of their ability. That, for me, was definitely something that I felt like I needed to do.”
Aubrey Joseph is a much more unknown face: he has had small roles in shows like Law & Order and has played Simba in The Lion King on Broadway. However, I’m sure he will be a rising star in the TV and film industries from now on. Aubrey was in acting school when he was offered an audition and in an interview with Screenrant, he said “Being a superhero, but also being a part of a show like this, that stands for so much, and has such a powerful message is perfect. It’s like the perfect situation.”
Both of these actors are incredibly talented and bring their comic counterparts to life so well! Their chemistry onscreen is undeniable, which has left many fans begging for Tandy and Tyrone to get together.
This show is so amazing because it covers so many important issues in great detail, it doesn’t just broach the subject to get woke points. Its coverage of police brutality is visceral and believable. Cloak & Dagger also shows the effect on the bereaved family and how the identification of the perpetrator isn’t enough; families need to see justice done. The issue of sexual assault is also tackled. One of the rich boys that Tandy stole from attempts to sexually assault her. She manages to get away after a dagger appears in her hand for the first time. A good police officer called Brigid O’Reilly tries to build a case to get the Rich Boy convicted but is stopped by a corrupt police officer.
So many superhero TV shows and movies make it seem like because a few people have special powers, police brutality and sexual assault don’t happen anymore- something which is unrealistic. For example, I applaud The Flash for having such a diverse cast, it simply doesn’t put a spotlight on important issues. Cloak & Dagger is set in the real world and the characters experience real problems, and it’s a teen show! It’s not all darkness though, there are many moments of light and even a few funny moments. Tandy’s story arc is such a great example to all teens, showing them that if you’re stuck in a rut, it is possible to get out and get back on your feet. Most Marvel shows have unnecessary amounts of violence but Cloak & Dagger replaces all the violence with a gripping, innovative storyline and characters that people can relate to.
If you’re from the States then you can watch it on Hulu or Freeform.com. It is also globally available on Amazon Prime. Cloak & Dagger was renewed for a second season in July. According to Express, season 2 is currently in the works but the release date is unknown.
Thank you to my good friend, Anna Lazenby, for recommending the show to me!
Featured image Via Amazon