Now this is my kind of reality TV (and that's a select category. I'm even immune to "American Idol" fever.) These contestants (such as this specimen on the left, Whip-Snap) are all unabashedly certifiable. They're running around in capes and tights, modified kitchen utensils and junk jewelry, and there's no pretense that they're trying to take part in a social experiment, do-gooder crusade or anything else but play the part of a comic book character.
Plus, it's got Stan Lee popping in and out on a TV screen as the overlord of his domain. What's not to like?
Anyhoo, in week two the big "Superhero" challenge finds the remaining nine hopefuls (Braid, whose power lay in her rope-like hair, was the first ejected last week in the season opener) trying to look superheroishly stoic while trapped in a glass phone-booth like box with a few hundred bees, as Stan unleashes his first campy vixen-villain, Bee Sting, on the group.
Bee, who looks like she could be on the lam from the Vegas production of "Hairspray," puts our wannabe heroes through a honey of a spelling bee. By episode's end, Stan has refined the superpowers and backstories of the nine, given them spiffy new costumes (the best a basic cable budget can buy) and ejected Mindset (pictured right), aka Phillip Allen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He won his berth in the "Superhero" lair through Internet voting, sted the mean streets of the open auditions like the rest, and he was annoying anyway. I won't miss him.
It was a big episode for Ms. Limelight (pictured left), who demonstrated her not-to-be-underestimated mettle after taking some crap from Mindset early on in the episode (which undoubtedly hastened his exit). Whip-Snap is also coming on strong, having clearly impressed Stan with her real-life back story of living the thug life on the streets for years before pulling herself together and finding honest work as a security guard in Hollywood. She's got an imposing whip on her hip, and an even meaner catchphrase: "I'll whip your ass to unconsciousness, and snap you back into reality."
If you care, everything you might wanna know about "Who Wants to Be a Superhero" and its pretenders to the throne is but a click away on the Sci Fi Channel website, natch.