Naomi is the latest addition to The CW’s lineup of comic inspired shows. The character from Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell finally stepped into the limelight when the series premiere aired this evening.
One of the first noticeable aspects of the television program is an overall positive and upbeat atmosphere. It all begins with its lead character who doesn’t come off as your typical pre-superhero. She’s a popular kid that excels academically rather than a bullied outcast. Though adopted, she comes from a very supportive, loving, and open-minded family. Naomi already has a great life but she is destined for more.
Kaci Walfall is perfectly cast in the role and is more than prepared to lead the series. She manages a perfect balance of warmth and bubbliness with genuine curiosity and steely resolve. The actress is very affable and makes it easy to get behind and root for her character. It seems Walfall’s energy is contagious and rubs off on her fellow castmates.
Compared to the source material, Naomi’s friends have been expanded and given more depth. There is loyal BFF, Annabelle, and her boyfriend Jacob. Then a potential source of the teen drama for the series is the inclusion of three love interests in Nathan, Anthony, and Lourdes. There is already tension between Nathan and Anthony that is enhanced by the townie and military rivalry of Port Oswego. Having all these possible suitors within an inner circle could be messy moving forward but right now, the group has a great and fun dynamic. They are similar to a modern Scooby Gang minus the Great Dane as they help their friend discover who she is.
A pair of more enigmatic characters are Dee and Zumbado. There’s a definite change in tone whenever Naomi interacts with either and both feel as though they know more about the overall mystery than they let on. It should be curious to see their contributions moving forward because it’s more difficult to get a read on them. Dee and Zumbado bring a little edge and the latter in particular has a much more ominous aura around him.
The series premiere initially paints a grounded tale. The superhero components are only briefly seen and part of that is from a “stunt” involving Superman but that’s okay. The main plot is built around the lead character taking her first steps to becoming her true self and realizing her destiny. It’s an origin story and part of that will most likely involve Naomi coming into her powers. A slow burn and gradual build are better suited for this investment into a long-term narrative. This is something that is more complex than the villain-of-the-week mold that is common in the early seasons of Arrowverse shows.
The first episode draws viewers in with a charismatic and likeable lead, fun cast and an engaging mystery.
New episodes of Naomi are released Tuesdays on The CW.
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