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SXSW 2018 Review: Marvel’s ‘Cloak and Dagger’

SXSW 2018 Review: Marvel’s ‘Cloak and Dagger’

cloak and dagger

Marvel television’s newest foray into the storytelling world is Cloak and Dagger, a television series based off of the comic of the same name. The series stars Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt as the titular characters with Joe Pokaski as showrunner.  I had the pleasure of seeing the premiere at SXSW, and as a watcher of many, many shows on Freeform, I have to say, this show (the pilot at least) ranks among the top. It’s directed by BGN fave, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and it does not disappoint. Here are six things you can expect from the two-hour premiere.

Expect to see little nuggets from other Marvel television shows. If you’re a fan of the slate of Marvel’s television shows from Daredevil to The Defenders, then you will pick up on the tiniest of details thrown in the pilot of Cloak and Dagger. I won’t list them here, but they are definitely there. Many fans will wonder about whether or not there will be crossover potential with the other shows, but the producers made it clear that for the first season of the show, the focus will be on these specific characters and their stories. But who knows what the future holds.

Expect to hear some bomb a$$ music. Even if you’re not a person who picks up on music in television shows, trust me, you will notice the music in this pilot. The tone of every song is perfect, and it’s a story within itself.

cloak and dagger
Photo: Kyndal Wilson/BGN

Expect to see some real teens with some real problems. Like most of the Marvel television shows, Cloak and Dagger doesn’t shy away from the hard-pressing issues that their characters face. Fans of Marvel’s Runaways will find some similarities here, but the tone and style is different. As pilot director Gina Prince-Bythewood says, “These are two very damaged souls finding each other.”

Expect to be surprised with how things unfold. You might find the story moderately predictable, especially if you are familiar with the comics, but the way the story unfolds in the first episode is authentic and realistic. It truly felt like these kids were discovering their powers, and it seamlessly ties into their family/home lives.

Expect to be see quality level acting. Olivia and Aubrey are excellent as Tandy and Tyrone, and their chemistry with one another is palpable. Not chemistry in a romantic sort of way—though I can already hear the shippers now—but they definitely work well together, and they are completely believable as a team and as (eventual) friends. The pilot focuses more on their separate stories as individuals, but I can tell from the few moments they had on screen together that they work very well together as actors. As the story progresses, I look forward to what will be in store for their character arcs.

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Expect to enjoy yourself. While Cloak and Dagger hits on some tough issues, it doesn’t take away from the joy of the show. You are guaranteed to feel a full range of emotions, and it’s all for the best.

Cloak and Dagger premieres Thursday, June 7th on Freeform.

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