Naomi S1E2 TV REVIEW: Is Naomi's "Who am I?" slow burn mystery too slow?

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: scroll to the end of the review to see spoiler

“Who am I?” —Naomi

The question Naomi asked at the end of episode one is The Big Question asked by many adopted kids eventually, and Naomi is no different. But in Naomi’s case, she is beginning to realize she may be very different indeed.

Dee, the town tattoo artist was present of the day of Naomi’s arrival/adoption, and way knows more about her than he should. Now Naomi discovers way too much about him. And it blows her mind. But she doesn’t show it in a realistic way. Her reaction and dialogue are sorta realistic, but way too low key. I think IRL a teenager would FREAK THE HELL OUT at what she sees and hears about Dee and what he claims she really is. More on the casting/acting/directing later.

I liked the Naomi comic series, and I want to like this tv series, but the slow-build/slow-solve of the mystery of who Naomi really is… is just…too…slow. For those who haven’t read the comic, it must seem frustrating to not get any more answers than they’ve gotten by the end of episode two. Whatever variety of powers Naomi might have are too slow in being shown to us, as is her origin.


It's not the only mystery that is being too slow to solve: the Naomi & Friends field trip and eyewitness interview to find more about the UFO on the day of Naomi’s adoption come to a dead end (yawn).



And now Naomi’s Army father is recruited into a new division of the military to solve a mystery of his own: are there aliens on Earth. His first mission: find out what the scrap of indestructible red cloth is (supposedly from Superman’s cape), and whether it (and Superman) has extraterrestrial origins. <<SIDE NOTE: if the cape is indestructible, how did a scrap of it get torn away in the recent super-battle over the town?>> Hopefully this mission isn’t another slow-build that goes nowhere fast. And won’t it be interesting--and put her Dad in a difficult position-- if Dee’s claim about Naomi turns out to actually be true.


Someone tugged on Superman's cape a bit too hard?

Overall, the casting looks good in appearance, but most of them are playing it kinda vanilla . Everyone is on such an even keel, the show has a zen quality to it, which takes away from any efforts to build tension or anticipation. The only actors/characters that have any emotion or fire or interest to them are the unnamed, business-suited super-villain, and Naomi’s friend Annabelle, with facial expressions and vocal inflections that help her steal every scene she is in. Even Dee is low key, and “doesn’t like confrontation”…a curious quality for an alien warrior from a famous DC Universe planet. I expected more from a show that has an Oscar-nominated director like Ava Duvernay leading it.


The mysterious, super-powered, Well-Dressed Man isn't very nice to Naomi

The rapid growth of Naomi’s mystery-solving Scooby Gang seems very forced. In an instant, it grew by two members, just because they happened to drop by. Now there’s a non-stealthy crew of six running around, breaking into offices and warehouses during their investigations. Never mind the fact that a Scooby Gang is getting to be an overused trope; it seems like every teen show has one these days.


Naomi's Scooby Gang, minus another of her wannabe BFs

I hope the pace picks up and the level of interest and intrigue rises dramatically in the episodes to come. Naomi has an interesting story coming; it just remains to be seen if viewers have enough reasons to stick around long enough to discover it.

Watch Naomi, airing Tuesdays on The CW, and streaming the next day on cwtv.com

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SPOILER:

— Dee is an alien from Hawkman’s planet of Thanagar, where the warriors have metal wings with special properties


 


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