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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Unique Opportunity Facing SyFy's Booster Gold

L. Vincent Poupard has written an article for Yahoo TV detailing the "Unique Challenges Facing Syfy's 'Booster Gold'." Among the issues that Poupard lists are the fact that Booster is a newer, relatively unknown character with no actual super powers. It strikes me that those same factors are not liabilities but assets.

Booster Gold has been around for 35 years, which is the same age that Wonder Woman was when Lynda Carter donned her tights for television. Superman was only 2 when he got his first radio show. That allowed the shows's writers some leeway in inventing the character's adventures. This also let an inexperienced audience to grow along with the Man of Steel. Many of the elements of that show eventually found their way into Superman's comics, and have served Superman well for decades since.

Having no super powers shouldn't be a detriment to a super heroic television show, either. Fans of police shows already know that nothing adds drama like life-threatening situations for the protagonists. Without super powers, Booster is as mortal as anyone else. That eliminates the needs for plot devices like Kryptonite or complicated death traps. Better still, it makes Booster more relatable to an audience which also must deal with moral choices and physical limitations.

Yes, there are unique challenges facing a Booster Gold television show. No television budget -- on SyFy or anywhere else -- can reproduce the work of the artists that have given us alien invasions, Vanishing Point, or even flying robot sidekicks. Considering that Michael Jon Carter is both gambler and thief who is selfish and conceited, will audiences even want to see a show about a self-appointed "hero" whose moral compass doesn't always point north?

Accepting these facts allows us to prepare for the changes needed for Booster to succeed on television. As the character himself has proven, one man's liabilities can become his own opportunities. If any character can overcome his own hurdles to stardom, it would be Booster Gold.

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