Two more superheroes have come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Freeform, and I was invited to a special screening and interview session to bring you the latest about them. Meet Cloak (Tyrone) and Dagger (Tandy) and check out why you should really be watching this show – and who I think SHOULDN’T be watching.
When I first saw billboards for Cloak & Dagger, I was immediately drawn back to the movie that starred Dabney Coleman and the kid from ET. I’m just trying to be honest here, but after watching the series which airs Thursdays at 8pm on Freeform, I knew we weren’t dealing with military secrets hidden in a video game. We were dealing with superheroes and they weren’t in control of their powers. The origin story differs greatly from the comics, and as Marvel fans, we’ve come to accept the fact that origins stories can change and we’re just going to accept it.
“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened by and awakened to newly discovered superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another.
During a press event in Los Angeles this past weekend, we screened the 5th episode of Cloak & Dagger and interviewed series parents Miles Mussenden who plays Tyrone’s father, Otis Johnson and Andrea Roth who plays Tandy’s mother, Melissa Bowen. Executive Producer Joe Pokaski and Vice President of Original Programming at MARVEL TV, Tom Lieber were also present. We were able to sit and chat with them about everything from where the series is going and how they apply their parenting styles to their own children.
Who Should Watch Cloak & Dagger
If you haven’t been watching Cloak & Dagger and you’re ready to start, just know it’s not for the faint of heart. While the series does revolve around teens Tyrone and Tandy, it still brings very real and raw scenes to the screen. The opening of the episode we screened started off with a very audio heavy sex scene and while I knew that the subject matter could be mature, it still caught me off guard. That’s not the only sex scene in the 5th episode, and I’m not sure you want to explain to your 5th grader certain innuendos that happen.
Of course, teens depending on their maturity level could handle it. I mean, my son is 18 and he’ll be watching it I’m sure, but if I had a kid that was 13 or 14 we may have paused with the show. I know that it’s FreeForm, but still.
Why You Should Watch Cloak & Dagger
While knowing that superheroes don’t really exist (because if they did, they’re not showing up how we need them to at the moment) Cloak & Dagger still offer very real views of growing up in certain familial structures in the city of Louisiana. Tandy, who is white is lower class after falling from the upper class because of the death of her father. Tyrone however, is a black private school student still having to deal with the color of his skin, and the death of someone close to him. They don’t know each other when the series begins, but their powers bind them together and before they know it, they’re pulled into the lives of one another and realize that they must depend on the other in order to gain control. Fun stuff, right?
The real world scenes make it a great springboard for having those tough conversations with the teens watching with you. Suicide, sex, police killings, drug use, and a myriad of other things arise in these episodes, and it’s hard NOT to look away from the screen when some of it is happening. It was definitely difficult for me. Miles spoke about a situation at a birthday party for one of the friends of his younger son that he decided to stay and be present for because of the types of games that were being played. Later having to discuss that with another parent, made him realize that he wasn’t being overly sensitive, but hyper aware and a parent.
The conversation that we had surrounded the different styles of parenting that both Andrea and Miles’ characters portray, and how there is redemption for them in many different ways throughout the series. We see a bit of redemption for Miles and Tyrone earlier in the season, and we’ll see redemption for Andrea’s character – who at this point isn’t really being a great mother – down the line.
The series is shot beautifully. There are ebbs and flows of dark and light, and the conversation that the teens have are conversations that teens normally have. They want to sound smart, and be understood while still being able to save their city from something that they aren’t even aware of.
Speaking of superpowers, with a touch of her hand, Tandy is able to see the hopes and dreams of people, and Tyrone can see the fears of people, and he feeds off of it in a way. They balance each other out though, and that’s the beauty of it.
Check it out for yourself tonight at 8pm ET on FreeForm