If Felicity Porter, Sydney Bristow and Peter Parker somehow had a love child (talk about one wild night) they would name him Jake. With “Jake 2.0,” UPN hopes to capitalize on current trends by introducing an updated superhero into its lineup. It is a charming show that has potential for interesting character relationships and offers superhero nostalgia with the ever popular theme of justice seeking federal agencies.
Christopher Gorham of “Felicity” makes the entire show as the geeky yet lovable National Security Agent Jake. As a computer tech on a routine repair job, he is caught in the crossfire of a plot against the agency. Instead of radioactive spider venom, Jake is exposed to experimental government nanites and awakens the next morning with super powers. While he can’t sling any webs, he can see and hear with incredible accuracy, has superhuman strength and somehow possesses the ability to control technology. The NSA decides to harness his new abilities by making him a field agent just as he had always dreamed.
Life isn’t perfect for our hero though. Not only does he have potentially fatal nanites in his body, but Sarah, the girl he has always had a crush on (Marina Black) couldn’t care less about him while his roommate, Darin (Matt Czuchry), is too busy trying to get laid to notice anything has changed.
The show is promising, and Gorham certainly brings more than just his good looks to the series, but there are things that still need work. The supporting characters need development and personality to make them more interesting and less predictable. Also, many of the events seem rather far-fetched or too convenient. Assuming the series can develop its supporting actors, most viewers will be able to overlook these improbabilities as they do in shows like “Alias.”
“Jake 2.0” is entertaining and amusing despite a few fledgling flaws. But it will have a hard time gaining many viewers in its current position, airing at the same time as “Angel” and “The West Wing.” With a few loyal viewers, “Jake 2.0” should be able to survive until it is given a better timeslot, as UPN needs a superhero to get out of the ratings basement. Jake Foley is described in the pilot as “a universal remote,” so perhaps he is exactly what the network needs to tune in viewers.
Rating: 3 stars