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SyFy Face Off — “Supermobile”

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Face Off 304, Supermobile

This week’s Face Off challenged the contestants to design superheroes based on a sweet car. It’s a brilliant concept that lead to some of the worst work of the season so far because apparently none of them has ever read a comic book.

At the rented porn house, Alana agreed with me that Nicole should not have been eliminated last week. Even Tommy agreed, and he was one of the contestants who might have been sent home in Nicole’s place. The whole thing was a grave injustice.

Everyone schleps out to the Bat Cave, and season 2 winner Rayce Bird emerges from it to give the contestants advice on unifying their superhero designs with the cars. And oh those cars. I can’t believe no one took the Lambo, but at least the Charger was snatched up quickly. What a beautiful beast. Everyone divides into teams of two and starts brainstorming concepts for their heroes.

Season 3 of Face Off is distinct from season 2 not simply because you’ve got different contestants. There seems to be more of an emphasis on the creative aspect of the design, not just the functional sculpting/molding/painting. The creative element was always there, but the contestants are being given more space to create new ideas (or more rope to hang themselves, depending).

I point this out because holy crap did everyone fall flat on the creative side this week. Some teams revealed that they didn’t really get “the superhero thing.” Fine. I didn’t see a single contestant crack open a comic book for reference. You don’t have to know everything, but when you don’t, you do research.

Team J-Rod’s brainy rich guy mind-controls muscle dude idea was ok, but there’s no visual excitement there, and the execution was abysmal in any case. With the car they had, they didn’t think to go high-tech secret agent? Team Roylana had a decent comic bookish idea with the daughter of Satan and her pet imp riding around in a flaming Dodge Charger. The problem is, they pretty much lifted those ideas right out of actual comic books (Ghost Rider/Satana) and gave them bonehead names. Fire and Chaos?

TomLaura had a cool story, with the wounded vet rescuing his lady love, the experimental mutant. If they’d gone with more of a cyborg angle on him than just bad injury make-up, this would have been the best team effort. As it was, Laura seemed to be the only one who had any clue what an actual superhero is.

Team SarahDerek – I just…what is this even…? Derek claimed to have learned art from comic books, but there was no superhero evident in any of that design. An ugly guy and a mildly scarred woman in dusty leather. Not even worth talking about.

For the record, I’d have picked the Lamborghini Gallardo and designed a slick sorcerer who is filthy rich from doing cheesy Vegas magic shows when he’s not defending Earth from unspeakable evils, and his succubus consort. I’m available for consulting work.

When it came time for judging, there was a big surprise (for the contestants) – guest judge Kevin Smith! He might be the world’s most famous comic book nerd, so it was an appropriate choice. His goofball demeanor was a nice change from the usual stony-faced judge panel. Glenn seemed especially cranky this week.

Alana received the No-Prize (that reference is exceptionally on-target this week), but it felt like a mercy win, since her sculpting on “Fire” was a little muddy, and Roy clearly carried her to some extent. Maybe now she’ll overcome her constant self-doubt.

Elimination was weird again. There was a lot of bad work to choose from, but Rod’s “same guy, different week” make-up was really terrible. His head-piece mind-control device looked hilariously bad, and I don’t understand the enormous, expressionless head. Why would you sculpt what is basically a human head? Just use the model’s head! Not that Jason’s work was anything exciting, but Rod really deserved the axe here. Again.

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 18th, 2012. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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