Harry Potter fans were disappointed when CBS announced that they had declined to pick up Super Clyde, which starred Rupert Grint and Stephen Fry. However, they can now get their Weasley fix, becuase, at the request of the show’s creator Greg Garcia, the network has made the unaired pilot available to stream online at their website.. The show revolves around Clyde (Grint), a shy, comic book-obsessed fast food worker who inherits a fortune after his great uncle dies, and uses it to become a real-life superhero. Fry plays Randolph, the family’s butler, and Clyde’s confidante.
If you’re debating about whether or not to — in Garcia’s own words — “kill 20 minutes at work” and give Super Clyde a shot, we’ve run down the pilot’s highs and lows, to give you a sense of what to expect.
Rupert Grint. If you weren’t already a Grint fan, Super Clyde will make you one. Carrying a television show is not an easy task, but as the charming, goofy and lovable Clyde, Grint makes it look easy. Fans of his work will know that he has a wonderful sense of comedic timing, and Super Clyde gives him the perfect opportunity to showcase it. He also manages to play the anxious side of a character in such a way that Clyde feel fully realized from the second he appears onscreen. It’s a shame that the show never made it to series, beucase Super Clyde would be a perfect venue for Grint to show that he can be more than just Ron Weasley. Well, that and he’s so adorable that we would have loved to see him on our television screens every weeek.
Stephen Fry. As the Alfred to Clyde’s Batman, Fry perfectly mixes snark and sentiment to create a wonderfully likeable characters. He gets most of the pilot’s best lines — Randolph declares Clyde riding three buses and then outrunning a group of fit neighborhood women as “not even mildly challenging” — and perfectly sells a hand puppet/therapist named Dr. Giggles. Fry and Grint have a wonderful rapport, and it would have been great to see the two of them develop a strong relationship. Randolph’s also has some wonderful interations with Duke and Faith, which we’re upset we won’t get to see more of.
The American Accent. Although it slips a bit here and there, Grint is suprisingly capable of doing a convincing American accent. Having someone who is famous for their accent attempt to take on the bland American one favored by Hollywood is always a gamble (look at Rebel Wilson on Super Fun Night), but there’s no doubt that Grint would have been able to carry it throughout the run of the series.
Jolene. Played by Laura Ortiz, Jolene is the sweet Ploppy’s Burgers cashier that Clyde has a hopeless crush on. She doesn’t get much to do in the pilot, but in their short scene together, Grint and Ortiz prove that Clyde and Jolene could have been a couple to root for. Grint plays “stupidly in love” with a wonderful mix of charm and hilarity, and it was almost impossible not to swoon when he offered up his calculator watch to help her out.
It’s Original. CBS reportedly passed on Super Clyde because it was off-brand, opting for Garcia’s other show, The Millers, instead. While it makes sense for the network, from a business sense, it’s upsetting to see such a fresh and different show not make it to air. Super Clyde manages to be both funny and sweet, and its easy to root for such lovely protagonist with goals to make the world a little happier. With so many cynical comedies on CBS — and on television in general — it would have been nice to break things up with a little bit of positivity. Plus, passing over different, orginal shows only makes it harder for other different, original shows to be picked up.
Clyde’s Sister Faith: In the pilot, Clyde’s sister exists to serve as the punchline to an endless barrage of fat jokes. Her only character trait seems to be her constant snacking, and each time the gag is repeated, it becomes less and less funny. The character of Faith improves once she uses her portion of the inheritance to get full-body liposuction, but only becuase it finally gives her more to do than to appear in the background with a piece of cake in her hands. There are hints of great comedic potential in some of Justine Lupe’s line deliveries, and she plays well off of Tyler Labine, but the writers would have needed to put in a lot of work to save Faith from being, by far, the weakest part of the show.
Clyde’s Brother Duke: Much like his sister, Duke is more of a cariacture than an actual character. Although Labine does manage to score a few laughs, there’s just not enough substance to keep the character from feeling flat. Since both of Clyde’s siblings are so one-dimensional, the audience will quickly tire of whatever antics they are getting up to at home, which places a great deal of stress on the superhero premise to pick up the slack. However, Labine has proven himself to be a hilarious character actor, and so, with a little bit of time, would most likely have been able to make Duke a reliably funny part of the show.
Does the premise have longievity? Super Clyde‘s take on the idea of a real-world superhero is both funny and heartwarming, but the show could easily fall into a gift-of-the-week trap. There are portential storylines that could arise from Clyde’s interactions with Jolene and his family, and his quest to keep his new identity a secret, but it’s hard to tell just how many seasons the superhero storyline could be dragged out. And unless Faith and Duke were properly fleshed out, there’s no interesting family-based storylines to take the pressure off.