Holy advertising scheme, Brooklyn!
NBC announced that it will don Brooklyn monuments — ones dedicated to actual legends, like late 1800s Rep. James Samuel Thomas Stranahan — with red capes to promote a not-so-legendary upcoming TV show called, “The Cape.”
Four of the borough’s statues, including Stranahan in Grand Army Plaza, will wear the superhero garb for five days starting on Wednesday in an attempt to garner ratings for the series, which begins on Sunday. And it sounds like a blockbuster: the series follows a “good cop” who’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit — then he’s saved by a circus ringleader who teaches him some sort of super-trick so that he can continue to fight crime under the guise of his son’s favorite TV hero.
Historic preservationists will no doubt complain that the red capes cheapen bona-fide heroes — and commercialize public space. Others, like members of Community Board 6, saw some benefit to highlighting local sculptures.
“In anticipation of the show’s focus on heroism, this is a first-of-its-kind campaign to highlight historic statues from around the city,” the board wrote in its monthly newsletter.
But the series seems to do little to “highlight historic statues,” in Brooklyn, as its website features a circus dwarf and a man in sunglasses holding a man hostage. Who could better pay homage to Stranahan, who helped to establish Prospect Park and work toward building the Brooklyn Bridge, than a circus dwarf, a cop-gone-masked-avenger, and a TV network?
Of course, it’s not the first time that the struggling network has sought Brooklyn’s help. Two years ago, the short-lived NBC series, “Kings,” took over the Brooklyn Museum for a few days, filling the plaza out front with tanks, troops and a genuine, World War II-era tank.