Sunday, October 15, 2006

Heroes

Around this time last year I was very excited about the new fall TV season. There were an unprecedented number of Sci-Fi and Horror genre shows debuting – Surface, Threshold, Supernatural, Invasion and The Night Stalker – and I was interested in seeing all of them.

Well, a year later all have been canceled but Supernatural. This year the crop of new genre shows is far more modest. Sci-Fi channel debuted Eureka at the end of the summer. It’s light fare about a small town filled with geniuses. I find it boring. The only other genre show is NBC’s Heroes, which ostensibly is a superhero genre show, but they’re trying hard not to embrace that theme and possibly alienate the Joe Sixpack viewer who stumbles across the show by accident.

Though the show is obviously trying to capitalize off of the success of the X-Men movies, the show reminds me of Surface in many ways. I’m too lazy to see if the same people are involved in the writing. Like Surface, the story is split into the points of view of multiple characters, all of whom have clues about the umbrella story -- where did all these mutants come from and what are they here for? As in Surface, we know that the main characters will all hook up and take on some evil secret government agency.

The Professor X of Heroes is a young Indian professor, but the analogy is a little off, since he doesn’t have any super powers (as far as we know). There’s a nerdy Japanese office worker who can teleport and slow down time who’s the most likeable character so far. My second favorite character is the invulnerable cheerleader. Brutal things keep happening to her body to the point where she’s like a living Mr. Bill. It’s an interesting choice of powers for a female. Usually female supers have powers that are helpful to others or are defensive or are “elemental.”

The other characters are less interesting. There’s a Hispanic junkie artist guy that paints the future. Ho hum. His light-skinned black girlfriend is interested in a white male nurse who has the power to levitate and fly. The male nurse has a brother running for Congress who can also fly, but the politician brother is a shithead who held a press conference and told everyone his brother is suicidal to cover for the accident that happened when the nurse was trying to find out if he could really fly. The last character is a white woman who runs an online peep show and has a precocious biracial son and a so far unseen black husband who’s (big surprise) a criminal. The peep show chick has some violent power we don’t get to see since she has blackouts. We only get to see the aftermath – mutilated bodies of the loan sharks who come after her. Maybe she’s a shapeshifter.

Most of the characters don’t know each other, but presumably they’ll find each other in the coming episodes. Hopefully that won’t take too long. That was one of the problems with Surface.

Do I think this show will last? No, not on a mainstream network like NBC. Is it worth watching? Sure. It’s not so bad.

6 comments:

Luke Cage said...

Very very nicely done Michelle. But hey, I didn't know that Invasion got cancelled. I thought it was in some kind of holding pattern or hiatus. Dammn! I'd gotten into that one too. Eureka bored me also. I gave it a shot, but it couldn't hold my attention. Night Stalker went out FAAAAAST! If you blinked, you missed it sparing us the inability to see Gabrielle Union act week after week.

Now for Heroes. You are the first person (besides myself) to think that this show cannot go the distance. I think its off to a great start, but I'm leery about it blowing its load much too fast. Although the interesting lineup of characters will probably keep our interests whetted, can this concept be pulled out for several years, remain new and refreshing and in the same breath break new ground?

Sure, anything is possible. I simply think it won't be done. But I'll watch it every week hoping I'm wrong. I just hope that it doesn't fall into the trap that LOST has fallen into. Make it interesting and keep the audience guessing and question things.. but now the LOST audience has to question TOO many things. Throw us a bone every now and then.

Hiro is my favorite character as well and seems to be the only one who's really embraced his powers. The other interesting character to me is the artist. (I probably share some form of kinship with the guy or something..) Think about the madness this guy would have to delve into drugs to get away from when every painting you draw, is some calamity ready to happen. Ohhh man. That shit is deep Michelle.

I do agree with you on Claire's powers. Usually women have the power of flight or invisibility.. telepathy and what not. But definitely not shades of invulnerability. That was a nice touch. Well, it's on for 2night. Hopefully we'll chime some more about the episode. Here's to some enlightenment on the show this evening.

Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

I really like Claire, name aside. How many 16 year old girls would wake up on an autopsy table and look at their flayed chest and say, "oh, this isn't good"? Most would scream and be hysterical. I like that they switched the pwoers up. The girl from Vegas kicks hard core ass, but I still could see her as a multiple personality type.

I think it'll last the season, and I agree it's a bit LOST-ish. It really doesn't compete against all that much. But I also dislike CSI Miami:When Models Investigate. The geek base has been growing steadily. And the Heroes is catered towards unabashed geeks as well as closet geeks. They have been working on a big fan following. At Comic Con they had a huge set up and screened the first episode. I like it, I hope it does well, and will probably watch the entire season. As long as it doesn't pull a Dark Angel and just get plain weird.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Claire has the potential to become the next Buffy. Buffy in her heyday was one of the best female characters ever on TV. Boy, did they ever ruin that show! They went two seasons too long. :(

The girl from Vegas would be cool except she’s a whore, and they have no lack of whores on TV. **SIGH.**

The odd thing about Heroes is that for some strange reason they’re not reaching out to their natural demographic – teens and tweens. The characters, with the exception of Claire, are much older than similar characters usually are in comic books. You need your young audience to be able to identify with these people.

I also dislike CSI Miami: When Models Investigate

LOL! I hate cop shows, lawyer shows, and hospital shows and that’s 90% of what’s on TV!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Night Stalker went out FAAAAAST! If you blinked, you missed it sparing us the inability to see Gabrielle Union act week after week.

I thought that Night Stalker had potential, but it was slow moving and it needed time to build an audience. The X-Files never would’ve survived on ABC either.

Although the interesting lineup of characters will probably keep our interests whetted, can this concept be pulled out for several years, remain new and refreshing and in the same breath break new ground?

It’s possible. They could start fresh with a new group of heroes each season and/or kill off the characters that don’t catch on with the public.

I just hope that it doesn't fall into the trap that LOST has fallen into. Make it interesting and keep the audience guessing and question things... but now the LOST audience has to question TOO many things. Throw us a bone every now and then.

Lost remains interesting, but they ain’t fooling me. As with Twin Peaks, it’s become obvious that the writers are making up the plot as they go along. They never really thought out what the secret of the island was before the show became a hit and now they’re in trouble because the audience is becoming too smart for the show. I’ve been listening to some Lost podcasts where fans have been painstakingly deconstructing each episode and they pounce on every clue or contradiction to the point where the writers can’t afford to make a mistake. And they will.


Hiro is my favorite character as well and seems to be the only one who's really embraced his powers.

He’s funny. I think he should’ve been a teenager, though.

Think about the madness this guy would have to delve into drugs to get away from when every painting you draw, is some calamity ready to happen. Ohhh man. That shit is deep Michelle.

He didn’t seem as upset as I thought he’d be about knowing his girl had slept with that male nurse. I guess he was too drugged to care. Or he’s thinking “big picture.”

I do agree with you on Claire's powers. Usually women have the power of flight or invisibility, telepathy and what not. But definitely not shades of invulnerability.

Well, I was forgetting She Hulk, but as I recall she started out kinda wild then John Byrne turned her into a typical comic book voluptuous babe. She was ugly in the beginning. Didn’t she used to go around barefoot in a torn dress? She looked like a freak. But you can’t be an ugly woman and be a hero.

EcamirG said...

the nurse's power is actually not flight, but he's a rogue-type character... he absorbs the powers of those around him. difference is, he doesn't have to touch them.

they still have yet to introduce all of the characters. for example, leonard roberts (who was one of the kryptonians in the phantom zone on "smallville") plays the father of ali larter's son.

he may or may not be a criminal... certainly, he was incarcerated, but i'm leaning toward the belief that she actually killed the people for whose murders he was jailed. i believe that his power, incidentally, is to walk through walls. not a bad power for a prisoner to have.

i like the show, and i think it could go on for quite a while. the second episode limped quite a lot, but since then, it's off to the races.

i don't watch much t.v. to begin with, so when i get hooked on something, it's a big deal. at least to me. :)

Michelle Pessoa said...

the nurse's power is actually not flight, but he's a rogue-type character...

Is there a fan site you can recommend? It looks like you've got the scoop on a lot of things. ;)