Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hero-Ism

Now that I have nice, reliable internet access again, you may once more have to listen to me wibbling on regularly and at length about gripping subjects such as whatever TV shows I happen to be watching. I'm sure you're all very excited.

I'll start with Heroes, because it's one of the two new shows I've been following this season (and I don't actually have a whole lot to say about Studio 60). I'm having some interesting mixed reactions to Heroes... I find most of the characters and the ongoing, interwoven storylines interesting but not deeply engaging, and there seems to come a point somewhere in the middle of every episode where I starting thinking that, gosh, I'm really not sure how much longer I'm going to bother sticking with this show. And then, in the last few minutes of the episode, they invariably pull out some incredibly cool and surprising cliffhanger that instantly makes me all eager to see the next one. That's some clever-bastard writing, right there.

So I probably will be watching the show for at least the rest of the season, although it doesn't seem like it's ever going to be one of those programs that turns me into a raving fangirl. (Which is probably just as well, really. I've got enough of those as it is.) I think part of what keeps it from getting anywhere near crossing that line is that, for the most part, it lacks any real sense of warmth or humor. I don't know what it is, whether it's the acting or the visual style or just the fact that we spend so little time per episode with each character that it's hard to get really invested in any of them, but I do feel oddly distanced from what's going on most of the time. The single exception is Hiro, the adorably dorky Japanese guy with the ability to bend spacetime, who lights up the show like a ray of sunshine every time he walks on-screen. I'll tell ya, if they dumped the rest of the characters and turned this thing into The Adventures of Super-Hiro, it'd stay on my TiVo's season pass list as long as they wanted to keep running it. Sadly, I'm sure that will never happen. If people listened to me on this particular topic, Voyager would have killed off most of the cast and become a show about the holo-doctor and possibly Seven of Nine.

Anyway. The other thing that bugs me about Heroes -- though I suppose it's really just another aspect of the same thing -- is its tendency to get all pretentious and take itself way too seriously. Which isn't to say that I don't think a show about super-powers can't or shouldn't take a serious tone. In fact, I think that's a really interesting thing to do. But I'll be very, very happy if I never have to sit through another ponderous, buzzword-filled lecture about Destiny and Specialness and the Next Step in Human Evolution. The self-important tone is bad enough, but it wouldn't bother me nearly so much if the content weren't complete and utter bullshit. Evolution does not work the way the show describes it. It just doesn't. Period. And, y'know, I can accept some bullshit premise for the sake of a cool story about superheroes, but, dudes, the more you dwell on the bullshit, the harder it is for me to keep the ol' disbelief in suspension.

But all of that sounds way more negative than I really want to, because it's much easier to put my finger on things that don't work than on things that do. I am enjoying it, on the whole, and am hoping to enjoy it more as the various storylines develop and converge. I think it has the potential to be something very cool and interesting. I'm just hoping it lives up to it.

9 comments:

  1. That's been pretty much my reaction to Heroes, although I do like some of the other characters, including Ali Larter's. It does seem to know where it's going, which is probably a plus, but it does keeping hitting us over the head with the fact that it knows where it's going. I like the show, and I think Hiro is a terrific and different character, but there's nothing there to spark deep-seated must-see feelings in me either.

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  2. I do like some of the other characters... Especially the cheerleader, which is actually kind of remarkable, as I am not in general well-disposed towards cheerleaders. But, Hiro and his buddy aside, any one of them could be killed off at any moment, and I wouldn't feel very much, which I think is the real test.

    And, whoa, I had to look up Ali Larter, because I wasn't sure which one she was, and it turns out she's from my old home town in New Jersey.

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  3. Betty, A lady lives about 4 doors down from us was from Haddon Heights. Played golf with a fellow from Kennett Square. Big Universe, small world.

    Work Veri. cribil. Do I need to equate

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  4. And the guy I went to the prom with moved to New Mexico the same time I did. And I ended up in the same dorm with a guy from Cherry Hill East who used to date the gal I ate lunch with in high school. And my freshman calculus textbook was apparently written by a guy who lives in Cherry Hill...

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  5. ok I confess to not reading your whole post on Heroes. Was "Your Pop's" post just off the wall or was it regarding the whole destiny thing :)

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  6. I assume it was in response to my comment about the actress being from Cherry Hill. :)

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  7. If you like Heroes you'll love my blog, http://therealheroes.blogspot.com All about real heroes who have super powers just like the folks on the show. If you have a story thats out of the ordinary, or if you know a real life hero story come share it with me. If you have a hero story blogged, I'll link to it. Heroes is the best show on tv!

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  8. So apparantly I need to confess to not reading the comments all the way through too :)

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  9. Uh-huh, the truth finally comes out... ;)

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