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TV Talk: Heroes 
23rd-Nov-2006 06:38 pm
Heroes Hiro
No love for Ando?

TV Talk: Heroes

Starring: Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Noah Gray-Cabey, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Leonard Roberts, Milo Ventimiglia

Series Creator: Tim Kring

I've mostly used these TV Talk segments to get a gripe off my chest, be it extreme annoyance or a mild issue (that has since been resolved, yay!). I worry that all the complaining makes me seem like all I do is see the negative in shows I watch, which isn't the case. So, instead of picking another show to rant about, I chose one to rave about.

Heroes is easily my favourite new show of the fall season. Now, I will say that there really isn't a lot of competition, as this is one of the weakest batch of new fall shows in years, but even if there was stiffer competition, Heroes would probably still be number one. Moreover, of all the shows I watch on a weekly basis, I think Heroes is the one I look forward to watching the most.

Some of that has to do with its freshness. I look forward to it the more than shows that I like more like Veronica Mars or The Office because it's new and we're still be introduced to its characters and scenarios. But more than that, its storytelling draws the viewer in, leaving you with genuine excitement and anticipation over what's going to happen next. In this sense, it has replaced Lost and Prison Break as the event programming of the week for me.

I realised this when my TV was tragically broken by my movers (since fixed), which interrupted my TV watching. In this time, it was Heroes that I was most disappointed about missing. I needed to find out how they were going to save the cheerleader (and, you know, the world). I needed to know who Sylar was! What's Mr. Bennett's role in all this? Will we ever figure out Niki's powers?!?

To be fair, we're now nine episodes into the season, four episodes past the terrible week that I had to go without the show (okay, half a week, I just went ahead and downloaded it while awaiting my TV repair), and they've only really answered one of those questions. In another show, it would be very frustrating to have this many unresolved questions. Admittedly, in terms of overall plot, nothing much had happened on the show before Monday's episode "Homecoming". But it doesn't matter, because of its awesomeness.

The biggest enjoyment for me comes from how seriously the show takes its comic book roots. Obviously, the idea of superpowered beings comes from comics, and they embrace the world of comics whole-heartedly. Be it Isaac's (Santiago Cabrera) comic book-like paintings (eventually, Isaac will write and draw for the comic within the show, 9th Wonders), the blocking and camera angles of each shot, or the lettering in title blocks and sub-titles (translated conversations read like text bubbles without the bubbles), the show takes its visual cues from the world that inspired it. It says a lot about our current state of pop culture that a comic book-inspired TV show takes its source so seriously, even reverently, whereas in the past it was treated with camp and smirks.

By no means is Heroes a perfect show, and I can understand if some people don't like it. They've essentially spent the first two months of the season telling an origin story (and are still doing so), which is usually the most dull part of any superhero movie. Credit goes to the writers for keeping it interesting by giving us enough movement within each episode, while delaying the ultimate action to keep us coming back for more.

The acting on the show is perfunctory at best, so don't watch expecting to be blown away by master thespians. Part of it is because of the style of the show, which puts an emphasis on histrionics, thus keeping subtlety and nuance out of their performances (if the cast is indeed capable of such feats). The show is also very focused on the pretty, making sure its cast looks its best, keeping character actor roles to a minimum (like the ever-reliable Greg Grunberg and its breakout star Masi Oka). Oka's Hiro is probably my favourite character, as he approaches his power with a sense of enthusiasm and duty, while the others treat the powers as burdens (if they've figured them out at all. Okay, Milo Ventimiglia's Peter has taken to his powers, but he's too emo to be my favourite. Cut those bangs already!). At the same time, I see how Hiro can get a little grating at times, as the show overdoes his cuteness a bit too much, making him seem kinda stupid at times (plus, they need to decide already how much English he does and doesn't know).

But, like Prison Break the flaws of the show are rendered less significant because the show provides solid entertainment, and moves forward at a brisk enough pace that you can quickly gloss over them to move on to another scene or character. It's stylish, sexy, superhero fun that has the potential to grow and expand throughout the years, unlike other serial dramas of recent years that quickly run out of steam as the ideas begin to hamstrung by the limitations of its story. Highly recommended for those who like adventure shows.

Rants? Raves? Opinions? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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24th-Nov-2006 02:10 am (UTC)
I mostly just want to know when and what channel it's on so I can watch it. I've heard so many good things about it (especially from you & Scott) that I figured I might as well expand my tv repertoire ;)
24th-Nov-2006 02:11 am (UTC)
It's an NBC show. Since you live in Calgary, I can tell you that it's on channel 16.
24th-Nov-2006 02:29 am (UTC)
it is on Monday Nights. I catch it early on the time shift shaw channel.
(mostly cause i can't wait to watch it)
24th-Nov-2006 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks :)
24th-Nov-2006 02:26 am (UTC) - Me and Skooch's Heroes MSN Chat
Skooch says:
I sure hope Hiro can save super hot smart girl

Skooch says:
even now he's altering the space-time continuum

Andy says:
It's true

Skooch says:
I have a problem with that aspect of it, but I always do when it comes to time travel

Andy says:
That's because you fail to understand that everything you know about time travel is fiction

Andy says:
Thus, it's up to the show to establish its own rules

Andy says:
It's not like there's an actual science of time travel in the world

Skooch says:
I don't fail to understand it, I just have a rigid theory about it... read the Wiki... there is an actual science and it's existance has been theorized and so on

Andy says:
It doesn't exist!

Andy says:
I imagine there's a science on Santa Claus too

Andy says:
I bet there's a wiki

Skooch says:
well it can't exist

Andy says:
So your rigid theory is probably based on the first movie you saw about it/book you read

Andy says:
Just because it worked one way in Back to the Future, doesn't mean this fictional idea has to work the same way in another movie/TV show

Skooch says:
no, it's fashioned from ideas picked up from many mediums

Andy says:
Some people believe time isn't rigid at all, but rather circular

Andy says:
Thus, all time is happening all the time

Skooch says:
time is something humans invented to keep themselves sane

Andy says:
Thus, changing the past might not mean shit to the present

Skooch says:

Andy says:
Because one doesn't necessarily follow the other

Andy says:
The past and present occur at the same time

Skooch says:
it would change everything... but it's like the movie version of The Time Machine

Andy says:

Skooch says:
time is self-healing

Andy says:
You just said time is a man-made construct

Skooch says:
if something occurs that threatens the linear timeline that has been established, dumb bad luck will occur and make sure everything gets back on it's pre-determined course

Andy says:
But maybe this show doesn't operate under the idea that time is linear

Skooch says:
well then I'd grow infuriated

Andy says:
So... you could never read Slaughterhouse-Five then

Skooch says:
I have read it

Andy says:
Must've infuriated you then

Skooch says:
I was too young to get it back then

Andy says:
So... what I'm getting from you is that "time is something humans invented to keep themselves sane" that absolutely must be kept linear

Skooch says:
or I go insane

Andy says:
Well... I never figured you for an outside of the box thinker anyway

Skooch says:
I'm so far outside the box it's ridiculous

Andy says:
Unless it involves any kind of thinking that challenges linear thought or accepted invented practices

Skooch says:
I'm fucking tired okay

Andy says:
Isn't this a rigid theory you've had forever?

Andy says:
Don't go back and change that, or you will ruin time!

Skooch says:
I hate you

Andy says:
Man, we should've had this conversation in comments

Skooch says:
I will not be baited
24th-Nov-2006 02:48 am (UTC) - Re: Me and Skooch's Heroes MSN Chat
I hate you so much.
24th-Nov-2006 02:51 am (UTC) - Re: Me and Skooch's Heroes MSN Chat
C'mon, these TV Talk posts are supposed to be about conversation! You're helping the cause! Maybe someone will even support your time travel bias.
24th-Nov-2006 05:40 am (UTC) - Re: Me and Skooch's Heroes MSN Chat
Skooch says:
I'm so far outside the box it's ridiculous

Andy says:
Unless it involves any kind of thinking that challenges linear thought or accepted invented practices

Skooch says:
I'm fucking tired okay

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... oh Skoochie, he was really trying though!
24th-Nov-2006 05:15 am (UTC)
wildlyoscillate got me onto these shows and i love them. Sure the concept is a bit dated but the characters (especially Hiro) are awesome.

The show is awesome.
24th-Nov-2006 08:38 am (UTC)
First few episodes I was all like "Pfft, people discovering they have superpowers? Been there, done that", but now I'm all like "WTF IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT EPISODE?!". It's sucked me in big time.

A few queries:
* Do you believe Niki's split personality is part of her power or a condition she had anyway which has caused some kind of mental block on her power? I think it's clear with Issac that he could paint the future without the heroin, as Peter wasn't on heroin when he 'stole' his power and finished that corner of his painting. So obviously the way his power has developed or come to his attention is through the heroin, causing a mental block meaning he can so far only paint the future high. Is Niki's situation the same or is her split personality inherent in her powers?
* What's Mika's power? Controlling electronics? Controlling electricity itself (if so, will we ever see him hurling bolts of electricity at enemies?)? Also is he really smart or does he just seem that way because of his gift with electronics/electricity? If he is really all that smart, is that part of his power or an everyday hightened intelligence?
* Do you think Silar is someone we already know? What do you think his power is?
* Who else has powers that we don't know about yet?
* Will whoever is playing Mohinder learn to act?
24th-Nov-2006 09:26 am (UTC)
*I think you're correct to link Niki and Issac in regard to their powers and possible "Mental Blocks".

*I think in regard to Mika his power has to with machines not just electricity. Maybe he can talk to them ala The Great Machine, so he told the telephone to stop screwing around and post his call, damn the money. Given his parentage as well it seems pretty clear that his powers aren't mundane, I would call being smart mundane, even if he is a genius.

*I think Silar is a new character. Before I had him pegged as Claire's father but that is not a viable option anymore. I heard Christopher Eccelston was hired for Heroes so I guess he might be him. From what we've seen his powers are telekinetic and possible just telekinetic. He could have deflected the bullets kinetically or had something as mundane as a vest which would not have been a bad idea given he was in the middle of FBI headquarters. All his powers could just be telekinetic, which would explain why Peter Petrelli was so hurt after the fall, because if Sylar's power are just telekinetic it would need some thought behind it unlike Claire's healing which is passively active all the time. Sylar's predilection for opening up peoples heads (telekinetically) on the hand I'm unsure off. Is it something to do with his superpowers or is he just a super powered serial murderer? I'm personally favouring the latter.
As for new people with super powers, maybe. For people already shown, I doubt it except for the waifish girl who helped catch Sylar there. I was unclear if she herself had powers or was simply cueing the Haitian.

What do you mean who is playing Mohinder? For the last episode, I actually found his portion annoying, but the soccer playing kid was saying it was Mohinder seeking him out and he already had his answer. Or do you mean the Claire's father angle and his organization?

About the whole "Save the Cheerleader, save the world" thing. Does anyone else think they've at least stopped New York from blowing up? Since they saved Claire, therefore leading to Sylar's apprenhension. Sylar was clearly a part of blowing up New York. I'm thinking he was continuing his brain eating (what other reason do you pick them up) and ran into radioactive guy. That guy made some ominious statements about what would happen if he was killed.

I'm also wondering about Hiro's time travelling. I think it is relatively clear it only affects him. Whenever he does anything it only affects him. He hasn't for example been able to stop time, and only and Ando aren't affected. Which is why future Hiro visited Peter Petrelli, his mimic power let him not be stopped, and visiting himself could have been bad. The fact too that Hiro didn't just teleport through space, he teleported through space and time, so there seems to be an Einsteinian component to time. I'm also thinking that if carried to its conclusion, Hiro should also be able to affect gravity. According to Einstein (this is a major simplification based on a shaky knowledge of Einsteinian physics) gravity is the way space bend around us. We stick to the Earth because space is curved around the Earth and keeps us on it. I'm shaky on where the time component comes in.

Just some thoughts.
24th-Nov-2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
I like your ideas on Mika, that would be very cool. I love it when kids have really strong powers.
Yeah, I thought Silar might be Claire's dad at first too. That's obviously not the case though.
I think that waifish girl has some kind of powers of pursuasion, as she's always saying things that are very Jedi-mind-trickesque. And Claire's dad sent her in to convince Issac to shoot up to paint again. And she seemed to stop Silar with just words.
I mean the actor playing Mohinder. He's the worst of the bunch.
I think there's more to come to prevent the bomb. Hiro hasn't played his part in that, and I think the memory waitress has somthing to do too.
24th-Nov-2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
I think Sylar can siphon off powers of the supers he kills by taking their brains or something. That's why he seems to have multiple powers (he also levitated that one time it looked like). Thus, saving Claire may have been about keeping Sylar from acquiring her regenerative powers, thus keeping him from destroying the world (possibly by acquiring radioactive man's powers. Maybe not having Claire's healing powers makes him more vulnerable to the radioactive dude's powers).
24th-Nov-2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
-I hope the dual identities is separate from her powers, or a result of them, but not a facet of them. Her power, from what we've seen, seems pretty brutal, so maybe using it for the first time splintered her mind so she wouldn't have to deal with it. Now it seems only Jessica has the power to tear people apart. It's also possible that this multiple personality could've been caused by her mind being messed with by the Haitian, a la Matt and Radioactive Man.

-I'm hoping it's to control machines, like in Ex Machina. Cause that would be cool. If they rip off The Great Machine's power completely, it would mean that Micah communicates with machines, which could explain his heightened intelligence: the machines tell him how they work.

-I think Sylar is a new character. I do think he could be linked to Niki/Jessica though.

-Just Eden, I think. I'm hoping Mohinder, Ando, Simone and Audrey remain powerless. It sets up good dynamics when non-powered individuals co-exist with powered ones (like with Xander in Buffy).

-Hard to say. He's mastered the annoyed stare though. Although, it is a little tough on Sendhil Ramamurthy that he always has to be Exposition Man
24th-Nov-2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some good points about Niki. I like the Haitian idea. I'm sure there's heaps more to come from him.
What makes you think Silar is linked to NikJess?
And yeah, I'd hate for everyone to start sprouting powers.
24th-Nov-2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
Just cause Sylar and Niki/Jessica both tear people apart.
25th-Nov-2006 02:14 am (UTC)
I was thinking about that too, but couldn't he just push with his telekinetic powers, so he can then make extreme jumps or even float to a certain extent. Reading a recap on TWOP, I forgot he also froze people. So he might have picked that up. Or he telekinetically reproduced a heat pump. Like refrigarator. I'm definitely stretching here though. However I still like my psychopath idea, but eating there brains for their powers is perfectly valid.
25th-Nov-2006 02:16 am (UTC)
I almost forgot. I was looking at the Heroes website and their comic book companions. Eden, waifish brunette, power is that if she tells someone to do something, they do it. Like say, drop dead. Though everything shown on television has been rather more ambiguous in that regard. Like when Mohinder left and Claire's father told her she could have done more, I thought he was telling her to put out.
25th-Nov-2006 04:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, the freezing thing. That seems less telekinetic. (I forgot too).
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