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Tuesday, October 24, 2006
TV Round-Up
Heroes: Hiros
After last week's great episode, I was hoping it might be a turning point for Heroes. Instead, we got an episode that had one huge revelation and then seemed to be content to tread water for the rest of the show.

Once we get Hiro's message from the future of "save the cheerleader, save the world" (thanks to the promo department at NBC for ruining that one...), there wasn't a lot else really happening here. Instead it all felt like we were moving pieces into place for future episodes. If that happens, I'll be more forgiving but for right now it made for a pretty lackluster episode of Heroes.

I do have some questions about the episode as a whole. The biggest is--how much English does Hiro speak and understand? It was established in previous episodes that when he called Issac, he was speaking in Japanese. But if he knew how to at least say hello and introduce himself, why didn't he use that on the phone? Here he greets Nate and apparently is able to communicate enough with him to indicate he knows Nate is special. I wonder if part of Hiro's power is along the lines of Peter--being able to absorb things from others. In Peter's case, he can absorb and mimic the powers of others around him and maybe in Hiro's case it's that he can easily pick up different languages given enough exposure. And yes, I know he did speak in some English in his trip to New York. Maybe he's picked up all his knowledge of English from comic books....

I also will admit I felt a complete disconnect from the Matt storyline. It seemed so disjointed and out of place. Also, it seemed to cover the same ground Buffy did a couple of years ago in "Earshot." Hearing people's thoughts is fine and dandy, at first, but it quickly becomes overwhelming. The scene in the 7-11 at show's end just reinforced that a bit. Of all the powers we've seen so far, it looks as if Matt's could be the most intrusive to his having a normal life...at least until he learns how to control it or finds the off-switch as it were. (Maybe he should watch old re-runs of Next Gen and get some advice from Troi).

Now, I did like the Nate storyline a bit, though it did raise some questions. Has he been practicing his flying skills or is a matter of he was in a panic at being caught by evil Dad and that is what allowed him to fly with such skill? Also, it's interesting that he is willing to take a potential disaster to himself and his campaign and turn it into an opportunity for two million dollars more for his slush fund. I have to wonder how all this will play out as the storyline continues.

And elsewhere things are happening that I really feel is some kind of set-up for future installments. I'm beginning to think that evil Dad's assistant can teleport around the country and take evil Dad with him. Becuase there is no way he's getting that many frequence flyer miles and travelling from place to place so quickly. He makes it from Vegas to Odesssa too quickly. I did find it interesting how far evil Dad will go to keep Claire's secret. Fatherly love or something more sinister? I am going with something more sinister, though I'd be the whole "you tried to rape my daughter" element didn't help the quarterback's chances much.

And the Heroes signature cliffhanger this week was....just OK. After the last two weeks when they were as interesting as they were, this one was more of a "let's see where things go next" instead of overly dramatic and something that had to be resolved quickly within the first five minutes of the story.

And I'm left, once again, both compelled and frustrated by this show. It has such potential and there are times when it lives up to it. But then there are times when it just doesn't seem to do so. And yet they always leave enough questions to keep me interested enough to tune in next week.

Heroes is a good show. It's just not a great one yet.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Wrap Party
"The Wrap Party" has a lot of good parts but none of them add up to an overall coherent episode.

Oh, where to start?

Let me start with Nate's parents. I get that Nate's dad is not happy with his choice of career. But his parents have never heard of "Who's on First?" Seriously, there are Amish people who know this routine. It was just beyond frustrating how far the story went to make Nate's parents such complete and total rubes. But I guess we're seeing some of the Hollywood view of those of us who are the "fly over" states. We don't know nothin' and it sure is good Hollywood is there to tell us about all this culture and such we are missin'.

Meanwhile, Simon is unhappy about the lack of diversity on the writing staff and takes Matt to hear an up and coming African-American comedian. Turns out this guy is doing the standard, cliche ridden routine and while discussing that over a beer, the two hear a better comedian who is bombing. He has potential and so he's hired by the show. Huh? I get maybe bringing him in and giving him a chance, but to hire him full-time seems a bit too contrived for my liking. But while I didn't like where the story went, I did like the journey along the way. I liked seeing more of Simon and what drives him.

And then we had Harriet's new boyfriend who is a flirt and maybe not faithful. Yeah, Sorkin, I saw Sports Night when you did this plotline there with Dana and Casey. And it wasn't exactly new ground back then.

What kept me watching was the storyline with Cal. Even though I called early that the old guy stealing the picture would somehow be a connection to the history of the network and theater, it was still a nice, human story that actually worked. It didn't feel as contrived as it could have and it gave us some better understanding of Cal. I liked that part and that part alone helps me keep the faith in the show.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/24/2006 08:34:00 AM | |
Comments:
I enjoyed the episode. I think that sometimes you have to suspend logic and just enjoy a show. Hiro didn't just speak English, he had a different look. He is from the future and has learned and changed. Maybe he ends up working for the bad guys in one reality and he wants to change that. His English has improved every episode because he is working hard to learn. How about the stripper's husband getting past the police and looking like he crawls into a wall in the preview? Or the boy saying to his father that "Mom has a secret too"? It's only time before the boy who keeps telling everyone that his father is innocent shows us his power. I really enjoyed the moment when you realize "he's not a flyer, he's a sponge".
 
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