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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
TV Round-Up: Heroes
Lizard, Kindred
It's not a good sign when three episodes into it second season, Heroes is treading the same ground it did in season one. This week's episode felt like a lot re-treaded plotlines were coming to light. In one episode, we see Claire go from trusting her father to not trusting him again. Wait, didn't we spend a couple of episodes with this last year? Yes, I think we did....when he first wiped everyone's memories using the Haitian Sensation.

Meanwhile, Heroes is borrowing liberally from other genre shows and mediums. Of course, this show owes a huge debt to X-Men, both the comics and movies. And while it's inevitable there will be some similar elements between the two universes, the obvious borrowing is beginning to show. The biggest example is the borrowing of the "potential cure" for those with powers plotline that has been set in motion. Is the Company's real agenda to find a way to kill or cure those with powers? It seems that way and I find it hard to believe that Mohinder is such an unwitting pawn in those plans.

Then, we've got the Peter's lost his memory storyline. For one thing, this one seems to be following the standard "amnesia" storyline. Hero wakes up, with no memory of his past but still able to use his abilities or whatever makes him "different" at various points. The show is hoping to show us that Peter is essentially the same guy, memories or not. Sort of like what Superman II by stripping Superman of his powers or what Doctor Who did last season with the "Human Nature" storyline. We keep seeing elements of what makes the characters special in how they react and interact with the world, despite lacking their "powers." But the thing that makes these plotlines work in these universes is that we care about the characters. And if I suspect that what's in the box isn't just Peter's ID but somehow his memories, it's a blatant borrowing from the much-superior Doctor Who storyline. (And since that was an adaptation of a novel written a decade ago, you can't tell me it's just a coincidence...)

I think the show should have had the courage to kill off Peter and leave him dead.

Because the biggest issue this show has right now is that it has far too many characters and storylines competing for attention. So many that it can't get to them all each week. Well, unless it's Peter running around shirtless. Seriously, that guy loses his shirt more than Captain Kirk did.

We've got the Wonder Twins in Mexico, who every time they come on screen, my eyes glaze over. I keep muttering, "Just get to America, already." I get it Heroes.....the girls powers are bad and she needs her brother to counteract it. I got it the first time, I got it last week and I sure got it this week. We're not going anywhere with this and it feels like its treading water, waiting for something. I'm not quite sure what that is, but hopefully they'll get across the border soon and we can start having this plot go somewhere.

Then we've got Peter, whose storyline is derivative. Plus I don't quite buy that he's so quickly earned the trust of the Irish family so quickly. One second they're beating the stuffing out of him over the lost iPods (and is there really that big a black market for them?!?) and the next he's welcomed in the family for helping out during the robbery. Huh?!? Sure, he read the thoughts of Malcolm Reed (the actor's character on Enterprise) and warned them....but is that really enough to allowed to roam freely now? And the whole "But what if I was a bad person before?" thing....ugh! How bad soap opera can you really get?

And then there's the promised and much hyped return of Sylar. But it's Sylar without his powers and without the ability to take others. At least for now. I will give the show some credit that having him seriously wounded and having to spend a good bit of time recovering was nicely done. But I don't get the logic of whoever saved him, sending someone with powers to help his recover. Gee, did anyone else see Sylar eating her brain coming? Maybe this is why your conspiracy is failing, guys. You're just not putting in the thought you need to this.

If you can sense I'm frustrated with the show, you're right. It is going no where quickly.

The only plotline that even holds my interest right now is Hiro's. And that probably has more to do with the unbridled enthusiasm that Masi Oka brings to playing Hiro than anything else. He just seems to be having fun with the role and it shows on screen. Though, that said, I hope we don't see Ando getting notes from past-Hiro every week. It was nice this week, though a bit contrived. And his decision to stay in the past....well, we'll see where this goes.

The thing is, last year when this show was doing well, it was because it narrowed the focus. And it seems to be forgetting that. I feel like we need a scorecard to keep up with all the plots. I'm hoping this will all lead to something and soon since I've heard the show is being written in blocks this year. Either that or bring back Christopher Eccleston because his character rocked. Or call in Joss Whedon to help make sense of this mess...

Right now this show is horribly off-track...and it needs to figure out what it is, where it's going and what it wants to be. Soon.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/09/2007 06:42:00 PM | |
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