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Wednesday, October 01, 2008
TV Round-Up: "Heroes"
"Second Coming," "Bufferfly Effect" & "One of Us, One of Them"
At one point in the two-hour third-season premiere, one of the characters basically tells another that he or she isn't as smart as he or she would like to believe. That little bit of banter is pretty much "Heroes" in a nutshell right now--it's not nearly as smart as it wants to be or is pretending to be.

Apparently the only lesson we learned from the debacle that was season two is that the fans sure hate to have things happen slowly. So to make up for it, we've got "Heroes" on fast-forward mode with events happening fast and furious. I guess the logic of this is so the fans won't go, "But wait a minute, that doesn't make a lick of sense." Instead, you're just supposed to go with it.

Now, I understand that this is a TV show that's supposed to be like a comic book and real world rules rarely, if ever, apply to superhero comic books. That said, at least most comic books will play within a set of established rules from page to page and issue to issue. With "Heroes" the rules change from scene to scene, purely based on what the plot needs to push it forward. And the sacrfice is the characters come off looking like a bunch of turkeys because they are making dumb choices.

Biggest example is Peter Patrelli, whose powers morph literally from scene to scene. It was a huge distraction in the finale last year and it's cropping up again this year. Pete can't seem to recall just what powers he does or doesn't have at the moment, except those called upon by the script. And the whole concept that Future Peter has travelled back to set history right by shooting his brother and never thought there might be a myriad of factors that lead to the crappy version of the future is just beyond absurd. What the hell happened to Peter, the guy from season one who was a caring, compassionate nurse? Also, I don't quite get why Future Peter had to exile Current Peter into one of the villains on Level Five, only to push him out of villain guy in this week's episode. Current Peter needed a body for a little bit or was it only to have Current Peter run about with the villians for a while.

Speaking of the villians, I was really expecting a lot more than we got here. They're not the sharpest knives in the drawer are they. Hell, they're barely butter knives. So, our big plan is to stage a robbery and draw out HRG so they can kill him? What part of that plan makes any kind of sense? Surely these bad guys would know HRG isn't going to come alone, probably bringing the Haitian, who can neutralize their powers. So, they're going to get caught and go back to Level Five and locked up again. And just how exactly does Level Five keep them all locked up? Does the Haitian have some way of harnassing his power and creating some dampening field? Cause the looks we got showed them all up and about, not drugged up and out of it like Sylar was for all of five minutes.

Which brings me to my next beef--so, we're going to put Sylar out there as a partner for HRG? At what point does this make sense? It's another one of those bone-headed moves by a character who should know better. And then we're all shocked when Sylar reverts to his evil ways? Does anyone else think that Sylar is using this windfall of insanity to figure out how to beef up his powers even more and/or become the Lex Luthor of this show? Of course, that's if Lex lost a few hundred IQ points and had the acting range of a brick. (This alone makes me fear for the new "Star Trek" movie). It doesn't make any sense that we allow Sylar to keep getting more powerful and free run of the Level Five. And yet, no one can see that this is going to go pear shaped in the worst possible way.

Meanwhile, we've got Mohinder injecting himself with an unproven, untested syrum that might give him powers. This after he figures it out in ten seconds when his dad couldn't do it in years before that. And right as he's about to...wait for it..throw the vial with this untested syrum into the water. Yes, you read that right. That's how this scientific genius guy is going to dispose of it. Surely that seems a bit dangerous, don't you think? Again, it's just a way to set-up a brooding scene with Mohinder, get him to inject himself and leave him in a place to be discovered by two random crooks so he can discover he has powers. If you had even one or two scenes along the way that weren't so incredibly forced to get the character from point at A to point D, it might just work. But it doesn't.

And don't get me started on how Mohinder is now a stud and seduces Maya.

All of it just makes my head hurt at times.

I even find myself wanting to like the Hiro and Ando storyline, but I can't because Hiro is acting like an idiot. Let's just forget that he opened the safe and allowed Daphne to steal half of the formula that will destroy the world. But then to pursue her across the globe and not get the second half. And the way he did it. He knows from his previous encounters he can trust the Haitian, but he doesn't. He's so consumed with getting the formula that he overlooks some things, like the fact that with the Haitian having said formula, Daphne's power is nuetralized and odds are she won't grab it and run. Now, I will give Hiro that Ando is the one who knocks out the Haitian, leading to the formula ending up in Daphne's hand. Hiro couldn't have, necessarily, anticipated that. And we all know Ando can be manipulated by a pretty face. So, that part at least makes some sense, but I'm having to work too hard to give the show a pass on that one.

That said, the part I do like is the concept that Ando could go villian and is becoming less happy with his role as sidekick. That plotline has potential, but it's so lost in a sea of other stupidity that I find myself annoyed and not caring as much as I could.

Which brings up to the big point--this show needs a new plot. Every year we get a "future is going to hell and we've got to come together and stop it" arc plot. Now, I read a bunch of comic books back in my day and I know they had at least two or three other plots that could be trotted out. Also, the show keeps resetting itself. My biggest complaint last year was that we spent all of season one getting the gang together for one letdown of a season finale only to separate them all again. And now, we spent season two getting the band back together to....ummm....separate them again to face a new threat, that we've all seen before. I could almost go along with the saving the future plot if it's revealed that our heroes didn't stop the destruction but are merely postponing it. OR are making it worse.

But at this point, I am beginning to think that kind of future plotting and forward thinking is really beyond this show.

I suppose I should just turn the brain off and enjoy it. But when the show doesn't just insult my intelligence but insults my stupidity as well, that's hard to do.

Labels: ,

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/01/2008 01:00:00 PM | |
Loved your review, Michael. We've only seen the first two episodes so far, but obviously Mohinder's descent into full-blown moron is nearly complete. It's almost like Sylar lobotomized *him* and left him to inject himself with the magical hero serum.

And was it me or was it just a little bit lazy the way that yet another season kicks off with Hiro witnessing cataclysmic events in the future, then striving to change them?
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