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Monday, February 09, 2009
TV Round-Up
Heroes: "Clear and Present Danger"
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I wish we'd had a few more indications that Peter can't fly and can only absorb one power at a time BEFORE it became a major plot point in the final few moments. I realize we got a few hints, most notably Peter's unwillingness to tell Nathan just how far his powers extend now. But it still felt a bit forced and intended to add to the drama of the final moments by having Peter only able to draw upon one power at a time and not carry them all around like Sylar does. (And how long before those two cross paths and Peter can carry all the powers he wants again. I'm guessing, not long).

The problem with "Heroes" is they keep promising it's going to get better and it just doesn't. This episode wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularily good either. And they're still not learning from their previous mistakes. A lot of it comes from the fact that it's hard to care much about the fate of the characters since they change motivations every other scene. Nathan's gone back and forth so many times now that it's almost some kind of joke and I would not be shocked to see that he's somehow a double agent, looking to expose the company, the government or somebody for these crimes. And for HRG to suddenly go back to his season one status. It seems like the writers are trying to remind us of the glory days when everyone loved the show by just hitting a reset button instead of earning it by actually telling a story or doing some character development that isn't necessitated by the plot twist they want to introduce in the next two to three minutes.

I can see some improvement in the show, but it's not enough to really make me embrace it and love it again. But yet, I keep watching. I think I'm worried they'll come take away my geek card, thus now allowing me to continue savoring "Lost" and "Battletar Galactica" if I turn my back on "Heroes."

24: Day Seven, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Watching the first seven hours of day seven, I can't help but wonder at what point did they shut down production for the writer's strike? And when is the magic episode they shut down production so they could take a long, hard look at things and try to come up with a better, more coherent storyline that what we've seen unfolding so far. This week is hour eight, so we maybe once we get through the pre-strike episodes things will take a dramatic up-turn.

In a lot of ways, I felt like this episode was written to start closing things down in case they could only do eight hours in season seven. A lot of plots have hit a crossroads, but the big conflict over the device that controls every defense computer on the planet is gone. And we've got Mobatu back to safety and on Jack's side. (I still admit I fall on the floor laughing when we see the scene of his wife saying they should trust Jack as he has no reason to life simply because it's so absurd that she would willingly believe the guy who kidnapped her and tried to kill them with a lethal gas in their safe room...all within the span of 30 or so minutes). At least we're done (hopefully) with the First Gentleman plotline of trying to clear his son's name. Or maybe not. This seems like something that will have to come up again just as we're forgetting about it.

Of course, part of the fun of "24" is you have to accept each crazy twist as it comes up and not really question the logic of it.

I think part of what's dragging it down a bit this year is the scenes without familar faces aren't as interesting. Part of that is the characters are just carbon copies of other familar faces we've come to know and love. And part of it is that we've not had any time to get invested in them. I am not compelled that the head of the FBI was once involved with Agent Walker, who he thinks is dead. I don't care about Jeanne Garofolo's snarky character, nor do I feel much when she connects with guy who vents the gas to buy more time to save his co-workers. If you insert Chloe in there, it works better becuase we know and like Chloe (well, most of us....I still find her annoying and overused). It's why I find myself wanting to know more about how and why Tony went bad more than I care about who the new mole at the FBI is. Tony clearly has some anger here and I'd love to see some exploration of that. We've had some, but it feels like we're only scratching the surface here.

It's why the scene where Jack and Bill say they've got Tony's back is far more effective than seeing new FBI head guy sitting in his office, misty-eyed over Agent Walker. Or maybe it's that we know she's alive and all his scenes of pining just feel cruel. That said, I have a feeling that somehow Jack will have to go back on his word to Tony in the end...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 2/09/2009 02:13:00 PM | |
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