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Thursday, October 15, 2009
TV Round-Up
It's been a while since I've done one of these...and while I won't do an episode-by-episode commentary on the shows I talk about here, I will offer SPOILERS for all the episodes aired this season. So, if you haven't seen them all, turn back now.

Flash Forward
When I first heard rumblings about this series, I immediately ran out, found and read the original novel by Robert J. Sawyer. Which may or may not be helping things here.

Sawyer himself has come out and said that the book and the series are two different animals. And that they both start from the same point, but will both end in different places.

I can accept that because the premise is a strong, solid one and I can see how they're building the series around it. But that said, I'm still not quite sold on the series.

The pilot was great--well, at least the first half. But the last two episodes haven't quite been as great. One niggling thing is that the world seems to have gone back to normal a bit too quickly. I'd love to see more of the fallout of these events and the impact it's having. I find it hard to believe that this global event would and could occur without a bit more fallout. I guess we're seeing people with crucial jobs that would have to keep going after such an event, but I still feel like some thing are happening too quickly...for example, Aaron's being able to exhume the remains of his daughter and run the DNA test. Earlier in the episode, we hear about the mass deaths from the event and the funerals and services taking place. So it seems a bit of a stretch that they'd have time to exhume the remains and run the DNA test in the time shown on screen. Of course, this is TV and things happen for the dramatic narrative reasons and not based on reality...but it still bugs me.

My other big thought is about the nature of the flashes. I am enjoying the reactions to them and how each person interprest their future reality differently. Back to Aaron, I find myself wondering if his vision isn't being filtered by his current knowledge. Could the woman he sees be someone who looks a lot like his daughter and becuase he doesn't know the circumstances leading up to the flash, he believes it to be her? Or is she part of the Mosiac and that explains why she's alive? (I think the second one is going to be far more likely, at this point.) Also, I still struggle with the time line for Dimitri's finacee...if he dies on March 15, would she be marrying someone else by the end of April?

Of course, we could find out that the Mosiac was able to keep some people from seeing things in their flash because what they may see would deter whatever secret agenda they have. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit....but we don't know too much about this whole thing yet.

And while the series hasn't quite achieve the same level of cool that "Lost" did early on, I have to recall that "Lost" wasn't really "Lost" until the first Locke episode. So, I'm willing to give it time and I'm encouraged by what I've seen and knowing they have a long-term plan.

Despite my criticisms, there is still a lot more I like about the show than things I don't. So, it's on the watching rotation for now.

Heroes -- Redemption
I know some of you are probably asking--why do you keep watching? The honest answer is that they do just enough to keep me marginally interested or curious. Plus they run a lot of ads during Sunday Night football and the promos always look better than the episode. Of the four installments we've had this year, only last week's "Acceptance" was really worth the time and effort. Written by Bryan Fuller, it shows just how good a grasp he has on how this show can and should work and that he can write for these characters without it being overly cliched or stilted. I still don't accept that Hiro has been reduced to Sam Beckett Jr and we're now rewatching "Quantum Leap" there.

And I still think that killing off Sylar once and for all would have been a better idea than having his memory wiped out again and him having to remember who he is. I've said it before and I'll say it again--having Sylar around as an all-powerful bad guy simply throws off the curve too much. Either you have to reduce his powers to stop him, thus making him look ineffective or you have to tweak other characters' powers too much in order to take out whatever threat he poses. And now he's at the wacky carnival, where he can add powers willy-nilly. I'm not sure how that will develop and I'm not sure why Samuel would want the guy on his team or part of his family. Does he really think he can be the one who reaches to and rehabs Sylar? Because we all know at somepoint that Sylar in Parkman's head will merge with Sylar without memory and it will be hellbent for destruction yet again.

I know the show loves Zachary Quinto and he starred in a really big movie this summer. But that doesn't justify keeping this character around.

And don't get me started on the incredible hail-mary play for ratings that the whole Claire is kissed by roommate is turning out to be. I think a large part of it is that the show is doing this out of some kind of desparation move for publicity and not because this storyline has actually been well thought out or naturally comes out of some kind of character development. I find myself thinking back to "Buffy" here and the whole Willow/Tara plotline and seeing how that was allowed to develop at the right pace and was actually something that felt natural for the character of Willow based on where she was at that point in the series.

But "Buffy" had Joss Whedon and "Heroes" has Tim Kring, who can't hold a candle to the brilliance of Whedon.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/15/2009 03:30:00 PM | |
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