Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Everybody loves Swarley

Spoilers for, in order, "Heroes," "HIMYM" and "The Class" coming up on the other side of the space-time continuum...

Weakest "Heroes" to date, I thought. Far too much Peter Petrelli, a character who's not remotely as appealing without Mohinder or Isaac around to mock him. (Adrian Pasdar could certainly bring the snark, but most of Nathan's put-downs tilt more towards pure mean.) The pointless return of Simone, the unsurprising revelations that Showkiller Rena Sofer is in a wheelchair and that Parkman's buddy was sleeping with his wife, and yet another cliffhanger that failed to blow my mind.

It wasn't all bad. I liked the Claire scenes, D.L. in an unexpected team-up with Hiro (and either D.L. can't phase other people like Kitty Pryde can, or he doesn't understand the full extent of his powers yet), and Parkman letting the coma wife talk to her husband one last time before letting go was reasonably touching for what's an emotionally two-dimensional show most of the time. I'm even really warming to Ali Larter, both as Niki and as "Jessica." But after weeks and weeks of edge of the seat stuff, I was reclining for most of this. Hopefully, just a blip and not a sign that Tim Kring is turning into a pumpkin (or just back into Tim Kring).

The Swarley running gag on "How I Met Your Mother" gave me so much happiness, it's possibly not even legal. It wasn't even the endless variations on Swarley itself that I loved (though the use of the "Cheers" font for the producer credits was brilliant) as it was Barney's increasing despair at the gag. Solid episode all-around, and I'm pleased to see Morena Baccarin getting non-space-ho acting jobs. (Not that I didn't like her as a space ho; it's just nice to see that barista roles are open to her as well.)

After the last episode of "The Class," I wrote, "Somebody let me know if they ever get around to punting about half the cast and I'll give it another go." Well, while having it on in the background so I could build up enough of a DVR buffer to skip the "Heroes" commercials, I realized that, for one week at least, they did just what I asked -- and yet even without Holly and Kyle and that annoying corner of the show, it still wasn't very funny. Now I need a new operating theory for what's so wrong... think, think, think...

27 comments:

Tosy And Cosh said...

I was dismayed to see Baccarin looking so skeletal, though. Was it just my imagination, or was she a little heavier (read: normal) on Firefly?

Anonymous said...

My favorite variation had to be Swarhili. Classic.

KristenKP said...

HIMYM and The Class had us roaring with laughter. My husband adores The Class more than I do, but I still think it's funny. The suicidal guy (Richie?) has the best line-reads on the show, but they need to drop the wife subplot immediately. I do think they need to do a little more intermingling among the different subgroups; putting together Richie and the contractor has made both of them funnier. Makes me wonder if Holly and the football player's wife would get more interesting if they got thrown together...

Swarley was brilliant, as were both hat-tips to Friends and Cheers.

porter said...

Re: operating theory for "The Class." How 'bout "It's not funny"?

Taleena said...

Anytime Hiro is onscreen he steals the show. As Predicted Nikki/Jessica tried to get Nathan to help her get Micah back.

I now predecit that as Sylar makes his way through other supes like threshing chaff from wheat, he will make his way out to Claire. The reason Claire must be protected is she is the only one who can stop the bomb which Hiro stops in early stages of explosion.

The double mark on the back of the cop's neck and radioactive man's neck is the marker indicating HRG guy has seen, screened and catalouged them.

Heather K said...

Swarley and cheers were great, and I love that Lily and Marshall were back together. I think that Baccarin was a couple of dress sizes smaller here then she was on Firefly.

Lindy said...

Entirely too much Petrelli on last night's Heroes. Why is it that I love Nathan with Niki and Hiro, and can tolerate Peter with Mohinder and Isaac, but can't stand them together? Interesting, though, that Nathan lied about the painting ... I think we have a lot to learn about both Nathan and Linderman.

I did like the subtle reveal that Micah also has super abilities. We all suspected as much, but I appreciated that the writers gave us enough credit to know that this was not a shocking development and did it in a low-key way. And let's hope this was the last we'll see of Officer Matt's wife. Much like Simone, she sucks the life out of any scene she's in. (Not the actress's fault, I think -- problems in Officer Matt's marriage are inherently uninteresting when compared to a brain-stealing serial killer.)

Jennifer J. said...

My husband and I loved HIMYM and all the Swarleys. My fave was Swarlos; my husband's was Swarhili.

We both watch Heroes and both thought it quite possible that the radioactive guy (who's wife died of cancer) could have something to do with the blow up of the city that we know happens in the future. Did any one else think this? If not, what do ya think?! ;)

Chris said...

I'm amazed that the guy playing Peter Petrelli manages each week to be the weakest actor in a cast that includes Ali Larter.

R.A. Porter said...

Chris, that's the majesty and mystery of Milo. He could even make Alexis Bledel almost palatable on GG.

Just wait until Milo's out-acted by Antonio Tarver as Mason "The Line" Dixon in Rocky Balboa. That's if Stallone doesn't come to his senses and just cut all of the Rocky Jr. scenes.

Jon said...

Any thoughts on why Nathan lied to Peter about getting the painting back?

Mase said...

As THE CLASS was ending last night, the voice-over-promo for TWO AND A HALF MEN came on (the "coming up next" type). Hearing it, I thought to myself "Why is Alexis Bledel doing promo work for that show?" Then, it hit me -- it was not her, but actually the kid on the show who was speaking (as I do not watch TaaHM, it took me a second to recognize his voice from advertisements for the show).

Anyone else think they have very similar voices? It is so similar it is eerie.

Lindy said...

We both watch Heroes and both thought it quite possible that the radioactive guy (who's wife died of cancer) could have something to do with the blow up of the city that we know happens in the future. Did any one else think this?

Absolutely, Jennifer J. -- when he was speculating on what might happen to him if he got shot, he said "I might blow up the whole city!" Sounded like foreshadowing to me ...

dez said...

So it sounds like my decision to ditch The Class was a good one...

And how could you not like an ep that had Radioactive Man in it? We need Capt. Chaos next! And then: Bartman!

I think you guys might be on to something with the theory about Radioactive Man, but how could Claire stop that? I'd hate to have to see her regenerate after all her skin's melted off--icky.

Hiro rules. Nathan is looking more and more like a bad guy. And I love Rena Sofer, showkiller or no.

Dan Coyle said...

BTW, any of you- if you are forwarded a link that reads "Harry Knowles on Heroes", by the love of all that's holy, DO NOT READ IT. Please, I'm begging you all. DON'T READ IT. You will be scarred for life.

This episode wandered too much, and Sofer just looked creepy. I like how next week Mr. Bennet has now gone from "THE FACE OF EVIL!" To "Whose side is this guy on?" The side that says the fans like his character better than some the leads!

davesboa said...

My favorite Swarley? Swarles Barkley. Could not stop laughing! Soooo funny. Barney's desperate hope that they'd be calling Robin "Roland" was fabulous.

For some reason, I just can't stop watching The Class. Jason Ritter is a joy to watch, even with some of the lame script he has to work with. Thankfully there was no horrible Holly and husband.

Jennifer J. said...

Swarles Barkley! How could I forget?! D'OH! That one is actually my favorite. :)

My husabnd mentioned that Radioactive Man is in L.A. so I'm assuming he must get kidnapped and taken to NYC. I'm also assuming Sylar....

Heather K said...

My roommate thinks that maybe Nathan has the painting and doesn't tell Peter because he wants to save the world himself (in order to lock up the election). But we think Nathan isn't really an evil villain superhero, more of just a run of the mill asshole politician.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that the guy playing Peter Petrelli manages each week to be the weakest actor in a cast that includes Ali Larter.

Clea Duvall leaves them both in the dust as far as bad acting is concerned. Every time she was onscreen I winced.

Heather K said...

for swarley fans, check out swarley.com

Kristin said...

I agree with some of the other commenters, I think Nathan and Niki are going to turn out to be bad guys. Nathan is hiding too much, and he also seems very intent on winning the political race. He wants power. And if he can't have it politically, he will maybe try to get it another way.

Niki told Nathan several episodes ago that she wanted to be good. But her alter ego has proven to be pretty evil. Yes, the evil half killed a lot of bad guys, but she also was the one that stole the $2 million and framed her husband for the crime to get him out of the way. Evenutally, I think her alter ego, Jessica, will start coming out more often and Niki will be in control less.

Toby said...

Dan, that story passed around in email - "Harry Knowles on 'Heroes'" could have been worse.

It could have been titled "Harry Knowles On Claire The Cheerleader".

Now try to get that image out of your head.

Don't think her powers can help her there.....

But I found his suppositions kind of funny. Reminded me of "Man Of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" by Larry Niven.....

Also, was I missing something when it came to Parkman's storyline? The last we saw of him he collapsed in the store, right? Do we just assume he was finally recognized as not being a threat?

Re: the HIMYM episode, my favorite laugh-out loud bit was seeing Lily as the hunchbacked, limping dwarf.

I hope the show runs a long time, but when it finally does end, Alyson Hannigan should continue in the sitcom style with an MTM kind of showcase......

Niffer said...

I think they could have easily done a better "twist" ending using Micah's superpower reveal. Instead of showing him walking up to an Out-Of-Order payphone, they should have just showed him on the phone talking to Niki/Jessica. Then, as he and DL walk away, cut to a shot of the Out-Of-Order sign.

As for Niki/Jessica.... My theory is that her superpoweer is really super strength and speed, and the Jessica thing is more a multiple personality disorder, especially since Jessica acts as protector. My understanding is that mult pers. disorder occurs when someone suffers a massive trauma and his or her personality splits, with one of them being dominant and more agressive so it can protect the others.

Alan Sepinwall said...

10 or 15 years ago, the then-author of the Hulk comic book did a storyline where a shrink realized that Bruce Banner's multiple personality disorder existed long before he got pelted with gamma rays, and in an intense hypno-therapy session was able to merge the different aspects of Banner's psyche into one mostly healthy persona. So for several years in the comic, you had a Hulk who had Banner's smarts but also the Hulk's agression and ability to play dirty.

So you could be on to something here, Niffer.

Dan Coyle said...

Alan: That same author's- Peter David's- Hulk novel What Savage Beast served as "inspiration" for the Conner arc in Season 3 of Angel, and he's written for Babylon 5 and co-created Space Cases for Nickelodeon, which also starred Jewel Staite from Firefly, created by Angel co-creator Joss Whedon, who currently writes Astonishing X-Men, which has nothing to do whatsover with Kevin Bacon.

That I know of.

Christy said...

Hey! I have Micah's superpower! Except it only worked on this one coke machine at my office that everyone else kept losing money in.

OK, Nikki/Jessica is getting more interesting. Does anyone else think Nathan looks like Scott Bakula?

I didn't recognise Baccarin until after I read it here. And yes, her face looks thinner now.

Pamela Jaye said...

look! a two years later comment!

I just noticed that amidst all th comments on Morena Baccarin, no oneseems to have noticed Andrew Lenk.
(was Aly casting the show as well as co-starring? (Alexis, Amy Acker, Tom Lenk, more removed - Morena))