Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Save the jellybean. Save the world.

First up, today's column link, in which I marvel at the level of thievery going on with CBS' "3 lbs." ("House" by way of "Shark" by way of "House") and ABC's "Show Me the Money" (leftover scraps of "Deal or No Deal," "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Dancing with the Stars"). The column kind of gets away from me at the end with the "Jerry Maguire" digression, but by that point I was more interested in figuring out whether my editors would let me print the phrase "Shoplift the Pooty" than I was in either show.

Spoilers for "HIMYM" and "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I try to cleanse my brain of the image of Ted wearing The Shirt...

Overall, not the greatest episode of "How I Met Your Mother," but there were two bits of genius: Ted's increasingly creepy attraction to The Shirt and the entire sequence with Barney playing that bizarre game. (Bonus points for Marshall figuring out about the jellybean. He is, after all, the creator of Marshgammon.) I know these recent episodes were written and produced well before NPH felt the need to come out, but I wonder if they're going to start cooling it on Barney's metrosexuality for a while. (I kept waiting for Ted or Marshall to make a joke about Details being the gayest magazine ever.)

Boo to whoever wrote the "face of evil" description of HRG in the "Heroes" teaser. Either it was someone at NBC who's not paying close attention, or it was someone at the show who decided to throw all the ambiguity about his motives out the window. That tracks with certain parts of the episode (Parkman and Radioactive Man both getting uncontrollable power boosts after their abductions) but not others (HRG's speech to Isaac about how his actions are often "misinterpreted," which also explained how he came to adopt Claire). I don't mind if he's good, or evil, or, as the late J.T. Walsh liked to say of every character he played, morally ambiguous. But don't have the narrator make an explicit declaration, especially if it's not the right one.

The Mohinder scenes lost my interest after a while, so I'm not clear on whether he has some kind of Dream Girl-esque power, or if the soccer ball kid is someone else entirely who's dropping by Mohinder's dreams. Still, they're introducing a whole lotta new "heroes" in a very short span, which both keeps things interesting and also gives them license to get rid of a character or three if need be. (As it is, we only seem to get about half the characters in every episode, with Hiro/Ando and Claire/HRG as the only constants.) The shot of Charlie opening the can while Sylar did the same to her skull was suitably creepy, and I like the idea of Hiro being stranded in Charlie's past for a while. (If nothing else, they could use it as an excuse for his inevitable English language immersion and change of accent.)

Side note: a friend at work pointed out that Clea DuVall's partner/boss is played by Stacy Haiduk, who played Lana Lang on the syndicated "Superboy" show (and also from "SeaQuest DSV"). I wonder if that was an intentional wink at the fanboys or if the producers even realized. (Given Jeph Loeb's involvement in writing both this show and the Superman comics, I'm guessing the former.)

What did everybody else think?


Kat Coble said...

From what I've seen of 3lbs as it zips by on my TiVo's way to the next show segment, it looks more like "Hey, let's rip of Grey's Anatomy and try to give it a little veneer of Nip/Tuck."

The commercials make the show look so derivative as to be insulting.

Anonymous said...

I still think HRG is morally ambiguous (he's not above juicing up Isaac to save Claire, e.g.) and I'm as intrigued by him as I was confused by what's up with Mohinder.

Hiro/Ando continues to be my favorite story, followed closely by Claire's. I can hardly wait until next week's ep so I can find out what happened to Hiro and who the hell Sylar is (I tried freeze-framing the promo and I couldn't tell if Sylar = Nathan or not, but I don't think so). I love Hiro's willingness to test his abilities out, too.

So Pixie Girl's power is the power of persuasion? Nice :-)

My biggest concern, though, is where does this show go once the heroes master their powers? I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but I want this show to last for years (as long as it stays this good) and I don't want them resorting to Lost-like stretching because they're blowing through the story so fast.

K J Gillenwater said...

I am guessing that "Heroes" can live on, because once one crisis is averted (the nuclear explosion), another will crop up. There will probably be new people with abilities appearing to replace the ones that die...good and bad alike.

I thought this was a good episode b/c they cut to the chase and just sort of TOLD us what HRG was doing. No alluding to anything anymore. They just revealed a big chunk of his motivation last night and where Claire came from. That was refreshing.

I liked that they introduced us to the new waitress. We got to know her before her skull got sliced open. However, I would like to know about the girl that was found under the stairs all those episodes ago. Where did she go? Why did Sylar stop pursuing her? Were her parents both super people?

Also, why didn't Isaac tell HRG and Eden that Peter could draw the future without the need for drugs?? He doesn't really have any loyalties to Peter.

Anonymous said...

There are WAY too many Heroes. Last week we met radioactive man and learned that Micah has powers. This week we met the waitress and learned that Eden and Mohinder or his sister have/had powers. Considering how big the cast already is maybe they should focus on who we already know instead of throwing new powers and people at us every week.

Anonymous said...

I think the purpose of new heroes is to show that this phenomenon is happening more than we've been shown and to give the bad guys fodder to off because our core group isn't expendable (at least, not right now, and no, it doesn't matter how much y'all hate Peter, he can't go...yet...) :-) at least, none of them are expendable for now. after they save Claire, some of them can go the hell away (NIKKI!).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Niki stinks. Jessica is awesome, though.

Anonymous said...

I like "Heroes."

Anonymous said...

After the times he miscounted the number of heroes, I've started thinking of the recap narrorator as the voice of a viewer who's still picking up on things most Heroes viewers picked up two episodes prior.

Anonymous said...

So is this the lesson where Hiro learns you can't change everything?

I expect he is going to learn you can only change future events and not events in his past.

Hiro is going to change from unbridled enthusiast to serious samurai man complete with katana. This is going to be his first lesson in the school of knocks methinks.