Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes, "It's Coming": Love shock, baby, love shock

It's been one of those weeks, and Monday's not even over yet, you know what I mean? So while I had the time to actually watch "Heroes" tonight, I'm not going to have the time or mental energy to really write about "Heroes," beyond three things I'll say about tonight: 1)Kristen Bell is a really good actress, and it's nice to watch her work even in something this dumb; 2)As amusing as the Hiro storyline is, it's the show's umpteenth different attempt to take the guy who controls time and space off the board so he can't just blink and fix everything; and 3)So, ya think an eclipse is coming?

Fire away with your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent.


Anonymous said...

It's also the show continuing to keep a rather childish character in a state of permanent infantilism. We keep seeing the future, why can't Future Hiro come back?

Two-and-a-half seasons and we're right back where we started: with an eclipse. At this point I don't even care what's coming, I just wish it would damn well get here. Agreed on Bell, though - she elevates every scene she's in.

J.J. said...

It's ridiculous for them to create characters with game-changing powers like Peter and Hiro, only for the writers to spend all their time coming up with flimsy ways to stop them from very easily solving all the problems.

I think the show would be so much better if they just killed off all these characters and started new.

They might as well have one of these looming disasters actually pay off by killing everyone. For one thing, in a show where anything is supposedly possible, that's just about the only thing they could do that would surprise anyone. Also, it's silly for the show to pretend the stakes are so high all the time when you know they're not willing to actually kill off these actors/characters. If they killed everyone, they could start over with fresh faces and start telling interesting stories again.

Austin said...

I'm finding it particularly ridiculous that Daphne and Parkman haven't even kissed yet, and yet they're totally in lurve with each other. I kept expecting a big swooning kiss and I get bupkis. Parkman treats her more like a daughter or a sister, which makes his "love" for her all the more creepy. Presumably they're better actors than that, so why are they playing it like this?

Was expecting some "sparks" to fly between Sylar and Elle, too.

And I agree with everyone else, Kristen Bell deserves better cuz she is awesome.

Anonymous said...

What's irritating to me is that this show would be mildly interesting if not for all the horribleness that's come before. The show's gotten better each week, but all of it's built on a foundation of crap, so I'm unable to actually care about anything that happens.

J.J. said...

By the way, can I just say...

I hate the relationship stuff they've got brewing. Daphne and Matt suddenly love each other? Elle and Sylar look like they're going that way too? Despite the fact that these people have all spent a total of--what?--2 days with each other.

I'm not sure exactly who all makes up the writing staff for this show, but it feels an awful lot like they have a bunch of comic book geeks writing really clumsy love stories. The actors are doing their level best with it, but it's way too rushed. Considering how the show is supposed to be so epic with these big story arcs, I don't see why anything has to be so sudden.

Unknown said...

Well it's been stated before that Hiro was never part of the original plan. Someone pointed out that of all the characters he created for the pilot not one of them was one who was actually happy about it.

So he created Hiro seeing the potential for what stories he could tell with this power not realising all the problems.

It's the major downside of Kring not having a background in comics or science fiction. He's not familiar with the cliches or pitfalls.

There's a fair amount of time travel in comics but I don't know of a character as powerful as Hiro.

jj said "I think the show would be so much better if they just killed off all these characters and started new."

Again that was the original plan but the characters became too popular.

lungfish said...

Wow, Sylar's shirt got zapped right off, huh? I'm surprised they didn't concoct another way for Peter's shirt to come off again- like maybe when he fell out the window it flew off his body.

Anonymous said...

I've never actually watched a show just to see a small blonde actress act the crap out of really bad dialogue. Kristen Bell could have UST with a chair, and I'd watch.

And now even spicier, with the S&M overtones. Ooh, baby.

Anonymous said...

I am really looking forward to this show bottoming out, cause right now, every time I think it can't get worse, it proves me wrong.

Hiro, who has swiftly gone from being one of the best characters on the show to easily the most annoying, has some how managed to get even more excrutiating to watch. Horrible slapstick, and I keep waiting for Five Years Later Hiro, with his sword, soul patch and deep voice, to show up.

And how awkward was the Sylar/Elle scene? Two of their best actors couldn't pull that crap off. So Sylar, who was once complicated and fascinating, is now ... um... empathetic? His power to "Know How Things Work" and eat brains is really just "empathy"?

They said last season that the series of six paintings by Isaac that included the shot of Noah Bennet with a bullet in his eye were the last works of Isaac Mendez. Now there is another comic book that magically appears. "Hey! We need an awkward plot device to provide no new information and directly contradicts previous information..."

Admittedly, I am colored by Friday Night Lights, but does anyone else feel like Parkman is now dating a 15 year old? No matter what, you have to admit it is creepy to watch them together, especially now that they are arbitrarilly in love.

For a second there, I genuinely thought Robert Forrester was going to breath new life into the show. Sigh...

Lastly, my DVR cut out. What was Papa Patrelli drawing?

pgillan said...

Who in their right mind thought turning Hiro 10 was a good idea? How is that even funny? They never even try to explain why that happened. Ando blinking his eyes for him? Like teleporting is some sort of physiological response to his eye movement? Even if that weren't retarded, future Peter and future Hiro both demonstrated that this wasn't the case. Maybe if he touches the back of his neck he can shrink, too.

Why would Peter and Claire go into the sewer when they could, you know, just run into the street? Why was fire guy afraid of fire? And for that matter, if fire guy was that afraid, shouldn't it have made Marlo pretty much invulnerable? Is anyone on the staff thinking about this stuff at all?

Suicidal experimental mutant guy wants to die: couldn't Arthur Patrelli just taken his powers away and healed the guy?

Did that part with not-Niki make any sense at all? She never even talked to Arthur Patrelli, and yet she was totally on his side at the end, without a second thought? Or was she a spy the whole time? And if so, how does that make any sense?

Is there something different about Claire that makes her the catalyst, or is it her healing power? If it is her power, I guess Patrelli probably shoudln't have killed off Julian Sark.

Who's writing that 9th Wonder comic book? Didn't the author die like 2 years ago? I can see the publisher replacing him with another writer, but what are the chances the new guy would also be able to see the future? Oh yeah, this is Heroes- there's like a 40% chance.

Was it ever suggested that the eclipse gave them their power? I thought it was just a symbolic thing- what on Earth is this crap about an eclipse giving them their power, and another eclipse taking it away? Haven't they clearly demonstrated that people had powers for many, many years?

I said I would watch this show until the end of this storyline, and I have to admit that I'm actually looking forward to seeing how insanely stupid it will get.

Lastly, my DVR cut out. What was Papa Patrelli drawing?

He was drawing an eclipse, the single most obvious and least inspired thing he could possibly be drawing, of course.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about it, the more I am OK with the comic book, because it could have been sitting in that rack for a year or two without being bought. And considering how cruddy Hiro's story has been, I can't imagine anyone WOULD buy it.

Anonymous said...

An interesting perspective on the Heroes hate that's popular these days:

Anonymous said...

The show has been declining since the last two episodes of season 1.

The Parkman/Daphne scenes seemed as if they were written by George Lucas... terrible.

I am no longer interested in how things end, because I know that it will be stupid and won't end for several years.

The only reason to watch is for the few minutes with Kristen Bell, one of the most captivating television actresses I have seen in recent memory (she was incredible as Veronica Mars).

But even that is no longer enough. I think I'm done with the show for good.

Anonymous said...

It seems like the point of this show is an exercise in putting decent characters with cool powers into situations that require them to make the most idiotic choices.

I mean is there a single thing that has happened this season where a character hasn't made a choice that was totally ham-fisted and telegraphed?

This was the case in the first season, but it was, forgive me, a little subtler - maybe hamfingered.

But the overall story development was cool, even if the payoff was truncated, 2-D, built on sand and required an incredible suspension of disbelief.

The joy to me, and it always has been, is watching powers on screen.
And also the overarching story, regardless of what the quality/details of the day-to-day events were.

But this season is just so convoluted. And they've blown the big story.

Note to writers: It's one thing to weave a story as puzzle that slowly unfurls over time.

But if it only "makes" "sense" in a hermetically-sealed writer's room, and your audience has no chance of keeping up?

This is called "schizophrenia".

And in television, married to a soap opera, it sucks.

Anonymous said...

I quit the show a month ago and feel free!

Keevo said...

"Heroes" never had the guts in Season 1's finale to have New York destroyed thereby plunging all the characters into the dark alternate reality (which would have provided much more storytelling opportunities for future seasons).

By wrapping up Season 1 nicely and saving New York city, they had to create new dilemmas and somehow drag out the story. What we are seeing is their efforts in dragging it out.

Compare this to Season 1 of "24" where Joel Surnow (as co-creator of the show) had the guts to have the shocking ending. In an interview, he said that the decision was made on a creative level because it left more possibilities in storytelling.

The gutsy move paid off for "24". "Heroes", on the other hand, took the cowardly path of easy deux ex machina resolution and viewers been paying for the mistake ever since.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to First Andrew- I think "Awkward Plot Device" should be the new name of the series.

I, too, am confused about this eclipse deal. I thought it was a symbolic part of the hero/power mythology, along with the literal symbol, that signaled change and shifts, but certainly didn't give anyone any power or take it away?

Bah, as someone said last week, they spend way too much energy to painfully explain answers to questions that no one was asking.


Anonymous said...

Let me borrow from Seth and Amy when I say REALLY?

This show is getting worse and worse as the weeks go by. I laughed out loud when Nathan referenced his brother coming from the future to shoot him in a past episode. Do the writers/producers even watch their own show? I mean c'mon, REALLY?

Like Mr. Chimp said, people want to like this show because super powers are awesome and want to see them being used. But week after week they find reasons for people to lose their powers. The only awesome thing about Peter are all the powers he has, but he hasn't had any in 3 weeks and counting. Now the eclipse will suddenly take powers from every single character? REALLY?

Kristen Bell was awesome, but empathy? REALLY? She went from wanting to kill Sylar to wanting to him in a matter of minutes? That was so predictably awful.

I'm pretty sure a group of us former, current and almost former fans could make this show more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I gave up caring about the show, the outrageously convoluted plot, or any of the characters a long time ago. Instead, I watch it for the visual eye candy. There's still plenty of that to be found with the comic book feel and the scene cutaways. I can still enjoy the show, but not as anything important.

Anonymous said...

I'll be the lone voice saying that the show is doing a fine job. I liked it back in S1, although I wasn't absolutely insane for it (I thought it had some poor writing and meandered a bit too much at times). I thought that S2 was lackluster but still enjoyed it. I've enjoyed S3 much more than S2 and think that the show is consistently decent mindless escapism. The past few weeks have been awesomeness squared, we spend a lot more time cheering at the TV for this show than for any other, and those of us who watch it together are having a very hard time understanding the Hating on Heroes bandwagon. Its not my favoritest show ever, by any means, and I could make a very long list of things that they could have done better/differently, but I'm keeping the faith and very much enjoying this season.

Anonymous said...

I notice that Super-Senator, who flies without any means of propulsion, rocket or otherwise, nevertheless leaves a trail of smoke.

pgillan said...

I notice that Super-Senator, who flies without any means of propulsion, rocket or otherwise, nevertheless leaves a trail of smoke.

Strangely enough, I'm willing to let that one go; planes can leave vaportrails, which are condensation from decreases in pressure in the vicinity of the wing, at least according to Wikipedia. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief in this instance, since I've already accepted a dude can fly. Also, it looks pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Around when Boone died on Lost, I gave up tracking the days and trying to figure out what was going on.

Around last episode, I gave up on trying to figure out the plot-holes and confusion on this show.

Since then I've been happier with both.

Also, now I'm thinking we get rid of the evil SPECTRE mojo whatever and go back to them being NORMAL people. Claire could save a cat from a tree once in a while.

J.J. said...

Speaking of "Super-Senator"... it's entirely ridiculous for a brand new United States Senator to just disappear the way he's done. I mean, if you were an established politician, maybe people wouldn't really bother keeping tabs on you.

But the guy basically came from nowhere to land the Senate seat in a pretty big state full of news media. In any reasonable world, the press would be staking this guy out and following him all over the place. How is it that this guy goes off on all these trips and no curious reporters get it into their heads to take a look at him?

I hate that I still watch this show. What am I doing with my life?

Anonymous said...

I'm with JJ: I hate myself that I'm still watching this show, but yes, I'm still watching it.

I also hate the romance that has suddenly appeared between Parkman and Daphne. Unlike many, I do like the Parkman character, and I get what that storytellersjournal blog was saying about romances developing quickly in serials, but this romance didn't develop quickly, it just appeared out of nowhere. I get that Parkman liked her because he liked the future life with her that he saw. But Daphne was just creeped out by his stalky behavior at first, and was following him around because she was following orders. We never actually saw any reason for her to suddenly start liking him, let alone loving him. It's yet another case of arbitrarily changing the character to fit the needs of this week's plotline.

That being said... this week at least seemed to have less of that arbitrariness, and less of the random time jumping to futures that may or may not happen. Not crazy about the whole Hiro-thinks-he's-10 concept, and I hope they resolve that ASAP. But other than that, this one seemed better than most this season, and did seem to be going... somewhere. The problem is that I've been burned by this series too many times, and I don't trust it.

Regarding the eclipse: yes, early in Season 1, there was some implication that an eclipse had something to do with triggering everybody's powers suddenly manifesting, but they quickly abandoned that concept, as they do with so many ideas they throw out there. For example: are they going to do anything with the fact that Tracey and Niki (and Barbara) were created in a lab? Or was that just a throw-away to get Ali Larter back, without the inconvenience of a child, after Niki died? I'm guessing the latter.

Adam said...

It appears from the previews of next week's episode that the writers have decided to turn "Heroes" into "People." This new series will examine the lives of 25 different regular people who make incredibly stupid decisions in order to advance the plot. In a riveting hour-long dramatic tale, Peter Petrelli discovers he's related to Matt Parkman while trying to eat a sandwich without using his hands. Together, they tie themselves to railroad tracks in order to derail a freight train carrying a nuclear payload headed for Odessa, Texas. By stopping the train, they prevent Odessa from being blown sky high, saving the life of Claire Bennett, who despite having no super ability any longer, decides to jump out her second-story window in order to answer her cell phone which she left in her car outside, a cell-phone dialed by none-other than her nemisis/new love interest, Sylar.

Anonymous said...

[small voice] I liked this ep [/small voice].

I thought Hiro being 10 was cute, not annoying, and that Pa Petrelli was rather menacing. I like that Ando now has to teach Hiro all the things Hiro previously taught him. Tracey/Niki/whoever-the hell choosing the powerful guy makes sense since she's a political insider and seems attracted to powerful people (as well having power for herself). She's also the second character to say she likes having superpowers.

One thing that bugged me: the shots of Sylar getting electrocuted and his shirt/whatever blown to bits was suspiciously reminiscent of the creation of Dr. Manhattan in the "Watchmen" trailer. Do they have to steal from *every* comic?

Anonymous said...

I've watched this show every week since it started, and I've only ever loved two or three episodes back in season one. But, I do enjoy watching it most of the time, because there are a lot of little touches that I find enjoyable, if completely implausible. Come on, the scene of Elle teaching Sylar how to use his new-found power? That was sweet!

And, since I got hi-def two weeks ago, there's nothing on tv that looks better than this show. There's plenty on tv that's done better, but this show is so goddam beautifully filmed.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

One storytelling problem I have with the show is this: Things have been so convoluted, and so utterly without consequence in most cases, that I have no idea what the relationships between the characters who don't spend most of most episodes together is any more. When Parkman walked into Ma Petrelli's room I had no clue as to whether they'd met, hated or liked each other, knew what each other's powers were, etc. These characters almost literally have no pasts -- the only thing that the writers seem aware if is whatever happened on the previous page of the script (and sometimes not even that -- remember the premiere, where Hiro said he'd sworn never to travel back in time not ten minutes after we'd seen him travel back in time?).