Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Here's the thing: I love television but believe it or not, there are others that love it more. OK so maybe they obsess about it more. For these people, nothing is ever right, everything is deriviative of something better (even things that they didn't like in the first place) and to complain and declare that they will 'never watch the show again' is common (sometimes week after week this declaration is made). Such is the plight of Heroes.

When Heroes began a couple years ago I was into several serialized shows, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Lost, etc and I didn't want to add another one to the list. Moreover, it didn't look, despite my comic book loving background, like something that I'd be interested in spending time on. I ended up watching a couple episodes when there was a big fuss over the show but I felt that the stories were overly complicated and the characters not so compelling so I didn't return. I saw the fervor that overcame the masses about the show and even got a shiver up my back at the tag line, "save the cheerleader, save the world", but still, just couldn't get into the show.

Last season I tried again only with even less success as the masses complained that the stories moved too slowly. I didn't really see any difference between the one or two episodes that I saw in the second season with the three or four that I saw first season and everything was sort of as incomprehensible as ever (and this is coming from someone who can pretty much run down the entire 70 year history of the characters of DC Comics, most of the history of Pine Valley, Llanview and Port Charles and knows where to find the best burger and the best pizza among hundreds of choices in New York City - Roccos or Fat Sal's for the former, Nicks for the latter btw).

So last night I was home relaxing after an intense day at work and a very grumbly subway ride. My roommate and I have finally decided to have tvs in our own room and simplify the living room which is at the moment clogged with a large couch, a large table, two large bookcases, a trunk and a large entertainment center. Something has got to go and so the entertainment center is being dismantled as I write this and the traffic jam that is our living room is about to feel a lot calmer. This means that my tv, workspace and bed are all in the same room but that's not much different than it was when I was growing up (although the room is about half the size) and so I flipped on the set to whatever was on and what was on was.. the season premiere of Heroes, the third season.

First though the countdown show was a little ridiculous. Although it claimed to be live it obviously wasn't because uhm it's not pitch dark in LA at 5pm PST (8pm EST)... anyway, it was a 60 minute promotion for the season and a wee bit of back story of the characters. As a promo piece it was fairly good and knowing extremely little about the show, I have no idea what they left out.

At 9 the two hour premiere got underway. Now, so often I too am just crabby about my television but I have to admit that I found the show to be charming, fast paced, filled with good looking people even if some of them aren't the brightest bulbs on the planet - for example, one guy opens a safe when his dead father has told him it would bring about the end of the world and another guy injects himself with a drug that will give him super powers even though he whipped it up in oh about ten minutes. On the other hand, this is the type of thing that actually goes on in comic books so if the show is following the comic book tradition, hubris and arrogance are common and are usually followed up eventually by all sorts of conflicts which is, after all, what propels the story.

I'm sure that there are lapses in logic and dropped stories as the fans on Television Without Pity.com are having a field day whining about.. but I say, geez, just enjoy the show. For what it is, it's pretty good and while I couldn't care less about the comic books, the online tie-in stuff and the Sprint sponsorship, for a show with people who have 'abilities beyond mortal Men', well, it's pretty decent. I know I've complained about Reaper and Gossip Girl being vapid and shallow so how can I give Heroes a pass? I don't know. It's like Art or Porn.. you can't define it but you know quality when you see it and I think Heroes has it. Will it be a show that I'll race home to watch every Monday night? Unlikely. But I'll probably DVR it and watch a bunch of episodes all at once.

Ok the one caveat I have is the gore.. knifings and injections and lobotomies and so forth. Bleck. I had to stop watching ER because NBC insisted on showing closeups of every bloody operation and frankly I just don't want (or need) to see it. Yes, yes it's very lovely that your special effects department is top notch, but enough already.

Finally, the ads. It stands to reason that the biggest action flicks (James Bond) and sci fi flicks (Eagle Eye) would be promoted during the show but I had to laugh at AXA Equitable churning out their "800 pound gorilla in the room" campaign several times throughout the show. Isn't the 800 pound gorilla in the room the fact that this is basically gambling (as evidenced by the "your money 'could' set you up for retirement" tag line they deliver).

Anyway, that's enough tv talk for today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok Andrew--let me put this in perspective for you---Until I just looked it up I had No Idea who Marion Seldes was! So maybe she is a big deal in New York (and I know "if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere') but still to just about anyone outside of New York she is as well known as you are. . . and you're cuter!