Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Heroes 012: Rebooty Call

After Heroes and I had that ugly break up last episode, I really didn't know if I'd be back. But I can't stay away. You complete me, Heroes. You complete me.

And look at that, the show got a brand new makeover. It was dramatically noticeable that they are trying to make a completely new show on the ashes of the old. Gone is the old eclipse title card. Gone is the cheesy Mohinder narration (and all the people rejoiced). Gone is Primatech and all of the insanely convoluted iterations of The Company, which made watching this show the equivalent to taking a cheese grater to your brain. That last development the writers even put into a character's mouth. "We watched Primatech burn to the ground," Angela over-acts to Claire. "It's gone forever."

Yep, it looks like they're going to just pretend that all that narrative ponzi never happened. Honestly? I think it's for the best. What else can they do, short of an hour of the writers and show running groveling for forgiveness? Just burn it to the ground and reboot, and pray that we buy it. And really, the only way this will work is if we politely agree to pretend the last season and a half never happened. I will do this if they can keep things consistent from here. My only gripe is that they didn't jettison enough of the blarney. Hiro's lack of power is a good thing, since it will hopefully leave the time-travel antics in the capable hands of Lost. But not gone is the acting, which ranges the gamut from "inspired" to "stop the burning". And most decidely NOT gone is the thrice-goobery power of "paint the future", now no longer a power, but just some kind of prophetic gift that the universe chooses for you, because crafting subtle foreshadowing is hard, man. Seriously? We've still got people sketching the future to show us what is coming? Especially stuff that is coming in the next 5 seconds? That's almost as bad as just putting the word "foreshadowing" into the dialogue, thusly:

"Hey, Manny, I have got a bad feeling about this impending drug deal, foreshadowing."

Sigh. At least it's being put to use in new and cool ways, sarcasm. I'm really looking forward to what kind of twist the "power" has with Parkman, insincerity. It really could add tension to the scenes, taking the joke too far.

Meanwhile, we've got Bennett as a badass (and kind of a bad guy) again, new "gritty" digital cinematography with washed out color filters, and a new . . . I don't know what, but it's actually working for me. It just feels like a very different show, which is good, because imagine the alternative. There was something about the scene in which Sylar took those government goons apart that was unlike anything Heroes has managed before. It was cool and creepy and pretty dark, and it was actually sort of stylish. I liked it a lot. I think what this last episode had was some kind of connection to the real world. At least now the storyline is relevant to current events like the "war on terror", with shades of Guantanamo and the impulse to give up civil liberty in a misguided attempt to insure freedom. Sure, it's done in a pulpy and unsubtle way (hello, superhero show), but it has a bit of emotional resonance and believability that has been utterly lacking for dozens of episodes. Also, I had a couple beers. That helps.

And at least we now have a villain with a little bit of complexity and a coherent plan, as long as you ignore the fact that until the final 40 seconds of the most recent episode, Nathan was dedicated to giving everybody superpowers, instead of making sure that everybody with superpowers is contained. Maybe he thinks he is on Seseme Street and is trying to teach kids about opposites. In any event, he's a self-loathing super, using his position as a Senator to hunt down and inter his own kind. OK. I can actually understand what he is doing and why, even as I see that it's a Bad Thing, or at least Morally Ambiguous. He even sells out his own brother after a patented Patreli power hug. That's cold, man. He's Angela's boy after all, family killing and all. As long as he stops having the attention span of a wood tick, and actually sticks to this plan of action, I'll let it be. The new consistency begins today!

Man, this show really is like comic books. They just keep piling nonsense after nonsense until they throw everything out and start again.

And now all of our friends have crashed on the Lost island. At least that's what I sincerely hope.

Random Thoughts

Not captured, bagged, tagged, and crashed are: Daphne (whiny), Sylar (glowery), Ando (sleezy), and Parkman's turtle (wheezy).

If Ando supercharges Claude, will he get even MORE invisible? What would that look like?

If Ando supercharges Mohinder, will he get even dumber?

* If Ando supercharges Sylar, will he turn from good to evil 7000 times per second?

* If Ando supercharges the Haitian, will he dampen all the power? In a related note, look for my new harmonica jazz album, Ando Supercharges the Haitian, out in May of this year.

* We're going to pretend they never existed, show, please do likewise: Inky Sue, Micah, Nikkessica, Monica, Uhura, Adam, Pa-trelli.

* Ando and Hiro are now easily the worst part of the show. Well, Hiro is. Sad to see that happen. The U.S. government is nabbing Hiro from Japan? And then they transport him to the same plane from . . . somewhere in the U.S.? Hiro is still running his dad's company, or is that all done now? Mommy, make the bad man stop writing stupid stuff.

* I don't care who Sylar's dad is. YOU HEAR ME? More Sylar-Makes-Killing-Fights, less Sylar-Makes-Daddy-Issues!

* Peter now power-absorbs by touch, because why? I don't care, actually. It is so much better this way. Now there's no ambiguity when it comes to which powers he has, so the writers will have no trouble remembering what he can do, right? Right? Oh, speaking of that . . .

* They STILL can't remember all of Peter's powers, even when Peter only has like two or three powers. He can fly! He can fly! HE CAN FLY!!!! WHY IS HE WORRIED ABOUT FALLING OUT OF THE PLANE??? Unless this is a case where he absorbs one power at a time and discards the old one (which would be cool), this is three pieces of doo doo in my pocket.


You're still on notice, Heroes. I like a lot of your decisions this episode, but changing the sizzle won't matter if you don't change the steak.

5 comments:

Astin said...

Well, we picked at the same nits on this one.

Oh, and Peter's an idiot with his morals and such. He should have been all "Yah, sure Nathan, I'm your brother and support you fully." and then WHAM! at that pivotal moment 3 episodes in when Peter shows he was lying all along. Even better would be him saying that, and then Nathan zapping him anyway.

Here's hoping the writers stay sober this season. One of us has to.

dueyv9 said...

I think Peter discards the old ability...because when he absorbed Mohinder's power he was kicking ass. When he absorbed nikkesica's power, they seemed to accentuate that Peter now gets hurt and can easily get his ass kicked, showing the viewers that he is no longer strong.

HighOnPoker said...

They did a lot of good in this episode, including:

1. Creating a set superteam for the first time, the plane crash survivors.

2. Establishing that Peter doesn't have all of his power back. He can only absorb by touch and hopefully only one power at a time, which solves the all-powerful Peter problem.

3. They've established some great villains. How about the older bald guy who looks (and walks) like a half-Zombie.

But there are still some problems, most notably Ando. What is he doing patrolling Japan for crime when his only power is...enhancing other supers. If he were to come into contact with a villainous super, all he could do was give the villain MORE POWER! What the hell! Man, they just ruined the whole Ando thing. And you are right about Hiro too. Powerless twit is useless AND they fly him to the US just to fly him elsewhere? Whatever.

Still, a good reboot. I still hope that a major character or 3 die in the crash.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I want Sylar to go on a killing spree. That scene where he fended off those govt guys was freakin awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait... last season we watched Peter fall for the old "give your dad a hug" ruse with Pa Patrelli, and then he goes and falls for the "give your big brother a hug" ruse with Nathan even though he already knows Nathan is up to know good??!!??!!

I say Peter's idiocy has lept past Hiro's into first place.