Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Checking in on HEROES...

As I mentioned at the start of the season, just because this site is called Superhero Babylon, and there's a show with the title Heroes, doesn't mean I automatically care; henceforth, I feel no obligation to blog on it. But I have been following it this season, anyway, as a chore, a duty, for the sake of the blog, just in case...


So far, I stand by my previous declaration. But last night's episode does make me want to make a few comments, at least. It's sad, because there are good ideas there, but getting to them is such a chore anymore. (And those good ideas are ones that are already explored in the comic book sources that Heroes mines for inspiration.) But the "Carnival" idea is a good one; a carnival is a perfect environment to play out the idea of superpowered "freaks" versus "normals;" the opportunity for lots of special-effects eye candy, for one...and the character of Samuel Sullivan is complex, in the mold of Magneto from the X-Men (sympathetic in his desire for love, rightly defiant against conformity and persecution for being different, but perfectly portrayed as a villain in his Machiavellian manipulations.)

The idea of unique people forced or compelled to be "normal" is a classic tale, with many manifestations, not just in comics, from TV comedies like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie, to Pixar movies like A Bug's Life and The Incredibles, to philosophic novels like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. (Indeed, the latter raises the bar for a show like Heroes; the carnival idea does provide an interesting twist on a Edenic "Galt's Gulch" corrupted from within by the serpentine Samuel.) And even though the character of Sylar is so mishandled more and more, the subplot involving his attempt to be normal by having Parkman remove his powers, in order to regain his humanity, is a fitting parallel to the main storyline. Though the problem is we've gone down this road already, and Sylar is/was just too good a villain to turn normal. And the unexpected turn from Parkman is a nice touch, as he goes Edgar Allen Poe on Sylar, and walls him in a la "The Cask of Amantillado."

A story doesn't have to be totally original, but it does have to be done well. There is still some potential here, if it's not too late; the story is only getting good now, after one slow-start too many. Of course, the selflessness of Hiro's trial doesn't win any points with me, I've had it it with self-sacrificial heroes. But I have the same problem with Smallville, yet the stories still draw me in each week, so Heroes has no excuse there. It's the storytelling, stupid...I'll finish out this season, but if this one's finale doesn't make up for last's, it's over. (No, seriously, it's come to this: an "open letter to cancel Heroes...not save, CANCEL. I have seen this much antipathy since the "Kill Wesley Crusher" campaign..."Snerkles!")

Or hell, let me take a stab at writing it. There's so much potential there, I hate to see it go out like this. I couldn't do any worse...

1 comments:

Damien said...

Joe Maurone

Robot Chicken is often very funny.

Actually I found something awhile back that knowing you, you will probably think is funny, if you haven't already seen it.

Wolverine Vs. Rorschach: "I'm A Marvel, I'm A DC"