Tag Archives: Heroes

Separated at Birth?

Well, maybe not “separated at birth,” per se…but, at the very least, I think I’ve just single-handedly given birth to The Bear Jew-as-Sylar’s-grandfather fanfic.

“Evolution is a part of nature and nature kills.”

What character from Heroes am I?

I’m SYLAR.

sylar

“You are very aggressive. You like to pick fights and play mind games. You’ve got it coming.”

It’s not my fault.  It’s the hunger.  Honest.

Which character are you?

Look! Up in the Sky. It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s…Peter??

I’m re-watching the season premiere of Heroes, and something occurred to me.  Something I didn’t really notice last season (mainly because I was probably too busy noticing how much last season sucked).  That something is this: Peter Petrelli is Superman.

Now, before you all get your capes in an uproar, I’m not saying that Mama Petrelli’s baby boy has the same iconic status as Superman.  That would be stupid.  Supes has been around for seventy years.  He’s a mass media darling.  He’s been through World War II, the Cold War, and the near-collapse of the comic industry in the ’90s.  Peter Petrelli is a nurse with bitchin’ bangs.  So, what exactly am I driving at?  Simple.  Both Superman and Peter Petrelli provide similar obstacles and stumbling blocks to storytellers.

There’s a reason why the world has Kryptonite.  First invented for the Superman radio series in 1943, the deadly element was carried over into the comic series six years later, as a way of making the Superman stories a bit more dramatic.  Think about it: a story with an unstoppable protagonist who is impervious to everything and can do anything is boring.  Enter the little green rocks.  A weakened Superman is an interesting Superman.  I’m sure this is also why the Big Blue Boy Scout is vulnerable to magic and magic-based attacks.

This brings me back (finally) to Peter Petrelli.  Peter’s pretty much been set up as “the most powerful” character in the Heroes-verse.  In a world where people can walk through walls, stop time, or shoot lightning bolts from their fingertips, the dude who can do all of it is pretty high up the ladder.  Sure, there’s Sylar, but he has an inherent handicap–he needs to be more…umm…hands-on than Peter.  Sylar needs to identify, isolate, and lobotomize folks to get their powers.  Peter just needs to be standing in line at Starbucks with someone to get theirs.  So, as the writers and producers of Heroes, how do you deal with a character like Peter?  What do you do to keep the “drama” in this one-hour drama?  The answer is obvious: you need some kind of Kryptonite–in this case, it’s narrative Kryptonite.

Everything started off okay.  In season one of Heroes, Peter was still trying to figure his powers out.  He didn’t even know what he could do at first.  Then, when he finally realized that he could mimic the powers of others, he couldn’t do it unless his “donors” were nearby.  By the end of the season, Peter more or less figured out how to draw upon the powers of anyone he’s come into contact with.  Then he blew up–luckily, thanks to his niece Claire, Peter has the ability to regenerate.  See what’s happening here?  No one was worried for a second that ol’ Petey was going to die in the season one finale.  To paraphrase the musical episode of Buffy, he’d already “died twice” that season.  No threat.  No drama.

That brings us to season two.  What were the producers going to do about a character who could almost single-handedly deal with any threat they came up with?  They needed to find a way to tie Peter’s hands, metaphorically speaking.  Their solution: drop him in Ireland and give him a nasty bit of amnesia.  I might not have been a fan of the idea, but I can appreciate where it came from.  They’d pretty much painted themselves into a corner with Peter’s abilities, and needed to figure out how to keep the drama and tension cranked to 11.  It’s the exact same reason that Kryptonite was invented.

Now, season three is upon us, and the producers had to come up with yet another way to rein in Peter’s powers.  This time, they decided to have “Future Peter”–who has a scar, so we know he’s really bad-ass–come back to the present and take our Peter’s place.  While FP is masquerading as OP, OP finds himself trapped in the body of one of the villains from Level 5 (played by Veronica Mars‘ Weevil, you just gotta love that casting!).  It’s too early to know how long this current status quo will last, or what–if any–effect being in another body will have on OP’s abilities…I just think it’s funny that the producers find themselves jumping through hoops of their own making.

I like when a man can admit when he’s wrong.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tim Kring apologizes for the two-month-long suckage of the second season of Heroes. You’re a classy guy, Mr. Kring. Kudos.

TV Guide “covers” Heroes

After last night’s episode, I’m suddenly a bit more optimistic that Heroes might be able to recapture the magic of its first season. In honor of this news, I bring you Newsarama’s story about TV Guide’s four Heroes covers, each drawn by a different comic book artist–including Tim Sale, whose art appears on the show in the form of Isaac’s (and Peter’s and Sylar’s) prophetic paintings.

This one’s my favorite:

normal_tvg46_heroesa_sub.jpg

I need a Hiro

I know I’m not the only one who’s been unhappy with the second season of Heroes–actually, I’m probably one of the few people not employed by NBC who didn’t give up after the second episode.  I thought, after what they did for us last season, the folks at Heroes deserved as much benefit of the doubt as I could spare (which, to be honest, is usually quite a bit).  And isn’t the first season of the show really the problem?  Despite a few bumps in the road (one bump named “Nikki/Jessica” comes to mind), the first season of Heroes raised the bar so high it would be hard for anyone (even a flying politician) to reach.  And, when a show starts with such a bang, it’s hard to keep that momentum going–much easier to start slow and wow ’em by the third or fourth season.

So, what’s the problem with this season?  It’s not one big thing, really, but a bunch of little things.  It’s trying to be “too different”, but at the same time showing us stuff they already did last season: Does anyone want to see Claire trying to be “normal” again?  Not me…especially if it means I have to put up with that flying Wes Bentley look-alike, who manages to be creepy and annoying without being the least bit charismatic or compelling.  Couldn’t the writers come up with something better than another  “Days of Future Past” time-travel plot?  (Peter travels one year into the future and sees that everyone’s been wiped out by a plague?  Really guys?)  It’s sequestering three of the show’s most popular characters away from the main action–Sylar in Mexico, Peter in Ireland, and Hiro in feudal Japan–while saddling us with more new “heroes”, many of whom–like Mexican Un-Wonder Twins, Maya y Alejandro–are just lame (bonus points for bringing Kristen Bell back to TV, guys, but not even Veronica Mars will be able to save you unless you start bringing your A-game).

I had high hopes for this season.  We were promised that we would be learning more about the earlier generation of heroes–so far, all we’ve really learned is that Matt’s father was one of them and that Stephen Tobolowsky never ages, he simply sags like a slowly deflating inner-tube (although, and it’s just my opinion, it looks to me as if Papa Petrelli was kinda blurry in the group photograph…almost as if he was moving too fast for the camera to capture his image properly…so, maybe we also learned what his power was…just sayin’).  What I don’t want to see is this show suddenly turning down the Lost road.  Don’t start piling the questions on us without answering a few along the way…that’s why the first season was so good: we would always get some answers before we were given more questions.

I was also excited about the Heroes: Origins series, which was going to be a six episode anthology shown at the end of this season.  It would introduce new characters and let the viewers pick who they would want to come back for season 3.  I’m quite fond of anthologies.  I enjoy a good self-contained story, which is why I drool over procedurals as much as I do.  But, it looks like that show isn’t happening.  Why?  Because of the writers’ strike, or so NBC claims. 

I told ya, kids, better see what your uncle’s up to.