I dedicate this blog entry to my co-blogger Spammy and my Finnish cousin, who both tricked me into watching this crap.
Heroes, Season 1, Episodes 1-4 (2006)
I went into it with big expectations because my friends hyped it so much. But the story is clumsily told and it feels like I've seen every single detail of it before. I read a review which said, "Heroes" is what you’d get if you crossed the "Spider-Man" flicks and "Lost," but took out the interesting characters, suspenseful plotting, compelling dialogue and imaginative storytelling. Which I thought was pretty accurate. Strictly speaking, I shouldn't call it crap, because it's only mediocre. But there's just so much to dislike, and so little to like. Here's some of the things I hated about the pilot episode:
1. The dialogue. It's clichéd and uninspired and full of exposition. Everything is spelled out for the audience, then spelled out once again to make sure nobody missed the point.
2. The pretentious and boring narration.
3. That the Indian guy - who's supposed to be some kind of scientist - repeats the Ten-Percent Myth (the popular bullshit about how we only use 10 percent of our brains). But I guess he's supposed to be stupid since he takes up residence in a place where he knows he's in danger. Or what?
4. The whiny cheerleader. Poor cheerleader! It must be so hard being a fast healer. I know whenever I get hurt, I always pray I'll stay hurt much longer than last time. And I know that if I were a cheerleader, I would definitely be walking around in my cheerleading outfit all the time.
5. For a show that's so heavily targeted at nerds, there's a surprising lack of attention to the details of nerd culture. For instance, the Japanese office geek claims that Kitty Pryde time-travels in X-Men #143, when it's actually in X-Men #141-142. Besides, any real X-fan would refer to it not by the issue numbers, but as the "Days of Future Past" storyline. (Incidentally, I reread it fairly recently and it's shit.)
Hey, this is fun. Let's go on with some stuff I disliked in the second episode:
6. It's a low-attention-span show. Around 20 percent of this new episode seemed to consist of flashbacks to the last episode. (Which means the show is clearly not meant to be watched on DVD.) And unlike, say, Lost, there's absolutely nothing to be gained by rewatching an episode.
7. As far as I know, "major depressive disorder" is not a death sentence. It's treatable.
8. Again, inattention to nerd culture. The comic book Hiro finds on the newsstand is self-published. Self-published comics don't get newsstand distribution. Fuck, even most comic books published by comparatively big publishing houses don't get newsstand distribution. And Hiro is supposed to be an "honorary" (whatever that means) member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. Which existed from the mid-60s to the mid-70s.
9. The "portable hard drive" the Indian and the girl finds looks suspiciously like a USB memory stick to me. (But I hate computers so correct me if I'm wrong.)
10. I also hate that the stupid cop acts like a wimp in front of the mean FBI girls. Why is he such a wimp?! (Synchronicity: Clea DuVall had a bit part in Zodiac, which I reviewed last time. And speaking of Lost, Greg Grunberg was of course the pilot in the pilot.)
Blah, I'm not gonna keep doing this. But I will tell you that in the third episode I was irritated that the male nurse still hadn't figured out that he can only fly when his brother is present (which I thought was pretty clear even in episode one), and that the Indian scientist apparently is prone to throwing expensive electronic equipment around when he's tired, and that the guy running for Congress thought he would accomplish something by embarrassing, and lying about, his brother in public (I guess the voters are big on politicians who rat out their family?), and that Hiro thought the American artist would understand him when he spoke Japanese on the phone (Why didn't he ask his English-speaking friend to make the call?), and so on, and so on...
Okay, I'm done.