TV: Watching Heroes season 3

Heroes is back. Try to contain your excitement.

Despite the anti-climax that was the end of the first season, and the dull hiccup that was the writers’ strike-interrupted season two, I’m back watching Heroes again, with the first two episodes on BBC2 and BBC last night. It’s nice to be watching the episodes so close to actual transmission (although I’m not sure what the Beeb will do when are no new episodes from the US), because at least I don’t have to avoid discussions about the show on the internet for a year.

The BBC must have paid quite a sum to keep Heroes, and to put on so soon, so they’ve been pimping it hard. It’s a shame that the final product isn’t worth the time or money.

As righteously mocked by Tom the Dog and discussed at the Empire Blog[EDIT: broken link], the problem with the show seems to be the total lack of logic and intelligence in the show. Sylar, after obtaining immortality from Claire, tells her that he can’t kill her – thus negating the entire ‘Save the cheerleader, save the world’ idea of the first season. Why is a future ‘dark’ Claire trying to kill Peter ‘You do know I have every power, right?’ Petrelli with a gun? Is Hiro so retarded that he would open the safe and look at the formula? Characters being deliberately stupid for the sake of plot is really annoying.

Talking of Hiro and the speedster – how can she still move if time is stopped? Am I missing something here? ‘She must move faster than sound’? If she can move when time stands still, she must be tapping into the Speed Force – when she punches Hiro at that speed, she should have splattered him all over the office. I have a lot of problems with the way speedsters are handled in fiction – if they are that fast, then there are practically no stories. In the Justice League cartoon, they always had Flash be fast enough only when it was needed for the plot; they seemed to forget this fact for the rest of the cartoon so that bad things could happen which he could clean up in an instant. Heroes maintains this by having somebody who is so fast they can move when time is frozen suddenly not be faster than thought when Hiro is holding up her medal and time-jumping out of her way. Sigh …

The influence of Chris Claremont is demonstrated by the fact that everybody has to have powers: Mohinder is now Jeff Goldblum in David Cronenberg’s The Fly (and why would Maya sleep with him in his laboratory? Don’t tell me – she’s Latina, so she’s hot-blooded, is that it? Oh, Heroes …). Nathan Petrelli is doing a Quantum Leap, being the only one able to see Linderman. It looks like Niki, I mean Tracey, is seemingly Crazy Jane from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol, with a different power for each personality. And they’re still using Days of Future Past as the basis of the series, with the fear of a future where heroes are hunted down causes one of them to go back to the past and try to change events (at least Peter isn’t wearing a studded red-leather cat suit …).

I really want to enjoy Heroes – there are moments that hint at something special, and the simple fact that a drama series on mainstream television is all about super-powered individuals portrayed in a ‘serious’ fashion – but the creators seem to be going out of their way to make that very difficult. Especially if they’re going to keep the annoying and pretentious Mohinder voiceover. But, like Angela Petrelli, I can dream, right?

2 Comments

  • hedi 14 October 2008 at 9:36 am

    You’re totally right. The ‘Hiro and the speedster’ scene is very annoying.
    I miss those “Save the cheerleader, save the world” days.

    Reply
  • David 14 October 2008 at 12:47 pm

    It’s hard to believe that this season is the same programme as the first season, which exploded onto the screen with such power and excitement (apart from the anti-climax). Talk about losing their way …

    Reply

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