Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm Bracing Myself

So, it's the season premiere of Heroes tonight, and I'm bracing myself for a possible suckfest of craptacular proportions.

I've written before of my dismay about how absolutely shitty the show has become since the heights of its genuinely excellent first season. I'm not going to re-rant and re-rave about what is wrong with the show now except to say that the problems of Season 2 were somehow only compounded with Season 3. Instead, I'm going to be more positive in that I'm going to offer a few specific, constructive ideas on how to make the show better.

1 - Get Your Feet Back on the Ground - One of the things that was great about the central concept in the first season is that everyone was basically a real person with a real life. Parkman was a cop. Hiro and Ando lived in Japan as cubicle dwellers. Peter was a nurse with an actual job. Nathan had a wife and kids. Claire went to school. The touches of reality grounded the show, keeping it from becoming a full-fledged comic book. Since season 1, what exactly do any of these people do for money? When was the last time anyone saw or heard mention of Nathan's family? And speaking of Nathan, he has got to be the most absentee Senator ever! When the fuck does he, you know, go to the Senate?! If they don't have some sort of a normal life to protect or retreat to, they are far less interesting and far more unbelievable.

2 - Real People Can Be Heroes Too - Ando and Suresh used to provide an important element to the show. As non-powered, relatively average non-spy, main characters they had an outlook on things that gave some much-needed perspective. Now, they're just freaks like everyone else on the show, and since they weren't designed to be powered originally, they really don't seem special and therefore are kind of uninteresting. Bring in a few non-powered people to pal around with our Heroes. How about a partner for Parkman who appreciates his powers in helping them catch crooks? How about rescuing Peter's Irish sweetheart from Season 2 who Peter abandoned in a nightmarish future New York (dick).

3 - Characters Can Grow - I'm looking at your Hiro and Ando. And Noah. And Claire. And Mrs. Petrelli. And Peter. And Nathan. Fuck, at EVERYBODY. Look, in Season 1, Hiro and Ando's naivete and earnestness was hilarious and made them the scrappy underdogs with hearts of gold. After two more seasons of them not apparently not gaining any sort of knowledge from their adventures, it's now more like they're mentally retarded. Hiro now runs a multi-national company doesn't he? So, he's pretty much Bruce Wayne. Let him be Bruce Wayne!

And stop trying to make me doubt Noah's motives. He's a good guy. That's the fucking deal. I don't want to see, nor will I buy, any more trust issues between him and Claire. After almost losing his family, what, eight times? You'd think he'd wise up and start telling the truth. How cool would it be to have the Heroes ably assisted by an ass-kicking, super knowledgeable former spook?

The only character who's gotten more interesting is Sylar, but that's only because Zachary Quinto totally owns that guy. He's certainly not written any better than he was in Season 1.

4 - Anything You've Done Before is Off-Limits - The repetitive nature of the show is the most brutal detriment it has. How many times has it shown us a hellish future? How many times has there been mention of a disaster? How many times has Isaac's paniting power been used? And he's been dead since Season 1! How many times have they had a "big bad" mystery threat waiting in the wings. And no more Company stuff. Ever. It's done. It's over. turn the Company into something completely different.

5 - Dump What Isn't Working - Suresh? That character hasn't worked since the first Season. Either radically change his direction or dump him. And Heroes makes baffling choices in this regard all the time. They killed off DL Hawkins for no apparent reason, and he was a great character. Then they killed off Niki, and okay, I guess, but she was nowhere near as dead-ended as Suresh. It's not like the character they replaced her with was any better. Niki's son Micah had a cool power, and was well played, and they shucked him aside, as well as his cousin with the cool physical super-power who barely got explored.

And what about Claire? Well, having an invulnerable character does tend to invalidate any jeopardy you may feel. But, killing her off? Man, that would be the incredibly bold. It would energize the Petrelli's in a huge way, not to mention Noah. It would show that literally anything could happen. Let's face it, is she doing anything of interest? Has she trained to kick ass so her power makes her more than simply a punching bag that can't get hurt? Is the actress capable of injecting her with more than one dimension? Sadly no, no, and hell no.

Harsh? Agree? Disagree? All I know is that if Heroes does the same old tired, boring, nonsensical stupidity of the last couple seasons, then they will have killed the golden goose in a major way.

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