Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Heroes? I kind of doubt it.

WARNING: I am cranky and I worked at a comic book store for three years. I was destined to dislike "Heroes" by watching it tonight. Okay, now you can read on.

I just watched my first episode of "Heroes". It was okay. It should have been better. It's sort of about super heroes. Or rather, super-powered riff-raff who might one day become heroes. Here are a couple of the problems:

1) It's not about anything important. Oh yeah, the world is in danger, blah blah blah, New York City is going to blow up, blah blah blah. People are evolving to the next stage of human evolution. Yawn. Do we deal with the greater questions that might come up if humans really did suddenly have god-like powers? Nah. Do we (a la Lost) wrestle with huge questions of faith vs. science? Not really. We are too busy showing all the strippers, drug addicts and politicians who have super powers. Okay, we have a nice cheerleader also. And a comic-relief Japanese man with world class super powers. Ha ha, isn't he cute.

2) The bad guy appears to have a Jesus fixation. He's been murdering people all over the world with his telekinetic powers, after which he returns to his crappy apartment and writes "Forgive me Father I have sinned" all over the wall and draws crosses with Jesus' name. Again, yawn, yawn, yawn. Apparently we have a well-meaning Christian serial murderer.

3) I am so over the so-called "real world" super heroes. If you want to make something about the real world STOP WRITING ABOUT FREAKING SUPER HEROES. For crying out loud, people. Don't give me any of your lip about how in real life people get attacked by oversexed boys at high school bonfires and then fall down and die.

4) Emotionally flat. Flat like the second dimension. Flat like a soda left open for a week. Flat like a squirrel in it's third week on the highway pavement. This episode had: a drug addict being left by his girlfriend, a main character being attacked and killed, a woman telling her mother-in-law she wanted her out of her family's life, and a husband and wife apparently on the brink of divorce. Did we feel sad? Mortified? Shocked? Scared? Nope. We felt bored. BORED. The only real emotional response: Anger at the treatment of women in the show. Mild, jovial feelings about the Japanese comic-relief guy.

5) Jeph Loeb was writing. And I know he can do better. But it gives me a brief, shining glimmer of hope that it might be better in the future.

In conclusion: stick to LOST. Weird, insightful, moving, and about Important Things.