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Save the cheerleader: take the poll

So, yeah, I'm watching fluff Heroes (hey, not everything can be BSG). Both my thoughts (behind the cut) and any comments for this post may contain spoilers up through 11/25/2006.

Poll #875442 Who is your favorite character on Heroes?

Who is your favorite character on Heroes?

Claire Bennett
Isaac Medina
Hiro Nakamura
Matt Parkman
Nathan Petrelli
Peter Petrelli
D.L. Hawkins
Micah Sanders
Niki Sanders
Mohinder Suresh
Other (state in comments)

I'm gonna go straight to the spoilers: I'm excited about the news reported in a variety of places indicating that Christopher Eccleston will be joining the cast, and I think it will be fandomly fun to have George Takei as Hiro's father. I hope Hiro is able to save Charlie, and I hope she survives to become a main regular: my primary criticism of the show is that the current female super characters are not particularly compelling (sorry, but I've already seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Joss Whedon is a better writer). Charlie at least provides a potential avenue to go beyond the cheerleader and the 'net porn star, and she helps balance the numbers a little more: right now, out of nine powered main people, only two are female. After being a fan of shows that were just crowded with dynamic, interesting female characters, I can't help noticing this, but I'll give the show a little more time to grow.

Out in sheer speculation land, I'm wondering if Lex Nathan and AlterNiki Jessica are going to hook up as villains or somehow be involved in Doomsday. Do you think Mr. Bennet is actually A Bad Guy, or that he's perhaps just heading up the standard-issue Seekrit Government Research Facility? If you think he's only X-Files-grade mysterious, why didn't he tell Claire the truth when he found out that she was in danger? How did he help Eden, and what does she owe him? Clearly she's got the "these aren't the droids you're looking for" power of suggestion, but is she Jedi, Sith, or somewhere in between?

I am so very glad to see Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman) get a decent amount of screen time for a change. I always liked him as Weiss on Alias, and wanted to see more of him.

I read the online comics at the official site just now. They add a little bit of background, but nothing that's crucial.


Nov. 26th, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)
I've been meaning to state my thoughts on the show a bit more indepth for a while on my own LJ.

I'm not sure I'd call it fluff, though I don't think it's exactly hard hitting as BSG either. I heard a lot of people who thought it would be Unbreakable the television series which it isn't, but it's not exactly Mutant X either.

Hiro is my hero (heh), and his reactions are fairly close to my own. Except when I travel to the future in a foreign country and find a gun laying on the ground, I'm not going to pick it up (though Hiro's blog does try to answer that, because he's a video game nerd and when you play video games and you find a weapon you pick it up if you can). But Hiro is a heroic version of Andrew, Jonathan and Warren, and he's makes me smile a big goofy grin whenever he's on screen, especially when he finds out that his future self carries a sword.

Mr. Bennet I think is complicated. My best guess is that he won't be too black and white. I imagine he'll be portrayed as someone whose goals are going to come into conflict with the various heroes on more then one occasion, but I don't think he's a bad guy per se. I think he has postive goals, and doesn't want to see anyone harmed if he can help it (it seems for the most part he and his bunch are just bagging and tagging them before releasing them back into their ordinary lives and not locking them up for any length of time) but I think that if for some reason you threaten him, his family or his goals I imagine he's going to do whatever it takes to stop you. I imagine he'll be a slightly softer version of Magneto (to Mohinder's Xavier?).

Not really sure about Nathan. He could go either way. I think part of him cares about his brother and his family, but I think part of him wants to only care about them about as far it will take him on the campaign trail. I imagine a large part of his character arc is going to be him trying to figure out where exactly he lies hero or villian.

I do agree with you on the women. Eden's cool, but the last episode makes me wonder whose side she's on. Claire isn't too bad, she's a pretty standard "teenager learning to deal with their abilities in a trial by fire" (literally in her case) and she's starting to show signs that she's becoming proud of who she is, but they keeping slipping back one step for every two she takes and it's back to "Wah, I'm different" thing. I kinda like Niki, but really don't like Jessica and unfortunetly they're a kinda a package deal.

With Charlie I saw a sweet girl, with an obvious crush on Hiro whom just about anyone could love and I knew before they revelaed Sylar in the diner she was going to die. I was happy to see Hiro make the attempt to bring her back, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I fear we'll get some lesson about the danger of time travel and being a nice, well-rounded supporting character in a show where all the main characters have their hangups.

I definately hear you on getting more Matt (and his lovely FBI partner, Clea Duvall, whom I admit having a not so small crush on) as he seems the most normal guy out of all of them. I think the writers intended Peter Petrelli to be our POV character, the heroic dreamer, but Matt is the Spider-man character. He's a guy with problems, both power-related and non, and he's trying to figure out what to do with his gift and not always getting it right.

It's not quite art, but I'm definately enjoying the ride the writers are taking us on. And at least something is happening (I figured they were going to milk the "Save the cheerleader, save the world" thing until the season finale), which in the age of Lost and other mystery style shows where they give out clues and plotpoints like they were the rarest thing on the planet, it's kinda refreshing.
Nov. 26th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I'll apologize in advance for my cynicism: I haven't had breakfast, yet, so it's grumpy, hungry Banshee at the keyboard. ;)

When I say fluff, I don't mean it in an unmitigatedly negative way. To me, the show so far is at the level of writing and story pacing that I would've liked to see Smallville achieve consistently (we haven't been able to watch it this season, but given your favorable comments, we'll likely Netflix it in the future). Lighter fare can be very entertaining if it is done well. Heroes to me just feels a bit contrived -- like it's the product of marketing profile boxes. "We got a geek as a hero? Check. Hot women for the nerds to look at? Check." It feels very produced to me, like the network executives saw how well X-Men, Batman Begins, etc. had done at the box office, and said "We gotta get us a television show with superheroes for ratings."

I like Hiro, too, I do, but I sort of feel like I'm supposed to -- that this was the "cuddly geek" character that tested positively in focus groups or something. Still, I like that he really gets it, and I appreciate his sense of ethics, and I have to admit that I'd be tickled to get a sword, too. :)

Bagging and tagging, mmm? Maybe a little more than that: the eerie Haitian guy messed with Matt in some way, perhaps amping his powers. We'll see. I think your Magneto idea is interesting, in terms of Mr. Bennet just having a different perspective on what role the heroes should fulfill.

You know, now that I think about it, none of the female characters with abilities are clearly, straight-on good, like Hiro and Peter... not yet, anyway. Claire wants to be a normal girl with a normal life, Niki/Jessica seems to be leaning much more toward being a villain, and Eden's working for Mr. Bennet, whose organization's purpose has yet to be determined.

I'm not holding my breath on Charlie, either: it's more wishful thinking on my part than anything else. They've already said there will be nine for the season, and we've met all of the mains at this point.

*grins* I was glad to see Clea Duvall getting work. I enjoyed her as Sophie in Carnivale. You raise a good point about Peter being the heroic dreamer, but Matt is the everyman hero who suffers somewhat because of his power, and reminds us that it's tough to manage life as Spider-man.

I'll stay tuned at least until the end of the season.
Nov. 26th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
One more thing: despite my fussing about the show feeling like it's being designed by marketing committee (instead of being directed by an individual like Whedon or Straczynski, who, while frequently challenged by executives and ratings, is at least trying to guide the show with a specific vision), I'll acknowledge that I'd at least rather be marketed to than ignored. Heroes is in no way a bullseye, IMHO, but it doesn't miss the target entirely.


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