March 11, 2009

Heroes No More

Just finished watching the final episode of Heroes chapter 3. And I can see why a lot of people have been disappointed with the show lately.

I enjoyed the show in its first two seasons. I enjoyed the connections between the various characters and slowly learning about how they were all connected. Sure, the show had a Lost feel to it but it was still enjoyable. I cared for the characters and I laughed and cried with them.

Chapter 2 was not so good. There were cracks in the logic and things were beginning to feel not so cohesive. Yet, I liked the show because the characters were still (mostly) likable.

That’s totally gone with Chapter 3. All of the familiar characters are there but they are all twisted. You don’t find anybody to care for or to cheer for in the show anymore. Everybody is bad. Everybody has an evil side. Sure, I believe the intent was to show that there are no heroes or villains – that we have both heroes and villains inside all of us. But the way they did it ruined the show for me. Totally.

And that’s not even getting into the logic holes and continuity issues. Not to mention the time paradoxes. The thing with a show like Heroes is that the writers have to believe in the world they create. They have to believe that the world that they’ve imagined exists and it works according to a certain set of rules. That’s when you get a believable story that the viewer invests in.

If you think, “Hey, it’s just a comic book kind of thing. Anything can happen in a comic book!”, it just won’t work. There’s things like Ando moving Hiro’s eyelids for them to teleport. That belongs in a parody or a spoof, not a show that takes itself seriously. Come on now, how is that supposed to work exactly? If you were to believe somebody has the power to teleport, then you’re supposed to believe that that power is in his eyelids and anybody operating those eyelids (whether the owner of the said eyelids wants to or not) can teleport? That just boggles the mind … (Yes, I know I’m getting all worked up over a TV show :p)

There are so many other instances like the above – why don’t they use the Haitian to nullify Sylar’s and Arthur Petrelli’s power before all the things in the story take place and kill them? Why is it that nobody prevents the events of the stories if Mendez’s comic is still being published? How is it that Mendez’s comic has the events of the current storyline even though they’ve messed with the timeline several times and Mendez wrote the comic prior to his death when the timeline was unaltered? And let’s not even get into the instances where people’s powers switch on and off just like that to suit the convenience of the writers …

Suffice it to say, I didn’t like chapter 3. I found a lot of characters that I’d liked before being perverted into something that they weren’t supposed to be – at least based on how their characters were portrayed earlier. And it doesn’t look as if I’ll like chapter 4 either. It seems to be another morality tale about present-day (or near-past) America and how taking away people’s civil liberties (and creating camps like Guantanamo Bay are bad.)

We’ve seen this motif over and over both in comics (both Marvel and DC did their variations on this theme) and in mainstream entertainment from Hollywood. I’m tired of that. Come on, give the soapbox a rest. Give me something that I can enjoy, characters that I can relate to. But I fear that Heroes might not have the miraculous recovery that the fifth season of Lost seems to be having currently. Ah, well, guess there’ll always be another show to tune in to …

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Posted by Fahim at 5:12 pm  |  No Comments