The new NBC show “Heroes” had everything required to completely suck me in. I am an old comic book geek and I love super hero stories. So, when I began seeing the promos for this show a few months ago I already knew I was going to have to tune in and see the first episode. The trick with doing superheroes on television is that if it is done poorly, well, it really sucks. If you can manage to do it well then you have something that is truly memorable. The few shows that have done it well are “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Smallville.”
So, with some trepidation I watched the first episode of “Heroes.” I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
This is not a perfect show. At this point there is no way it is in the same league as the shows I just mentioned but it has great potential. The one problem I already foresee about this show is that it might just have too many main characters. We already meet a bunch of them in this first episode and it seems like a bunch more are going to be introduced in the next few episodes.
Now, of course, this has also been done well. I already think that this show may follow a kind of track like “Lost.” Essentially a bunch of characters with a bunch of diverse backgrounds and stories are going to have to come together to defeat some kind of common enemy. In this case, a bunch of people who suddenly discover they have amazing abilities and powers and, apparently, they are going to have to stop some kind of apocalypse. I hate it when that happens, don’t you?
At the very least the powers and characters are diverse and interesting. There are the brothers who apparently have the ability to fly. One of them happens to be a guy running for office. There’s the cheerleader who is suddenly invulnerable to everything. The shots of her essentially coming back together after falling off of a high place or shoving her hand into the garbage disposal are disturbing and yet cool. There’s the Japanese guy who is obsessed with the TV show “Star Trek” who discovers he may be able to control time and by controlling time also control space and therefore teleport. There’s the drug-addicted painter who apparently can paint the future. Finally there is the exotic dancer who apparently has some alter-ego who lives in a mirror and can come out and kill people, or something. To be honest her powers were the ones I understood the least.
There are villains introduced as well. There also appears to be some guy from India who was able to anticipate these amazing abilities popping up in people. He was killed and now his son has taken up the cause of finding these people. Meanwhile there is some dud with glasses who appears to also be the cheerleader’s father going around killing people…or something.
As you can see only the briefest tip of the ice berg that is the plot of this show has been revealed at this point. The characters are interesting. I was particularly fascinated with the guy who thinks he can fly and the cheerleader. However, the storyline of the exotic dancer also intrigued me and that may just be because the actress playing her is very beautiful. The Japanese guy seems to be there for comic relief at this point
I don’t really know how useful being able to paint the future would be. I mean, if you are in the midst of a battle do you have to set up your easel and paints to determine what the bad-guy is going to do next? However, the painting of the apocalypse that this character points to at one point shows that this show is going to have an elaborate plot where the fate of the world somehow hangs in the balance.
I just wonder if this is the kind of show where we will have to endure show after show of flashbacks as we discover how each person figure out they had their amazing powers. Are we going to get the entire history of two brothers? Are we going to have endure the entire story of how the stripper became a stripper and ended up owing money to very dangerous people?
While I am willing to put up with that kind of thing with “Lost” I think it may be too much to endure over multiple shows. The infuriating thing with “Lost” is that the show will not go anywhere for what seems like weeks and then suddenly something truly dramatic and shocking will happen and throw the story in an entirely different direction. It’s like being teased to death.
For a comic book guy, of course, this always is an interesting storyline to consider. What kind of power would you really want? I always thought being able to fly would be the coolest power. How cool would it be to walk out of my apartment and just lift into the air, over the traffic and the construction, and get to wherever I wanted to go in just a few minutes.
Some people I know have said they would like to be able to see into the future. For me that would be very scary. What if you saw the deaths of relatives? What if you saw your own death? Would you be able to stop it?
Of course being invulnerable would be pretty cool. Imagine psyching out a potential opponent by stabbing yourself in the neck and then seeing their jaws drop as the wound closed and you were fine. Then again this kind of power might make you immortal and that might not be a good thing.
I don’t know if “Heroes” is immortal. It seemed to get decent ratings. The writing isn’t particularly cheesy or full of superhero clichés. It’s got some characters that are interesting and a plot that makes me want to see more. I recommend it, but with caution. There are just some folks out there who aren’t going to buy into the superhero thing and think the whole idea’s silly. This one certainly doesn’t make having super powers more realistic. It’s just done in a way that’s interesting.
Now, if I could only figure out what the solar eclipse has to do with the rest of the plot, I’d be fine.
Bryan W. Alaspa’s new novel Dust is now available at his website www.bryanalaspa.com and www.amazon.com.