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Tag: Heroes (91-99 of 99)

'Heroes': Bring on the baddies!

92021__hero_l_2When it comes to superhero stories, the importance of villains cannot be overemphasized. So maybe that’s why the last night’s episode of Heroes — which suffered from a serious deficit of evil — felt a wee bit sluggish. This isn’t to say those scenes with Horn-Rimmed Glasses didn’t crackle. His simple "Shhh" as he hovered over rapist Brody’s hospital bed and ordered his mysterious minion to "hollow him out" was the evening’s highlight, but do we really know for sure that Horn-Rimmed is a baddie? He’s creepy, certainly, but the show’s writers continue to play his intentions close to the vest. Dude obviously has some kind of ulterior motive when it comes to his adopted daughter’s powers, but does that mean he doesn’t truly love her or want to protect her?

Speaking of love, how sweet was Matt’s steak dinner for his wife — at least until he started over-relying on his powers of telepathy? By the time he headed out for a post-coital coffee-ice-cream run, even the Mrs. looked wary. And who could blame her? After all, there’s a big difference between reading a woman’s mind and understanding her feelings. I did love the way Matt impulsively talked that convenience-store robber out of his crime, but even better was the frightening aftermath: Until Matt learns to balance the gift-curse ratio of his abilities, he’s going to remain a deeply conflicted man. Such a conundrum makes me wish NBC had left the similarly themed Medium in the 10 p.m. timeslot (what a nice two hour block that would’ve been!), but not even the most powerful clairvoyant could make sense of the minds of network executives, could they?

A few more questions I’ll be grappling with till next week’s episode:

- Is there a chance Nathan (Adrian Pasdar, pictured) will end up using his power of flight in the pursuit of evil? His snake-oil smile after scoring an extra $2 million from the mysterious Mr. Linderman’s henchwoman was yet another indicator that his obsession with power has the potential to get downright ugly. Also, which was cooler: Nathan’s jetpack-like propulsion or the way he burned his heels on landing?
- Was the throwaway line about Niki’s husband having slipped out of his cuffs another hint that he and Sylar are one and the same?
- Am I the only one who remains unconvinced by Mohinder’s Scully-like skepticism? And is it lackluster writing of Mohinder’s scenes or Sendhil Ramamurthy’s vague performance that’s the issue? Or both?
- What kind of injury is in store for Peter? Hiro’s comment during his trip back in time that the floppy-haired protagonist looked "different without the scar" certainly foreshadowed an injury in the not-too-distant future.
- And finally, was it a clue or mere coincidence that the sketched silhouette of Simone hovered in the background as Peter finished Isaac’s painting of the cheerleader? The third side of the Peter-Isaac love-triangle may not be bad, but she sure is drawn that way.

'Heroes': Good guys on the dark side

153146__heros_lMy colleague Scott Brown posted a link yesterday afternoon to an interview with Heroes creator Tim Kring, in which he noted some of the titular characters "will be tempted by the dark side" this season. And — bam! — just like that, last night’s episode finds most of ‘em doing exactly that. If it wasn’t Isaac (once again) shooting up (and getting all milky-eyed, like Storm), or Niki (the terrific Ali Larter) seducing Nathan on camera to pay off her debt, there was Hiro using his power of teleportation to hilariously cheat at poker and buy designer suits. (Loved Ando’s rationalization, "Is Peter Parker cheating when he sells pictures of Spider- Man?") And let’s not forget last night’s most illegal (and most justifiable) hero-perpetrated crime: indestructible Claire driving serial rapist Brody (remember him on Commander in Chief last year?) right into a brick wall. I let out an unabashed "Woot!" when, responding to Brody’s creepy taunt that there was nothing she could do to stop him from attacking another girl, Claire got that devilish look in her eyes and responded, "I can do this," right before putting the pedal to the metal. She’s my kind of vigilante, and Heroes is my kind of show. That said, a few burning questions to ponder:

  • What the heck was that "Don’t Give Your Heart to Just Anyone" poster that was not so subtly placed right between Mohinder and Peter (pictured) during their subway ride? Perhaps a hint that pixie-haired Eden isn’t as sweet as she appears? Or maybe it’s sultry Simone (who’s now bedded two of the mutants) who’s not to be trusted?
  • What exactly did Horned Rim Glasses mean when he had Matt strapped to the table, then told his mysterious minion to "Go deep and clean him out"? I don’t think our kind-hearted mind-reader is in for a cleansing coffee colonic!
  • Anyone else notice the hilarious portrait of the Bennett family’s pampered pooch on the stairway?
  • What was with the special delivery of Dr. Suresh’s remains? "UPS! It’s Dad’s ashes!" I don’t think so. Also, is it just me, or are the floppy haired duo of Milo Ventimiglia and Sendhil Ramamurthy the two cast members who might want to consider a little more time with an acting coach?
  • Finally, is it possible that Niki’s alter ego is actually her husband? Note the use of the word "our" when she hissed, "If you threaten our son again, I’m going to put my heel through your skull." And is the snake-like tattoo on her back the same as the necklace worn by the bald black guy who did, well, something, to Matt?

'Heroes': Another superheroic reference point?

101122__wildcard_lLet me begin with a disclaimer: I’m not taking potshots at Heroes or impugning its originality. I like Heroes. A lot. Besides, why debate any TV show’s originality? It’s an inherently derivative storytelling form. We already know that Heroes boldly goes where the X-Men and (to a lesser extent) Salman Rushdie have gone before. And what of it? Lost has attracted myriad comparisons to novels, comic books, movies, etc.  This only enriches its appeal, expands obsessive fan scholarship, and encourages outside reading. Same with Heroes: When I speculate about creator Tim Kring’s inspirations, I do it out of respect. So let’s not play the flame game unless it’s absolutely necessary. Which I’m sure it will be by the end of this post — knowing me, knowing you.

That said… anybody heard of the Wild Cards books? It’s a long-running series of novels (which are themselves collections of storytelling experiments by various SF authors) about a world where an alien virus has jump-cut evolution, killed 90 percent of the world’s population, and divided the remainder into three groups: Superpowered ”Aces,” suffering mutant ”Jokers,” and ”Deuces,” people with basically useless abilities (like, say, blogging).

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'Heroes': Isn't Hiro irresistible?

145059__hiro_lIt’s no mystery to PopWatch readers that Ugly Betty is my favorite new female character of the fall 2006 TV season, but after last night’s episode of Heroes, I’ve got a guy to serve as her male counterpart. Indeed, unlike scores of historical superheroes who seem all too blasé about their skills, Hiro (Masi Oka, pictured), the zany (and rather dapper — loved the green jacket!) Japanese office worker of Heroes, treats the recent discovery that he’s got the gift of teleportation with a giddiness that I find relatably dorky. Watching Hiro pose the question, ”Perhaps a costume?” was the funniest moment of Episode 3, but even better, his primary set piece — in which he stops time to rescue a schoolgirl from getting crushed by a delivery truck — was its most visually thrilling. Add him to a band of misfits including indestructible cheerleader Claire, mind-reading teddy bear Matt, and mysteriously two-sided Niki, and you’ve got a show that’s filled my Monday-night dance-card from now till Christmas.

Since there’s only so much time in the day, however, and since I need to purge last night’s Bachelor episode sooner than later, I’ll leave it to you guys to dissect some of the show’s burning questions, after the jump:

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Today in Fall TV Deathwatch

They’re dropping like flies I tell ya! And by ”they,” of course, I’m referring to the fall crop of freshman series that are being shot down, one by one, by the network execs who treat them like little more than skeet whizzing through the airwaves. It’s enough to make a blogger want to cry. Or at least my colleague Gary Susman and me. Check out our IM conversation/therapy session from this afternoon.

Slezak (4:42:34 PM): So did you hear, it looks like NBC is pulling the plug on Kidnapped and burning off the remaining episodes on Saturday nights. I’m so glad I emotionally disengaged when the pilot episode tanked in the ratings
Susman (4:43:42 PM): I wonder if that’s why so many fall shows, especially serial dramas like Smith and Studio 60, are having trouble: People don’t want to commit, lest they get burned again.
Slezak (4:44:30 PM): Wait, Smith? Smith is in trouble?
Susman (4:44:51 PM): Yeah, CBS is yanking it and airing reruns of CSI and Criminal Minds starting Tuesday.
Slezak (4:45:09 PM): NOOOO! I already gave Smith my heart! DAMMIT!
Susman (4:46:04 PM): You going to be okay?
Slezak (4:46:21 PM): I don’t know. It’s like when you start dating someone really great, and then suddenly they don’t return your calls. Do you think Studio 60 is setting you up to break your heart? It’s been bleeding viewers over its first three weeks.
Susman (4:46:54 PM): I’m worried! I already have such mixed feelings about the show. I can’t decide if I’ll be disappointed that audiences didn’t stick with it, or that Aaron Sorkin didn’t have time to figure out how to make the comedy parts work.
Slezak (4:47:18 PM): I hear you…I’ve watched the first three episodes, and while the show is flawed, it’s 1,000 times better than CSI: Miami.
Susman (4:47:40 PM): Then again, maybe I’ll just be relieved that I can free up my Monday nights. Though I’m having fun writing about it in my TV Watches.
Slezak (4:47:36 PM): That’s the thing, my DVR is so packed, something has to give at some point.
Susman (4:47:55 PM): If only it had been unambiguously good, it might have been a hit.

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We heart 'Heroes' star Adrian Pasdar

92021__hero_lNBC has ordered a full season of Heroes, which means it’s now safe for you to watch it without worrying that the network will leave you hanging with unresolved mysteries. On a related note, star Adrian Pasdar, who plays Milo Ventimiglia‘s high-flying politician brother, stopped by EW’s office earlier this week. Although some of us were out that day, Alynda Wheat graciously offered a recap, which began with the fact that Pasdar had kissed her hand, twice, to thank her for writing in a review of the show that she would ”probably say anything” to keep him working. (Those of us who’ve seen Profit, his deliciously dark 1996 Fox series co-created by Angel‘s David Greenwalt, second that sentiment.) What else Alynda will admit to: ”I’m not washing said hand, and am, in fact, preserving it as a veritable petri dish of Pasdar’s love and bacteria,” she said this morning. ”As soon as they perfect this cloning thing, Pasdar’s dried spit and I are having a baby.” Anyone like to second that?

addCredit(“Heroes: Mitch Haaseth/NBC”)

'Heroes': Don't try this at home!

Ohmigod, no! Don’t do it! I know you’ve spent the last 10 days thinking of doing it, but seriously, don’t. Sure, you watched the premiere of NBC’s Heroes, and you experienced the thrill/revulsion of seeing Hayden Panettiere’s Claire mutilate her hand in the kitchen garbage disposal, only to pull it out and watch it grow back. And now, naturally, you want to see if you have the same power of regeneration. But you shouldn’t. Claire is a superhero. You are not.

What’s more, the Emerson In-Sink-Erator (nifty name, huh?) may or may not be capable of mangling your hand, anyway. I’m not exactly sure, based on a news report of Emerson’s federal lawsuit (thanks to TV Tattle for the link) that hopes to prevent NBC from rebroadcasting the Heroes pilot episode because it suggests their product ”will cause debilitating and severe injuries, including the loss of fingers, in the event consumers were to accidentally insert their hand into one.”

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Rushdie Judgment: Did 'Heroes' crib?

92933__heroes_lAs I type these words, the thumbs of Iran’s ruling clerics hover menacingly over the big, red Fatwa buttons on their TiVo controllers. Because today, they have one more reason not to watch NBC’s Heroes: It may well have cribbed from the work of Salman ”Roll Me a Fatwa” Rushdie.

Eight years before Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses — and was famously condemned to death by the late Ayatollah Khomeini — he published Midnight’s Children, a magic-realist history of postcolonial India. I’ve not read it, but Broadcasting & Cable quotes a passage describing the characters,

”every one of whom was, through some freak of biology, or perhaps owing to some preternatural power of the moment… endowed with features, talents or faculties which can only be described as miraculous… powers of transmutation, flight, prophecy and wizardry.”

One Midnight character can bend time, another can step into mirrors. (The character descriptions sound a darnsight more sober here.) There’s even a doctor named ”Suresh,” who delivers these savants into the world — much like the hero-fostering Dr. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy, pictured) on the show.addCredit(“Heroes: Mitch Haaseth”)

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Snap judgment: 'Heroes'

18554__heroes_lSomeone help me! I’m mutating into a sci-fi geek — and to my knowledge, there’s no known cure. Early symptoms included an unexpected pang of anticipation surrounding the X-Men trilogy, followed by a full-blown fever for Battlestar Galactica. Now, even more troubling, I’m finding myself addicted to NBC’s Heroes after just one inhalation. (For those of you who missed the premiere, by the way, it’ll repeat on NBC tonight at 8 p.m., and is streaming at NBC.com.)

Call me clueless — wait, a lot of Lost fans already did that this morning — but I was totally caught off guard when it turned out that Nathan (the formidable Adrian Pasdar) , not Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), was the sibling with the gift of flight. (Side note: Anyone else still bitter that Pasdar’s brilliant late ’90s series, Profit, never became the breakout hit it deserved to be?) What’s more, while I’m still not sure that Niki’s mirror-image vengeance-lady qualifies as an appealing superpower, the all-too-human drama of her life as a struggling single mother more than made up for it. (Who knew Ali Larter was this good an actress?) Best of all, though, Hayden Garnier Fructis Panettiere’s regenerating teenager, Claire (pictured), left me gasping at every turn. That scene of her sticking her hand in the garbage disposal was perhaps the most rivetingly grotesque moment I’ve experienced in prime time this year. I spy a major star in the making.

addCredit(“Heroes: Dean Hendler”)

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