Stephen Speicher

Heroes (2006)

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41 posts in this topic

What do you guys think of the characters so far?

I've admired Nathan Petrelli in the same way I admired David Palmer in 24 (strong sense of leadership grounded in rationality), but I was a little disappointed to learn he was married before he slept with Niki. Maybe his wife is a Lillian Rearden.

Hiro is great, for reasons previously mentioned. And I liked Mohinder before he became the 'skeptic' of the show. It's bugging me that, even after being threatened in the first episode, and hearing that guy inside his house, he no longer wishes to pursue his father's work. His plotline was one of the most interesting a few episodes back.

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I just finished watching the first five episodes of Heroes on YouTubes. Wow! The show is truly amazing. I agree with the comments already made about Hiro. He is delightful to watch.

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** Possible Spoilers **

I would echo the comments favorable to Hiro as a character, particularly with respect to the aforementioned transformation he appears to make in the future. I'm thoroughly pleased with the show so far, and had looked forward to it based on what I had read several months in advance.

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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS POST

Homecoming -- Episode #109 -- Air Date: 11/20/06

============================================

Peter: Are you the one? By saving you, did I save the world?

Claire: I don't know. I'm just a cheerleader.

============================================

============================================

Hiro: My name is Hiro Nakamura. I'm here to save your life.

Charlie Hold that thought. Okay, I gotta go make a wish.

============================================

(You have to be there ...)

I LOVE THIS SHOW!

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For various reasons I don't have a TV, but I caught a glimpse of the cheerleader episode while on vacation and was intrigued. I found this on the NBC Heros website: "All episodes now steaming online".

This trend to put television online is fantastic!

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I have enjoyed Heroes from the beginning, watching it every Monday.

I just want to ask Free Capitalist, when do you have a block of time so vast that you can watch a DVD of a series, one episode after another (and not even be distracted by what's on the other 500 channels)?

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I just want to ask Free Capitalist, when do you have a block of time so vast that you can watch a DVD of a series, one episode after another (and not even be distracted by what's on the other 500 channels)?

I can't speak for Free Capitalist, but my experience has been that if the show is good enough, I make the time. The most egregious example of this I can think of was my encounter with the first season of Alias, which my wife and I watched on DVD. We watched the first 14 episodes in a single block, all in a row, and only stopped because our eyeballs started to (metaphorically) bleed. That was an addictive program. (Later seasons went downhill, sadly.)

These days, I have some time on Saturdays, because I'm working M-F and my wife is working Tu-Sa.

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There are spoilers in this post.

I just finished watching the first season of Heroes, acquired via discounted DVD set. I highly recommend it. It's a combination of mystery, drama, and quasi-science fiction, with many unexpected twists and turns that ultimately tie together. The good guys are a diverse group who slowly start to understand their own super-powers, and that there are others with such powers in the world. Among the good guys I most enjoy Hiro, an ultra-enthusiastic Japanese man who arguably has the most powerful ability of all. The bad guy is really bad, and is convincingly scary as he horribly grows his abilities, but good wins in the end. Linderman is also a bad guy, but more complex and interesting; I noticed parallels between him and Gail Wynand. I don't know if that was intentional or not.

The primary negative of the show is that the core theme is not original. It took me a few episodes to realize that that theme and some of the concretes are taken straight from X-Men - for example, the cheerleader's regeneration abilities and X-Men's Wolverine; shape-shifting (in each case a rather villainous woman); and probably others. That alone knocks it down a couple of rating points for me. But, the writing is intelligent and complex, and draws you into the story and keeps you constantly in suspense. It's the most enjoyable TV series I've seen in a long time. I'm going to TiVo the second season, due to start shortly.

I noticed at least one amusing inside joke, and there are likely others. Hiro's father is played by George Takei; it took me a minute to recognize that he was Sulu on the original Star Trek. As his father is leaving after their first meeting, the license plate on the car is NCC-1701 - the call letters of the U.S.S. Enterprise :P

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Bad show. I watched all first 3 seasons in 6 days. It was paralyzing like poison.

Malevolent universe? Hell yeah! That was very accurate (referring to Alann's first post in this thread).

This show has very few good things: it has a good plot line that keeps the viewer in suspense, it has the cute character of Hiro, and some other, partially nice characters (like Claire and her father). And that's when the good stuff end.

Bad Stuff: "Who are we, little meaningless humans, begging for answers for why we are alive and what is the meaning of our tiny little existence. Even cockroaches are better than us since they can survive nuclear explosion. Oh, wait a minute, I have special powers, my fart contains special gas that eliminates oxygen from the air, maybe I do stand a chance to be better than cockroaches after all, now that I'm special. Hmm, wait a minute, if I fart, I'll kill everyone on the planet, now my life has meaning, I must stop myself from farting - that's my mission!"

Or to put it in other words: The show presents ordinary life as meaningless. Life of a single individual is unimportant. The only thing that gives meaning to it is if there is a need to "save the world". All the conflicts the characters face in this show come down to whether they are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, or how to act to achieve the "greater good". One example is Mr. Linderman (the healer) who doesn't mind killing innocent people and doing whatever because of his plan to "heal the world". His idea of good and evil is to save as many lives as possible. Something like "1000 is greater than 1, therefore, it's good to kill 1 to save a 1000".

Selflessness is explicitly and implicitly presented as a virtue (Peter Patrelli).

More bad things: this Syler dude is very unconvincing as a character. "Oh no, I can't fight this hunger which is genetically imprinted in me, I must cut open people's brains and get their ability, I can't fight it" and then all of a sudden asking his mom if it's ok to be ordinary, then killing her with scissors and deciding it'll be fun to blow up new york after all. Err, what?

And perhaps the most important negative thing is that, like Alann said, the evil rules, and the good is always on the run. The show gives you a very strong feeling of helplessness. The good being is hunted, not the evil.

And in conclusion: I hate it, I hate it, thank goodness I got it out of my system. The End.

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Bad show. I watched all first 3 seasons in 6 days. It was paralyzing like poison.

...

And in conclusion: I hate it, I hate it, thank goodness I got it out of my system. The End.

I wasn't affected enough to build up such passion about it. :) In both style (How many "smell-the-fart" facial closeups can there be in one non-daytime TV show?) and substance (The dreaded Man in the Horn-Rimmed Glasses turns out to be the indestructible-yet-perky-yet-angsty cheerleader's dad? Oh no!) I found it to be a soap opera with superpowers tacked on, not even up to the level of the comic books its so obviously modeled upon.

OTOH, could Jayma Mays be any cuter as the red-headed waitress in season 1? :D

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Bad show. I watched all first 3 seasons in 6 days. It was paralyzing like poison.

Malevolent universe? Hell yeah! That was very accurate (referring to Alann's first post in this thread).

This show has very few good things: it has a good plot line that keeps the viewer in suspense, it has the cute character of Hiro, and some other, partially nice characters (like Claire and her father). And that's when the good stuff end.

[...]

And perhaps the most important negative thing is that, like Alann said, the evil rules, and the good is always on the run. The show gives you a very strong feeling of helplessness. The good being is hunted, not the evil.

And in conclusion: I hate it, I hate it, thank goodness I got it out of my system. The End.

I actually like Heroes a lot. In fact, with the spiritual demise of Prison Break, House, and 24, it's the only fiction I watch on TV these days.

I agree that the first Season was very heavy-handed, slow-moving and malevolent, but that is part of the appeal: everyone is so serious, except Hiro whom I sometimes have to put up with. :)

There's a lot more action - and striking sexuality - in the new episodes, and many clever switches. But, where is it all going? I don't know, but I love the very high production standards the show maintains.

I know many of the characters' powers - and strips of the storyline - are lifted from Marvel Comics' X-Men (as Phil noted), but I really enjoy the gravitas and grandeur of the telling. There are no average, "everyday people" and almost no-one speaks like "regular folk."

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I actually like Heroes a lot. In fact, with the spiritual demise of Prison Break, House, and 24, it's the only fiction I watch on TV these days.

I agree that the first Season was very heavy-handed, slow-moving and malevolent, but that is part of the appeal: everyone is so serious, except Hiro whom I sometimes have to put up with. :)

There's a lot more action - and striking sexuality - in the new episodes, and many clever switches. But, where is it all going? I don't know, but I love the very high production standards the show maintains.

I know many of the characters' powers - and strips of the storyline - are lifted from Marvel Comics' X-Men (as Phil noted), but I really enjoy the gravitas and grandeur of the telling. There are no average, "everyday people" and almost no-one speaks like "regular folk."

I also enjoy this show a lot. I think every action-based show must have villains and must have some kind of suspense. I saw no "malevolent universe", but rather a very logical development of consequences - unfortunately , if there were such mutants, most people would be afraid of them. That's not malevolent - that's the truth.

About the X-men similarity: How many superpowers , other than X-men's, can you invent? The creators of "Heroes" have tried and invented unique powers, but there is a limit to imagination. The real difference is the complexity of this show in comparison to X-men : Every character has his own motivation, they cross each other's path at surprising points, and the end result is always very interesting.

In short - I love this show!

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On the whole I enjoy Heroes quite a bit. Though Claire's behavior in the second season was bizarre, to say the least. They were being chased by evil villains with super powers and she was still teenage angsting (thats right, I just "verbed" a noun :) ).

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On the whole I enjoy Heroes quite a bit. Though Claire's behavior in the second season was bizarre, to say the least. They were being chased by evil villains with super powers and she was still teenage angsting (thats right, I just "verbed" a noun :D ).

Give the girl a break -- she's unkillable, so she can spare some time for angsting. :)

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Bad show. I watched all first 3 seasons in 6 days. It was paralyzing like poison.

Malevolent universe? Hell yeah! That was very accurate (referring to Alann's first post in this thread).

It's not bad, it's "special". :) I agree that it leans toward the malevolent (I'll get to that in a second), but I enjoy it for the intrigue, and I think the actors are fantastic. As far as the characters go...It's true that it's very X-Men, not merely because of the powers but because each character differs in their ability to cope with their abilities and their intentions to use them. Some fear their power, whereas others (like Nathan) want to pretend it doesn't exist. But that creates a nice background for a lot of interesting conflicts.

About Sylar: He is a straw man, but (I think) is supposed to show how destructive personal ambition is. He is intensely curious about the world and wants more for himself than to be the son of a watchmaker. His ability sacrifices others to work, and makes him both a villain and a victim of his own ambition. The power gives him a hunger that is never satisfied.

Peter is the main protagonist. He has an ability that rivals Sylar's, but he is completely selfless. In fact, before he got his ability he was a nurse (not to imply that nurses are necessarily selfless). As far as I can tell, he has no values except his relationship with his brother, who is cold and detached. His heroism is of the typical selfless variety - without any personal interest. He wants to save the world, but it's not clear to me why he wants to. What values is he saving it for?

The closest one comes to a proper superhero is Hiro. I think his sense of life is 100x better than any other character's (with the exception of his friend Ando, who also is very positive). He seems to be driven mostly by a sense of adventure and the thrill of solving a mystery. He is close to Ando and had a very short but touching relationship with a waitress. He loves life and I can see why being a superhero would be his goal. However, he is also not the main character and is usually portrayed as silly and naive. His adventures are side-plots, and I don't think you're meant to take them very seriously.

The show is very conflicted, and I'm not sure if it was the intention of the writers to attack and belittle values because as a whole it is very positive (it is, after all, about saving the world). And there isn't much on TV that doesn't suffer from the same problems. So I just take the good, acknowledge the bad but don't let it get in the way of my entertainment.

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Tonight's very intriguing episode of Heroes has one mind-blowing scene that, by itself, almost justifies watching the entire series.

Just thought I'd share. -_-

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