Wednesday, September 30, 2009
TVOD: Heroes Redux, or 'Life is killing us'
One thing I've learned over 43 years of chronic pain (and other unpleasantness) is that for most of us, life sucks.
You can drown your sorrows in drugs, sex, religion or television but you can't avoid the fact that you're stuck on a planet that wants nothing more than to kill you. Or that you're living cheek-by-jowl with a whole host of organisms that would suck the marrow from your very bones had they the opportunity. And we are infinitely fortunate compared to the huge swathes of humanity that live in poverty and squalor.
But hey, I'm philosophical about it. One of the ways I take my mind off of it all is immersing myself in pop culture, mythology and other various and sundry forms of enlightened escapism. And I predicted in Our Gods Wear Spandex that as things get more difficult for everyone in the brave new world order that the superhero meme (and its witch/vampire/alien variants) would become increasingly popular. We're all vulnerable now- we're all geeks and wimps in the eyes of the schoolyard bullies of Wall Street and the City of London, as well as all of the other power centers around the world where our destinies are being decided and inflicted upon us.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that in 2009, no one wants to see rich and powerful people with amazing superpowers. They already have the ultimate superpower, ie., money. The producers of Heroes made a terrible mistake in giving the Nathan Petrellis and the Lindermans all of these powers- hell, even having Claire being the sheltered daughter of a gov't spook was too much to bear. No, in 2009 we want to see a UPS delivery guy or a truck stop waitress develop superpowers and blow the brains out of vampiric CEOs and their pet politicians with the power of directed mind-beams. Any aspiring screenwriters reading this, there's your cue.
So as I was saying before, Heroes is awesome again for many reasons, and I hope it stays awesome. We're seeing people with dreary lives being touched by the gods and it's what we need to see right now. We also need to see a lot less characters than those who cluttered the screen in seasons 2 and 3, and we need to see those left struggling and scraping and suffering, just like the rest of us.
Of course, the best things about this season are A., Sylar is stuck in Parkman's head and is a lot more interesting for it (nothing is more boring than omnipotence). And B., Mohinder and his tedious voiceovers are MIA (so far). And then there is Gretchen and Claire's blossoming 'friendship,' but that's for another post. Californication fans, you got my back.
Bonus geek factoid: Kai Winn guest stars in this ep, who some of you uncool people may know better as Nurse Ratched.
More feverish rants on Heroes here, here, here, here and here.
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