Heroes: the Soap Opera



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My kids are into vampires. This, I believe, is mostly because of the extremely lengthy but otherwise compelling Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer, which portray these creatures of the night as good guys with super-powers, able to run really really fast, dodge bullets, leap tall buildings in a single bound…

You get the picture.

They want to BE vampires. They, of course, would never EVER feast upon the blood of mortals, like EVERY OTHER VAMPIRE story has it. MY kids would be TWILIGHT vampires.

In other words, they’d be superheroes.

Just like we ALL wanted to be when we were kids.

supermanlogo1Isn’t that still a favorite question – even as adults? “What would YOUR superpower be?” Because, of course, no fair hogging all the superpowers. There’s only ONE Superman, and he gets them all. Every OTHER superhero just gets ONE big superpower: The Flash is fast; the Green Lantern gets that ring thing he can do tricks with; Batman has brains, a good personal trainer and a giant bankroll; and Marvel plays it coolest of all: they have the Mutants, each of whom has some genetic fluke that gives them one and only one way-out cool thing they can do – and that thing almost always comes with a drawback, just to keep it real.

Rogue, of the X-Men, from Marvel Comics

Rogue, of the X-Men, from Marvel Comics

 

 

Rogue, of the X-Men, for instance: all she has to do is touch you and she’ll suck the life out of you. Try and mug HER in a back alley. The drawback? She can’t feel the touch of another human, or they’ll die on her. That’s gotta suck.

So when NBC came up with a series idea of a bunch of everyday mortal human beings suddenly springing into action with super-powers (one each, they played fair, although why it all happened at the same time they never DID explain), the little kid in me got as excited as I used to get when December came and all those stop-motion cartoons lined up the programming schedule. (“I wanna be a dentist…”)

Heroes. Whoa. How cool. Maybe it could STILL happen to me. I can still remember the night our family went to see the Michael Keaton Batman movie, and my sister’s boyfriend and I stayed up, jazzed, for hours that night, planning how we could do it – we really could, it was possible…

What a freakin’ disappointment this show is turning out to be.

They should be showing it during the day, instead, and calling it “As the Heroes Turn,” or “One Hero to Live,” or “General Heroes.” It’s become QUITE the soap opera. You hang on for a whole hour, watching them cast maudlin, moody glances, full of portent, at each other, then just as something is about to happen:

To Be Continued.

You can tell he's flying, see, because the buildings are so far away? See?

You can tell he's flying, because the buildings are so far away? See?

They must have laid off the special effects crew due to the hard times we’re all facing. Because even The Flying Senator? All we ever see of him now is him landing from a distance, with a sort of a swooshing sound.

 

It’s all Evil Plot now, to corral the innocent people who have superpowers, by sticking Hannibal Lechter-ish gas masks on them, orange jail jumpsuits, and put them Who-Knows-Where? We don’t know, because of course they always escape.

They scatter. They come together, cast moody glances at each other at temporary safe houses, then scatter again, to find another place to cast moody glances at each other.

The most common lines now are: “We’re stronger together than we are apart,” and “We must keep this a secret.” 

Okay: let’s see some strength. Let’s see you kick some bad guys.

But who are the bad guys, now? Even the superguy they started out with, who they wrote up REALLY scary in the first season, named Sylar, is iffy, now that we’re getting to know him. Sylar is the scariest because he’s unfair: all he has to do is come NEAR a superguy, and he absorbs their power: FOREVER. Wait: that’s more than one superpower.

Not fair. And scary. So he has EVERYBODY’s powers. And, I, having gotten annoyed, and missed a few episodes, observe now he’s a “shape-shifter,” which means he has that 1970s “Bionic Woman/Fill In Your Action Show of Choice” power of magically looking – and somehow SOUNDING (how they manipulate their larynx, too, these shape-shifters, is amazing) – like anyone else. Height, weight, shoe size, and everything.

I guess the Laws of Conservation of Mass go out the window in TV Land. Unless, maybe, if Sylar turns into a really short guy, he becomes as dense as kryptonite.

But what I really like about Sylar is his power to make his hair look really stupid.

Sylar, all glam, and Sylar, with silly hair.

Sylar, all glam, and Sylar, with silly hair.

Wonder Twin Powers, Unite!

Wonder Twin Powers, Unite!

Some of these superpowers, though, I never did understand. Like this woman, whose name I forget. She started out with a double in the mirror: super-strong – and evil. Then, somehow, this double came out of the mirror, and I’m not sure if her twin became good or evil, or merged back into her or not. Either way, it reminded me eerily of “Wonder Twin Powers: Unite!” Only without the plastic cereal bowl ring.

 

Ando - Hiro's sidekick, now superhero - hence the fist, I guess.

Ando - Hiro's sidekick, now superhero - hence the fist, I guess.

Hiro – ha, ha, hilarious name choice – and Ando, though – the two Japanese heroes – I love. Hiro has this extremely stubborn sense of honor, while Ando is just this regular guy, looking to get laid if possible, although Hiro can usually bring him around from the dark side. Somehow, though, during the period I missed, Hiro lost his power to stop time – which was one of the cooler powers – and Ando now has gained SOME power which I can’t for the life of me understand.

 

Looking SO much cooler than the nerd he is.  

 

Looking SO much cooler than the nerd he is.

 

And, to top it all off, they’re toting some SuperBaby, which belongs to yet another reluctant mind-reading hero, which they just delivered (no pun intended.) This mind-reading hero has taken on another power – and they made THIS fair – because the guy that HAD this power died, SO SOMEBODY needs to be able to have his eyes turn white and draw cartoons of the future.

He apparently sucks at it, though, because in the episodes I’ve seen, he JUST finishes his drawing – as in – “Wait – that’s us, getting arrested!” and the police barge in. So he really needs to work on his timing.

The problem with all this?

I’ll keep watching. Because after all, if I can’t BE a superhero, I’m still a sucker for any show about them. Especially flying. Because if you ask me? THAT’S what I want my superpower to be.

 

Think we can pull this off? Are you serious?

Think we can pull this off? Are you serious?

 

OK, NOW we're deadly serious. But for some reason, this cheerleader has a new team?

OK, NOW we're deadly serious. But for some reason, this cheerleader has a new team?

 

 

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3 Comments

Filed under humor, satire, television

3 responses to “Heroes: the Soap Opera

  1. Hi, good post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I will definitely be subscribing to your blog.

  2. hyen665

    That was quite possibly the best blog I’ve ever read. Not to mention, you’ve hit the nail on the head with Heroes.

  3. Well, shucks. Thanks so much. I’m all a-blush. :~D

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