Category: tv

November 26, 2008 / / diversity

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García, also posted at The Instant Callback

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Can you feel it now that spring has come
And its time to live in the scattered sun
Waiting for the sun

The Doors

“Everything’s going to change today.”
Arthur Petrelli

Hey, that didn’t suck!

In Part 1 of “The Eclipse,” Heroes finally trades in most of its catharsis for conflict, letting loose Teams Primatech and Pinehearst against each other, and themselves, as the darkening of the sun upends everybody’s expectations.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s the people without powers who adjust the best, especially Noah Bennet, who delivers incredibly satisfying pwnings, as the kidz say, to both Sylar and Elle. But the ass-kicking comes at a cost: as foreseen by Mr. Petrelli via Isaac’s old powers, Claire, the newly-annointed Catalyst, is shot and wounded, and hospital-bound going into next week’s conclusion. Read the Post Divide And Prosper!: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 3.10

November 25, 2008 / / diversity

Hosted by Arturo R. García

The word has come down from Tim Kring’s ivory tower: It’s our fault Heroes has been stinking up the joint this season.

More specifically, those of us who own and actually use our DVRs. The show’s creator bemoaned the state of serialized storytelling at a screenwriters’ gathering earlier this month, because the new technology, by his reasoning, makes us dumber. Here’s a portion of his remarks:

“The engine that drove [serialized TV] was you had to be in front of the TV [when it aired]. Now you can watch it when you want, where you want, how you want to watch it, and almost all of those ways are superior to watching it on air. So [watching it] on air is related to the saps and the dips**s who can’t figure out how to watch it in a superior way.”

Yours truly is too poor and stupid to afford DVR, so I don’t understand all that fancy talk like “dips**t.” Does his excuse hold water? That’s just one of the subjects we tackle in this week’s installment of the Roundtable. Let’s get to it!

Re: Usutu. I was about to say, let’s quit while we’re ahead (nyuk nyuk) when I read an interview with writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete mentioning him while discussing “The Charlie Argument.” I’ll post their words here:

“This is always a tough [argument] for us, whether or not to kill a character. It all generally reverts back into what we call ‘The Charlie Argument.’ While we often hear from fans, executives, or even actors how we shouldn’t have killed her off, most of us believe that the reason she was such a successful character is because she didn’t overstay her welcome. We miss her because she left us wanting more. The German and Stephen Canfield certainly fall into that category – as for Usutu, we haven’t seen the last of him.”

So, how do you feel about seeing Usutu playing the Ghost of, what, Plot Devices Future?

Clara: If Usutu is just a plot device, than I will be very angry. As far as I can tell, that’s what he is– he’s only there to assist the other characters in all matters plot-fully convenient. He doesn’t even have to be alive! All he has to do is hop around in their dreams! I know we talk a lot about how the writers are very willing to write in ways to bring characters (mostly the white male ones) back to life, and I’m anticipating some people pointing to Usutu as one example of a nonwhite character being brought back. I disagree with that, because Usutu wasn’t brought back to life as his own character. He’s just there to help out the characters. He still doesn’t seem to have a history or motivations of his own. Tsk tsk, Heroes writers.

I’m sick of this Usutu As A Guardian Angel business. Now, if Usutu willingly steered a character towards a bad path, if he intentionally gave them the wrong advice, that would be interesting!

Mahsino: I gotta go with Clara on this – it would be awesome if Usutu were steering characters to his whim postmortem seeing as he was basically the Guardian Angel/Haitian 2.0 when he was alive. Then again, it would be annoying if he could only get a personality after death. I dunno, I just hate ghost like characters in shows (I’m looking’ at you too, Grey’s Anatomy).

Read the Post The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 3.9

November 25, 2008 / / tv
November 24, 2008 / / international

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

… No, really, people watch this show every week? No wonder the Bush presidency lasted two terms.

24: Redemption is both set-up and appetizer for the show’s incomprehensible fanbase, setting the table three years after the surely cataclysmic sixth season, which left Super Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on the lam and out of a job, what with his beloved Counter Terrorism Unit being disbanded.

As we begin this two-hour slice of Jack’s traumatic life, the former Republican role model is moonlighting in the fictional African country of Singala, helping out an old special ops buddy (Robert Carlyle) building a school/living shelter somewhere near the country’s border. Where these kids’ parents are, why this school is not co-ed, or staffed by anybody who’s not white, is never explained. The only other person at the camp is a slimy, United Nations worker. Of course the UN guy is French, and verbally fahrts in Jack’s general direction.

But never mind the kids or their harsh socio-political realities, Jack is emotional, man!

He’s depressed about how Season 6 went down, and beset upon by an Annoying Liberal U.S. Bureaucrat (Gil Bellows) serving a subpoena for Jack to testify to Congress regarding “human rights violations.” If we’re talking about the rest of this series, can we move to upgrade the charges to Crimes Against Humanity?

(By the way, we know Bellows is playing a Liberal because he wears dorky glasses and complains about the heat. An Annoying Republican Bureaucrat would have hiked his way across the jungle, carrying the subpoena like Christopher Walken did the watch in Pulp Fiction.) Read the Post White Guy’s Burden: The Racialicious Review of 24: Redemption

November 18, 2008 / / diversity

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García, also posted at The Instant Callback

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Well, it took ’em long enough.

You can always tell the storyarcs on Heroes are heading toward a resolution when the good guys figure out they should give this whole “teamwork” thing a try. And as everybody is keeping an eye on the coming eclipse, those fightin’ McMahons Petrellis are at the heart of the conflict. Here’s how the sides have been drawn:

Team Daddy Issues:
Arthur
Sylar/Gabriel
Elle
Knox
Flint
Tracy Strauss

Team Mommy Dearests:
Angela
Peter
Claire-Bear
Nathan
Parkman
Daphne

Unaccounted for? Some heavy hitters: Hiro & Ando; Noah Bennet; Meredith; The Haitian and the seemingly more stable Suresh, though the latter is now working with/for Arthur at Pinehearst, where he and we learn that the Meta-Formula Nakamura-Sama was hiding actually had three components – and Claire thinks she’s the missing “catalyst” — a heck of a leap in logic, but we’ll just go with it for now.

Hiro and Ando were knocked out of the game by Arthur himself, as Papa Petrelli’s ambush in Africa left Hiro thinking and behaving like a 10-year-old boy, and barely able to teleport himself and Ando to safety. As a result, Ando must now go from sidekick to mentor and babysitter. As Young Hiro begins to learn his way around his powers, he picks up a copy of everybody’s favorite first-season plot-device, the supposedly concluded 9th Wonders! Once again, this week’s issue just happens to follow the Dynamic Duo’s journey. But with Isaac dead, who could be writing it? Never mind that, it’s also showing the eclipse! Read the Post It’s Time To Play The Feud!: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 3.9

November 17, 2008 / / diversity

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

“Villains” was possibly the flattest episode yet for Heroes this season – and the 4% ratings drop from the prior episode only underscores the series’ continued collapse. But, that doesn’t mean we’ve run out of things to say!

Let’s start by discussing Usutu. If he is, in fact, dead, and this isn’t a cliffhanger, as was suggested in last week’s recap thread, what more can you say about about the way he was handled? Also, if this is just a cliffhanger, is it me or does the natural sense of trepidation as a viewer get trumped by the way the series has taken to handling its’ POC characters?

Erica: Even if this is a cliffhanger, that would mean it’s part of Hiro’s dreamwalk. If so, at some point in the future he and Ando and Usutu will be hanging out “somewhere in Africa” until Arthur shows up, and Usutu will die then. (But of course I’ve been fooled when I tried to apply logic to the show before.)

I’m not bothered by the manner of his death, but there’s a caveat with that. Violence happens to everybody in the show, and gruesome murder has been the fate of all ethnicities. (Indeed, the ONLY person who died of natural causes was Shaft Charles Devaux.) It isn’t so much a terrible death for Usutu that is problematic — I am angry about the continual decrease of plots as well as creative development for non-white characters. Even Hiro and Mohinder are far dumber this season, ignoring all their lessons learned. Heroes is a violent show, and all characters are impacted by that; however, the characters of color (COC?) aren’t getting a fair share of happy moments or personal growth. Usutu’s death is problematic because he is simply being written out and we know he won’t be back.

Mahsino: I can’t say I’m surprised that Usutu was killed- although I would like to have known where exactly he died, but I have to say I’m a little disturbed at the fact that the Petrelli men’s favorite form of homicide for most characters of color seem to be some sort of gruesome decapitation (Isaac and Maya’s brother had their heads sliced open, as Usutu was decapitated). Although, I have to agree with Erica that Heroes has a tradition of killing off their COC in the most gruesome way possible.

Hexy: Ah, Usutu. Finally named, post-mortem, but all that proved to me is that Hiro is slightly less of an asshole than the rest of the characters (and writers). His death was shocking in its gore, but not surprising in the least. Sad as it sounds, I’ve gotten to the point where I expected POC to die quickly and horrible, without even a moving death scene. The only way for Usutu to surprise me would have been for him to last the rest of the season and achieve something by and for himself. See how ludicrous that sounds?

Best case scenario suggests he’s killed “in dream” and we’ll get to see him again, however briefly, before he dies “for reals.”

So, this week we were supposed to learn about all the Villains — yet we didn’t hear jack squat about Knox. Weird, no?

Mahsino: No. not weird, expected. At this point I’m waiting to see how they marginalize and eventually kill off all of the characters of color, I’m guessing we’re supposed to forget all about Knox. This way, when (or if) we see him again, we aren’t supposed to have any emotional reaction to the fact that he’s killed. For the most part, all the characters of color in Heroes are one-dimensional: they’re usually either completely good or completely evil. yes, D.L., Isaac, and Simone had some slight shades of gray to them, but there was nowhere near the complexities that they’ve given to Flint- a character we’ve only seen for two episodes. And if you follow the pattern of the show, this makes perfect sense- why bother giving a character any depth when they’re just going to get killed or written off at a later date anyway. Read the Post The Racialicious Roundtable for Heroes 3.8

November 11, 2008 / / diversity

by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García, also posted at The Instant Callback

This week’s episode, “Villains,” was chock-full of … well, it was supposed to be meaningful information. Through the portal of Hiro’s “spirit walk” through Flashback Town, we learned that:

Mister Petrelli is and has been the Big Bad: Not only was Arthur in league with Linderman as part of the original group of Heroes, but apparently Linderman was little more than a crony for Mr. P. It was Arthur who masterminded the attempt on Nathan’s second wife’s life in Season 1; it was Arthur who pushed for the destruction of New York City that same year; and it was Arthur who apparently created the take-no-prisoners persona we’ve seen in Angela, as he mentally subjugated her until she was freed by Linderman.

Elle and Sylar weren’t always crazy: Despite being established as batsh-t crazy over the course of the series, this episode we were taught that really, both were well-meaning kids before each was undone, Gabriel by “The Hunger,” and a misguided crush on her, and Elle by the realization that Primatech was bad people. Read the Post Hiro Takes A Trip: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 3.8