Tag Archives: heroes

Rock Bottom: The Racialicious Review of ‘Heroes’ 4.3

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
Eptitle3

“Ink”? The way this week’s episode slogged along, it was more like molasses.

The story, such as it was, mostly revolved around the Delusional Duo: Claire and Peter, who each found themselves being courted and, as usual, fell for it. In Claire’s case, not only did she tell the increasingly creepy Gretchen about her powers – not that she had much of a choice after her swandive out the window last week – but invited her to become her roommate, arguably just days after her former roommate was found dead outside her window.

A note of further explanation: the character of Gretchen has been crafted so ham-handedly it’s hard to get anything other than a Single White Female rip-off out of her interactions with Claire. If Gretchen is meant to ultimately be a villain, the surprise was lost long ago. If she turns out to be a quirky sidekick or a heroine, it’s liable to ring hollow after nuggets of dialogue like “some things are inevitable.”

Tat1As for Peter, at least his manipulation was carried out more skillfully, as The Mysterious Samuel, posing as an injured beneficiary of Pete’s Speedy Samaritan policy, ingratiated himself to Peter for reasons yet unknown. Apparently Sam wants Peter to replace his dead brother at the helm of the Mysterious Carnival. In a curious touch, Samuel follows up on Peter’s advice and visits his posh childhood home, where he’s turned away because the current tenants are having a party. You’d think that a guy as cunning as Sam would figure out that even non-carnival folk aren’t going to just let a guy in the door. But because he’s EEEVIL and Mysterious, he instead throws a sinkhole-sized hissyfit, while branding Peter with the Mysterious Compass Tattoo. At least it was on his wrist and not his lower back.

Continue reading

In Sylar They Trust: The Racialicious Roundtable vs. Heroes & the Fall TV Season

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

Cast1

Heroes begins its’ fourth season Monday night in the throes of identity crises on- and off-screen: the show’s name doesn’t really fit anymore – almost none of the titular core cast wants to be “special” anymore, let alone superheroic – and its’ most important plotline centers around Sylar, a brain-scrambled villain.

elecsy1Previously, of course, the Big Bad was brainwashed into assuming the identity of Nathan, and subsequently assuming control of a federally-funded successor to Primatech, headed by Noah. In a rare bit of storytelling elegance, this set-up isn’t too far removed from the future Hiro encountered in Season One’s classic “Five Years Gone” episode. The upshot of this figures to be more time watching Adrian Pasdar and Zachary Quinto play opposite/with each other as SyNate.

Otherwise, there’s not much heroism going on: Matt Sr. is not just dealing with the psychic residue of Sylar, but guilt over his role in covering up Nathan’s death. Peter, Claire, Noah and Angela, we’ve been told throughout the summer, are “trying to get back to normal life” – but nobody’s asking for them to be those people again; only for them to have grown beyond that point, and aside from Noah and Angela, we haven’t gotten that consistent character development.

The poster child for the series’ stagnant development, Hiro, might fare better, albeit because his character will be forced to deal with his power threatening his health. Hiro, along with Ando, will reportedly be trying “to help people” back in Japan as the season opens. What, Noah and “Nate” couldn’t spring for Mohinder to run a few tests? (Also, anybody else concerned at the lack of Mo in the preview clips so far? That can’t be a good sign.)

Continue reading

Crazy From The Heat: The End Of Summer TV Roundup

Glee1

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

These have truly been depressing days. Bad enough that the past few weeks of summer television hasn’t given us anything to rave about. But not even the bad stuff was inspiring – there was nothing that brought out the sweet, bileful taste of anger.

So thank you, Fox, for bringing Glee back into my life.

Like the Tea Party protests its’ parent network supported, this show is an astroturf “grassroots phenomenon” – not just a rip-off of both every other high school comedy you’ve ever seen but every recent musical Disney and Nickelodeon have shoved down our throats, but the new pet cause of a fanbase that can’t wait for Randy, Ryan and Simon to drive your parent’s pop hits further into the ground.

The series’ rise to prominence is especially disturbing when its’ characters of color make Long Duk Dong look nuanced. Mercedes (Amber Riley) is not small, calls co-protagonist Finn (Cory Monteith) “white boy” and “Justin Timberlake” compares herself to Beyonce – what the hell is wrong with Kelly Rowland? – and sings Aretha at her audition. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) is Asian, Hollywood “gothy” and … well, that’s about it. At least she has hope for development in the future. And Principal Figgins is a relentless cheapskate, which I normally wouldn’t worry about except for the role being played by Iqbal Theba, who was born in Pakistan. But hey, at least Figgins isn’t driving a cab. Continue reading

Unfinished Business: The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.12

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

endofvol4

You didn’t think we’d forgotten, did you?

Actually, this is the perfect time to revisit Heroes, since Monday marked the efforts of Fens Of Color United, an effort to bring to light sci-fi’s continuing struggle with positive POC characters. (Props to Roundtable member Erica for the tip.) Here’s more about it from The Angry Black Woman:

As RaceFail 09[*] continues, it has become clear that there are those who are hellbent on marginalizing and silencing people of color. In the past few months, minorities have been denigrated by bigoted authors and publishers who have also asserted that Fen of Color are rare and pratically non-existent. Despite numerous discussions and attempts to enlighten on the fact that POCs are fans, writers, artists and just as integral to this genre as our white counterparts, we are continuously dismissed.

On Monday May 18, 2009, we are asking anyone who identifies as a POC/non-white to post this banner, their speculative short stories, artwork, poetry or simply write a post on their favorite fandom on their blogs as an act of protest to show we will not be silent or invisible. The day of protest is entitled Fen Of Color United or more aptly, FOC_U.

White allies can also show solidarity for this event by posting this banner and expressing the need for diversity and speaking out against the bigotry in the genre, through posts and/or their creative work as well.

With that in mind, we join our Friendly Neighbourhood Roundtable’s season-ending chat, already in progress …

Diana: Oooh, I hate the stanky leg
Andrea: speaking of stanky … shall we talk Heroes?
erica: nice tie-in
arturo: brilliant segue!
jen*: sho nuff
Diana: ok
mahsino: if we must
Andrea: i try, y’all. i try.

arturo: Well, let’s start at the beginning: what’d everybody think of the ep?
erica: bleah
Diana: C-
Andrea: zzzzzzzz.
erica: D+
mahsino: i’ve become so acclimated to the bad, i just don’t know anymore
jen*: i’m just mad about fake Nate.
arturo: how come?
Andrea: i feel you, jen. Go first.
erica: I was mad that they got my hopes up by actually stabbing him dead … and then couldn’t leave him dead for more than five minutes.
mahsino: that was frustrating
jen*: I hoped so long. It was my great wish for the finale.
arturo: but Nate *is* dead
mahsino: called it
arturo: yes you did

sylar_and_nathanerica: The logic for resurrecting Sylar into Nathan was pretty weak.
Diana: That was a weird story twist. Does that mean we won’t see Quinto anymore?
arturo: depends; when does Star Trek 2 start filming? ha
erica: it hasn’t started filming yet?
Andrea: well, according to Entertainment Weekly he’s in the franchise for 2 more films.
mahsino: and yet they had the foresight to plan for his replacement
jen*: yes – but bewitching Sy for this – eh. It’s so obviously his Trek-out.
arturo: actually, E! reported that we *will* see Sylar next year — kind of a Fight Club thing, if you saw that flick
Diana: He can do both. Really he’s one of the few I like to see.
Andrea: I have to disagree, Diana. He bores me.
Diana: So they are going to do a dual personality thingy?
arturo: I imagine so — Sylar struggling to reclaim dominance and such.
mahsino: They’ve overworked Sylar
erica: I like to see Sylar in moderation.
Andrea: And Sylar’s gonna ooze out of Nathan. Already the man’s changing clocks.
Diana: I like it when he is really bad. They wasted time changing his personality.
arturo: Erica, I must say, I bought Noah’s rationale — if Sylar became a news story, metahumans would definitely be in the crosshairs. Continue reading

Up In Smoke: The Racialicious Review of ‘Heroes’ 4.12

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
Also Posted At The Instant Callback

ep12title

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

A note about this week’s especially tardy report: Monday morning I had to undergo an emergency wisdom tooth extraction. The procedure required more than the usual amount of local anesthetic to prep me, because for most of the previous 10 hours, I’d felt like the tooth had grown flaming tendrils designed to stream shards of glass down my jaw and up my temples, despite my efforts to contain the pain; literally, I was popping antibiotics and pain relievers at a rate that would give Hollywood starlets pause, and it didn’t help.

I tell you all this because the experience was less frustrating than the latest season finale for Heroes.

True, “An Invisible Thread” did give us a pair of sincere OHMYGOD moments. But even when it’s good, this series can leave you dissatisfied. Why all the filler between the killer? The best and worst aspect of the episode was, it made stuff like 1961 look even more pointless in retrospect. And it brings other uncomfortable questions to mind:

1. Will less episodes mean more good episodes? Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.11

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

FunnyMo

One episode left in Heroes’ season, and the major players are coming together again in order to … uh, save the country from themselves. Or something. We’ve got villains riffing on the Obama campaign, a family pledging to work together for about two minutes, and one brave Roundtable willing to make sense of it all for you. So here we go!

Forget saving the country; with Tim Kring writing the closer, can the Heroes even salvage their season?
Mahsino: No. It’s like we aren’t jumpin’ sharks anymore, we’re jumping humpback whales. This show half-past ridiculous, how many times can we say “this changes everything” in one episode?
Jen*: I don’t see Kring saving anything. An hour’s not long enough, anyway. Something Arturo said was on my mind as well though – every series doesn’t have 10 sucky ep’s to have 2 good ones – why is Heroes like this?
Andrea: Ever since Kring went on his blame-the-fans campaign, I felt he lost interest in saving this show, and this season was another example of his neglect. I’m surprised NBC let him get away with this, considering how rough network TV’s having it these days.
Diana: There’s nothing to save. They didn’t even keep with the theme of this chapter. It’s just been a hodge-podge of crap all season.
Erica: The only possible salvation is that overused classic — it turns out it was all a dream and we can ignore it all!

dankoknifeLet’s talk terminal! Who do you see getting offed and why?
Mahsino: Nate’s getting offed. This show isn’t big enough for both Nathan and Sylar’s eyebrows.
Jen*: If wishes came true. I’ll take the obvious choice: Danko.
Mahsino: Somehow I manage to forget about his presence as soon as he’s not in the shot. I second that recommendation.
Diana: I’m with Jen on this one. Once Sylar pulled that knife out of his head, my thought was, “Danko the troll is gonna get it now.”
Erica: Yeah, Danko goes bye-bye. Sadly, much as I wish Nathan would finally give up the ghost, he’ll be sticking around to give Peter somebody to whine at.
Andrea: What? As much as we carry on about her, no one wants Claire offed? Or better yet, the show’s wigmaker? (The former ’cause she has to be about the most useless main character, and the latter…well, look at what zie’s been putting on the former’s head.)
Mahsino: Much as I might wish it to be so, I just don’t see her biting the bullet- that would just make too much sense. Continue reading

Conversations With Dead People: The Racialicious Review for Heroes 4.11

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

ep11title

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Give credit where it’s due: writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster took a premise that could have imploded big-time – Sylar coming unraveled – and turned “I Am Sylar” into a taut, capable lead-in to next week’s season finale.

Tying it all together, of course, was the Big Bad’s stumbling all over his new power. The story starts 18 hours before the final shot of “1961,” as we see the implausible occur: the Man with the Plan losing himself so badly in his new shape-shifting power, he wakes up wearing the face of a recent victim. Things get so bad for him he actually takes advice from Danko, who wants nothing more than for his heaviest hitter to keep racking up the metahuman notches.

MicahSylarAlong the way, though, an equally unlikely voice emerges on Gabriel’s other shoulder: the much-missed Micah. Whereas maybe even a few weeks ago, Sylar would have shredded Micah like so much confetti, his state of confusion allows the kid to urge him toward something better. That appeal gets Micah a reprieve and an assist from Gabriel, but it opens up a whole other can of worms. Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.10

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

MattNathanExtreme

Oh boy, where to begin with “1961″? With the awkward, Forrest Gump-ish approach to reframe the Heroes canon into pre-Civil Rights Act history? The needless retconning of two previously admirable minority characters? The continued hammering over the head with how “special” the Benetrellis are?

Actually, this time we’re starting off with a different type of Open Mic; Roundtable member Andrea had expressed some concerns with me about the imagery dredged up by the family’s digging through the metahuman camp. I wanted to give her the space to elaborate, and then get our other members’ responses.

skullAndrea: As I told Arturo and Mahsino in emails, I’m really sick and tired of the show playing hopscotch with events surrounding human-rights violations and figures–and doing it in such a contrived way. From namedropping (Harriet Tubman, Che Guevara) to framing their struggles with the gub’ment (Abu Ghraib), these pop nods are, I suppose, to show the show’s profundity and relevance, of showing the creative team’s understanding the ramifications of societies dealing negatively with difference, but it just feels shallow…and pushes the show to further irrelevance. And it’s kinda ironic, considering how the writers push the characters of colors further to the peripheries of the storylines with each season, if not outright killing them. ::sigh:: And this week, we get images of internment camps/mass burials wrapping around the poorly done story of Bennetrellis and the Company’s origins. I was really put off.

Erica: I hate it when historical tragedies are given trite treatment like this. Japanese internment camps deserve more respectful coverage than, “Oh, by the way, something similar to our current fictional portrayal happened before, and it was bad, so this is bad.”

And yes, Peter, Angela could have told you all about this in a restaurant, but then how would she have desecrated the graves of dozens of victims (including her parents and, to the best of her knowledge, sister) of a paranoid government? “Oh, Nathan, while you’re digging there, be sure to get your grandfather’s watch, I’m sure he wanted you to have it.”

Mahsino: You know, this whole thing probably could’ve been made interesting if they brought in Hiro and Ando. At lease with them there, it wouldn’t have made the reference to Japanese internment camps seem so out of left field.

Diana: They are definitely trying too hard. The show was much more interesting in Season 1 when we were getting glimpses of the future which was a whole other reality. They’d be better off if they created another reality with its own rules and quirks. This following the topics of the day is unimaginative, lazy and just makes  the show more soap-opera-ish.

jen*: This ep really pissed me off. A filler episode dealing with internment camps? Angela’s treatment of the memory was none too respectful, either – considering those bodies were supposedly of her family. Then, after the dust literally settles, it’s all buried again.  No more bad memories – let’s make a new company! Continue reading