Tag Archives: heroes

Raiders Of The Jumped Shark: The Racialicious Review Of Heroes 4.10

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. Garcia, also Posted At The Instant Callback

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

“You could have told us all this in a restaurant.”
Peter Petrelli

It’s never a good sign when Petey’s argument makes the most sense. But he’s exactly right — “1961″ was, quite the pointless trip in the wayback machine, an ostensible origin story for the Company wrapped around a maudlin effort at “reconciliation” for the Benetrellis.

coyote sands2Picking up from last week’s events, the family comes together at Coyote Sands — the site, it turns out, of a metahuman relocation camp and some sort of subsequent massacre involving the members of Angela’s family. But the vacation’s not all fun and tomb-raiding; the former Angela Shaw is there looking for her sister Alice, who was apparently so traumatized that she’s been living in a bunker at the camp for more than 50 years.

Think about it for a second: a firefight involving superhumans at a government facility, and the site is still wide-open? And, there’s evidence of spontaneous weather patterns generating in this one particular zone and nobody – not even Primatech — sussed out something weird was going on? And the camp can’t be as remote as we were led to believe if the nearby cafe has been able to stay in business this whole time. Surely somebody would have noticed a weird woman wandering around town? Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.9

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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What can you get from a first encounter? As our Roundtable demonstrates this week, plenty. We begin this week’s installment with a scene that the show’s creators might not have thought too much of when they wrote it. And about the giraffe … uh, don’t ask.

A friend of mine asked why the Asian trucker Hiro and Ando encountered annoyed me. So here’s the thing: the scene took what could’ve been a poignant (or even pleasant) moment – Hiro and Ando meeting a second-generation immigrant – and reduced it to a cheap “good ol’ boy” punchline. Grafting a stereotypically “white” persona onto a person of color doesn’t make it any less of a caricature. But what’d you make of that scene?

Diana: The funny thing is, I actually knew of an Asian kid in high school that spoke with a very strong Southern twang, so the Asian trucker thing really wasn’t that far-fetched to me.  Although, I will admit that everytime I heard this kid speak, it was always surprising to hear that twang coming out of someone who looked like he did. So aside from the comedy, I thought the Asian trucker character actually forced you to think about stereotypes and assumptions people make based on someone’s looks.

Mahsino: While I see where you [Arturo] are coming from in terms of offense at the trucker being a punchline, but I actually found it kind of brilliant. The longer I think about this, the more I think I liked it because it challenged the Heroes definition of what it means to be American. Think about it, all the characters of color (with the exception of Micah) are imported from somewhere else. I think that’s what was so jarring about the trucker being American, and why it made sense for Ando to assume he was Japanese- because really, besides silent extras one could assume Americans (except the president) are all white and Minorities are all foreign given how the Heroes-verse operates. Long story short- I liked the twist. Now whether I liked the actual lines the trucker got are another story.

Erica: I wasn’t sure about this scene when I watched it, and I’m less sure now. My intial reaction was, “Oh, that’s convenient, they meet a Japanese trucker.” Then he talked, and I said, “ok, my bad, Japanese-American.” I like Mahsino’s explanation of the positive interpretation you can have of this scene, and showing non-Benetrelli Americans can only help this show’s dismal portrayals of reality. But at the same time, it still just doesn’t feel right — and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that something that makes me vaguely uncomfortable has a good chance of outright offending somebody else, so it’s probably not good.

Jen*: I like the actor, so when I saw him (before he said anything) I was like H&A – wondering. The accent got on my nerves a bit, because it seemed forced, and I’m not quite sure about referring to Japan as “the mothership”. But it definitely breaks the monotony of every American being either Black or White.

Andrea: I agree with you, Arturo. As I said on your OP’s thread at The Instant Callback, “That, ahem, ‘Texan twang’ coming out of the Asian-American trucker’s mouth was just awful. The accent missed the mark of a Texan accent and even a Southern accent. It’s as if the director just gave the actor the direction of, ‘Give me your best stereotypical Southern!’ ‘No, more stereotypical ‘hick.’” Nooooo, more stereotypical ‘trucker.’ NO!!!! More ‘Southern Hick Trucker!’” So it wound up sounding like the horrendously caricatured mess that insulted my ears when I watched the ep. And out of that, it was another Asian character to be laughed out, the butt of a joke. Sorta like Hiro (98% of the time) and Ando (60% of the time, 100% of the time this week.)” Continue reading

I Will Make You Hurt: The Racialicious Review For Heroes 4.9

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. Garcia, cross-posted at The Instant Callback

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Like a bad ’80s thriller or the opening of any “CSI: Miami” episode, “Heroes” wasn’t about business this week. Instead – pause for Caruso Pose – it was personal.

At the center of the grudge matches was the show’s new Dastardly Duo, Sylar and Danko – who, it turns out, does have some game with the ladies. Seems America’s Top Lawn Gnome, besides being married to his job, had himself a girlfriend on the side, a former call girl named Alena (Blonde #2,560,742, if you’re keeping score).

MattsAt least, he did until Matt Sr., seeking revenge for the death of Daphne, outed the “Hunter,” a confrontation that leaves both men emotionally broken. Lucky for Matt, not only is he rescued from the wrong end of the gun by Hiro (with an assist from Mohinder), but his mood brightens considerably when Hiro introduces him to a new reason to keep going – his own flesh and blood. The shot of the two Matts in the park, with Hiro and Ando, provided a smile-worthy moment.

While Matt rediscovered his sense of family, Noah saw his start to unravel in earnest, thanks to Sylar, who set out not to kill HRG, but “to destroy him,” personally and professionally. The cat-and-mouse game between the nouveau shape-shifter and the professional paranoid seemed to bring out more sincere evil in Gabriel than even the showdown with his dad a few weeks back. Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.8

Hosted by special correspondent Arturo R. García

The Algonquin SnarkTable continues to grow this week, with the addition of Jen* and the return of Hexy to our ranks! Did they pick the right week to come back? Well, let’s talk about that …

What’s more improbable: that Nathan & Claire made it from the U.S. to a tourist town in central Mexico unscathed (if broke), or that seemingly the only Mexicans they managed to interact with were a hotel clerk and (presumably) whoever got them the tequila shots?

Mahsino: Just to be devil’s advocate, Heroes never has had a good grasp on geography (see Africa, Somewhere In). That being said they could have easily avoided this mess by sticking to the formula of leaving the location broad- they already set the bar low with the Botswana and Haiti fiascoes. Hell I would’ve bought somewhere near a college campus in southern Texas for believability. And I mean, let’s be honest, having actual Mexicans in Mexico is irrelevant: how else do you measure the quality of a place if not by it’s white-western occupants?

Diana: At first it bothered me that they went to Mexico and only interacted with one Mexican –the hotel clerk–in a country full of PoC. I will say it was priceless when the hotel guy assumed Nathan and Claire were there for some nookie. Gross, but priceless.

Jen*: K, so Nathan flew them to Mexico, with enough cash for 1 night at an hourly motel? Their relationship has always skeeved me out, but now, I roll my eyes with the hotel clerk. Blech. What else would anyone think? That does look like Elle’s hair, though. But wait…Nathan was in the Navy, stationed in the Philippines? That’s a reveal I wasn’t expecting. I also wasn’t really expecting any Mexicans in Mexico. Oh, and I was kinda ticked about how Claire had to take off her shirt to start drinking. How old is she again?

Erica: Heroes showed Patzcuaro as Tijuana (dry dusty streets), or at least what I think Tijuana looks like based on Hollywood’s perception. Doubtless the pictures on the Patzcuaro tourist information website are the “best” of Patzcuaro, but it does NOT look like a desert.

Hexy: Anyone remember when this show not only had a range of POC in it, but had a range of POC as well developed central characters? I’ve never been to Mexico. I would imagine, though, that it does actually contain Mexicans.

Andrea: I’m surprised good ol’ Nathan didn’t have any cash on him. But then again I shouldn’t be, I suppose, considering how deeply he effed up this whole “Get the Powers People” campaign. I was actually more shocked at his ‘do this week. The front looked like it was in perma-windgust. As for the show’s representation of Patzcuaro: the words “lawsuit from the town’s chamber of commerce” comes to mind.

On the flip side, would you call the lack of script interactions (aside from that damn “La Cucaracha” horn) with the native populace “good news”? I mean, at least Nathan didn’t try to seduce anybody like he did in Haiti, right?
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Jen*: Shoot, I’m just glad there are no characters known as “the Mexican,” or that they didn’t just happen to stay with Maya’s family – since she’s Latina, and Mexico = South America, right? Continue reading

No, Really, We’re Okay Now!: The Racialicious Review For Heroes 4.8

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

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

angelapeterAre people’s expectations really that low for this show anymore?

Going into this week’s episode, the word seemed to be good from my friends: “Heroes ftw” one said on twitter; “we’re on an upswing,” another told me this morning. Really?

I didn’t even mind that this was a placeholder episode; everybody needs those, I get that. But Sylar and Dudley DoWrong playing Law & Order: Superhuman Unit to track down a fugitive shapeshifter was by far the most effective plot in “Into Asylum,” which in itself was nothing more than passable.

Not to say that our latest installment of As The Petrellis Turn didn’t have bright spots: Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia each showed some more welcome shades of humanity in Angela and Peter, respectively; and best of all, no Mexicans were harmed in the filming of the Claire-Bear Goes To Mexico sequences.

Claire3In fact, Claire was downright clever in using her regenerative powers to swindle a spring-drunk American coed out of his drinking money. But the ensuing reconciliation between herself and Nathan just felt hollow, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned about this family – and Angela herself copped to this in her confessional – it’s that these folks are always gonna make the wrong choice.

Continue reading

Return Of The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.7

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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We’re back!

After our brief hiatus, your Friendly Neighborhood Snark Merchants are back, with two new additions: everybody, please, welcome Diana and Andrea to the team, as they join Erica and Mahsino in going over “Cold Snap,” a surprisingly eventful (not to mention decent) episode. So let’s get to it!

Going by the recap thread, everybody’s happy to see Micah again. Your take on his return, and what do you think the future holds for him?

Micah 2Diana: I was really glad to see him and, like most folks, was not surprised he was Rebel. It kind of pulled at my heart strings to see Micah had “growed” up some, including his voice change. His character brings a much needed vitality to the show. The adult Heroes are so wrapped up in their angsty grown up B.S. (and Claire with her teeny bopper melodrama) that the idealism of being a superhero is lost (except for Hiro, of course). As the story progresses, I’d like to see Micah and Baby Touch and Go paired together. Imagine the leverage they would have with their two super powers coupled with the idealism of youth. It would be the perfect counterpoint to the eeeeeevil of Danko and the madness of Sylar.

Mahsino:
Upside 1: His voice changed off camera, which is good, because I totally would have been the one to make fun of his voice cracking.

Upside 2: It was nice to have someone who not only sounded like he knew what he was talking about, but seemed to have a plan that didn’t seem like it was freshly pulled out their ass.

Downside: I can’t overlook the fact that he claimed the empty void of person of color who sacrifices themselves for a blond that nobody really cares that much about. If Micah can stand as the voice of reason for the rest of the rebellion, cool- but I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s going to make an ultimate sacrifice at the end of the season.

Erica: One thing that I have consistently liked about Micah was his clarity of ethics. He’s hardly pure good — one of our first glimpses of “what Micah can do” was him convincing an ATM to spit out a few hundred bucks. Then he stole pay-per-view for his cousin. And in this episode he stages a gas leak in Union Station, a false alarm which is doubtless a huge inconvenience and expense for bus companies, law enforcement, and the fire department. But he’s just so UNSELFISH about it, you can’t help but be on his side. He cares about helping other people, and has always been convinced that special powers meant you should help people; his shock at a “hero” turning out to be a double-crossing bitch was really genuine.

Andrea: Micah…meh. Perhaps because a) the Racialicious folks called it (Spoilers, all of you!:D), b) as other watchers pointed out, Heroes’ new pattern is to offer one semi-precious stone episode in a pile of crappy ones to keep fans halfway excited, and c) the show has so deeply gone downhill as far as characters of color are concerned that I have no expectations as far as his getting major play on the show. So yeah, I can see Micah being Rebel and then getting offed…and not reincarnated like his momma/aunt/protector Nikki/Barbara/Tracy. I’m not going to get hepped up yet.

Any episode now, I’m waiting for the reveal–complete with muddled exposition– of Micah actually being the unknown child of Nikki/Barbara/Tracy and President Worf … er, Dorn … uh–what the hell is his name? Continue reading

Inglorious Bastards: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 4.6

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

Writer’s Note: There were moments this week where I considered not submitting this review to the site — not only was this a horrible episode (more on that below), but the white-washing of the series has seemingly gone into overdrive. It’s gotten worse as the series has stumbled along, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something extra creepy about it this year. It doesn’t help matters that the early rumors about the season finale and next season center on Those Damn Bennetrellis. This sort of willful ignorance is building to another piece later in the year. But, before that, our weekly tradition.


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

There was a lot of bad to go around in “Shades of Gray” — too bad only some of it was intentional.

Like a reject from Volume 3, this episode was a mess “anchored” by a bunch of bad personalities. Topping your sh-t parade was the much-ballyhooed reunion between Sylar and his father Samson, finally revealed as being played by Smallville escapee John Glover.

sylarsUnlike Lionel Luthor, though, Samson is holed up in a van down by the river in the remains of a trailer, hammering home hunting metaphors when not wheezing his way through cancer (while still smoking, of course, to remind us he is A Very Bad Person). After teasing both a reconciliation and a fight between the two men, in the end Sylar just … uh, walks out. We’re supposed to believe Gabe gleaned some insight from his dad turning on him, but it amounts to, “Well, I’ll just keep on being EEEEVIL.” And I know that letting the sickness take his father slowly was supposed to be ironic or whatnot, but the Sylar we’ve known wouldn’t care about making a statement; he’d just take the righteous kill — and the bunny. Continue reading

Mother’s Day: The Racialicious Review of Heroes 4.5

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

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

For the second straight week, a strong character showing from the Bennet clan buoyed the episode. But go fig, it wasn’t Noah.

Sandra1After spending the whole of the series as little more than a doormat for her husband and her daughter, Mama Sandra stepped out and stepped up in “Exposed,” helping Claire get Aqualad Alex away from the feds (including webisode graduate Rachel Mills). We also got to hear waaay too much about her affinity for Def Leppard, but it was worth it to see Ashley Crow finally get to play a fully-realized character on this show. Hopefully we’ll see more of Sondra’s newfound strength during Claire’s confrontation with Doyle.

Elsewhere, off the beaten path, we got a glimpse of Sylar’s biological mother, as a roadside diner stirs memories of the day young Gabriel’s dad literally took the money and ran. Little Gabe runs after him just in time to see the elder Gray telekinetically slice his mom’s forehead open. In other words, HE LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU! Continue reading