Sunday, October 22, 2006
It's Sunday night and I've been sitting for the last hour and a half watching some of the Heroes marathon. While the title and some of the trailers mays suggest that it's an attempt to cash in on the age old superhero genre, the plot seems far more pomo. As I understand it, the show is taken from the graphic novel genre, which I readily admit I'm not too familiar with; nevertheless, two episodes have left me with what I think is a pretty good feel for the show. Amidst other things, it appears that the program is wrestling with/advancing the notion that contemporary heroes are not as perfect as those of bygone eras. Sure Superman had his kryptonite, but this isn't the type of weakness this show wrestles with. All the superhero's from my day (it's sad that I can date myself already) though they may have grappled with occasional physical infirmities, were upstanding at all time in their moral character. NBC's new program grapples with the darker side of their heroes. For example, the narrator of the storyline is a man who can see the future and is mapping out the fate of the characters through his paintings...which are composed during his heroin induced trips. Likewise, the wholesome cheerleader who apparently cannot die and gladly saves a stranger from a burning train wreck also kills the boy who tried to take advantage of her by racing his car (with him in the passenger seat) into a concrete wall at 80 plus miles per hour. The gentle Asian man who can stop time to save a young girl from being hit by a truck, also uses the same skills to beat the house in Vegas. I grant that it's still early in the season and perhaps these moral dilemmas will be righted...however, I suggest postmodernity has struck again...this time deconstructing the superhero. Either way, the show is certainly intriguing.