Monday, October 08, 2007

Heroes - 2x02 "Lizards"

I've written about the loose narrativeness of Heroes before (which was an apologia for the sputtering climax of the finale), but I like to repeat myself (especially when I don't have much new to say), and moreover, I think I'm justified in revisiting and refining what I observed in "How to Stop an Exploding Man" by this young season so far. The upshot: Heroes is as purely about the moment as a serialized drama can get.

Which of course begs the question, "WTF?" To expand a little bit: Even though last season had the Sylar-arc and this season has its new bogeyman, both of which lurked over and supposedly defined nearly everything that goes on in the show, the season-long (pseudo)narratives mask the how unnarrative the show is. Rather, the real bread and butter of Heroes is the spectacle, the unnarratorial moment loosed from logic or continuity or expectation. Hiro disarming the renegade samurai, or Claire frakking cutting off toe, or the like, those moments bring joy to the series, not necessarily answers to persistent questions like "Who Is Nu-Bogeyman?" or "Who is Linderman?" Taking the latter question for example, did it matter so much that Linderman was a geezer with vague healing powers, or that he was stingy with his pot pie when Nathan didn't want to play ball with him? In the long-run, I vote the latter, as should you. On a far more trivial scale, I actually find Ricky's "Oirish" accent endearing, because it has the silly, amateurish, unserious vibe of continuity-light Silver Age comics, which means, uh oh, ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, like it or not, you're nerds for liking this show.

But if a show is predicated on awesome spectacle, well, it needs to deliver awesome spectacle. (I'm just now realizing that since this show's strengths lie with the SNIKTS and KABOOMS as well as the JUMPING OUT OF THIRD-STORY WINDOWS, you can reasonably argue that the stupid fight between Sylar and the Heroes was actually kind of stupid.) As of this writing, the series is still mapping out the foundations of the various character arcs, which, unfortunately, is work that's entrenched in the narrative mode and which Heroes is plainly not very good at. So as long as it's busy psychologizing Claire's desire to not blend in with the crowd, or shading the contours of Mr. Bennet's Resistance Group, the show is going to be pedestrian. Cutting Claire open isn't enough spectacle to rekindle my nerdlust for this show.

Indie rating: Solex - "On an Ordinary Day"

1 comment:

Baby Z said...

Sometimes it takes a painfully long time for this show to get interesting. Ugh. I'm getting flashbacks of the episodes after the first hiatus of season one.