Unlike Jeanette, I am free to trash NBC up and down Broadway (and other popular thoroughfares.) I can tell you that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is a self-important snore, a masturbatory tribute to TV-making, fraught with typical Aaron Sorkin non-humor. Example: the cutesy dialogue between Matthew "Oxycontin" Perry and Bradley "Wha...? Zzzz..." Whitford in the second episode, "The Cold Open." Brad asks Matt if he still loves some chick named Harriet, and Matt's like nah, I just appreciate her talent, and her convictions, and her legs. Brad's like, Oh man, you're in trouble, and Matt's like, yeah I know. HILARIOUS RIGHT?
So that blows. And NBC's most popular show still involves people yelling at girls with bad boob jobs to open suitcases. HOWEVER. I caught Heroes the other night, and like the suckiest of suckers, I was sold. The show may rip off X-Men shamelessly with a little bit of Lost thrown in, but it managed to hook me despite some cheese. Let's compare the good with the dairy-based:
* Several genuine moments of surprise. Par example: at the end of the pilot, we learn that a main heroine's father is also the creep pursuing a different protagonist for his possibly revolutionary scientific theories.
* Unpredictable reactions to discovery of superpowers. Por ejemplo: aforementioned cheerleader is appalled to discover she is indestructible. This makes her a socially-unacceptable freak, she reasons. Yeah, because broken bones are the new black.
* Diverse cast includes East Asian, South Asian, and drug addict characters. Oh wait, that's Lost. * OK, we'll let that go because the East Asian character is hilarious!
* And the South Asian is HOT! What's up with me and the subcontinent lately?
* It takes place in New York.
* Ensemble cast guarantees you'll like at least some of them.
* Special effects look quite promising so far. If the show can keep up a hefty budget, viewers have some neat sci-fi tricks to look out for.
* Thus far the show leans heavily on the ever-popular "serendipitous encounters" motif.
* Writers show a propensity for dialogue of the anvils raining from the heavens variety. People, how many workshops do you need before you grasp the "Show, Don't Tell" rule? There are ways to provide backstory that don't involve dialogue like, "Well, good thing I'm a politician and our mom is dead and you were always such a dreamer!"
* Why is everyone's power cool except for the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold character, who has a terrifying, evil doppelganger? OK, that's not cheesy, but it's a plot wrinkle.
* I mean, this is VERY X-Men. I hope the showrunners decide to wriggle out of the formula a bit. Lost did new and exciting things, like break TV's language barrier and use flashback in innovative ways. Heroes needs to find its own schtick if it plans to stick around.
Or Hugh Jackman could join the cast as Wolverine, in which case I would gladly watch each week. Jeanette says that Hugh Jackman is too fruity to crush on, but come on. Jeanette likes Ewan MacGregor, who starred in two of the queerest films ever made: Moulin Rouge and Velvet Goldmine. He should make a sequel, Velvet Rouge, which concludes with Ewan spontaneously combusting into a pile of glitter and old Liza Minelli CDs.
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