Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Fair's fair at the fairground

My brain has been bludgeoned into a state of blancmange-like torpor this week, and if it wasn't for the new series of Heroes, I might have just decided to hide in a bin and not come out again. However, they don't have deliciously lithe fictional serial killers in bins, so at least I had an incentive to scuttle out for a few moments.

So here are a few thoughts on the double-headed beast that is Orientation and Jump, Push, Fall:

  • If you need a clue to how pleased I am by the return of Heroes, I can reveal a slightly worrying fact. I was actually pleased to see Peter Petrelli. I know, I know. Shocking, isn't it? But there seems to be something weirdly endearing about him now, and I just can't explain it. Perhaps he has seen G-Force and has started to believe that plucky but inept fluffy animals can be heroic too? Perhaps I envy his stripped-down Zen apartment and obsessive sense of purpose? Or perhaps I merely covet his discovery of a great use for superspeed, i.e. getting really good takeaway food from a long way away?

  • While Peter's life is stripped down for speed, Bennet's is a burnt mess, rather like his dinner. On the plus side, he seems to have a shapely-but-wooden midlife crisis in the offing, in the form of Tracy. (Careful now, man: you could easily ruin it with a line like "Oh baby, you're so wet".) On the minus side, he's reduced to living on cereal, and the chances of his assumption that Sandra's got a new bloke being correct must surely be zero, so he has only himself to blame if Sandra subsequently wants to put his testicles in a safety deposit box. (I can tell you in advance, Noah, that "We were on a break!" is not going to cut it as an excuse.) Anyway, with their collective man-pain issues and inability to do domestic, I reckon Bennet and Peter should become roomies and have their own wacky flatshare sitcom. Suggested title: One of Them Behaving Badly, One of Us Behaving Badly. Rather like Peter, it could run and run.

  • My Zen rule of Heroes-watching is to enjoy things as they are, and not spend lots of time wishing that they were some other way. Nonetheless, I really wish they'd integrate Hiro and Ando into the wider storyline, instead of leaving them to plough their own distant comedy furrow, and yet it never happens. Still, what have we got to look forward to here? Hiro dying of something non-specific that (presumably) he'll eventually be cured of? Gullible!Hiro getting used and disillusioned by the scheming Samuel in a tedious re-run of what happened with Adam? Ando finally getting some? (Good for Ando, not massively thrilling for the viewing masses.) Still, perhaps there's some mileage in Hiro going back to fix broken plotlines, à la Quantum Leap. For instance, what if Peter had never got that floppy haircut? Would the entire history of the world have changed? I'd quite like to find out.

  • Now, what about our new Carnival compadres? With their vaguely defined abilities and mystic hoohah about faaahmily, they rather feel like they've wandered in from some other show entirely (perhaps EastEnders?). But in the interests of finding points of interest, let's take a closer look at our contestants:

    • Samuel the Muttering Oirish Man of Mystery: oh dear, oh dear. I find it hard to believe, after all of Tim Kring's well-documented awareness of and apologia for several rubbishy things in series 2, he somehow failed to get the memo about why fake Oirish accents are bad and should be avoided on pain of death. If you want to include an Irish character, hire someone Irish. If you want to hire a specific actor who's not Irish, make their character not Irish. You can try all you like to distract me with flaky nail polish and eccentric "Derren Brown meets Timothy Claypole" costume choices, but you're going to have to go a looong way before I stop noticing the tortured vowels.
    • Lydia the Tattooed Lady: named after the song, I presume? Anyway, she's a bit limp so far, as you might expect from someone with a superpower that requires her to take her top off constantly. We can only hope Sylar absorbs that one, and uses it a lot...
    • Stabby Darth Maul Guy: good at the stabby, fighty stuff (that scene with Peter was pretty ace), less so at acting, where he remains a sub-par Vinnie Jones. Still, by Heroes standards, that virtually makes him Kenneth Branagh.

    Anyway, the jury's still out, but I'll be charitable for now and give them a few episodes of grace, for fear that they might start spitting in the candy floss.

  • Alas, poor Danko... well, not really. It was obvious he wasn't going to have much to do in the new status quo, and in fact I was thinking "Bored with you now!" when hey presto, he immediately got killed. Sadly, this was only coincidence: I do not really possess formidable mental smiting powers that work on characters I find tedious. And I know this because Mohinder remains alive and well. Darn it.

  • Hip hooray, Claire has got rid of her nasty wig collection and now has a decent hairdo! She also quickly acquires a Willow to her Buffy, to replace the deceased Scary Driven Chick with her straight-out-the-window trajectory. On the down side, Claire's new friend has a rather morbid streak to go with her Wednesday Addams hair. It's worth remembering that the last character we met with a big interest in autopsy textbooks was Sylar, after all. So I'd keep a suspicious eye on Gretchen, for fear that her trajectory leads towards BRAINS - the tasty alternative to linear algebra.

  • Oh dear, Angela's self-imposed role as Queen of Denial is coming rather unstuck over the whole there-is-no-Nathan-there-is-only-Sylar thing. I have a theory that the height of Angela's hair is directly proportional to her bloody-minded craziness, so currently she's pretty darn doolally. If her beehive rises another few inches, the fate of humanity could be at stake. Watch that 'do, people.

  • Last but by no means least, we have two flavours of Sylar this season. First, there's Nathan!Sylar, unable to remember whether he likes sushi, freaking out over his newly discovered coffee-fetching ability, and wondering why he's fucked up his own life so badly (it's like Quantum Leap again, but this time the evil version!), and being pushed into a midlife crisis at least ten years too soon. Poor sweetie. On the plus side, at least he's acquired a snowglobe for his desk: clearly the executive toy of choice for today's repressed sociopath with mother issues. Secondly, we have Hallucination!Sylar, tormenting Matt with his relentless sarcasm, chiselled jawline and teasing glimpses of chest hair. So he's back and he wants his body? Oh, don't we all...

  • And now, to finish, it's Foreshadowing Corner. Was Angela's mention of Arthur Petrelli finding himself "a younger woman with questionable morals" an unsubtle nod to the potential existence of Yet Another Bloody Petrelli? Will Speed-Peter start handholding with Ando and time-travelling to put right the things that Hiro put wrong when he was trying to put them right? And precisely when will we get to see Sylar staggering out of the woods in a horrible sweaty tracksuit belonging to the Baltimore Police Department? All of these questions, and quite a few others, will potentially answered in the weeks to come. And I, for one, am still along for the ride. Tally-ho, viewers...
Tags: heroes
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