I’m not a big network television guy, particularly in the fall. Work, coach soccer, watch football. That’s pretty much the extent of my schedule. Of course watching football means gritting through boatloads of commercials, especially commercials for shows that all the critics agree on. It seems NBC’s Heroes is one of those. But I hadn’t seen the show until last night as Monday is a soccer night during which I generally record MNF for post-practice viewing. I can only record one show at a time and MNF semi-regularly runs past 9pm (although less so with this season’s 5:30 Pacific Time start) so I don’t really bother with anything but football on Monday’s.
But practice was rained out last night, Carolina lowered the hammer on the Bucs around 8:30 and miraculously all the kids were in bed about that same time, leaving me with the TV to myself and no football to watch. Somehow I remembered Heroes was on – maybe it was the 47 commercials during the Sunday Night football telecast.
Now for my preconceptions: If you’ve got a decent one hour show and you schedule it for prime time on a Monday you know a good chunk of the country is going to have to make a choice between it and football. To me that means counter-programming. Chick shows. That’s not a bad thing, it just has no appeal for me. Conversely, everyone know chicks aren’t really into comic books, even people who don’t read comic books, but this show is right out there with the premise - and the title for that matter. After seeing one of the early teasers I figured it was a show about cops, firefighters, etc.; no way this could be about actual “super” heroes. I guess the success of superhero movies have changed the thinking in this regard. So right off the bat there’s a mixed message, again, not necessarily a bad thing.
And I promise not to use the word "chick" any more.
Okay, okay, the show. It was alright, good even. When I saw
Jeph Loeb’s name on the credits I figured it would be decent and somewhat formulaic
from the comic fan’s perspective. You know, like a Jeph Loeb comic. And that
pretty well describes it. It’s got a big time X-Files vibe
to it, which I like, providing it doesn’t get too bogged down with aliens and
conspiracy theories. The acting is solid, no one in this episode jumps out as
glaringly bad or breakout good. The scene transitions were pretty smooth and the
script was solid, although lacking in humor. One of the things that I always
appreciated about X-Files was Duchovney’s/Mulder’s dry
sense of humor. Heroes could use a bit of
I was able to easily jump into this episode and pick up the thread, largely because there’s very little new ground broken from a thematic or plot standpoint. I suppose there’s a certain comfort in that and it certainly makes the show accessible, but it also puts a big load on the cast and script to make the show appealing over the long haul; one episode isn’t enough for me to judge those things. And you almost need a tote board to keep track of all the comic book and sci fi tropes in play, which was kind of fun actually.
Must see TV? Nah, but it’s fun and intriguing. Comic book fans will likely enjoy watching just to spot all the retread ideas and characters. And since next Monday’s Giants v. Jags game isn’t very glamorous I may tune in and see if someone actually does save the cheerleader.