Should’ve also mentioned that comics-related TV show, Heroes was also watched a few times in the past month, largely out of morbid curiosity. Despite being leaden and hugely anti-climactic, season 1 was largely watchable as far as television serials went. Sure, the interconnected storylines never really connected together in a satisfying way, but whatever– they blew shit up with superpowers and right up to the anti-climax, I had some genuine interest in seeing where it was going. At least until season 2, which was in a word: stupid. Some poorly planned stunt-casting (RIP Veronica Mars!) gone awry, a lot of annoying over-exposition in the dialogue, and a buttload of syrupy schmaltz made for a truly craptacular crapfest. The teen romance between the cheerleader and the faux-rebel kid was so wooden that it lessened the show’s carbon footprint. The Mohinder/Parkman “My Two Dads” shtick with the dead-eyed kid (who had all the powers of Google Maps) led me to recall the inhuman monster that is Paul Reiser, and anything that leads to thinking about Paul Reiser’s soul-sucking awfulness is anathema in my book. And Masi Oka is cute, at least as cute as an amalgamation of emasculating Asian-stereotypes can be.
Well, this latest season has been shark-jumping its way into a category of complete unwatchability. Heroes has never been particularly original, but Mohinder’s turn into a villain isn’t so much similar to The Fly, as it is exactly what happens in that movie. EXACTLY. And trying to reform the previous two seasons big bad Sylar (the pathological bed-wetter who killed people to steal their powers,) into a good guy is a head-smackingly horrendous choice. It undercuts everything we knew or understood about the character up till now. It smells like a case of elevating an actor/character over the story, which is a bonehead move for an action serial that previously relied on tight cliffhangers and overarching mysteries. The character 180’s, hyperbolic melodrama, and lame villains (the shrew-faced party clown is a perv? Who’d a thunk?) resemble the antics of pro wrasslers discussed in the previous post, than the sort of episodic adventure we were originally hooked (if only slightly) to. Where once there were some good character ideas, we now have mostly incomprehensible motivations, a lot of lame new superpowers, and a gaping lack of direction where the plot should be.
Given all that, it comes as no surprise to me that lead writer/executive producer Jeph Loeb has gotten fired. I don’t know if there’s any way to fix the show now, but at this point I don’t think I’d care if they did.