Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Monday Morning Roundup

One of the best moments in Stephen King's Misery is when Annie goes into a long rant about movie serials and the way they would change stuff from last week's ending cliffhanger at the beginning of next week's episode.

That's what happened with Heroes this week. It wasn't an earthshaking change, of course, not a cheat to let the hero get out of the COCKADOODIE CAR! before it plunged off the cliff. They just had to dump a joke, because it works a lot better at the end of a scene than at the beginning.

It's a joke we've all seen before, most recently in the new Cox high-speed internet commercial. The final guests are leaving a party late at night, and the husband and wife look at this amazing pile of dishes in their kitchen. The husband says it'll take forever to clean up, and the wife jokingly suggests that they crack open the computer and siphon out a little of the "high-speed." Then they look at each other like, why not? Hubby drips a little CG mercury-looking stuff onto his palm, rubs his hands together, then does all the dishes in, like, one second, suds flying everywhere. Wife looks dumbstruck, then says, "Holy--"Smash cut to black.

It's a meta-joke, combining the raw reality of what someone probably would say in just such a situation with a wink at the audience. "I know what she said, you know what she said, we all know what she said, but TV won't allow us to actually say what she said, so we'll do a provocative cut that lets you fill in the blanks." You see it in movie trailers all the time.

At the end of Heroes last week, Claire woke up from her attempted rape and accidental murder to find herself on an autopsy table with her chest cut open in the classic Y-incision. Claire looked at herself, and at the line of shiny stainless-steel bowls awaiting her viscera, and said, "Holy--" Smash cut to black.

This week, of course, she just says "Oh my... ga..." before zipping herself back up and getting out of there. I understand why they did it, but it dropped me out of the episode a bit, right at the beginning.

The rest of the episode was pretty good, as the characters began to meet one another, finally. I'm even starting to warm up to characters I didn't like before. Heroin Boy, for instance, seems a lot cooler now that I've seen his powers in action (and hats off to the production staff, who somehow made painting look like a cool power). Likewise Sybil, the multiple-personality stripper (although if her alter is also super-strong or something, I may have to start calling her StripperHulk).

The only real problem is that, with so many parallel storylines, none of them advance very far by the end of the episode. It's like, "What if Robert Jordan wrote superheroes?"

But of course, that is remedied by the final scene, which is another awesome cliffhanger. This week, we see SuperHiro as he will appear in future, looking badass. The glasses and nerdy haircut and sarariman wardrobe are gone; now, he's got a soul patch and a katana slung across his back (it looked too long to be a ninjato) and he speaks perfect English. It's a dramatic moment that shows just how far Hiro will go.

Studio 60 was OK. I probably won't be talking much about it any more, unless something interesting happens. This week was all more of the same: Matt doesn't like Christians, except Hannah; the show isn't funny (with a really awful Nic Cage impression that seems to be a running bit on the show, since we also saw it last week), but everyone keeps telling us it is, we take time out from the "comedy" for a sermon on whatever subject Sorkin thinks we should be really angry about (this week, it's reality shows).

Before Heroes, I happened to click onto an episode of How I Met Your Mother, which I've gotta say was really funny. Or I should say, the A-plot featuring Doogie Howser and Willow was really funny, the B-plot not so much.

1 comment:

Will said...

One name I noticed in the credits that made me "squee" a bit was Bryan Fuller. If you don't know, he's the creator of "Dead Like Me" and co-creator of "Wonderfalls". If you don't know what those shows are, you are REALLY missing out.

Of course, one name you're sure to recognize is Jeph Loeb. Did you know he worked on "Smallville" for a while? And, he wrote "Teen Wolf" and "Teen Wolf, Too".

I don't know if you do the whole podcast thing, but one I think you'll get a kick out of is Fanboy Radio. A couple of weeks ago, they had Jeph Loeb on. He's a really great guest.