Saturday, September 27, 2008

Heroes Season 3

I was busy on Monday night, but I finally got around to watching the Heroes season 3 opener. And as is usual with Wheel of Heroes, I find myself torn between, "That's effin' awesome" and "why the hell did they do that?"

Things I liked:

- The revelation that Peter shot Nathan I thought was cool, but also disliked (see below)

- Claire asking Sylar if he was going to eat her brain, and his reply of "That's disgusting."

- Cute speedster chick

- Elle's awesome reaction to Sylar's attack--perfectly in keeping with what we learned about her character last season, it both solves a present problem while opening up an entirely new one

- The out-of-nowhere revelation about Sylar's origin = kick-ass

Things I didn't like;

- The blatant movie ripoffs--Claire hiding in the closet with louvered doors, clutching a knife (straight out of "Halloween"), and Suresh suddenly turning into Jeff Goldblum in Cronenberg's "The Fly"

- Once again, the story turns on time-travelers trying to prevent a future they've witnessed--Future Peter's dystopia, Hiro's glimpse of disaster, Mama Petrelli's dreams

- The introduction of a new Ali Larter character to replace StripperHulk--this could be cool, but smacks of desperately trying to have it both ways, i.e. retain a popular actor in the cast while dumping a character who has run out of story options

- characters who have not been written out undergoing wild changes in personality for plot convenience--Suresh's sudden mania to have powers, Nathan's freaking bizarre religious conversion

I'm looking forward to future developments, but damn, this show can be frustrating even when it's good.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Scoobies?

I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of the new season of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" on Hulu. I watched the first one last night and the second one this afternoon. About five minutes into it, Sarah tells John he needs to go back to school.

So John goes to school and there's a scene where he's standing in the hallway, with scabs on his cheek and forehead from last episode's mayhem, looking at the chattering teenagers all around him, and it's obvious he feels completely isolated. And at that point, I paused the program to make a sandwich and muse on my happiness with the fact that this show has developed so much better than it could have.

I mean, it's not perfect; the time travel/parallel universes stuff is enough to make narrative hash out of any show (witness the second season of Heroes; the third season looks good, but I fear that there will be more time travel nonsense to muck it all up).

But for a show that features a high schooler on a mission to save the world, it could have been so much worse. That is to say, I love Joss, but it would have absolutely destroyed this show to go the Buffy route, with John just happening to befriend a group of high school students who are improbably good at armed and unarmed combat and computer hacking and all the rest.

So I sit down, thinking warm, fuzzy un-Scooby thoughts while eating my sandwich and watching the show, and of course, what do they do? They introduce a high school girlfriend for John who is almost certainly more than she appears. And I find that, although I like the actress (she's hot), and I'm all for John getting some and lightening up a little, I'm not thrilled with any of the most likely directions the writers will take this. Three possibilities:

1) She's a Terminator sent to get close to John and kill him. Not likely, since John slept in the same room with her and wasn't touched.

2) She's a human spy from the future, either sent by John himself to protect him, or maybe some kind of turncoat sent by the robots to seduce him into giving up his mission or something.

3) She's just a normal human, which gives three options: she gets killed, leaving John heartbroken but vengeful; she freaks out and leaves him, leaving John confused; she becomes a Scooby.

Don't let her be a Scooby, please.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Random Observation

Book five of the Worldcon stack is Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore, and while I'm not ready to write the full review yet, I do have one strange observation.

Almost all the characters have names starting with G or J, at least so far. First of all, it's weird to have so few characters in a book--I'm almost a hundred pages in and there have only been five male and three female characters named--but to then have almost all those characters have names starting with the same letters is just bizarre.

Not only that, but all the G characters are men, and all the J's are women. Maybe the distribution will approach greater normality the farther I get (after all, the last man introduced was the first non-G name, so maybe she realized what she was doing). But it's just weird.