Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Heroes: Season Premiere

I've been waiting for this show, and I wasn't disappointed! The opening sequence set the tone: an ordinary-looking guy flying/free falling from a skyscraper, while someone else spoke about everyone's purpose.

Just in case we humans were about to get cocky, it then moved to a classroom discussion about the cockroach's superior ability to survive compared to humans by living without food or water for several days. (No wonder you can't get rid of those things once they show up.)

Then we met some of the people with special powers: Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), a nurse who thinks he may be able to fly; Claire (Hayden Panettiere), a teenager who can't be hurt (like most teens don't think that about themselves anyway); Niki (Ali Larter), an internet stripper who apparently has a fierce alter-ego; Hiro (the adorable Masi Oka), an office drone who can bend time and space in order to teleport; and Isaac (Santiago Cabrera), an artist who paints the future when he's high on heroin.

We also meet some of the people in their lives, namely Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy), the Indian scholar who studies this phenomenon to prove his father's theories; Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), Peter's self-centered brother; Simone (Tawny Cypress), Isaac's girlfriend; and Niki’s genius son, Micah (the also-adorable Noah Gray-Cabey).

The charm of this show, though, is not in the special abilities. It's in the mix of fantastical elements (like more evolved humans with special powers), the huge questions of purpose and destiny, and the very human-like aspects to these characters.

Hiro was my favorite. Who hasn't wished/hoped they were special? Who hasn't wanted to discover they had special talents and a higher purpose to use those talents? His excitement had me smiling for him and was one of the most realistic reactions I saw. But maybe the people of Japan are more tolerant than we are here in the US, because if Hiro had been talking like that to someone here, he'd be teleporting to NYC from a psych ward, not the subway.

Niki's desire for Micah to fully realize his potential in private school made her decision to borrow from the Mob understandable. Didn't we all wish those Mob guys would meet that fate after they tried to force her to strip?

And Peter's desire to finally be noticed, be special, step out of his brother's shadow- anyone with a sibling knows that feeling.

Claire was the one I related to the least. True, most teens hate to be different, but let's face it, there are some differences an adolescent would be thrilled about and being indestructible is probably one of them.

As for Isaac- well, he's strung out. He shouldn't make sense.

This show is a great mix- big questions made less imposing by the fantasy elements and grounded in characters who resonate. I've read that this will be a cult-show; I'm converted!

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