Why HEROES Is Killing Me

The Baconeers like comic books. We get it. We’ve been to Comic-Con more than once and read Brian K. Vaughn’s website and are dying to see what happens next in Powers and are worried about the Watchmen movie and are excited that Pia Guerra is drawing the new Doctor Who comic. I once cried like a baby while reading Runaways (it was something the Leapfrog said. Shut up.). Really–we like comic books. Heck, we’re even very fond of Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb together. So it’s not an anti-comic worldview that leaves us easily irritated with Heroes. In fact, we wonder if it’s just the opposite–maybe it’s that we’re familiar with comic book structure and find it’s not working very well on TV…or maybe just on Heroes (even with Loeb and Sale on the team).

So we try to avoid Heroes, because, to be perfectly frank, we haven’t got time for the pain. There are too many characters complaining too often about having superpowers, for heaven’s sake, and making too many stupid choices about too many alternate universes (I’m especially fond of Alan Sepinwall’s assertion that if you give either Peter or Mohinder any two choices in the world, they will pick the wrong one). Even Hiro seems to have the special power to get dumber every time he uses his superpower, which is just about the end of things as it ruins the only character worth rooting for.

Why, then, can you catch me tuning in to Heroes on a fairly regular basis? In spite of accusations of masochism (which may not be entirely unfounded), it’s because they’re as good at casting as they are bad at telling a story that makes any sense. Starting in Season 1 with the reveal of Malcolm McDowell as an ultmate baddie, the show has larded in more characters than any three shows could handle–but they’ve gotten some of the most engaging actors around to play them. Veronica Mars love means we’ll follow Kristen Bell almost anywhere–even to Heroes. We got a kick out of the brief reunion with Level 5 villain Francis Capra (Mars‘ Weevil). Dana Davis‘ upcoming turn on Pushing Daisies reminds us that her Monica disappeared into the Heroes void to make more space for characters like Maya (sigh). Jamie Hector has brought his scary smoothness over from The Wire, and he was joined recently by former castmate and TV Bacon’s top Emmy vote-getter this year, the wonderful Andre Royo…who was promptly sucked into his own vortex just as we got to know him. Now they’ve topped themselves by introducing Robert Forster as Arthur Petrelli. This season has been a lot about the questionable family ties in the Petrelli family, and I’m guessing this means Peter isn’t really a Petrelli–Robert Forster can act.

Please, Heroes, we’re begging you–either figure out how to translate comic book grammar to the small screen, or start pulling cast from The Hills and put us out of our misery.

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