I’m officially hooked. Let me start by stating up front my bias as a lover of comic books and all things super hero. That being said, there’s a lot to like about this show for anyone who just likes good TV. The most recent 2 episodes did a great job of building on the things I liked about the first episode.
Let’s start with the characters. I like the character archetypes although I’m not sure I like all the actors who play them. First the good. I love Hiro who can bend the space time continuum and has seen the future destruction of New York (and maybe beyond). Ali Larter is growing on me as the single mother stripper with a killer Hulk-like personality living inside her. Adrian Pasdar (a favourite of mine since Profitt) is excellent as the politician who has no problem telling the world his brother tried to commit suicide to protect his career and raises just enough questions to wonder if he may be one of the show’s eventual villains. Greg Grunberg is an excellent addition as the telepath cop whose career and marriage is failing. I also like the indestructable cheerleader (whose adopted father may be the show’s “big bad” and the drug addict who can see the future. Now the bad: Milo Ventimiglia is horrible overwhelming me with his whininess. I almost can’t blame his brother for treating him so poorly. The Mohinder character who is uncovering the heroes existence is beyond wooden and isn’t helped by subpar dialogue.
There have been some complaints about the show’s slow pace and the lack of special effects. I agree the pace is slow but personally I think the build-up is part of what makes the show compelling. There’s a lot happening here and I’d rather have the pace a little slower with visibility into all the characters and the big mystery than what happened with Lost last year where many characters didn’t appear for weeks on end. The lack of effects doesn’t bother me at all. I haven’t noticed.
The thing that I like the best is how much it adheres to its comic book roots (Jeph Loeb writing for it probably helps) and the elements that make good epic comics. Lots of talk about destiny balanced with those who just want to be normal. Brothers who chart different paths but who, I guess, can’t use their powers unless they are in close proximity of each other. A big villain who is hunting down heroes likely before they discover their abilities. Finally the coming of a big event that will activate and unite the heroes to meet their destinies.
I’m happy that the show is going to get at least a season. I hope that they stick even more to the comic format of story arcs and end the season in a way that closes out the first story and moves into the second, just in case it doesn’t get renewed.
Avi’s Episode Ratings: A-