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Heroes Worship
September 24, 2007 11:01 AM   Subscribe

So, it seems like (almost) everyone is watching Heroes. But if you want more, Heroes doesn't have to just a hour of screen time a week. The weekly 'graphic novels' offer backstory [PDF] to familiar faces, fill in plot holes [PDF] and introduce* [PDF*] new characters, they've even continued during the haitus. But Heroes' impressive online presence encompasses more than just comics... Spoilers for S1 throughout, mild spoilers for S2 (casting, new characters, some plot), I've asterisked the most spoilery.

Pretty much every character has* a website - many of which played a role in the 'Heroes 360 Experience' ARG, but which are still fun for the less engaged fan. There's also a fascinating blog - Beaming Beeman* - written by the executive producer Greg Beeman, and updated after each episode airs.

With the new season beginning tonight, whet your appetite with Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint* a faux-documentary about Hiro's hero, and Comic Book Resources' Sneak Previews*.

Or if you're in the mood for something more silly, have a look at Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli)'s YouTube account*, where he posts behind-the-scenes videos of his cast-mates. My current favourites are: Bone Marrow Meltdown #9, this new one Primatech*, oh and here's #1 dancing with Veronica Mars. Maybe.
posted by featherboa (69 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is an ad.
posted by interrobang at 11:05 AM on September 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


I've not seen the show, but the fact that Tarantino is so aggressive about insisting that he's never seen it makes me want to start watching it.
posted by blucevalo at 11:10 AM on September 24, 2007


On the other hand, it's an ad for free stuff related to a show that's enormously popular (for reasons I don't fully get, although it's...decent).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:11 AM on September 24, 2007


?!: If it makes you feel better, all of the comics are also ads. Hell, so is the show, if you consider the constant barrage of product placement.

Also: I tend to fan-out about shows, but ARGs leave me cold. Didn't like the lost one. Don't like this one. Usually, if you're that interested, there's some omnibus site that will keep you up to date but - for what? Very rarely is the stuff canonical, nor really supervised by the execs or writers, so you end up with all kinds of continuity problems.
posted by absalom at 11:14 AM on September 24, 2007


I just can't get over Jed Perry from Opposite Sex becoming mankind's floppy-fringed saviour.
posted by tapeguy at 11:14 AM on September 24, 2007


/me takes a big, refreshing gulp of PepsiWendell
posted by DU at 11:17 AM on September 24, 2007


Your favorite T.V. show sucks.
posted by phaedon at 11:18 AM on September 24, 2007


Anyone ever notice that that one guy looks kind of like this other guy?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:18 AM on September 24, 2007


Bow down to your television.
posted by carsonb at 11:22 AM on September 24, 2007


I guess I'm with Tarantino. I have no idea what this is all about, but it's apparently big in France too.

(Nothing new, I generally learn more about my own culture from the foreign press than I do by living in it.)
posted by litfit at 11:23 AM on September 24, 2007


I want to like it, but it's edited like a slow-moving soap opera.
posted by The World Famous at 11:25 AM on September 24, 2007


If it's popular it must be boring.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 AM on September 24, 2007


With this, House, Dexter, The Office and LOST, I really can't carve out any more TV time. Moratorium on well-done shows.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:32 AM on September 24, 2007


Heroes is the only show on TV that makes me scared to go to meetups.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on September 24, 2007


I want to like it, but it's edited like a slow-moving soap opera.

This is one of many US shows that would be served well by a shorter season, like they have in the UK. As a 12-13 episode series it would have been tight. As it stands, I enjoyed it, but the 20+ episode series ends up having an awful lot of filler.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:38 AM on September 24, 2007


Haven't you learned? Hate what the majority likes. Like what the majority hates. In this way does life ebb and flow like a stolid river of bullshit.
posted by aftermarketradio at 11:38 AM on September 24, 2007


I'm beginning to think that I may be the only person in the US that hasn't seen/has no intention of watching Heroes. (For the record, I didn't watch Lost either.) I just don't do soap operas, and it, like Lost, has all the hallmarks of soapopericity.

I'm not old enough to remember a time when television wasn't a driving force in the culture, but I wonder, what were the cultural touchstones before the ubiquitousness of the chattering box in the corner? Was there ever a time when a book made waves like this? Was it movies? Music? There had to be something that everyone talked about, and only the weirdos like myself were left thinking "Wha?".
posted by Peecabu at 11:40 AM on September 24, 2007


Was there ever a time when a book made waves like this?
You mean like Harry Potter?
posted by Karmakaze at 11:48 AM on September 24, 2007


This is one of many US shows that would be served well by a shorter season, like they have in the UK. As a 12-13 episode series it would have been tight. As it stands, I enjoyed it, but the 20+ episode series ends up having an awful lot of filler.

I believe season 2 will consist of 2-3 smaller "volumes".
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:48 AM on September 24, 2007


Yeah, ok, fine, I have the Tivo set.

I have to say the ending of Season 1 was kind of flat though.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on September 24, 2007


I liked this show better when it was called Misfits of Science. It was less of a soap opera back then.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:59 AM on September 24, 2007


I watch weeds. Let me know if Mary-Louis Parker makes a cameo.
posted by chlorus at 12:00 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like Heroes and I'm looking forward to watching the seaon premiere.

I've also been known to drink cheap light beer from a can and eat Pop-Tarts, sometimes simultaneously.

Suck it, haters.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:01 PM on September 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: This is an ad.
posted by jeditanuki at 12:03 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


So when are we getting the show with Zoe Slater from Eastenders as a robochick?
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on September 24, 2007


Slate thinks your favorite TV show has too many characters.
posted by ninjew at 12:13 PM on September 24, 2007


I'm beginning to think that I may be the only person in the US that hasn't seen/has no intention of watching Heroes. (For the record, I didn't watch Lost either.) I just don't do soap operas, and it, like Lost, has all the hallmarks of soapopericity.

But that's like...every drama on television now. Except for the various Law & Orders. Granted, Heroes pretty much does a cliffhanger every week -- most shows don't go quite that far -- but just about everything nowadays has long-running subplots, at the very least. The standalone hour drama seems to be a thing of the past.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:15 PM on September 24, 2007


From the Slate article:

A midseason, six-episode miniseries, Heroes: Origins, will only compound the problem: One new hero will be introduced in each hour, and viewers will vote, American Idol-style, to put one of them in the cast of the regular series.

Oh that there is just fucking ridiculous is what that is. And I remember voting for whether Jason Todd got beaten to death with a tire iron or not.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:22 PM on September 24, 2007


Oh that there is just fucking ridiculous is what that is. And I remember voting for whether Jason Todd got beaten to death with a tire iron or not.

I'd pay two bucks to vote in favor of beating the village idiot psychic cop to death with a tire iron. Holy crap, I hate that character.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:26 PM on September 24, 2007


My roommates all watch it...I think I might give in and tune in tonight. I'm busy, it had better be worth it.
posted by NewIQ at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2007


It would be really cool if some shows like Heroes would do the shorter British style seasons, but if they did, I would hope they wouldn't have the year long droughts like the one that's coming in 2009 with Dr. Who.
posted by drezdn at 12:36 PM on September 24, 2007


what's heroes</em, precioussss?
posted by CitizenD at 12:46 PM on September 24, 2007


how the hell did that happen?

lemme try again.

what's heroes, preciousssssssss?

(lame on the first attempt, embarassing on the second.)

(and yet, i still posted it. again.)
posted by CitizenD at 12:47 PM on September 24, 2007


I liked heroes when it was called x-men
posted by cellphone at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2007


This is the internets's favorite show. I feel like I'm the only one who felt disappointed by the season. The last episode was anticlimatic (to me at least), the future episode had a myriad of plot holes that don't make sense. Too much hindsight justification in things like:

"Why didn’t Peter just fly into the sky by himself at the end of last season? An EW excerpt:

'It's all about Peter's mental state,' says Ventimiglia. 'He was so focused on stopping this power coming up from within him, he couldn't tap into anything else.' Coleman teasingly suggests that expectations may have blinded viewers to the possibility that Sylar was diabolically manipulating the entire denouement, from his apparent defeat to Peter's paralyzing meltdown. 'Maybe we needed to play that up some more,' allows Coleman. 'But I think there was a slyness that some people missed.' "


See, you guys just didn't get it! It's not sloppy storytelling.

I had written the show off, but now Veronica Mars joins the cast. Must resist.. her coolness....
posted by dig_duggler at 12:56 PM on September 24, 2007


The last episode was anticlimatic (to me at least), the future episode had a myriad of plot holes that don't make sense.

I still have no idea why Future Peter had a scar. I mean...he did save Claire in this nightmare future world, right? Considering she was still alive and all.

And yeah, the last episode kinda sucked.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2007


Was there ever a time when a book made waves like this? Was it movies? Music?

Oh yes, for a long time. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a pop star, women would swoon and faint over Franz Liszt in his purple velvet suit, I'm sure there is an abundance of examples. Being a fan is nothing new.

I dig Heroes (but Pop-Tarts and beer? Now that's just wrong), but agree that last season had more episodes than plot. I'm glad to see that they're using shorter plot arcs for season two. I'm a comic book geek from way back, so I'm a natural sell for this, but my girlfriend loves the show too. I don't get into all this extended stuff, though...who has the time?
posted by LooseFilter at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2007


Just watch The 4400 instead. At least there's some acting in it.
posted by hototogisu at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2007


I liked heroes when it was called x-men

It doesn't get more blatant than the Days Of Future Past episode... I'd like some sentinels though please. I'm still pissed at the sucky 3rd X-Men movie for not having them.

And X-Men practically invented the superhero soap opera, for those complaining about that element.
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2007


I still have no idea why Future Peter had a scar. I mean...he did save Claire in this nightmare future world, right? Considering she was still alive and all.

Yeah, so that's a big problem I had. Future Hiro tells Past Hiro (who he didn't remember meeting so this hasn't happened) to save her so the world won't blow up and that's the reason Sylar could heal himself when Future Hiro in the past stabs Future Sylar in the past (as well as heal from the bomb going off), but she's still alive and not dead even though Future Hiro swears she was killed by Future Sylar and that caused this horrible future and tells Past Peter to save her but Future Sylar kills her in the future but he already presumably killed her in the past and that's why the bomb went off (that didn't end up going off) and then Past Hiro stabs Past Sylar but Past Sylar doesn't die so maybe we still have crazy Future, but the bomb going off was instrumental in the crazy Future and it didn't go off so we are on a new timeline and...

Yeah. Stuff like that.
posted by dig_duggler at 1:14 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think Future Hiro was from the timeline where the bomb went off and the cheerleader wasn;t saved, but they were in the timeline where the cheerleader was saved but the bomb still didn't go off.

Yeah, the scar makes fuck all sense, but hey, it;s traditional for people to look all Snake Pliskin in these dark alternate futures. We're lucky he didn't have dreadlocks or an eyepatch.

Bloody timetravel. It's all one big handwave.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2007


Living in Boston, we don't get this show.

We get Grinders instead.

*rimshot*
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:38 PM on September 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think Future Hiro was from the timeline where the bomb went off and the cheerleader wasn;t saved, but they were in the timeline where the cheerleader was saved but the bomb still didn't go off.

But what about all the bomb memorials in the future? The bomb clearly went off - merged timelines I can buy but that is sloppy stuff.

But yeah, time travel never works out, except for Marty McFly.
posted by dig_duggler at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2007


I think Future Hiro was from the timeline where the bomb went off and the cheerleader wasn;t saved, but they were in the timeline where the cheerleader was saved but the bomb still didn't go off.

But in order for that to be true, Present Hiro would have had to travel not just to the future, but to an alternate future, because Present Peter has already saved Present Claire in Present Hiro's timeline. It's not a matter of returning to the present and acting differently to ensure this future will never happen; we already know this can't be Present Hiro's future. This is all well and good, and the idea that Hiro can travel not just through space and time but to parallel universes is pretty cool (and really, what's any SF show without a few mirror universe episodes?), but...if any observant viewer should have been able to figure out that things in the present had already been changed so much that this future would never happen...what the hell was the point of the episode? It's just...argh. Arrrrggggghhhhh!

(Conversely, the writers may simply have forgotten that there was no logical way for Future Peter to be scarred. On another show, I'd doubt it...on this one, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Internal consistency, thy name is most certainly NOT Heroes.)

And...yeah, I'm gonna watch it tonight. With the phone unplugged, most likely. Why do you ask?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:53 PM on September 24, 2007


(That should be cheerleader saved, bomb "defused" not)

TBH The inconistancies and things that don't make much sense don't bother me in this nearly as much as in Battlestar Galactica, mostly because of the laters overwhealming self-seriousness. Lost... I dunno, I just kind of gave up on it as a total timewaster. Things can only be cool because they are mysterious for so long before they just seem badly thought out.
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on September 24, 2007


We were just talking about this after the Emmys, how so many great series degenerate into soap operas, since way back in the days of LA Law, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere.

In fact, there should be a category created just for "Best show that used to be about hospital stuff/crime stuff/superpowers stuff/paranormal stuff but then turned into a huge soap opera with every member of the cast getting into relationships with and then breaking up with every OTHER member of the cast."

I so don't want Heroes to become another Lost!
posted by misha at 2:43 PM on September 24, 2007


TBH The inconistancies and things that don't make much sense don't bother me in this nearly as much as in Battlestar Galactica, mostly because of the laters overwhealming self-seriousness. Lost... I dunno, I just kind of gave up on it as a total timewaster. Things can only be cool because they are mysterious for so long before they just seem badly thought out.

Yeah, unfortunately, that last is how I've come to see BSG, too (which was, for a while there, probably the best SF ever to run on American TV). BSG kinda had the right to take itself seriously when it was still completely fucking awesome. But the second half of last season...oh dear. Oh DEAR. I'm hoping that going into this season knowing it's their last will prompt them to (a) stop dicking everyone around with "mysteries" that lack any apparent payoff, and (b) lose the filler episodes and head straight for the fireworks factory.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:18 PM on September 24, 2007


What will actually happen: More crying.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on September 24, 2007


...Probably, yeah.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:30 PM on September 24, 2007


Maybe they'll finally stop driving in circles around Las Vegas, waiting for other characters' storylines to resolve so they can meet up and drive around Las Vegas some more...

It got better as the season wore on, but the first 6 or 7 episodes were pretty dull... at least they finally explained that yeah, MPD isn't a superpower.

Sulu and the Golden Age Heroes might be cool. And Kirsten Bell....
posted by davros42 at 3:48 PM on September 24, 2007


All this online interactivity is all very well and good - if only it was all in support of a decent television series. I don't think "Heroes" had an original thought in its entire first season. Nor a single character I gave a shit about.
posted by crossoverman at 6:25 PM on September 24, 2007


'Heroes' is a fun show, and I'm looking forward to the new season. Like anything else, though ('Star Wars' being a good example), the light entertainment it is intended to be is ruined by over-analysis and second-guessing. I've never understood how one comes to appreciate something like this and then proceeds to offer advice (or have expectations) on where it should or should not go next. If you can do it better (and you likely can't), make your own show.
posted by troybob at 6:48 PM on September 24, 2007


Oh, get off it, troybob. You don't really think there ought not be fanfic, criticism or media theory, do you? All my favorite papers have been contrarian in some way with regard to shows/films of which I'm a fan. If we don't engage in critical thinking about the media, including fiction, we're gonna find our perspectives determined by those narratives.
/rant
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:15 PM on September 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's a good deal out there that lends itself to that kind of analysis. There are neat things about how 'Heroes' translates comic-book style to television. But a lot of what passes for critique these days is merely a version of 'if I were in charge, I would do it this way' and doesn't respect the vision or intention of a project's creator. It's 'I like this show, but here's what you can do to make me really like it." 'Heroes' has a neat, light vibe to it that is going to turn to crap if it's writers start taking seriously the mountains of expectation and 'significance' heaped upon it.
posted by troybob at 7:44 PM on September 24, 2007


Well, I'm all for shutting up while the picture is on, and not being rude, but all shows are significant for some reason or other. Art imitates life, you know? Cultural analysis of these shows is important. If not for previous iterations of that, Heroes might not star an Asian-American actor at all.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2007


I thought Peter deliberately left the scar to remind him of his failings.
posted by concrete at 7:55 PM on September 24, 2007


I've never understood how one comes to appreciate something like this and then proceeds to offer advice (or have expectations) on where it should or should not go next.

Um...really? I assure you you're really very much alone then, even among the most sycophantic fanboys going. Like...you just have no opinions whatsoever about something you like beyond, "I like it it's good gimme more gimme gimme"? That's an advertiser's wet dream, but I highly doubt it's anyone in the real world, even yourself, troybob. I mean, unless you're some kind of Zen monk or something. I think what you mean to say is that you don't like to hear people talk smack about a show you like, although how that ruins the experience of the show for you I'm not sure.

As far as "make your own show" goes...you don't really labor under the delusion that the entertainment industry is a meritocracy, do you? That if you're just goshdarn good enough, you can get a major network to broadcast your show? Really? There's a little more to it than that. Write your own book, sure. Draw your own comic; make your own no-budget film; paint your own painting; hell, even build your own house. (That'll take a while, though...) Make your own show? Really? Why, yes, I'll get right on that. Can I borrow 1.5 million dollars?

Anyway, what you seem to be missing -- well, one of the things you seem to be missing -- is that there are a few more nuanced stances than "it sucks" and "it's cool." I don't think Heroes sucks. Is it imperfect? OH, yeah. On balance, is it more cool than it is sucky? I think so; and if I didn't, the stuff that sucks wouldn't bug me, 'cause I wouldn't bother watching it. Would I like it to suck less? To move closer to the impossible, nirvana-like state of no suck at all? But of course! Can you, like, see what I'm driving at here?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:57 PM on September 24, 2007


I thought Peter deliberately left the scar to remind him of his failings.

That kinda makes sense (I think it's certainly meant to be symbolic of his failings), but the healing seems to be spontaneous and involuntary in Claire, so...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:00 PM on September 24, 2007


I wouldn't presume to say what anyone else is 'missing' about it, but I figure that if I engage with a work on some level, I'm happy to allow the creator of it to keep hold of the reins and I'll take the ride; as part of that, I'll take the work for what it is, rather than judging it for what I think it should be. It's not that I don't have an opinion, just that I don't have the expectation--or, given that I like to be surprised and challenged, even the desire--that my opinion be accommodated, much less that the artist or work is at fault when it is not.
posted by troybob at 8:57 PM on September 24, 2007


(watches show)

.
.
.

An okay opening, I guess, but wow, that's the worst English accent I've heard in ages. And then it's followed up with some really terrible Irish accents...
posted by Artw at 10:28 PM on September 24, 2007


It's not that I don't have an opinion, just that I don't have the expectation--or, given that I like to be surprised and challenged, even the desire--that my opinion be accommodated, much less that the artist or work is at fault when it is not.


My major problem with the show - too many characters. This results in very little depth for any of them. This also leads to stories that I do become interested in being shunted to one side for much of an episode, perhaps only progressed a few minutes at a time each week.

I don't expect to be accommodated on the specific level that I wanted more of story A or more of character B. I would like to be accommodated on the level that the characters are given some depth to make them interesting, rather than mostly being passive - and only reacting to events happening around them.

Passive characters are my other problem with the show, but that comes down to the fact the show is completely plot driven. I couldn't expect this to be addressed by the creators without the entire show being retooled, but this does put me at odds with a show that has a great premise (as unoriginal as it may be) - and is actually well-plotted. But not so well plotted that it makes up for its major failing - too many characters, most of whom I have no interest in.
posted by crossoverman at 10:56 PM on September 24, 2007


Going back to your original comment crossoverman, I think the online interactivity only works so well because the show is so plot-driven and has so many (mostly shallow) characters. There are a lot of threads lying around and character development to be had in other mediums. Plus it's broad enough that you can outsource the comic pages or have some interns create webpages without damaging the show (with the glaring exception of the Wireless character).
posted by Gary at 2:28 AM on September 25, 2007


I'm bit concerned at all this talk of changes made at the request of the online fanbase, since in general fans are fucking idiots, online fans doubley so.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2007


Limited commercial interruption was great and all, but was anybody else really insulted by Claire's squealing with glee over her dad giving her a Nissan Rogue? Being specifically excited that it was a Rogue, not just any old car?

Barf. Barfbarfbarfbarfbarf.

Barf. Barf. Barf.

Yes, okay, it's an utterly commercial show on an utterly commercial network, but could you maybe hide it just a tiny itsy little bit? Especially when later on you'll have the opportunity to run three ads in a row for your new supercar?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:41 AM on September 25, 2007


Limited commercial interruption was great and all, but was anybody else really insulted by Claire's squealing with glee over her dad giving her a Nissan Rogue? Being specifically excited that it was a Rogue, not just any old car?

Actually, I was too busy trying to figure out how an assistant manager at Kinko's can afford an extra SUV for his daughter. I suppose he could have savings, but wasn't he just giving her the speech about staying under the radar? Realizing it was paid-for advertising and (hopefully) not an actual plot point actually makes me a bit relieved.
posted by Gary at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2007


Gawd, that's no better. Ever wonder why Americans are so deep in debt?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:14 PM on September 25, 2007


Limited commercial interruption was great and all, but was anybody else really insulted by Claire's squealing with glee over her dad giving her a Nissan Rogue?

Yeah, I was kind of pissed until my girlfriend pointed out that Hiro kept raving about his rental Nissan Versa last season. Nissan has been imbedded in the show from the beginning.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:09 PM on September 25, 2007


Huh, I'd forgotten about that.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:11 PM on September 25, 2007


Huh, I'd forgotten about that.

Except at night, when you dream about Nissan automobiles.

/Futurama
posted by sparkletone at 9:32 PM on September 25, 2007


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