Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm betting Chekov will show up next

(Heroes spoilers, if you haven't already watched "Kindred," the most recent episode.)

In the world of pen-and-paper RPGs, there are foul creatures called "munchkins." These are players who develop characters -- usually using loopholes in the rules -- that are so ludicrously overpowered that they hinder the enjoyment of the game for everyone else. Weaknesses lead to drama, since they mean a character is vulnerable; if a character is too powerful, he or she becomes boring. And -- generally speaking -- really, really, really annoying.

Take Hiro. He can stop time and move through space. And he's not bad with a sword. But he's also fairly weak, physically. (At least for now -- wait for Future Hiro to come back.) And his power means nothing if he takes seven inches of a knife in his chest. Parkman: he can hear thoughts, but he can't fly away from an explosion. They're powerful, but not too much. Good characters!

Peter Petrelli, on the other hand, is telepathic, telekinetic, can fire electricity from his fingertips, can turn invisible, has superhuman strength, can teleport, see the future, and is invincible.

See what I mean?

So, wow, the second season of Heroes has sure started off with a bang, huh? If by "bang" you mean...uh...something negative. 'Cause it's not good.

Hey, it's late. I'm tired.

The bad:
  • I'm not digging the new characters, Maya and Alejandro. Maybe they'll get better eventually?
  • Claire's storyline is simply atrociously written, at least thus far. I'm just not feeling the tension about her imminent capture, especially since Bennett is going all Rambo on his boss at Copy Kingdom. Why does he still have a job? And why is Claire's only class Biology? And why can the students simply leave the classroom and return whenever it suits them? And don't we already have a Hero who can fly?
  • Speaking of people who can fly, what the hell is with Nathan's beard? He grows a luxurious beaver pelt on his face in only four months? I didn't shave for almost a year and a half and didn't have that kind of coat. But hey, at least his story stuff hasn't that bad. I mean, it's not like he got amnesia and woke up surrounded by actors who were sick the day they taught Irish accents at acting school.
  • Did I mention I didn't like Peter Petrelli?
  • Hey, Sylar's back. *yawn*
  • Aw, dammit, I thought they'd forgotten about Micah and Niki. But now Micah's going to be staying with...Uhura? (Well, Sulu's dead. And no way do I trust Shatner with a kid.)
  • Seriously: Peter Petrelli, a member of the Boondock Saints? Give me a break. (And is there a shortage of actual Irish actors they could get to play thugs? Though I just remembered that the head Irish gang guy was the "This man's name is Robert Paulson" guy in Fight Club.)
  • Did this episode go overboard on the cheap green-screen effects, or what?
The good:
  • Hiro! As usual, his stuff has been downright golden. I don't know if it's the writing, or the raw joy that Masi Oka brings to the performance, but Hiro continues to be the star of this show. It's not even close.
  • The stuff with Parkman and Molly will eventually get interesting, I'm sure. They're just in the season-opening holding pattern.
  • Um...uh...
  • This episode didn't feature an annoying, pretentious voice-over from Suresh.
  • I just got this new Radiohead album for free!
Hey: I know it's bad. But the season just started. I'm a Lost fan, remember -- I know to ride out the season-opening holding pattern. I think we'll be just fine.

I hope.

Now playing: Radiohead - 15 Step
via FoxyTunes

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