For the first time in my life, I’m actually watching current television shows and keeping up with storylines and such, instead of catching up once everything is in reruns or on DVD. So I thought it might be fun to do some quick reaction and discussion posts here every week, and invite those of you who are watching along to share your thoughts.
The two shows I’m watching right now are Chuck and Heroes, neither of which really impress me with any kind of unusual attention to gender dynamics, but which I enjoy nonetheless. Of course, just because I’m interested in the characters and caught up in the stories doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty of snarking to do. So expect at least as much analysis and annoyance in these posts as fannish enthusiasm.
First up, last night’s Heroes: “Building 26″ – from this point on, there be spoilers for this episode!
I don’t really have anything substantial to say about the overall storyline of this volume, yet. The parallels between the events in the show and the events in real life make me kinda twitchy, but I can’t really articulate why. I guess it feels kind’ve appropriative? I dunno.
Anyway, this week I’ll focus on my thoughts about some of the characters and their interactions with each other in this episode. Let’s start with the folks in Costa Verde:
I like seeing Claire taking a slightly more active role in things, and I appreciate that her behavior is both impulsive and kinda stupid a lot of the time, but also shows that she is a clever young woman. It reads as believably teenagerish to me. I am really, really hoping that her new involvement with REBEL will usher in a phase where Claire spends a lot more time actively doing stuff and a lot less time alternately being protected, being captured and being injured.
My first impression of Alex was one of overwhelming UGH, despite him being a cute, dorky dude with glasses (kinda my type). I was not impressed with the oh-so-funny “girls don’t read comics!” moment, and the follow up where he is particularly convinced that Claire isn’t a comics fan because she’s a “hot blonde” and then is anticipating a lap dance made me gag a little bit. Are we meant to sympathize with this guy, who can’t see (attractive) women as people who might share his interests, but only as potential dispensers of sexual gratification? EW. Epic fail, writers.
Sandra Bennet calling Noah on his lies (once she found out. Why is she not more suspicious to begin with? Consultant? Really?) was a good move, I thought. I like Sandra. She seems like a good mom. I hate to see her constantly deceived, and I’m glad that she stood up for herself. I’m also a little bummed, though, because I do like the Bennets as a family unit. Families in general are so totally dysfunctional on Heroes that the Bennets have started to look sort’ve comfortable and awfully loving in contrast.
Okay! Enough Costa Verde. On to Ando and Hiro in New Delhi!
I always love to see Hiro and Ando fighting crime doing their thing together, but their actual involvement in this week’s plot kinda left me cold. The “oh noes arranged wedding puts woman in danger and she needs male rescuer!” bit was pretty ehn, and the actual rescuing was kinda sub-par. On the other hand, I really liked Annapurna and her partner, Shayla (I think? Shayla was what I was hearing, but I’m not sure if that’s right and/or if I’m spelling it correctly), not least because I felt like there was some indication that they might be romantic as well as business partners (the way the camera cuts to Shayla when Annapurna is saying that the marriage would make her lose “everything that matters most to me,” for example). There have been lots of romance plots in Heroes, but we don’t see a lot of evidence that queer people exist, and I think that’s a serious lack. If these two women are recurring characters (which would surprise me, but one can hope), I would be pleased.
Now, Building 26.
Man, I don’t even know. My feelings about this subplot and the characters involved are so nebulous that I’m just gonna go with a no comment for now. Except that I do want to note that I was initially really interested in the character of Abby Collins. I liked that she was a woman with authority and a very firm ethical stance – something that so many of the powerful characters on Heroes are missing. And then she flipped completely, after saying that nothing justifies torture and even superpowered humans have rights, after seeing Tracy kill a guy while trying to escape from a torture facility. Damn.
Finally, the roadtrip of destruction!
I am so, so tired of Sylar’s daddy issues. I am tired of everyone’s daddy issues. I would like some new drama, pls! However, I am really interested in the interactions between Luke and Sylar. Hearing Sylar angsting about not knowing his father is boring, but seeing him try to deal with a teenager is pretty entertaining. I think the writers could do some interesting things with this, especially if Sylar starts to notice the ways he contradicts himself as he interacts with Luke. And the conversation about whether or not he’s a serial killer was pretty hilarious.
I don’t really have anything to say about Mohinder, Peter and Matt drugging Noah and carting him off.
Things I would dearly love to see in the next episode(s):
I would really like REBEL to be Micah. Wireless would be okay, too!
MORE FEMALE HEROES. We’ve had two new heroes introduced in the past two episodes, both dudes. And one superpowered woman taken out of the action in a final sort of way (probably), and another in captivity. Not cool, show. That leaves us with only two female heroes that we know to be alive free to move about, and neither of them has an offensive power. Can we get Monica back??
That’s all I’ve got for now. How about you? What did you think about this episode, and what are you hoping for (or dreading)?