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Heroes 1.01 - "Genesis"

Smallville portrays Superboy without the cape and tights, and the X-Men movies have replaced the yellow spandex with black leather. Hollywood and the general public, it appears, like superheroes ... but not the more kitschy comic book trappings. And so Heroes shows the emergence of a super-powered group of "Homo Superior" (if that's what they are) but, I'm willing to bet, will never put any of them in a costume, except perhaps for a laugh.

The pilot overall didn't quite click for me. Some bits were too overt, like the opening scroll or the way Suresh's character motivation was so explicitly spelled out

I did like the international flavour, though of course it was inevitable that all the heroes would gather in the United States - I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly ... maybe because I'd become accustomed to shows that take their time getting from A to B (or crossing the Pacific as the case may be).

There's something very weird about Japanese overacting mixed with copious Star Trek (and an X-Men) references. The use of subtitles in the Japan scenes was nice, but seeing that "super" Hiro ended up in the US by episode's end, would guess that won't happen on a regular basis, like it does on Lost.

Speaking of Lost, there are a lot of Magnolia-like connections between the characters. Not sure if that's just to conveniently get them all together or if there are deeper, thematic reasons for it.

The pilot was essentially about discovery - there were no obvious villains, other than the two low-grade thugs. Even the mysterious guy in Suresh's cab turns out to be the adopted father of one of the meta humans, Claire (an example of the way the stories intersect). Which doesn't mean he's not the bad guy of course.

Claire documenting her powers on a vidcam was all very myspace - a girl with a 21st century sensibility. And another, Niki, with a 21st century job - webcam stripper. (Her site I think spelled it "Nikki" ... a typo or just the world's worst pseudonym?) I did like the ambiguity of her powers. It's not an obvious one like invulnerability, flying or precognition. Hopefully it won't be as simple as a Jekyll/Hyde split personality with her alter ego's appearances in the mirror just being a symbolic device. Also like her son - he seems obviously hyper-intelligent, but not annoyingly so. Couple of other character could be interesting - like the politician's (and his brother's) mom.

Nice twist on the ending - enough to make me watch the next episode.


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