Frankly, all the geek-pieces don't fit well enough together in my house for me to watch downloaded / saved / whatever non-schedule TV on a lovely big screen in the corner of my front room, to be arranged by use of a remote control.
So cobblers to it, until it can be.
So - Heroes. there's so much I like about Heroes that the bits I don't like make me exasperated beyond belief. It genuinely makes me angry, which is a ridiculous reaction (in that surely, the energy expended could be saved up and used instead to fight injustice through use of my obvious superpowers?). But, it's worth indulging in a tiny* bit of slightly delayed media critique-ism.
Here's the main criticism of season one: The sheer audacity of the "Hiro's journey" storyline is so extraordinary, so cheeky and so gratuitous that it almost makes me want to jump up and down on the writers' heads shouting "How dare you!". The series after all was a studio, calculated decision off the back of the success of "Lost". Where's our mysterious ensemble drama, guys? Quick, we'd better do one! Luckily, they struck a nerve, and the show held together all the disperate pieces, coming together with a delightful sense of closure in the last show. It was a real joy, the first season, for anyone who does read comics in any way 'seriously'. It really did homage that way of writing stories, and gripped, in a playful style - with characters who had a cartoonish sense of dread or action/drama. The cheerleader's father was a wonderful flip from being the embodiement of the unnacountable, suited, anonymous, suited, mysterious folk who actually run everything in to being in fact, the nicest guy in the world.
Hanging all this together though was a wonderful, beautifully drawn everyman character in "Hiro", played with a comfortable ease by Masi Oka. The character reflected aspects of a particular sort of committed viewer's own cultural geekiness (and presumably the writers') back, but not in the usual cynical way - in a joyful, positive one. Your geeky knowledge of comics and Star Wars reflects a deep seated intelligence which could save the world! And then there was the knowing, meta-dramatic effect of calling the hero "Hiro". And then, ok (and this is where I start getting very exasperated, really) why not make him the actual embodiement of the Hero's journey. Eh? Eh? D'ja get it? Ok, yes, very interesting, I suppose. If done well (and it was, to be honest). then the ultimate insult / homage to the art of creating incredibly cliched storylines (oh but you know, in an ironic style! so it's ok!) - the father figure who must teach Hiro wisdom was..... His Actual Father!
Ffffffffffffuuuuuuccckkkkkk Offf! You cynical, smart, but ultimately lazy bastards! Argh! When I saw that episode I really shouted at the television. How dare you! How bloody dare you insult my intelligence quite this much!
Damn them, for creating a formulaic TV drama which could have been shunted out of a computer program, then somehow managed to write it well enough to draw you in to its universe and even more frustratingly, manage to get you to care about the characters, who you reveal as mere cyphers, in a deliberately cynical veil dance. Now you see the exercise for the manipulation that it is, now you don't, because ha, that was a good piece of dialogue. Argh!
It also doesn't help with the ensuing confusion (they seem to be envoking a sort of media-cultural mauvais foi) that yer man, Mr Oka is not only a real, proper geek (a pretty decent cgi artist & programmer) but that his characterisation of Hiro is a total delight - and I mean that from an attraction perspective too: he's lovely, in a cuddly, humane and geek-cool kind of way. You want to know the guy, and you feel that somehow you actually do. I'm telling you. Glasses. They do wonders on a certain type of chap's face.
So. Having not downloaded series 2, being as how I'd probably get the sack if I did, and frankly, I don't have enough time on my hands or commitment to the art of television to warrant that sort of behaviour, I am now on episode 2, and our Hiro is running about in China, in an amusing but slightly more clunky piece of plotwork. It's all very average so far, but it's nice spending time with characters you have invested in, even if they're all being a bit wiffly.
I don't really care about plot spoilers. Having said that, maintaining an air of mystery whilst I watch might not be a bad thing. I did want to ask though, for those who have seen series 2 - does it get better? more cohesive? I worry that the writers' strike might have cocked up the flow of the whole thing. Particularly since the producer did admit that the start of series 2 was a misfire, and promised changes.
*Ahem. Tiny? Tiny? SHUT UP, woman.