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Friday, March 02, 2007

Heroes, Revisited Again:

Heroes showed its seventeenth episode last Monday and I thought now it's probably late enough to post without worrying too much about spoilers for the series, especially for last week's episode..

Okay, in terms of diversity, Heroes got a lot of flack towards the beginning. All but two of the Heroes were American. (Mohinder and Hiro excepted) All but two main characters were white (Mohinder and Hiro still excepted), all but two were men (Claire and Niki excepted), the two women were both blond and problematic in characterization (One's an inexperienced teenager, one's definitely not in control of herself).

So how does it stack up now?

In terms of non-American Heroes, there's been a little headway. Hana Gitelmann (featured prominently in the comic tie-in, appeared in one episode so far) is Israeli. We've seen an Indian dreamweaver and at least lip service paid to others throughout the world, though Mohinder's efforts are focused in America.

Racially, things have gotten a bit more diverse. Ando's part has become prominent enough to consider him a main character. Niki's African American husband, DL, is now a main protagonist with powers of his own, their son also has powers though is still a minor character. The Haitian has moved beyond his role of "silent lackey" to become a force to be reckoned with. Simone has also increased in prominence, the center of a love triangle, though her Fridging, shall we say, makes things awkward. (Though that does not, at least, seem to be quite the end to her story.)

As for the portrayal of women in general: Niki is still a pitiful example of touted strength, but weak will. Jessica is more interesting however. Claire has certainly come into her own. We've seen more female heroes in the form of (red-haired) Charlie and (brunette) Eden. The first was more of a Gwen Stacy/Alexandra DeWitt style motivator than a character (I honestly don't understand the fuss over her death, given it was pretty obvious the moment she was introduced what would happen), and the second died as well, with a hero's last show of defiance. (Brunette) Hana Gitelmann appears in one episode but seems to be set up for some prominent interaction while a new dark-haired hero while another dark-haired woman with unspecified powers has appeared, connected to the "Paper Factory". Claire's biological mother Meredith has appeared, an apparently experienced fire-starter with dubious ethics. Sylar's new string of victims (two so far) included one older woman.

Simone's fate was probably inevitable, considering her role. A love triangle is more interesting without the lynchpin.

This past episode, even perpetual flake and victim, Sandra Bennet (Claire's mother) showing surprising mental/emotional fortitude and faith in her total acceptance of her daughter's state. And even more surprising continued faith (if understandibly wary) in her husband.

I have to admit, as a brunette myself, I find the (mostly-joking, I hope) accusation that any woman who isn't blonde is fated for death on this show is a little silly.

As for sexual orientation diversity, that one is still problematic though joking aside, I'm actually glad the character of Zack isn't gay. His relationship with Claire and lack of prominence would have meant that it would never be really featured anyway, which means the show producers would be able to take credit for having a gay character without ever really making that clear on the show.

That said, I'd really like to see some homosexual (or bisexual) characters show up or be revealed as the case may be. It's an area where Heroes is particularly lacking.

I do think Heroes needs work, still, but I think as tv shows. especially first-season, go, they've got a particularly good start now.

And for the record, my favorite character's now HRG. It's the suit and gun. I can never resist an attractive older man in a suit, glasses and a gun. Rowr.

4 Comments:

  • At March 02, 2007 3:38 PM, Anonymous green with wheelpower said…

    HRG was completely redefind in the last couple of eps and not in an out of nowhere fashion either. I love that his role as "real" father was permanently cemented in several scenes including an ultimate sacrafice, bonus Claire is responsible for his trademark

    Also don't forget Claude as an international character and Hiro's sis is the door to asia for next season according to producerss.

     
  • At March 02, 2007 8:22 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Also Hiro's dad (Takei) looks to be more than just a cameo, with his insertion into the Paper Factory Orginization...

     
  • At March 03, 2007 7:20 PM, Blogger Palladin said…

    DR. Who, i mean invisible guy has a accent from the British Isle.

    Mr. Bennet had been becoming a more interesting character as the build up to this issue occurred. Now he is a blank slate and what will happen when he encounters Claire in the field?

    The mechanic lady was blonde wasn't she? So the killing of non-blondes is out now.

     
  • At March 04, 2007 2:51 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Palladin, I think HRG was having the Haitian Sensation only erase those memories that would tell Eric Roberts where Clair could be hiding, so he could have a plausable "Claire escaped" story.

     

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