Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Meet the people I dumped Jack Bauer for...
Heroes is, without a doubt, the best show on television. The choice was easy. Besides, with the incredibly detailed minute-by-minute plot summary on the 24 website you can get caught up in just a few minutes without ever watching the show. Problem solved.
I enjoy 24. It is entertaining, but I cannot get through a single episode without yelling "Oh, come ON!" at the television multiple times, each time I have to suspend disbelief in order to accept the latest plot device. That show relies on the most absurd coincidences, mistakes that would never be made, bizarre and convoluted plot twists, smart characters displaying very bad judgement, cliffhangers every hour on the hour, humans who can make it through 24 hours without sleeping, eating, or peeing, and incredibly bad luck to move the story forward.
You might be thinking, "Hey! Don't you have to suspend disbelief to watch a show about people with superpowers?" Well, sure! Obviously people can't really fly, heal themselves, become invisible, read minds, create radioactivity, erase memories, melt metals, paint the future, or control time, to name just a few. But you need only accept the single premise about the emergence of these super powers and the rest of the story becomes completely believable. That is one big difference between the shows.
Another difference is that Heroes is better at fleshing out its characters. 24 has some interesting characters, but there are so many players and so much action that the audience doesn't get to really know many of them. The characters on Heroes are much more three-dimensional. No one is 100% good or evil (except maybe Mr. Linderman). Introduced slowly and featured in small subsets, Heroes lets you spend a lot of time with each character. As the mysteries get deeper, you are learning what makes these people tick and starting to care about them. Even some of the ones you think might be bad guys. The plots on 24 remind me of a Rube Goldberg contraption. The plots on Heroes are more like peeling the layers of an onion. With everything you learn, there is some deeper mystery at the core, but it all works together and it all makes sense (once you are in on it). Instead of "Huh? WTF!?", you have "Ah ha!". Much more satisfying.
Heroes has done the impossible: it makes me look forward to Mondays!