Heroes: Genesis (series premiere)
answers-and-follow-destinies shows from Kyle XY and The 4400 this summer to last me awhile. But with so much buzz about Heroes on the web, I decided to give it a look and I'm glad I did.
Right off, this beautifully made pilot, with its luscious photography and rich soundtrack grabbed me. The action spans the globe from India, to rural Texas, to Tokyo, and each location is richly realized. Just on a technical level this pilot was the most effective I've seen this season. Clearly NBC is behind the series. Despite all the globe-trotting, most of the action slowly begins to gather around New York City -- just like in Marvel Comics. Another good sign about this series: it is not shy or embarrassed about acknowledging its root inspiration in comics. One character, Hiro Nakamura (played by Masi Oka), is a Trekkie and an X-Men fan. Not coincidentally, he is the one character with little trouble accepting his abilities, nor has he any trouble conceiving what to use them for. They're going to need a guy like him, as many of the others are understandably confused and frightened by their developing abilities.
These characters are a mixed bag, though hardly any of them has been setting the world on fire yet. Hiro, the aforementioned guy from Tokyo, and potential master of time and space, is my breakout favorite. I could watch on entire show based around him and his skeptical cubicle mate. Another standout is Peter, (Milo Ventimiglia: Jess of Gilmore Girls) the kind-hearted nurse in NYC who has lived in his politician brother's shadow most of his life. He still might be living in his brother's shadow after this, depending on how the twist at the end plays out.
Other heroes have an even tougher road ahead of them ( one's a heroin addict, another's a former gambling addict). There's a six-degrees-of-separation thing going on as we see lives intersect in ordinary and not-so-ordinary ways. The character I had the least sympathy for was the Odessa, Texas cheerleader, Claire, who's whining about being stuck with about the most handy superpower imaginable: she can heal from any injury. Imagine how miserable she'd be if she had Niki's weird mirror-twin/blackout-and-kill-all-your-enemies power. But by the end, after seeing Clair's woo-woo Mom, and X-Files-esque villain of a father, I guess she does have her reasons to stress, so I'll give her another chance.
As an aside, Niki, (Ali Larter) the Vegas stripper, has a son, Micah, who is gifted, and I'm not sure if he's just really smart or if he has a superpower. Either way, he's an enjoyable level-headed counterbalance to his stressed-out Mom, who had trouble keeping him in what has to be the snottiest fake prep-school in the greater Las Vegas metro area.
Good start, and, as I can tell from cast photos, not even all the major characters have been introduced yet. I'm sticking with this one for awhile.