Let’s talk televisuals..

February 12, 2010, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Drama, Fantasy, GENRE, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep, put on an episode of the latest series of Heroes. To say it is abismal is an understatement. If you’re a loyal follower, you’ll know that

Sitting Stiff as their Show

although there is usually one or two disappointing episodes, you will still see it through till the end of the series with enough viewing satisfaction. But this time, you’ll find yourself feeling cheated till the very end of the series. The main problem being: you’ve seen most of it all before.

There are new characters but they just aren’t that interesting. There’s a deaf girl who randomly starts to see colours come off sound. First she sees it from her tap dripping and then eventually from a cello. If she plays it vehemently enough, the colours can physically hit things, like leaving holes in walls, for example. Eventually it turns out that when she plays the cello, it can attract people to her. It’s a pretty weird power.

They’ve also found a new villain: Samuel, who runs a carnival of “specials” and who thrives off other people’s powers. But he just doesn’t have the same charisma of Silar, who by the way is now turning good. There are a few other’s that come and go, like an invisible girl and a woman who can see the future. However, most of them are not very convincing actors.

Our main characters are all very much the same. Clare, the cheerleader has started college and is “struggling” to fit in. She still has her usual trust problems with her Dad. Peter is still trying to be the ultimate hero. Matt Parkman is still a cringeworthy actor and Suresh is still a bit of a drip (one bonus – there’s a lot less of Suresh, now). Frosty Tracy is still having problems holding her water. The one tragedy is the loveliest good guy, Hiro is dying from a brain tumour.

But none of the plots that they have at episode 1 seem to be carried through the series. I must have popped to the loo when Hiro was cured from his tumour or when Tracy figured out how to stop freezing herself. There is, also, a plot where Clare has a kiss with her new roommate Gretchen…but this lesbian plot turned out to be just another red herring. It was like they got two-thirds through the chapter and then suddenly did a handbreak turn and focused all the attention on Samuel and his carnival.

Sorry if this all seems a bit harsh, but lovers of this show will agree that when Heroes began it was full of thrills, great cliff-hangers and intriguing characters. One positive aspect is that the visual effects have remained fantastic throughout all four season’s.

*SPOILER* As usual, it all ends with the beginning of the next series – Chapter Five – where Clare uses the attention of the whole New York press to jump off the top of a Ferris Wheel. But whether this season will happen, is yet to be confirmed.


Ugly Betty, Channel 4, E4 and ABC (US)
America Ferrera as Ugly Betty

America Ferrera as Ugly Betty

With television or movie icons, you can usually find something to relate back to yourself. Perhaps you have the promiscuity of Samantha from SATC or the obsessive compulsions of Monica from Friends. Whatever your idiosyncrasies, there is a certain comfort in finding out that you’re not the only one with certain quirks.

So when I saw the first trailer for Ugly Betty, I was immediately curious and quite excited about watching a series with an unattractive lead lady. I mean we all have our ugly days, no matter how stunning we are. Did you feel the same?  I also was geared up for the animation of the characters – like a cartoon brought to life.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, here is a brief synopsis: A Latino girl from the Bronx works at Mode magazine (fictional equivalent of Vogue or Vanity Fair) where she is ridiculed for her fashion sense and general looks. However, she becomes indispensable to her boss, Daniel and an integral part of a farcical team of fashionistas and an evil, superficial villain, Wilhemina (Vanessa Williams). With two Golden Globes, 34 other wins and 52 nominations for awards, UB has proved to be very popular and come back in the US for a third series.

Did you know that there are several Ugly Betty’s? Our New York sassy slapstick comedy is an adaptation of a columbian show called, Yo Soy Betty, La Fea (I am Betty, the ugly one). There is also over a dozen variations such as Mexico’s La Fea Mas Bella and other adaptations including Tudo Por Amor (Portugal), Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (India), Sensiz Olmuyor (Turkey) and Lotte (Netherlands). There are others but I won’t bore you.

I was going to give you a little clip from the original but you are reading this, so you are more likely to speak English: here is the bloopers from the first series of the American one.

TRIVIA: The original Columbian version was dubbed and broadcast in India, Lithuania, Indonesia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Malaysia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Phillipines and China.

Heroes, BBC2, Wednesday 9pm

Heroes is back for an extremely anticipated third series! For those of you that have never watched this adventurous drama, it is X Men on the rocks with a twist. There are surprises at every single corner but several things set it apart from other American thrillers. You want to escape to this fantasy version of our world where supernatural beings exist.

In the first series, these gifted people are brought together to save the planet (and the cheerleader). Each gift is very unique and helpful to the cause. When Hiro, a desk clerk from Hong Kong finds out he can time travel, he also discovers that the end of the world is close by. With the inadvertent help of the Petrelli brothers, the cheerleader and a few others he goes on his mission.

Series two introduces some new characters, helps us get to know the existing ones and the significance of their relationships to one another. Always running along side the many intertwined story lines is our relentless villain, Silas. His gift is knowing how things work. We aren’t quite sure how he steals powers except that he lasers their head open and we believe eats their brain. Maybe, we’re wrong. If you have any other theory, we’d love to hear them.


Adorable and hilarious: Hiro

Anyway, all bets are on that the new series called Chapter Three, Villains, is going to be as addictive as the last two. So far, the cliff hangers are dramatic have been interesting enough, that you are always be hungry for more.