I get sent home from work today, so I decided to write a bonus post for this week.
Don’t worry, I’m not in trouble. I sub at the local high school about three times a week and there was a massive scheduling conflict sending home quite a few of us.
Anyway, back to what we love here: Sci Fi!
I’ve been (re)watching the show ‘Heroes‘ lately, and I had forgotten how absolutely FANTASTIC it was. The first two seasons are incredibly harrowing, and I hate that I have to sleep. That pulls me away from watching the next episode.
But here’s the main reason why I loved this show when it was on and why I love it now:
It’s set up like a comic book.
Several story lines going on at once, all of them connected, and yet we only get a precious few minutes with each set of characters. It has genetically evolved people with superpowers, time travel, pandemics…
The main writer is a man named Jeph Loeb, one of my favorite writers in the entire universe. He has written some of my favorite graphic novels, and probably a few things you hold dear as well. Not to mention the art in the series is drawn by one of my all time favorite artists Tim Sale.
But I will just be talking about the writing in the show, although the cinematography, art, and special effects are top notch as well.
So here’s what we can learn from Heroes:
1. Linear Writing is Not Always the Best Way
In Heroes, timelines mix and meld; there are alternate realities. And yet, the story HAS to be told. So there is often a disjointed timeline. People go to the future and see what would happen if the time stream plays out from a certain point, then they go to the past and try to fix it, and often they find that they can’t stop certain events. But the story is not necessarily linear in the sense we are used to. Food for thought when working with time travelers. (Also see Dr. Who)
2. Jumping Scenes as If They were Comic Panels
Another thing that I think is awesome in Heroes is the way they spend only a short amount of time on each set of characters. This allows a few things, but the main thing it allows is suspense. They give you just enough to wet your whistle and then BAM! they pull it away to another set of characters. Of course at some point they bring all of the characters together and tie up all the loose ends; but until they do, it’s a wild ride. Like a bunch of short stories, all coming together to form a novel.
3. Good Villains
The heroes in the show are great heroes. Morally gray, yet trying to work for the greater good. The villains are even better. The villains become villains because they are emotional and real. Not just some evil genius who wants to kill Superman. (I love Superman, but Lex Luthor just seems bored to me.) The first villain is a deranged psychopath who preys on others with powers, there’s the Company that abducts people with powers, and a 400 year old re-generator who’s bent on massive genocide. They are the epitome of evil. I love it. It creates such a contrast.
So those are a few of my observations from ‘Heroes’. I hope you will go watch the show in its entirety when you get a chance. Happy trails!