I totally get the commotion being made about Heroes by those around me (and by "around me", I of course mean "on my friends list".) I've mainlined 6 episodes today and uttered "so cool, so fucking cool" about - oh - twelve times.
This show is just so good. I was skeptical. I thought "is this like Lost, because that one passed me by." But it's all of the good elements of Lost which I enjoyed and much cooler stuff too and YAY! I LOVE THIS SHOW! Man. I don't want to stop watching it. That right there is the mark of good television. The only other programs lately which have inspired this in me are Dexter and, you know, that one that ate my brain - Life on Mars.
The superpower thing has always been hit or miss with me. Sometimes I think it's brilliant and other times, not so much. This time, it completely rocks - especially since these abilities are in the hands of some very non-heroic characters. Also, there's a diverse range of powers, which is nice. I think it's brilliant that some of the powers are just downright creepy. And Nathan's flying makes me squeal and grin like a huge loon (even if he, as a character, generally makes me narrow my eyes.) Also, Isaac's artwork is seriously excellent. Whoever does that is very talented.
All of the characters intrigue me. I'm hesitant to say which ones I like and which ones I don't, because I feel like the more I watch, the more my opinion will change. I appreciate the ambiguity. I will say that about 85% of my clapping and squeaking at the screen is Hiro-related, though. (And I'd say that a lot of that is due to the amazing performance that Masi Oka brings - on paper, Hiro could be terrifyingly stereotypical and cringeworthy, but he's just not and I love that.)
I love the fact it's drama, and mystery, and sci-fi and humour and ohhh so many genres all mishmashed into this one satisfying cohesive whole. I get completely full of glee when people get it right, you know? Yes. This is what should be happening! This is great entertainment! Why can't everyone follow this lead?
I thought that this episode was better than 'Countrycide', but I'm still not exactly feeling the love - which is a shame, because Barrowman killed me on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and in his interview with Jonathan Ross. He seems like a lovely person, so I want the show to do relatively well.
There was better dialogue this time around. The plot worked - even though it wasn't especially original. In fact, the plot was quite clever. Mary's use of the pendant to enchant and confuse Toshiko was well-done. And then we had gratuitous girlkissing, which, whilst not my forté, is not something I would ever turn my nose up at.
I guess my main problem so far is that the Torchwood team appear to be largely incompetent - which, judging by the methods they used to hire Gwen, may not be that strange. But in comparison to Torchwood 1, which was sterile yet efficient, it doesn't ring very true. At some point we have to see them doing something impressive, I think. Something which makes the fact they're Torchwood have some kind of impact. I am the person who adores character development and character interaction. I could handle a whole episode of it. But it needs to be housed in the right context, and I don't think the writers have pinned that down.
I liked the build up of Toshiko in the episode. It was good to finally have her highlighted a little bit, but as I said above, I wish it had been in a way which showed she had skills relevant to her job - as opposed to her being an Owen-infatuated, easily led, disloyal pillock. I still think we have the makings of a great character, though.
Gwen still annoys me. By all means give us flawed characters, but they need some redeeming qualities, and hers do not ping with me at all. I'd be inclined to say that what the writers think are wonderful character traits are actually coding as quite the opposite for me. I don't find her compassionate - and I think I probably should. I just find her whiny and self-indulgent.
I felt sorry for Ianto in this episode - he feels like he's got rats in his stomach, poor boy - I know how that feels. I'm hoping that I'll have reasons to think and feel more for him as a character in the next couple of episodes, because sometimes I think he is so awesome and other times I don't. One of the awesome things was his facial expression when Mary was doing her Villain-speech thing. He did this adorable little eyebrow quirk which elicited a high-pitched squeak from me. Oh, Ianto. You still have the potential to be my very favourite of them all.
Jack was charming and clever. Jack was welcome in this episode, really. I liked the fact he knew more than he let on, I liked the fact he took control. I liked that he was successful. He was smart in the method he used to send Mary on her merry way. I am beginning to think, though, that he's not awfully good at knowing his employees. A good leader knows what makes their team tick. Does he know? Does he care? I really should watch Eccleston Who to see what he's like in other contexts.
The character who I think is the best constructed (and acted) is the snarky little git that is Owen. I don't especially like Owen at all, but I find myself thinking that I do. Does that make any sense? It's like... as soon as he appears on screen, I go "yay! Owen!" and then he speaks and I realise I do not appreciate most of the things he says or does, ever. Still, he is consistent, he has depths, and he sometimes appears to be good at his job. At the very least, he has a certain commitment to his job. That's encouraging.
I don't know. It's not my style to watch a show only to be criticising it at every moment. I like watching shows which fill me with glee (or, in the case of something like Life on Mars, not always glee so much as deep emotive connection). I like waxing lyrical about the shows I watch. I feel like I could do this with Torchwood - the elements are there, they just haven't been slotted into place yet.