I have an 8 year old who I stopped buying toys for a couple of years ago. Now you may think that would make me a mean mom and I am sure my kid would agree with you after being told to clean their room or do their homework. But you see I have a good reason for not buying my kid toys and that would be because once she got the new, shiny toy she would play with it for perhaps an hour or two (that’s being very generous by the way) before tossing it in her toy box never to play with again. So you can see why after years of this I got tired of wasting my money on toys which she never planned on playing with. In her defense she has always been a very active kid and would rather be playing outside than inside with toys, but still that’s not the point. The point is why waste my money on something that is going to eventually end up in the bottom of a toy box?
That’s how I have come to feel about the new shows they have been throwing at us lately. Oh sure when we first see a new show it’s all bright and shiny and new, but soon it begins to tarnish and our attention is demanded elsewhere. It really is an A.D.D world now the rest of you just visit. Heroes’ problem, in my opinion, was always a crappy show built around a grand idea with a couple of note-worthy episodes thrown in to keep people like me watching. Come on I couldn’t have been the only one who was practically begging TPTB to kill the frakking cheerleader already?
And now here comes a new show built around the same idea or is it? Could Alphas possibly be what Heroes should have been if it hadn’t of gotten so bad? Oh hell, it was always bad, never mind, scratch that. But seriously folks why should I bother to take time out of what I can assure you is a very busy week to watch 5 extra-ordinary people who just happen to have some freaked out senses fight crime and try to rid the world of evil? Maybe because that isn’t what they do, at least not as of the second episode they don’t. In fact other than trying to track others like themselves they don’t really seem to know what their purpose is and that is where things are starting to get interesting. While the first episode sets up each character and their ability quite nicely it also sets up that these people are far from perfect. In fact, their abilities are also their biggest weakness and their greatest attachment to their humanity. Something I feel that Heroes often tried to imitate but never quite realized which is that it wasn’t their abilities that made them, forgive the pun, heroes.
It will be interesting to see where this series goes and if it develops the legs it needs to stand over a couple of seasons. On the plus side it is airing on SyFy, which means that it won’t have to stand up to the same criticism or scrutiny it would if it had aired on NBC or even TNT for that matter. For those of you who haven’t been watching Alphas, the first thing you will probably have noticed is that it’s cast was not stocked with a group of well known to the public actors. The most famous and well known of the group, David Strathairn (Good Night, Good Luck) is not all that well known, at least not to the general public and even then only by the “hey didn’t he play on…?” vibe that some actors give us. Of course for us Cylon lovers we immediately picked out the man formerly known as Leoben Callum Keith Rennie in the first episode. Unfortunately for us he doesn’t seem to be a regular. The rest of the cast we have all seen in previous projects but they were all pretty much hit or miss. Meaning if you didn’t see the guy who plays electronic wave reader Gary Bell, Ryan Cartwright in Bones you probably didn’t miss him.
I for one feel that the anonymity of the cast is a good thing because it allows the audience to connect more with the character they are playing and less with the person playing the character. It helps to establish the show in a sense of reality. So far everything they have showed in this world is plausible or at least seems to be and that’s what is important after the complete and utter failure that was Heroes. I think somehow someone came up with the theory that fans who are into science fiction such as people with super powers would believe anything. What they failed to take in to account is that those of us who like this genre also like debating and analyzing and pulling apart and putting together what we see and hear. Superman wasn’t super because he could fly. He was an outcast that didn’t belong in the world he lived and was doing his best to make that world better. Ok, yeah the flying part was pretty cool too.
When we first meet the enhanced group, they are not super freaks by any means, they are trying to locate an “alpha” who murders a suspect while he was in a windowless interrogation room. You have to see it to believe it. An “alpha” is simply a person with, as I mentioned before, enhanced abilities. In other words they are no different than any one of us. We are all able to see, hear, speak, think, analyze, touch, and so on and so forth. They are just able to do it to the 1000th degree. Why they are like this has not been addressed and I suspect that is something the writers will eventually get around too. In the meantime I hope someone in that writer’s room sat down and watched every episode of Heroes, yes even the webisodes, so they would know exactly what not to do, because there are much worse things then being the anti-Heroes and that’s being the next Heroes. My final rating for Alphas is…
Time to start keeping up with this could be classic. If you don’t you’ll have no clue what all the cool kids are taking about.