by Ben P. Duck
A brief story about watching TV will help you at unexpected moments and how your husband will tease you afterwards. My wonderful wife is what I describe as a born-again nerd. She used to be cool, I mean really cool. I have seen pictures of her from her days in Boston and San Diego in the early and mid-nineties, and she so would not have even given me the time of day. This alone is a measure of her hip-ocity (calculated using the Rat Pack formula with the Roddenberry constant for my nerd score, she would (in today's terms) score somewhere between Beyonce and that girl who isn't Willow on "How I met your Mother", if that helps.). Fortunately, when she met me she had begun her long decline into nerdiness (she was in graduate school in Texas which is categorically not cool). Anyway, we hooked up and I got her watching Buffy and Angel. Before long, she was watching Enterprise and checking to see what movies were showing on SciFi. Its an old story, hanging around outside comic book stores at two in the morning trying to score a pair of Spock ears (oh wait, I may have made up that last one).
Well, the recent birth of our lovely second daughter gave her to the opportunity to officially surpass me in the realm of the geekazoid. You see we had our daughter at a birth center as opposed to a hospital, midwife attending, no doctor and no drugs. Okay, I know A) that's not geeky, possibly granola, some may even say a little crazy, but not nerdy, and B) why am I reading this in an essay about Cylons? Patience, young Padawan, all will be revealed in due course.
Anyway, with no drugs, certain other pain relief techniques need to be employed. Specifically, Sue used a form of self-hypnosis in which she projected herself into a forest glen and onto a hill overlooking a sandy beach and the sea. We also employed what they refer to as the Maternity Center epidural, the Jacuzzi tub, so that she could float in warm soothing water. All went well, I was there the whole time but unlike the first time which was characterized for me by a combination of stark terror and total exhaustion, this was... well... kind of boring. Sue would stare at her finger for a moment and then drop it into the water and lay there, over and over again. The next morning we were home with our lovely daughter Claire and Sue was in remarkably good shape. I asked her how she did it and she said, "I kept thinking over and over, I'm just like a Cylon floating around here in this tub." After recovering from the coffee shooting out my nose, I told her that this officially beat the time I actually used frak as a curse word. She told me she didn't actually think she was a Cylon, but kept thinking this must be what they were talking about when she saw the show the other night. I keep telling her that I don't think she is one of the missing five, but ya never know and I am not messing with anyone who pushes babies out of her body without pain killers.
Further nonsense can be found at: http://sirpurpleduck.livejournal.com/
by Billie Doux
Now that the fall season has begun to quiet down and finale itself, I wrote a review of the Heroes pilot. Here you go.
Peter: "Did you ever get the feeling like you were meant to do something... extraordinary?"
Mohinder: "I'm driving a cab. You may have noticed."
I wasn't wildly impressed with this pilot episode. I was confused about what was going on, and a little disappointed that it was all origin and little story.
So let's talk origin, then.
Madras, India: A gorgeous young Indian professor guy named Mohinder Suresh starts chasing his dead father's wild goose. Except it doesn't seem to be a wild goose, after all. Teleportation, levitation, tissue regeneration, new gateway to evolution? Forget the technical explanation. What we have are emerging "X-Men"-ish mutants, and Mohinder's father was the one to discover that it was happening. And it doesn't seem to be gradual and random, either. Five people seem to be discovering it is happening at exactly the same time. Which means it was caused by something specific.
Odessa, Texas: Claire Bennett was the only one who was actually heroic in this pilot episode, dashing into a fire and rescuing someone. Yes, she was doing it as the latest in a progression of freaky tests intended to explore the limits of her invulnerability, but still. Her cheerleader outfit even sort of resembles a superhero costume. Her dad, the shady guy with the big glasses, could quite possibly be our supervillain. He obviously knows what the hell is going on. Which we do not.
Las Vegas, Nevada: Nikki is an internet sex worker with an interesting set of problems: a brilliant, troubled son named Micah, a huge debt owed to the Mob, and a very interesting reflection. A reflection not under her control that just killed two of those mob guys. Altered mirrors are always creepy, anyway. A homicidal reflection? Exceptionally creepy.
Tokyo, Japan: Hiro, an office worker, appears to have the power to bend space and time. He's definitely the most enjoyable character in the story; you gotta love him. In the end, he teleported himself from Tokyo to Times Square. That was a good trick. How is he going to get back in time for work?
New York City appears to be the Heroes nexus. We have a politician named Nathan Petrelli who can fly, and his brother Peter who thinks he can fly, but can't. That's sort of a bummer, since Peter is a sweetheart and Nathan appears to be a jerk. Why was Peter dreaming he could fly if he can't? Why was Isaac's painting of Peter instead of Nathan? Isaac, the artist, thinks the pictures he is painting of the future are evil. Maybe it's because he paints them when he's stoned. Which led us to our big problem, foreshadowed by Isaac's painting: New York is going to explode. Yes, that could be bad.
What do I like about Heroes?
I immediately liked Hiro and Claire. Maybe because Claire was saving a man's life, while Hiro was teleporting himself into the ladies' room. :) The sci-fi geek in me relates to the sci-fi geek in Hiro, in a great big way. I particularly loved Hiro explaining the rules of becoming a superhero to Ando.
I liked that it was international. This was beautifully illustrated by all of them, all over the world, watching the solar eclipse at the same time. Suresh Senior's map had push-pins all over the world. How many mutants are there?
And I liked that the incipient superheroes appear to be connected: Hiro's friend Ando was looking at Nikki's sex site; Mohinder, the new cab driver, picked up Peter as well as Claire's father; Peter and Isaac appear to share a love interest: Simone, whose father is dying. At least Simone isn't blonde. Did you notice that what we have are a bunch of dark-haired, dark-eyed guys, and two blondes? What is it, coincidence? Is it a cartoon thing?
So we have five people with brand new, special gifts: Claire, Nikki, Hiro, Nathan, and Isaac. They're all reacting to it differently. Claire is depressed and introspective. Nikki is terrified. Isaac believes that it's an evil force. Hiro is totally thrilled. We don't know yet about Nathan.
Bits and pieces:
-- Peter is a nurse, a gifted one. He said that he lives for other people. Nathan hinted that the Petrelli family appears to have other secrets in their past, too.
-- Nathan and Peter's mother was arrested for shoplifting. Claire's mother raises show dogs.
-- Mohinder's lecture early on about the exceptional survival characteristics of the lowly cockroach was a hint about the exceptional survival characteristics that are starting to develop in certain people.
-- "Patient Zero" was in Queens, New York. Who was Patient Zero?
-- What happened to Suresh Senior's computer?
-- Nathan was talking on the phone to someone named Linderman. Nikki borrowed money from Linderman. So Nathan is connected to the Mob.
-- Nikki doesn't appear to be a good decision-maker. Anyone who's ever been the movies knows you don't borrow money from the Mob.
-- Simone loves Isaac but appears drawn to Peter.
-- Claire doesn't appear to be feeling pain.
-- Before Hiro teleported, the clock behind him on the subway speeded up.
Hiro: "Yes, I have discovered powers beyond any mere mortal."
Ando: "Right. You and Spock."
Ando: "Use your "death grip", Spock!"
Of course, all Star Trek fans know that there is no Vulcan death grip.
Ando: "Let's say you really do have this power. What do you do with it? Join the circus? No one ever got laid by stopping the second hand of a clock."
Hiro: "Every ten year old wishes he had super powers. And I got them. Me, of all people. Last in my class. Last on the sports field. I'm not a loser any more."
Bennett: "Probably lots of Sureshes where you're from. Like Smith, or Anderson."
Little reference to The Matrix, there?
I usually don't rate pilot episodes, so no rating this time,