So, I fell off the face of the planet. Can’t promise not to do it again. I’m still struggling with this stuff, and still can’t face going out to try and actually interact with it. It’s not even the thing itself that worries me at this point, it’s the thought of The Scene. I actually now feel like I want to move towards this, to explore, but I just have no clue how to do it.
So instead, I’ll just keep trawling the mainstream media in the safety of my own home, getting far too excited about everything which looks even a little bit like something which might be my thing.
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post about Heroes for a while. Flawed as it is, here’s a lot to like in it, and I heartily approve of their equal opportunity approach to lechery. Season 2 was pretty much the season of half-naked Milo Ventimiglia, and Season 3 the season of half-naked Zachary Quinto. Thanks, Heroes producers.
In fact, though, Ventimiglia’s character, Peter, didn’t do for me at all in season 1. I might have loved him when I was 12, but as an adult, he was just a bit twee for my taste.
But then season 2 opened…
It’s the contrast as much as anything, so I’ll give you the back story. Peter was a sweet, soft, decent, floppy-haired pretty boy in a family of manipulative political near-mobsters. He was caring, gentle, emotional and perhaps a little fragile, and worked as a palliative care nurse. Then he turned out to have the ability to absorb other people’s superhero powers by empathising with them, making him potentially the most powerful ‘hero’ of the lot. He tried so hard to use his powers for good, but eventually he picked up some radioactive power that he couldn’t control at all, and at the end of season 1 his brother had to fly (like Superman, not like aeroplane) him out of New York in the nick of time to stop him accidentally blowing up the whole city.
So season 2 opens four months later, and Peter’s still missing. Noone really knows what happened when he, um, exploded. Through the whole first episode everyone’s wondering what happened to him. And then, far away, in Cork, some petty criminals with incredibly unconvincing Irish accents (really, rarely have I heard worse) go to a dockyard looking for some stolen merchandise, and open the crate to find not the ipods they were after, but a very confused, shirtless Peter, handcuffed to the wall. All cropped hair, dirt, and muscles. And with no idea who he is or how he got there.
I think my friends were a little confused by how excited I was about it. But I’m sure you can see it. Gentle Peter, suddenly turning up all dirty and muscular and bewildered, like someone picked up that soft, delicate creature, shaved his head, and brutalised him for four months. And then chained him up in a crate, and left him there. What did they have him doing all that time? Was he digging holes? Being forced to use his powers for evil? On a chain gang? Being experimented on? So many fun places the mind goes to.
And then, the not-Irish guys tie him to a chair and work him over. Still half-naked, so you can see all the muscles and sinews stretching. Splendid.
Video of Peter all dirty and bewildered and being beaten up in Cork (YouTube continues to be too smart for me, so you’ll have to watch it on Vimeo instead.)
By the way, it turns out that where he’s been is indeed a ‘research’ facility, where he’s spent four months being the plaything of the boss’s sadistic, lightning-wielding daughter. Awesome. And at first he’s all, ‘These people know best, I should be locked up because I’m a danger to myself and others,’ all docile and quietly taking the pills, but later (persuaded by the ‘English’ guy next door – another truly atrocious accent) he starts plotting to escape, and then he starts smooching up to her and letting her zap him, to distract her from the fact that he’s stopped taking the drugs. Which of course pleases my ‘men offering up their body when out of other options’ thing no end. And wow, I wish I could shoot electricity from my lips. How much fun?
Video of Peter being toyed with by sadistic daddy’s girl in a research facility
The following season, the lightning-wielding sadist, Elle, ends up in a facility herself, where she’s visited by series big bad, serial killer Sylar (Quinto), who killed her father to take his powers. He’s got a sudden case of the warm and fuzzies, having had a taste of unconditional love from his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ mother. And so now his long lost (not really, but he thought so) ‘real’ father thinks he can change his ways, and learn empathy to take people’s powers without killing them, by learning empathy.
So Sylar lets Elle take her revenge on him. Which she does by lightninging him up (yes, I said lightninging) to the point where she’s literally flaying the flesh from his bones. I mean, sure, he regenerates, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt (hello, Wolverine, my old friend). And he just keeps getting up and letting her hurt him more, taking it all for her. And really, they could hardly have found a better body to rip the clothes off with lightning.
Video of lightning vengeance
And then, the next season, the government decided everyone with powers should be rounded up and killed/locked up/experimented on -so all the heroes had to go on the run. I love men on the run. The desperation, the fear, the loneliness, the physical hardship, the sheer unrelentingness of it. Yum yum yum.
So, yeah, a lot to love.