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May 14 2007

We Could All Be Heroes or.......We Could Just Get Lost. Columnist, J. Scott Wilson, writes about "Heroes" and "Lost" being the best character-driven shows on television since "Firefly." He also talks about the "Serenity" screenings in June and links to the website.

If I'm not mistaken, he wrote about the charity screenings last year as well. I remember something going out to news websites from the "Internet Broastcasting" service, which is what he writes for.

(FYI, when typing this, I first accidentally wrote "Internet Browncoating".)

ETA: Yeah, looking at the press coverage from last yar, hsi item on the screenings went to I think 78 sites which syndicate his column.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-05-14 18:56 ]
Good news. We've got some pretty hefty goals this year.
We've got some pretty hefty goals this year.

What are the goals for this year's screenings?
What are the goals for this year's screenings?

Generally speaking, to break $100,000. Last year's raised around $69,000.
Well he doesn't say the shows are character-driven, more that they both have characters that we can related to. Because neither show is character-driven. Heroes and Lost are both plot driven. The characters are pushed along by the plot of both. Both series suffer from passive main characters, particularly Heroes - where things just happen to the characters.

Compare that to Buffy or Angel, where the characters actually react and choose to do things based on, well, their characters. Sure, occasionally the plot moved things forward, but Buffy and Angel wouldn't then fumble around waiting for the plot to move things forward again - they would act.

Firefly had a good balance between character and plot. And I found it much easier to relate to three-dimensional characters on a space-ship than I do to one-dimensional super-heroes who live in the "real world".
Heroes and Lost are both plot driven

I would disagree on the latter. The entire reason the show has the flashback structure is because the present-day story is about how the characters develop on the island as related to their pasts.
I'm in the corner with bix re: Lost and I don't really consider Heroes truly plot-driven either. It's not like it's Law and Order or CSI.
I don't know....

Heroes first, I started watching it, but the characters are just totally uninteresting - and then everyone will say "what about Hiro!!!" and I'll just say that one over the top character doesn't make a show good - there's nothing particularly likeable about any of them as we never learn anything really about them, it's about how they react to the plot - basically, the X-Men movies did it better.

Lost's characters are a little more developed, and I love the flashbacks, but the problem is you have a really good episode with a character and then they don't really have anything important to do until about 11 episodes later - it's annoying.

So how's that! They both suffer from opposite problems - Heroes tries to show all the characters at once in every episode and therefore nothing is really achieved with any of them as you're trying to stuff so much plot into it - and while Lost really develops it's characters, there's so many of them that they hardly show any of the characters at all.

[ edited by aapac on 2007-05-14 23:16 ]
Heroes first, I started watching it, but the characters are just totally uninteresting - and then everyone will say "what about Hiro!!!" and I'll just say that one over the top character doesn't make a show good - there's nothing particularly likeable about any of them as we never learn anything really about them, it's about how they react to the plot - basically, the X-Men movies did it better.

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree there. The movies were uneven; they did a great job with some characters (Wolverine) and completely wrecked others (Rogue).

I for one think that there are some wonderful characters in Heroes. No, it's not quite up to th par of Joss's shows (then again, what is?), but I think it's one of the most interesting serials in recent years. There's a lot of sweet in there, you just gotta give it a chance.
I would agree that both Heroes and Lost are mostly plot driven. I haven't been able to get into either one because they both rely way too much on long-term suspense, and not enough on what the characters are feeling. I can only take so many "to be continued" cliffhangers before I start to not even care what happens next.

[ edited by RaisedByMongrels on 2007-05-15 00:48 ]
I can't agree that Heroes is plot driven. The entire show depends on how all the different characters are reacting to their superpowers. Actually, if I try to think of 'plot' in Heroes, none really comes to mind. The characters drive everything.
I watched the first few episodes of Heroes, but found that I didn't really like any of the characters. Which for me, is a death knell as far as holding my interest. I've since heard so many raves about the show that I've tried to catch it here and there, but have still not found anything to retain my interest.

I've never watched Lost, but if it is long and drawn out without really answering any questions (which is the impression I've had from people discussing the show) I don't think I will risk my valuable free time to watching this show.

Am I way off base about either show? Should I give them a try (or a retry in the case of Heroes)?
Heroes is absolutely plot-driven, but I cannot say that it is entirely character-stagnant. HRG is the best example of this (and I think the most interesting character in the show). He's gone from all-out bad guy to ambiguous character, to almost a hero himself in a single season. A few other characters have undergone slight changes (Peter turned badass, Nathan always toes the line between righteous and corrupt), but the rest have been entirely static this season.

Honestly, I am not very impressed with Heroes thusfar. To me it is just an inferior recycling of the past 20 years of Sci-Fi and Comic Book cultures. Every episode I find myself saying, "Oh that's from X-Men", or "Come on, Alan Moore did that decades ago!" Some of the most recent episodes have even been reminiscient of The Matrix. Then you have the abysmal dialogue and poor directing. The only saving grace I see is the cast, which does feature some clear talents (Hayden Panettiere, the guy who plays Nathan).
It's interesting how divided the group is on these shows. In our local New York City Browncoats, all of us are watching "Lost" and "Heroes." Granted, these shows are not Joss level, but if that's the bar then I wouldn't watch television at all.
My problem with Lost was the feeling that they were making it up as they went along. Then I learned one of the main writers was the lead writer for Brisco County, Jr. which was a brilliant show that was severly limited by the fact that it was - admittedly - made up as they went along. In fact on the Brisco DVD set there are hours and hours of writers videos which IMO are quite embarrassing as the more they reveal, the less I regarded them. And now I regard Lost with less esteem as well. I guess Heroes and Alias suffer(ed) similarly, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent.

[added: I am very curious how s4 of The 4400 will change relative to Heroes success. I also am curious whether our Summer Glau will make time to appear on that show in addition to Fox's Sara Connor Chronicles.]

[ edited by napua on 2007-05-15 03:12 ]
First let me say I love Heroes. I think it is an interesting mix of both plot and character. While the writing is not Josslike, it is still good. In addition, several of the characters have endured a lot of change and struggle with their developing superpowers, while others of course have not. I think that is a pretty accurate view of how it would be, people all deal with revelation in a different way.

As for Lost, I try and try to find time for this show and follow it pretty regularly, but I find that I really don't care. I don't care what happens to most of the characters, except maybe Locke and Sawyer. In addition, I have that X-Files feeling about it, like the truth is out there, but I ain't ever going to know of it. I find that frustrating.

Napau, I too am interested in what will happen with the 4400 this season. Which is tied w/ BSG as my favorite sci-fi show as of late.
Summer mentioned in a recent interview that she is in several 4400 episodes this year.
I was a viewer of Alias for a while, but was driven away partially because it became clear that they had no idea of where they were going. However, I really don't get that feeling with Lost. There may be some angles and subplots which they've added in as they've gone along, but I really do think that they have a grasp on the overall story, and a destination towards which they're heading.

In the end, though, it's not as character-driven - or as good - as Firefly :)

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