1. a single mother with a jekyl and hyde personality
2. a japanese office worker who can manipulate the space-time continuum
3. a cop who can hear other people’s thoughts
4. an artist who can draw the future
5. a presidential candidate and his younger brother who can defy gravity and fly
6. a high school student who can never be physically harmed as her body parts can regenerate at will
each one of these protagonists struggle to come to terms with their strange abilities while trying to grapple with their already damaged personal lives. this is the premise of a new tv show called ‘heroes’. watching the first 3 episodes aired so far reminds me of bruce willis’ character in the m. night shyamalan’s movie ‘unbreakable’ which was largely panned when it came out following the hugely successful ‘sixth sense’. there willis was seemingly an ordinary joe public type of guy working as a security guard at a stadium. as the show progresses he begins to realise little peculiar things about himself; how he has never been sick his entire live and how he gets out from any accidents with nary a scratch to brag about.
most of the characters in ‘heroes’ do not want anything to do with their supernatural powers and feels that it is more of a curse than anything else. you will never catch the presidential candidate donning a cape and his underwear on the outside. rather than own up to his powers, he lies and even betrays his own brother in order not to jeopardise his political campaign.
the artist who can see the future numbs his visions by shooting up whenever he gets the chance and the single mother is just horrified at the havoc her split personality can wreck on the people around her.
the high school cheerleader just wants to fit in and fade into the background noise of adolescent romance, peer acceptance and date rape. the only 3 people genuinely thrilled at being handed a strange hand by god are the cop, the idealistic younger brother of the presidential candidate and the japanese guy. the latter is hiro and he is my favourite character so far. accepting his destiny with child-like innocence and glee, he is determined to help people around him and ultimately save new york from nuclear destruction which he incidentally finds out is going to happen in the near future from a comic book drawn by the doped-up artist.
the cop is also excited about his new found telepathy but life is not having any of it. he is in the middle of a crumbling marriage and is arrested when he solves a case using his special powers. seeing that he knows classified details of the case, his superiors takes him for questioning as a suspect. unbeknowst to them he has gathered all their thoughts via his mind-reading.
the younger brother starts out as a male nurse caring for the terminally ill but when he realises his gift, he quits and hopes to use his power for the betterment of mankind although thus far he has only managed to piss off his brother and lands in hospital after a failed attempt to control his power.
running through the lives of this motley crew of characters is a mysterious man who happens to be the adopted father of the high school kid. from the knowing glances that he throws at the camera , he represents the system or government and this whole group of misfits may be under clandestine surveillance. also a supernatural serial killer is on the loose and he may or may not be targetting these specially-endowed people. there is also a young indian man who discovers that his dead father was working on a theory of escalated evolution which led to this group of people being what they are. he arrives in new york where his father was murdered for his work by some shadowy organisation. hoping that the clues his father left behind may lead him to at least one of these super humans, he finds himself being hunted by the same organisation.
with so much going on. its obvious that all the wheels are in motion and where our final destination may be only time and the creator of this show can tell. in the meantime just enjoy the plot twists and intersections of storylines of a truly original and genre-defining series.
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