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Today's blog entry was going to be about how much I hate those stupid inflatable yard holiday decorations, but then I realized that everything in the blog has been negative this month. So instead, let me mention something that I actually like: Heroes on NBC.

Heroes is up against Monday Night Football and is marketed to that group of television viewers that is disinterested in sports (you know, geeks and women). As much as I love comic books, I'm not going to bypass weekly football for a television show about, well, anything. I wouldn't have ever discovered this gem except for NBC's brilliant decision to also air it on their sister station SciFi Network on Fridays before Doctor Who, which I also love. And starting last week, NBC.com now streams old episodes so that I can catch up on the elements that I missed. (Heroes is as much an episodic serial as any other soap opera, so, believe me, there was a lot to catch up on.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: America loves super heroes. (I think it's part of the American Dream.) Despite the entertainment ghetto to which comic books have been traditionally relegated, they continue to inspire more popular entertainments such as movies and television shows. If this show was a comic, it would never reach the mass audience it deserves. And it's a blast to find a well-written television show that contains as much wonder, suspense, and excitement as an issue of Grant Morrison's JLA. If Superman Returns had been written half as well as this, it could have been among the greatest movies ever.

Yet despite being a television show designed for a mass audience, the show is very loyal to its comic book roots. (In one episode, a major character is revealed to be a member of the "Merry Marvel Marching Society." Sweet!) Heroes is an enjoyable mixture of X-Men meets X-Files with a hint of Smallville. Though this makes it a little predictable for longtime comic readers, it more than makes up for that with an enthusiastic and encouraging embrace of the super hero genre. In any given episode, you'll find such echos of such characters as DC's Phosphorus Man, Thorn, and Waverider, or Marvel's Cannonball, Rogue, and Shadowcat. Excelsior!

So there you go. Something I like. This blog will now resume its regularly scheduled bitching.

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To be continued...

 

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