A Look at the television season thus far (Heroes, House)

The fantastic Rev returns to give us some thoughts on Heroes and House.

At the end of last season Kring and Co admitted that they’d made mistakes (which was a brave move worthy of respect in itself) and told us that they’d pay more attention this season. We were promised something that would deliver on the potential the first season showed. Did “Villains” give us this?

Did it heck, some how Heroes actually managed to take steps backwards and end up producing something which in all honesty is even worse than season two was. The number of crimes they have committed are so vast it’s almost impossible to list them all. But the key ones include the honestly criminal waste of Wire veterans Andre Royo and Jamie Hector. Both of whom are capable of some truly magnificent ranges as they are master craftsmen in their art. But instead Hector is reduced to some low level boogie man for the most part (with some truly awful lines) and Royo, while he did have better lines, was thrown away by the end of his episode.

Likewise there was the completely pointless move of bringing Adam Monroe (the one good thing to come out of season 2) back and then killing him off to ‘regenerate’ Arthur Petrelli. Completely unwarranted as Peter loses his powers (including regeneration) to Arthur a short while later. But this is the same level of dumb plotting that has become par for course in the show. With characters acting inconsistently, huge plot holes and poor acting constantly hampering the show it’s in need of a massive enema.

Now there is light at the end of this tunnel. The sad cancellation of Pushing Daisies has given a silver lining, Bryan Fuller is returning to Heroes and hopefully he can bring Tim Kring’s excesses and weak writing into line. Now all they need to do is get rid of Claire and Peter.

House is another show that’s attempted to mix things up, this time with varying degrees of success. After last season managed to put a solid spin on the format with the ‘voting’ for a new team this season looks to give us a little more insight into the new team while also dealing with the fall out from Amber’s passing. Michael Weston’s spin-off character was introduced as a P.I. mirror of House himself, and while he didn’t get his eventual spin-off he was likable enough that I hope he makes the occasional reappearance.

Likewise the Wilson/House rift that sparked the hiring of the P.I. in the first place was interesting and thankfully resolved itself in a timely and sensible fashion before moving on. But this is where we reach what is best described as House M.D: The Thirteen Show. David Shore and his writers have decided to fixate on the least likable member of House’s new team, Dr Remy Hadley aka Thirteen. She’s been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease in what honestly feels like an attempt to generate sympathy for her as a character. But if anything it’s managed to turn her from an attractive, open and interesting woman into an annoying self-centred snore-generating-machine. The latest batch of episodes have all focused on repeatedly teaching her some lesson surrounding her illness and honestly they’ve almost all been trite. Once upon a time House dealt with interesting patients who had horrible diseases, now it deals with one dimensional patients who all have an important parallel lesson to teach Thirteen. Instead of making her more sympathetic it’s made her irritating and repetitive. I never thought I’d say this, but I wish the show would either move on from this or get rid of her.

On the other hand a newer and more interesting thread has sparked up, playing on the obvious school ground chemistry between House and Cuddy the pair of them have started to show obvious and immature interest in each other. House is so emotionally stunted that he can’t act properly towards Cuddy and she’s so terrified by the thought of getting close to such an emotional douche bag that she’s not sure how to proceed either. Add into this Cuddy’s desire to foster a child and House’s general antics and you get numerous moments where one or the other just misses a chance to move this forward. I don’t know where it’s going to go, I imagine it’ll return to the status-quo but it’s been good to watch.

I just hope the writers figure out what to do with Cameron and Chase, they’re lingering around on the outskirts of episodes most of the time. Likewise Kutner and Taub could do with a little more plot time devoted to them, something they’ve started to get but Thirteen’s cyclical fables keep getting in the way.

Still, this said when House is on form it’s as brilliant as always thanks to Hugh Laurie, and that’s why we watch it.

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