Friday, May 25, 2007

Down Time

Guess you could say I took the day off today. Not sure how long it has been since I allowed myself to spend this much time at something not related to research, content creation, site promotion, malware warring, or file organizing and back up. Probably not since October before NaNoWriMo.

This morning, after my husband left for work, I decided that I wanted to watch something completely entertaining over my coffee before I got busy. I remembered it had been a couple of weeks since I caught up with Medium on the NBC web site and the last episode I'd seen had been continued. So I headed off to check it out. Sure enough there were two new-to-me available. I watched them back to back.

This took somewhat less than two hours with the limited commercials. Maybe fifty minutes each. I intended to get busy after the second one. But a button promoting Heroes was on the page and I went to see what was on offer there. See, once, months ago, I stumbled onto a Heroes episode in the middle. On TV. Got interested but felt completely lost. Checked it out online hoping I could catch up from the beginning but they didn't have all the episodes available online. So I have checked back every once in awhile. No more than every six weeks or so. I tend to forget about it if nothing reminds me. But, I guess you can guess where this is heading. I found they had the whole season available. I started with episode one and watched straight through episode four before I came up for air.

It ended on a cliff-hanger and I have had a hard time keeping my mind on the other things I'm supposed to be thinking about. I almost forgot I needed to get a post up before midnight if I didn't want to break my nearly two month streak. I was all set to hook up my ear buds and click on the next episode as soon as my husband started snoring when I remembered. Then spent half an hour trying to come up with a topic that wasn't this one. I hated to admit I spent nearly an entire day in such a frivolous manner. I have nothing to say about the series in terms of a critique other than it has gripped me on some level, I cannot yet articulate. In terms of story structure, I am still in the beginning where character development and plot lines are laid down, foreshadowing is over layered and so forth but it is too soon to know how well the promises implied by these will be kept by the writers over time.

I like the complexity of ensemble cast stories like this. I like the fumbling idealism of each of the potential heroes, their misfit status and eccentricity even without the 'special talents' in their repertoire. Their lack of cynicism is refreshing. I also like the sci-fi elements and one of the things that had intrigued me about the episode I saw months ago was the fascination with Star Trek of one the mysterious character Hiro. As a long, long time Trekkie myself, that was hard to resist.

I've never been much of a fan of the comic book hero genre though and had given this a pass in the first place, thinking that's what it was. But it doesn't feel like a typical comic book story. It even seems to be trying to reflect on the genre and its impact on our culture more than to be of the genre itself.


I really can't afford to add another series to my list of favorites. I gave up all of the stories I was following after the winter rerun season because of the looming library closure and the need to focus on using the resources I was about to loose indefinitely. I hoped I would be able to catch up with most of them online after April 6th. But at some point I discovered that ABC had stopped posting more than the previous three or four episodes of each of the stories I was hooked on. And by the time I discovered this, I was five or six episodes behind on all of them. So I took a gamble and chose to wait until the end of the season, hoping they would put up at least the entire spring season soon after the season finales.

When I went to the ABC site to check on them the other day, I discovered they had upgraded their streaming software and required me to download and install it. But after some twenty attempts, I still haven't gotten it to work. I suspect it might have something to do with one of the barriers we put up against malware in the last month. I don't know if I dare let down any of those guards just yet to test that theory. So now I don't know if I will get to catch up with Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Six Degrees among others.

I told you I couldn't really afford to add another series to my list of wanna sees. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of what I used to watch regularly. I have actually appreciated not being tied to the TV for all of these months. It is probably why I was so much more productive this past winter than most. I may have spent nearly as much time watching videos online or DVDs from the library as I would have spent watching those stories on prime time TV but I wasn't controlled by the TV schedule. Which meant I didn't have to interrupt a project to tune in a show or worse yet put off getting started in a project until after eleven on a given night.

Maybe I won't remain enthralled by Heroes. I sense from the pace of the storyline and elements of foreshadowing that it is getting close to the episode I caught a piece of. Maybe once it reaches that point, my curiosity will have been slaked enough to let it go again. That was the episode when a certain cheerleader defied the grounding by her Father and went to a school function--prom? homecoming? Halloween party? I told you, I surfed into the middle of an episode. There was a handful of characters who seemed to think they had a mission to 'save the cheerleader and save the world' and it had something to do with a painting of the clock tower on this high school campus by an artist who claimed to paint the future. I got the impression that the cheerleader in question had already died and the attempt to save her involved going back in time, or stopping time or even that there had or would be repeated attempts to interrupt what was about to happen or had already happened to her. It is all kind of vague after all of these months. Part of me wishes I'd left it that way. Part of me can't wait to get back to see what happens in episode five.

Any Heroes fans or Heroes haters out there feel free to weigh in. Will I be able to quit after I reach the point in the story I stumbled onto before? Is there any culturally redeeming value in this story or have I fallen hook, line and sinker for one big gimmick?

2 tell me a story:

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