Being stuck at home for the past few days has allowed me two things: to tie up loose ends in regards to homework and to watch episodes of Heroes.
I don't watch a lot of TV; the only show I consistently watch is Lost (which won't be on again until February) and the only show I semi-consistently watch is Boston Legal (starring William Shatner as a delusional chauvinist lawyer - how can you not find that both awesome and hilarious?). My family had caught glimpses of Heroes from time to time and wanted to catch up on it, so we bought the entire season on iTunes and intended to watch them over the summer before the second season started.
That didn't work so well. But when I got my iPod Touch a month ago, I transfered a few episodes to it, figuring it'd be a good way to spend down time in between classes - except I haven't found a lot of down time between classes. So over the past few days, I've been occupied with either Heroes or homework.
I'm only barely halfway through the first season, but from what I've seen so far, it's great. It's just geeky enough to appeal to geeks and just accessible enough to appeal to a mainstream audience. It's kind of like the television equivalent of the X-Men and Spiderman movies; there's plenty of "mythology" for fans to obsess over, but the average viewer will appreciate the surprisingly relatable stories and drama.
In this respect it shares a lot with Lost. Lost is another one of those shows with sprawling backstories for fans to analyze for hours on end, yet it still manages to bring in the ratings. The two shows also have a love of deeper themes for us literary nerds to philosophize over. (Lost's biggest themes include science vs. the supernatural, family issues, and fate. Heroes too draws a lot from the supernatural and fate, though a theme I've noticed that comes up a lot is that of overprotective parents.)
Reading that last paragraph and reflecting on my ability to overanalyze reminds me: yeah, I've had a lot of free time over the past few days.
Heroes has this over Lost, though: a way better sense of pacing. While Lost plants questions for us and doesn't answer them until seasons later, Heroes delivers quickly. And yes, when a question is answered, ten new questions come up (just like Lost!), but Heroes manages to do it all in a far less frustrating way. Where Lost seems to put focus on questions to create confusion and throw us off track, Heroes creates questions to lay down new pieces of the track and keep the ride moving.
Anyway, if any of that sounds the least bit interesting to you, check out the Pilot episode on iTunes. If you're a fan of the recent superhero movies, or if you just like good storytelling, Heroes will appeal to you.