Sorry for missing last week. There will be times that I just can't get around to writing the blog. I hope y'all understand. Here then is a partial list of excuses:
On top of work, there's my movie. We're in the midst of putting all the financing in place, an exercise that seemingly has no end and always needs attention. Then there's the construction. The entire front of our house is torn up. Also, my daughter has either soccer or a basketball game, it seems, every day of the week. To miss a game is a capital offense, punishable by death. Not that I would want to miss one. She's the leading scorer on her soccer team. They're in second place out of 22 teams, so it's a fun ride this season. Friday night, I worked until 5 am, got to sleep around 6, then got up at 8 so I wouldn't miss her game at 9. I know what you're thinking: Nobel Prize for parenting. That's certainly what I was thinking at 8 am. My daughter was somewhat less impressed.
And then there's always: the rat ate my homework. This is hysterical. We actually have a pet rat (as well as a jet black toy poodle with a Rastafarian haircut). I know, I know... pet rat? Sounds disgusting. But domestic pet store rats are actually very clean, sweet, smart animals and my wife and daughter came home with one a few weeks ago, so it's a done deal and I have to buy the party line. Anyway, one day last week, my daughter had a friend over. They were on the floor doing their homework when Tooie (the rat's name -- after Ratatouille) runs over -- out of her cage -- grabs a page of their homework and disappears with it under the couch. I was secretly looking forward to my daughter telling her teacher, with a straight face, that the rat ate her homework. The F would have almost been worth it.
Episodes 6 and 7. Actor Observations:
Doyle the Puppet master. It was the network debut of David Lawrence XVII [read TWoP's interview with him] and, boy, did he nail it. For so little camera experience to be that calm and funny and creepy is incredible. I loved that story and those scenes. What was so great about them was how low-tech and high drama they were. There were no effects, just acting, and all the actors were fantastic. Ashley, Jessalyn, and Hayden were amazing, affecting helpless, involuntary movements orchestrated by Doyle. These kinds of scenes are what Heroes does so well. Blowing things up is all well and good, but the tension of three women stuck at a table forced to play Russian roulette against their will, without any special effects whatsoever, trumps, in my opinion, everything else we do. And the added emotional weight of Sandra having to shoot her daughter, even knowing Claire will recover, is devastating.
To brag a bit on Ashley, she is one of the best actors I have ever worked with. She is incapable of not telling the truth. She never indicates, never pretends; always invests completely in the emotional stakes. And I don't just mean crying. Lots of people can cry. Ashley's tears, while moving, are usually beside the point. Watch any one of her scenes and you always feel what the underlying intention is.
Ashley can take a simple scene, such as the one where she's looking through HRG's files trying to find whom Claire might be after and where she could have gone, and turn it into so much more. When Meredith enters, Sandra's search is imbued with such palpable resentment of Meredith that you immediately connect with a mother's anger at the unwanted influence of an outsider. Suddenly a scene that could be nothing more than exposition becomes filled with subtext and emotion. You can't act subtext. You have to feel it. Ashley always does.
I am also a huge fan of Jessalyn's. I love working with her and I love the scenes with the two moms. I just want to give Ashley the credit she deserves. She is a defacto series regular, a rock in the Bennet family story. Remember when she was just the ditzy dog lady back in season one? In the hands of a lesser actor that part would have gone away fast. Ashley made it real and funny and kooky and then turned it on a dime in "Company Man" when she discovered Claire's ability. Her character has never been the same since. "I can't pretend it's the same world it was yesterday." With that, ditzy dog lady died and was replaced by a smart, savvy wife and mother capable of handling almost anything. Her primal scream of "Claire!" when Grunny shot Hayden in "Company Man" can still give me a cold chill.
Speaking of cold chills: some love for Robert Forster. He has that great face. His eyes are so still and so chilling when he holds an actor in his gaze. He's the prefect hardboiled Raymond Chandler/Elmore Leonard antihero. Ironically, he's a total sweetheart off-camera. He arrived on set his first day with gifts for everyone. That's no small feat. Have you seen the credits on our show? They take up the first half-hour. Robert brings with him an Oscar nomination and a lifetime of experience. We're lucky to have him.
Here's a heads-up for next week. Episode 8, "Villains," is a superb episode. It is a bit of a prequel to the pilot of Heroes. I don't want to give anything away, but there's a great Petrelli story that goes back to when Angela was still an innocent. (Remember that?) Adrian and Cris Rose are wonderful. You will also find out, among other things, that Sylar, the killer, didn't evolve in a vacuum. He was, in a sense, created. I don't mean synthetically; I mean... tune in to see. It's a cracking good episode, I promise you.
Asta proxima semana. (I speak Spanish the way I speak Japanese, which is to say...I don't.)
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