Syfy's strangely addictive and occasionally just plain strange hybrid of a competitive and candid reality show, Heroes of Cosplay, wrapped up its limited freshman season run last night with a team-based challenge at Kansas City's Planet Comicon, the fifth and final stop on a six-episode cross-country tour of the comic convention scene. We've gotta admit, this show kind of surprised us as it went along; what initially seemed like a crass and exploitative appropriation of a geek tradition (the early promos did spend an awful lot of time playing up the busty-girls-in-skimpy-outfits aspect of cosplay) wound up becoming a fun and even moderately respectful tribute to the women and men -- but mostly women, at least on the show anyway -- who spend their time designing and donning costumes derived from comics, video games, anime and American cartoons and pretty much every other medium under the yellow nerd sun. (To see what true geek exploitation looks like, steel yourselves for the hideous Fangasm, which takes over Heroes' slot next week… one more good reason why this show deserves a second year.) We take a look back at which of the show's core cast of costumed-players deserves the status of "hero" and which are closer to villains.
After the last couple of seasons, which have been uneven at best, we weren't really sure what could be done to get us interested in Heroes again. Well, consider us interested. This season, the Heroes cross paths with some sinister circus folk, including a folksy Robert Knepper (T-Bag from Prison Break) and a knife-wielding Ray Park (Darth Maul and Snake Eyes). The pair got on a conference call recently to talk to us about their characters, and we were treated to two awesome stories from Knepper -- about scaring people on elevators and hanging out with Christopher Walken -- and the startling revelation that Park once wanted to be Teen Wolf. Our minds have been blown. Read for yourself after the jump.
I know a lot of you out there have given up on Heroes, and frankly I can't blame you. Last season was a horrible shadow of its former self, and this fall's "Villains" arc -- well, the less said about that the better. But this fourth volume, aka "Fugitives," is a marked improvement. Now I'm not going to say it is perfect, as I still have some complaints from my list of things that were wrong with the show, but it is moving in the right direction and shockingly, I'm actually looking forward to episodes again. So while I haven't seen tonight's ep yet, I feel somewhat confident in advising you Heroes deserters to come back for a second look. Because if it actually gets back to its first season glory by the end of this year (which it seems like it is at least attempting to do) you are going to be kicking yourself for not hopping back in sooner.
For years, Star Trek and Star Wars have maintained a safe distance from each other, only meeting up in fan-made mash-up videos on YouTube. But in this new age of hope, a bridge has been built, and that bridge's name is George Takei. The actor who played Sulu in the original Trek series and in six feature films will be voicing a character in this Friday's episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a first for both franchises. We sat in on a Q&A with the actor to find out what it was like on the Dark Side of sci-fi, as well as what's coming up for him on Heroes.
I've been pretty vocal about how bad Heroes has been lately (in fact, I recently offered up a list of seven things they could do to make it stop sucking) and I'm not alone. But I am somewhat surprised that the powers that be actually seem to be listening. Or at least Tim Kring is making a move to stop the madness.
So while I did spend 45 minutes of my life watching this week's episode of Heroes (and it was actually kind of OK... surprisingly) I just discovered the two-minute recaps that NBC makes for their shows. This is hands down the best way I can think of to watch this show. It's all of the story and plot, most of the special effects with none of the Claire whining or Maya annoyingness! Given my recent disenchantment with the series, I think between this and our recaps, I may never need to watch this show again.
When should you root for the villain? Maybe when he's played by David H. Lawrence XVII. After years of working as a voice talent, radio host, podcaster and new media consultant and entrepreneur, the unusually named actor finally got his big break on Heroes with a memorable part as the dastardly Eric Doyle, the Level 5 escapee who temporarily took control of Claire and both of her moms in the Oct. 20 episode, "Dying of the Light." As we discovered during a recent interview, Lawrence is a true fanboy success story: an admitted geek who loves Heroes and genuinely relishes the opportunities his role has unexpectedly provided him. Find out how he got the part, what really happened between Doyle and Meredith (Jessalyn Gilsig) and what's next.
I like Heroes. Or at least in theory I do. But there's a point where even I have to draw the line. Last week was kind of that line. And while I really don't want to stop watching this show, I'd hate for it to devolve into Prison Break territory, where I'm only watching it to see what ludicrous and preposterous new things they've come up with. It would be easier for me to make a clean break. But I'm willing to give it a little more time. Especially if they make any of the following changes. Stat. Because I'm not falling for that "we made it better, we swear" thing again. Adding in a few cool twists in a mess of a show does not make things all better.
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