Thursday, September 10, 2015

Light in "Heroes"

A couple weeks ago I began watching a show that my brother recommended: Heroes. The sci-fi serial drama had four seasons from 2006-2010 on NBC and was created by Tim Kring. My brother watched all four seasons, but he recommended I only watch the first one, because he says it "gets bad after that."

I knew I would like Heroes right from the get-go because I love me a good superhero story. I'm not exactly sure why, but there's something about that hero's journey formula that I find so fascinating. We spent so much time in my freshman year English class talking about archetypes, mythology, and heroes, that it sparked my interest in the genre and soon I was registering to take a mythology class my sophomore year with the same teacher.
Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey was one cycle I learned about in my mythology class. 

All the major characters of Season 1.
The superpowers possessed by the characters in Heroes are unique and among them are mind-reading, invincibility, intagibility (the ability to move through solid objects), flight, and the ability to take on another hero's power, among other things.

I found that the pilot for Heroes was easy to follow, despite the fact that there are many major characters. I've begun paying way more attention to color and light lately, and it's become clear to me how Heroes uses these elements to reveal details about the characters.

For example, Claire Bennett, the invincible cheerleader, lives in Odessa, Texas. She is a sweet girl, despite the identity crisis she is going through. Perhaps the warm light tells the audience that we should be rooting for her.

"Save the cheerleader, save the world" is a motif of the show.

Niki Sanders suffers from Dissociative Personality Disorder and can access super strength when her alter-ego, Jessica, is in control. The shots of Niki include many shadows, perhaps to show that there is a good side and a dark side to her.

Isaac Mendez can paint the future, but only right after he's done heroin. Many shots of him are very dark, showing how lost and confused he is feeling.

Hiro Nakamuro can alter space and time. This screenshot was taken right after he makes the second hand on his cubicle clock go back one second. I think the dim, boring, and repetitive office lights are meant to be juxtaposed with Hiro's energy and enthusiasm. He wants to get out, and eventually, he does.

Hiro right after teleporting into the future and New York City.

I think this quick ability to show a lot about the characters made the show easy to follow right from the beginning. I'm on episode 10 of season 1 right now, so hopefully I finish the season in the coming weeks. Maybe I'll watch Heroes: Reborn as well, when it comes out later this month.

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