Mar 18, 2010

[TV] No Heroics: Season 1

No Heroics: Season 1In a post-Watchmen world, we've all become more or less used to the idea of superhero being a little dirty. They're not longer the squeaky-clean, one-dimensional angels of old and more often than not are portrayed as being terribly, terribly human, for lack of a better term. So yeah, that's pretty much old had in the comic book world.

The movie makers have finally started to catch onto this notion and thus the success of movies like The Dark Knight or even to some extent Iron Man. People seem to appreciate the high drama that these types of heroes can generate on shamelessly giving the viewers what they want is a surefire way of generating good movie money.

Then you get those experimental TV ventures that latch onto a serious trend like this and end up with something completely different.

No Heroics is a striking British comedy show that tried to take the realistic hero concept from a completely different angle. It's centered around the lives of 4 friends who also happen to be superheroes in a city where things are generally the same as they are in our world, apart from the occasional person in spandex with the ability to shoot laser beams out of his eyes or something.

These friends are not a superhero team or anything - they just happen to hang out together at a bar known as The Fortress, where "capes" can crash after a long day of saving the world as long as they forget about the costumes and avoid using their super powers on the premises. The four are The Hotness (Nicholas Burns) who controls heat, Electroclash (Claire Keelan) who can control machines vocally, Timebomb (James Lance) who can see 60 seconds into the future, She-Force (Rebekah Staton) who has super strength. They regularly have to deal with the A-list superhero Excelsor (Patrick Baladi), all under the watchful eye of the Fortress' bouncer, Thundermonkey (Jim Howick) who has the power to summon monkeys to his aid...from wherever they happened to be at the time. It's a shame monkeys aren't very fast.

The series was nominated for the 2008 British Comedy Award for Best New British TV Comedy for very good reason - the show has the kind of dry, subtle British humor that just makes it a lot more enjoyable then you may consider it to be. The banter between the characters is absolutely perfect and you can't help but wonder how these supposed heroes get any noble deeds done given how much time they spend picking on one another.

This is nothing like Heroes where you get to see amazing demonstrations of the heroes' abilities. Sure, you will see them occasionally lift up a shelf or you get that weird camera-shaking effect every time Timebomb peeks into the future, but that's about it. It's really just a sitcom about 4 ordinary people with regular problems who also just happen to be superheroes.

Of course you also get to see the heroes deal with those not-so-typical problems like visiting a meeting of your fan club or coping with your over achieving superhero parents or just trying to make a name for yourself even when your car isn't available and you need to take a bus across a city to stop a fire or something. These are very, very real situations our heroes find themselves in and its a shame the show only lasted 6 episodes, as is the British template for initial seasons.

There is not definite news at this point whether or not the show will be picked up for a second season anytime soon, but given the pilot season was all the way back in 2008, it's a little hard to hope. Still, I'll keep my fingers crossed and perhaps reviews like this one will help generate enough of a fan base to push for a second run of the show.

No Heroics gets 4 long-delayed monkey minions out of a possible 5.

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