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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



Actually, I'm much more interested in Transformogirl.

So I attended a panel of the Heroes writers this weekend. T'was damn near every single one of them. It was moderated by one of the co-exec Jeph Loeb (writer of Teen Wolf!) and included both artist Tim Sale and the show's creator Tim Kring (writer of Teen Wolf Too!).

It was primarily a Q and A driven thing, but several individuals asked about or drew comparisons to Lost, which was a little interesting if only because both Loeb and Jesse Alexander (credited as Executive Consultant) both worked on Lost. Also, as Loeb pointed out, Lost's co-creator Damon Lindelof left Kring's Crossing Jordan to go off and do that show that arguably set the whole serialized series thing ablaze (though I tend to think of 24 as actually having started the fire).

Alexander believes the difference between Lost and Heroes (i.e. the reason why Heroes won't fall into the Lost trap of not being able to progress in a timely fashion) is that the premise of Lost essentially drives toward an end. On Lost, the secrets of the island must be learned and the cast has to get off the island. Heroes, basically, doesn't have an end. It can continuously mutate. The premise is just "folks with powers" basically. Yeah, we're learning secrets about Linderman and the past of powered folk, but it's not the crux of the series. We can just go on and on following powered folk around for as long as they can create good characters and interesting situations for them to be in.

There was the suggestion from Kring that Heroes has certainly benefited from watching 24 and Lost take those first steps into modern serialization and that they've learned from their mistakes, but Loeb was quick to say that Heroes should be so lucky as to experience the kind of success that Lost has.

My opinion, which no one fucking asked for, is that in going for serialization, you have to go in without too much rigidity or you're going to be in for a hard time from time to time. 24 is locked into its format and there is simply no getting out of it. Ever. I don't think that Lost is locked in, but they act like they are. That and the "plan" the writers have. When I attended the Lost DVD premiere in 2005, many of the producers mentioned that their ideas were planned out to four seasons. A bit much in the case of not being too successful or, as it turns out, not enough in the case of being successful. And yeah, Alexander is spot-on with the fact that their are locked into having some kind of ending.

Heroes has already proven it's not locked into anything. Three time, by the end of the year, they'll have broken out of the splintered characters format to focus on a convergence of characters. "Company Man" is a recent example of that. Flexibility is going to be the key in keeping things fresh and, for me, it really turned around my opinion of the show. Not a 180, I didn't hate the show, but the first chunk of the season was a little slow-boiling for me, so maybe 90 degrees.

I still prefer hybrid-serialization. Veronica Mars is like that. First season is the perfect example. Each episode had it's own identity, a clear and contained A-story for each and advancement of the Lily Kane murder, sometimes as a result of the A (always very clever) sometimes in a B plot.

Back to the panel. There was also mention of special scenes being shot for the DVD release that will follow some characters past the season finale, not entirely unlike the annual 24 prequel short. Neat-o.

For an excellent rundown of the whole event, go look at Emmett Furey's coverage over at CBR.

I also covered a few things for CBR. Those can be seen HERE.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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