The lateness of this week’s edition of the SPBHS is really quite simple: Snow Football. Alas, due to this diversion, I missed Monday’s episode of Heroes, and due to my departure from university for spring break I was unable to watch it until early Tuesday evening. Will this period between watching the shows impair my judgment? Will knowing the ratings results before watching Heroes change my perception? Stay tuned to find out.
Round One: Overall Quality
24 comes to the table this week with a satisfactory end to last week’s episode. We got an increase in the Milo and Morris tension within the office, some Jack/Marilyn flirtage, and a little bit of good ol’ fashioned Jack being held hostage. On the whole, the episode had a good deal of action, some interesting character drama (Re: Morris’ alcoholism), and an ending that was well worth our time. I worry somewhat about the show’s dependence on bringing back old characters, especially after the mess that Season Four became because of it. While I like Charles Logan as a character, his relationship to this plotline had better be darned good. Still, I’m a fan of the recluse beard, and on the whole the episode delivered a healthy dose of 24 action.
Heroes is balancing a whole lot of storylines right now: Mohinder and Sylar’s Road Trip, Claire’s Memory Challenged Mother, Nathan’s Parentage of Claire, Isaac v. Peter, Peter and his Obi-Wan, Parkman the Jewel Thief, Hiro and Ando’s Las Vegas roadblock, etc. In this episode, it did what was perhaps its best job yet at balancing these issues. We saw Peter use his powers, we saw Obi-Wan pass things onto our Luke, and we even got to see Simone play an actual role in the storyline for the first time (And then die, which perhaps explains the prior as well). Hiro and Ando’s storyline did its purpose of bringing back Hiro’s powers and further developing their relationship, even if it meant the breaking of the Live Long and Prosper Fellowship. There is still some corny dialogue (“What’s that sound…in your heart?” “MURDER”), but the episode moved at a good clip.
Perhaps most importantly, factions are starting to develop, roles are starting to become clear. Radioactive Man and Wireless Girl trying to recruit Parkman, Simone trying to get Nathan to out himself and the others…all of this is actually setting things up for the future we know must be coming. Claire’s storyline is actually gaining some traction, we’re finally returning to figuring out what makes Sylar tick…and Stan Lee the Bus Driver! It’s delightful, really.
Round Two: Ratings
“Heroes” (households: 8.2/12, #5; adults 18-49: 6.0, #1)
“24” (households: 7.9/12, #6; adults 18-49: 5.0, #4)
Heroes takes an all out ratings win this week, with strong performances in the key demos and overall households. 24, however, continues to perform well.
Round Three: Saturn Awards
This week saw the release of the nominees for the Saturn Awards, which honour the best in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action, Horror, Thrillers, Animation…basically, everything but Drama and Comedy. In the case of Television, they offer up some key acting and series awards in which Heroes and 24 compete against one another. Let’s see how they stack up:
Best Network Series
Best Actor – Kiefer Sutherland
Best Network Series
Best Supporting Actor – Masi Oka
Best Supporting Actor – Greg Grunberg
Best Supporting Actress – Hayden Panettiere
Best Supporting Actress – Ali Larter
Lost led with 6 nominations, but the battle between Heroes and 24 was clearly won by the Super Heroes. Mind you, I would say that both Supporting Actress nominations are less than deserved, and Grunberg hasn’t done enough to deserve awards, but one has to respect their job as being the big buzzworthy program of the past year.
While things might seem a little bit perfunctory, I’m going to leave everyone in suspense anyways. To find out the week’s winner,
Heroes gets its 2nd Victory here in the SPBHS with an episode that delivered some neat action scenes, good character development, and a dramatic finish. 24 was no slouch, but even the return of Logan wasn’t enough to save this day. Sorry, Jack. Don’t hurt me.