File puptcrit/puptcrit.0810, message 325


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 16:16:08 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] NBC "HEROES" features evil puppeteer


I think just about everyone who has worked  on a tv or film project has to wait until scenes are edited---but the advantages of being on set and to watch  the monitors or the actual scene being photographed, is often more interesting than the final edited result.

With HEROES, each scene with the evil puppeteer was shot & reshot from many angles, the camera moved around the Russian Roulette scene in full circle, was again shot from the ceiling looking down to the top of the table, and so on. With lots of puppets in the background, there was a real sense of atmosphere. Most of that got lost on the cutting room floor.

Since HEROES has so MANY different characters, and they are usually ambiguous (which one is a real hero, which one is really evil iike Doyle the puppeteer?),  We don't know enough about them individually, and it becomes difficult to care about any of them.

Based on what I saw fllmed, it would be more interesting if HEROES focused more on one group or story line at a time, so the audience could get to know something. Instead, it just becomes a very overly-complicated gimmick....a pinch of this, a dash of that, a sprinkle of something else.

 Reminds me that on early television, the HOWDY DOODY show plot could get so complex, that when the wiiters got themselves boxed in with no solution for a logical ending, they might just drop everything with no resolution, and start in a new direction. (See Davis, "Say Kids, What Time is It?-an interesting book about Howdy's TV show).

There is much talent wasted on HEROES. The camera work, lighting, set decoration, and such, all very interesting to see because it was well done, mostly ends up on the cutting room floor. When the DVD comes out, it would be nice to see that missing footage as an "extra".

With HEROES, Claire, the young cheerleader has her adopted mother AND her birth mother in her life, AND a very confused connection with her father (if he really is). They were all part of the evil puppeteer episode last night.

You have similar over-complications with all the other characters, and the show ends up with a handful of jigsaw puzzle pieces each week, which don't give much of a picture. If Rolande catches the show in the middle, how can she make sense of it when the rest of the viewers who saw the beginning are already confused.

Well, I did catch a peek at  the decorative clown with blinky lights, the female Chinese marionette, and a few other things I lent, but the full background atmosphere was more interesting if we'd been able to see more of it.

On entering the theater you could see hand puppets lent by Steve Meltzer.

When the gun went off, you could see Bob Baker's clown marionette swing from the impact.

But so much of the ambience of the theatre got lost in editing, and the set was truly interesting.

ALAN COOK 
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