First Impressions

Runaway/Heroes

Distributed By: NBC and CW

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

       

     Once again, it’s time for the fall’s newest web-craze—my First Impressions.  Alas, I come to you this week with a severe case of good news/bad news.  Since everyone always wants the bad new first, I’ll lead off with the CW’s new original show, Runaway. 

     I was eagerly awaiting the chance to catch an original show from the new network giant, CW, and Runaway seemed the most likely show to earn a good review.  The basic, in-a-nutshell-let-me-skip-to-the-show-bashing plot goes like this.  Paul Rader (Donnie-should-have-tried-another-New-Kid’s-reunion-instead-of shooting-your-career-to-hell-with-this-crap Walberg), is a father of two who was accused of murdering a young woman whom he had had an affair with.  Feeling a set up, he upends his family’s life and—here comes the title plug—runs away.  Now fugitives, the family must assume different identifies and stay one step ahead of the police—whom you would have thought were searching for Bin Landen himself, with the amount of attention they were paying to the Rader family—until Paul can find out why and by whom he’d been framed.

     That’s the general plot.  Now for the good stuff.  Get ready, this might go a little fast:  Kids were annoying; the father was patently unlikable; the mother was bland and uninteresting, like scenery; the storyline was reminiscent of the television show-made movie “The Fugitive.”—and by reminiscent, I mean, complete rip-off.  Add a family, and make the body a girlfriend and you have a brand new—not—show.  The copying itself would not be so bad if the story was in any way interesting. 

     Donny Walberg is actually a great actor, but this medium is not for him.  He could do much better.  I found myself losing interest about the time the family started rehearsing their pseudonyms in the car, and that was pretty early on, and nothing that happened since really did anything to get that interest back.  As a clincher, the show had one of the worst attempts to create suspense since the advent of the soap opera—oh my god, I’m caught red-handed even though I’m not guilty—stare.  It showed the youngest boy sitting in class while the teacher calls attendance, and wouldn’t you know it, he doesn’t respond when his pseudonym is called.  I wasn’t shocked; I wasn’t concerned; I just sort of shrugged, and then I got a little annoyed that that was supposed to pass as drama. 

     The kid is about eight and he just moved to a new school; who can’t tell that, in the second episode, the teacher’s going to think the kid was acting up on purpose?  I don’t know about you, but when someone doesn’t respond to their name I think they’re being rude, I don’t—maybe you do, but I don’t—think that they’re lying about their real name and are hiding from a murder rap with their family.  It’s just insulting that the writers of the show would choose to end the show with that little bit of spit in the face as oppose to something actually jarring or suspenseful.  And on that note, I’ve given too much attention to this show as it is, so I’m going to stop here.  Watch it or don’t, I don’t really care, but don’t expect me to know or care what you’re talking about.  I’m not even going to tell you when the show it on.  Figure it out for yourself if you want to gag so badly.

     And now onto the good news, with the premiere of NBC’s promising new show, “Heroes,” which airs on Mondays at 9pm. The nutshell description of this show is, this: A brilliant scientist Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), son of an even more brilliant scientist, who is working on unlocking the human genome, is shocked to find out that his father was murdered in New York and he rushes to The Big Apple to pick up where his father left off and to find his father’s killer. 

     At the same time, other seemingly regular people are discovering their once latent abilities: Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera), a heroine addicted painter who paints his visions of the future,  Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka)), the Japanese, comic-book-obsessed, programmer who can bend the space-time continuum, Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere, Bring It On: All Or Nothing) is an indestructible cheerleader,  Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia, Gilmore Girls and Rocky Balboa), nurse and brother of a famous politician, who has the ability to fly, Nikki Sanders (Ali Larter, Final Destination), a young mother with a debt to repay and a strange, deadly mirror reflection, and  Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg, of Lost), the cop with the ability to read minds.  Each deals with their newfound powers in different way.  Can Mohinder find these newest evolutionary specimens before the men that killed his father find them…or him?

     I know what you’re thinking—it sounds a little familiar doesn’t it.  It’s a little bit of X-men, mixed with a little bit of drama…okay, it’s a-lot-a-bit of X-men, but only just under the complete rip-off margin.  Either way, the acting is top-notch, the story, excellent, and the plot unfolds slowly, allowing the audience to get sucked in a piece at a time, without overwhelming them with big flashy powers.  My only complaint is Hiro, the Japanese dork, who, while lovable and funny, sometimes comes off like a stereotype.  I hope the writers of the show plan on evolving the character past the caricature phase and into something meaningful. 

     Once again, I loved this show, and I will be watching every episode; I suggest you all do the same while you can still keep up with what’s going on. 

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