Sunday, May 04, 2008

Media With A Meaning: Heroes

Peace and blessings,

This piece is in regards to an idea I had about 6 months ago, but for various reasons I'm just now writing it. One obvious reason for the delay is because I've been pretty busy these past six months with wedding planning, school, and life, and thus haven't had the time to put update the site like I want to you. Another reason may have to do with the strike that took place with TV show writers, and the resulting cease in the production and airing of new episodes of major television shows. Anyhow, I'm finally sharing a few thoughts on the television show
  • Heroes,
  • which in my opinion is one the best television shows in terms of concept and overall quality in years. Although I am a huge fan of the show, this piece is not about the details of the show thus far, but about two "debates" that I think are highlighted within the show and plays out amongst the characters.

    Debate #1: Evolution "versus" Divine Creation/Ordinance

    The major premise of the show is that there are individuals in the world who are genetic anomalies in the sense that they have superhuman abilities. What I found interesting while watching the show (so far I've watched the first season twice, making me a certified, hardcore fan, lol) was not just the type of powers people had, but their beliefs about where these abilities came from. Relatedly, this debate reflects the larger debate regarding the origins of life itself. Some characters believe that these genetic anomalies are definite proof that science (esp. Darwinism) was right in that species are capable of large, qualitative evolutionary leaps. For these characters, superhuman abilities are primarily a product of gene transformation via evolution. Other characters, however, march to a different tune. They believe that their abilities are a gift from God, and therefore they must be used for a purpose. Although this debate may not be an explicit within the show, I would be interested to see if in the next season or upcoming seasons they identify characters who believe their abilities are products of both evolution and divine creation/ordinance.

    Debate #2: Freewill "versus" Pre-destination

    I think this debate is more evident throughout the show that the previously mentioned debate because in both seasons thus far, there has been the threat of a major disaster, and an intimately complex relationship between the past, present, and the future (e.g., a couple of characters can travel through time and see the consequences of past and present action and inaction). At the same time, however, there seems to bee a bit of ambiguity in that while some things can be changed through making different decisions, other things cannot. For these other things, simply making different decisions justs changes how a particular how an outcome manifests, not what outcome manifests. In this sense, there seems to be "discussion" throughout the show as to whether we as humans have freewill and are able to change life's course, or are we merely playing our parts in bringing about an inevitable outcome. Unlike the first debate, I think that the show does a good job of highlighting both sides, as well the middle ground position (e.g., we have freewill over some things, but not others).

    So there you have it. Two reasons that I really like the show (aside from its superhero/X-Men/comic storyline steez) is that in many ways, it addresses some deep questions that we as humans have wrestled with throughout history and continue to wrestle with today:

    1) How did life originate?

    2) What is the meaning of life? My purpose for being here?

    What do you think? Stay blessed, take care, and speekonit...

    Season 1 Trailer

    Season 2 Trailer

    Season 3 Trailer (visual and sound quality is suspect)

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