Category Archives: jay leno

How to Save Heroes

The TV series “Heroes” has outlived its welcome for most of us. What started as a hopeful presentation of superheroes into mainstream dram television has now deteriorated into nonsense and derision from its own desired fanbase. In recent weeks however the series may have gotten a brief reprieve from cancellation thanks to Jay Leno forcing NBC to find five more hours of prime time programming every week. If it’s going to stay on the air however, there have to be changes. Here are my thoughts on how to save “Heroes.”

Let Hiro be Hiro. He works best as fun and powerful, not sick, not dead, not lost, not amnesiac. His exuberance with his powers, his joy at using them, and his determination to be a hero is one of the great charms of the character, and of the series.

In a similar vein, let Matt and Peter be the good guys they should be. We love them when they are on point and positive – and we want to change the channel when they are obsessive and self-doubting. We want heroes we can root for.

Enough Sylar already. A little goes a long way. The show isn’t and shouldn’t be about him. The show is called “Heroes” for a reason. And yes, I know that heroes are defined by their villains, but ease up on the guy, will you?

Enough with the carnival. Sorry, but it’s way too Circus of Crime/Brotherhood of Evil/Mutant Utopia for me. Robert Knepper is a hell of a great actor, but he’s no Magneto.

Speaking of bad guys, bring back HRG as a bad guy. He was always a better bad guy than he was a good guy. Want to give Claire some depth and edge? There you go, make Daddy back into the beast we feared in the first four or five episodes.

More Star Trek cameos would not be frowned upon. This is a good thing.

On the same subject, sort of, embrace the comic book and genre references. It’s what we love about Hiro, it’s what half of your audience is into, and look what it’s done for “Big Bang Theory.”

Get Jeph Loeb out and get Bryan Fuller back in. No, wait, they tried that…

Less season long continuity that not only feels like it was developed in the “Lost” writing sessions, but even we know they have no idea how it ends. Think like a Silver Age comic book and do single episode stories. Just a hint, single episode stories get Emmys, whole seasons don’t.

Let the good guys win every once in a while. As I said, we want someone to root for.

More superhero humanism and less superhero deconstructionism, and definitely no more emo characters. No one likes whiny metahumans.

This isn’t Watchmen. Everything doesn’t have to be so dark and dismal all the time. Be bright, be shiny, be positive – be “Heroes.”

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A Little Late Night Stargazing

My favorite line of the current late night wars so far has to be “NBC – Never Believe your Contract.”

There’s really not much news on this front that hasn’t already been said, or you can’t read somewhere else, but I just wanted to say a few things. I’m a big supporter of Conan O’Brien. I’m sad to see him go, or as things might turn out, to have seen him go. Something tells me NBC isn’t going to actually let him do another week of shows. We’ll see.

I like Conan, I really do, and I think his past week of performances on “The Tonight Show” have easily been his best. That said however, just as a cornered animal is at its most vicious, so is a cornered comedian at his funniest. Would we really be that entertained had NBC not backed Conan into a wall? Seriously, testify. How many of us watched his Tonight Show before this? Or even his Late Night Show? If it was on, and we wanted to see one of the guests we were there, but not for him alone.

The drawing power no longer exists in the late night landscape. It used to, but no longer. I can remember sneaking down the stairs, just behind the living room door, just to hear Johnny Carson’s monologue. I remember loving school holidays and summers because it meant I could stay up to see “The Tonight Show.”

I’ll take it further and direct you to a time when Philadelphia was one of the last markets to pick up “Late Night with David Letterman” and I would stay up and actually hold onto the antenna of my bedroom TV to get channel 4 out of New York just to see the show. But Johnny retired and has since moved on, and Dave, well, Dave is just not that funny any more, especially since moving on to CBS.

And so here we are. I was never really a big Jay Leno fan, although I respect what he was trying to do in prime time. He should just have the balls to take his beating and move on though. As Conan himself said, “Kids, you can do anything you want to… as long as Jay Leno doesn’t want to do it too.”

Good luck, Conan, I’m pulling for you.

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More of the Same, Just Earlier

I just finished watching the first episode of the new prime time version of “The Tonight Show,” um, I mean “The Jay Leno Show.” I was unimpressed. I wish I wasn’t, but that was how I saw it. It’s just more of the same stuff we were getting at 11:30 three months ago.

There’s literally nothing new here. I still wouldn’t tune in for Jay Leno, no offense, he’s just not that funny for me, but rather for his guests. And if Jay continues to softball the guests, especially when they are Twitter of-the-moment hot like Kanye West – what’s the point really?

A few comments about tonight’s episode… I gotta give props to Dan Finnerty, but really, when isn’t he entertaining? Still, I like him better doing covers, but that’s just me. I want the desk back. Jerry Seinfeld certainly is fighting a losing battle against male pattern baldness, but he’s still funny. I kinda liked the Obama bit but I was sad that Jay stooped to stealing two decade old Weird Al MTV bits. And speaking of MTV and the VMAs, as heartfelt and sincere as Kanye’s apology was, I think he could have rehearsed it more. And killer performance by Kanye, Jay-Z and Rhianna.

If you liked Jay at 11:30, you’ll love him an hour and a half earlier, just don’t expect any surprises.

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NBC’s Short List

NBC announced today their surprising new schedule for the fall, one that includes not only the new nightly primetime Jay Leno show but also their Sunday Night Football. Here it is:

Monday

8 p.m. — “Heroes”
9 p.m. — “Trauma”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Tuesday

8 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Wednesday

8 p.m. — “Parenthood”
9 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Thursday

8 p.m. — “SNL Weekend Update Thursday”
8:30 p.m. — “Parks & Recreation”
9 p.m. — “The Office”
9:30 p.m. — “Community”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Friday

8 p.m. — “Law & Order”
9 p.m. — “Southland”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Saturday

8 p.m. — “Dateline NBC”
9 p.m. — “Trauma” rerun
10 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU” rerun

Sunday

7 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:20 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”

This rather sparse schedule, pared down by one night of football and a hour every weeknight ruled over by Leno, also includes a half-hour of “Saturday Night Live” on primetime Thursday and only one version of “Law and Order.” Noticeably missing from the schedule are shows like “Medium,” “30 Rock” and “Chuck.” I know Twitter was able to save “Heroes,” but I thought we were also able to save “Chuck” as well…

Where’s Chuck???

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