Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In the head!

I just finished watching the Lost season finale. I wish the writers would pick up the pace (a theme for tonight's posts) during the main part of the season. I know it's feasible, because the finale is always a blast (sometimes, like tonight, literally...).

Anyway, I don't want to spoil the end for those who missed it, didn't tape it, don't have TiVO and are waiting for the DVDs.

Instead, I wanted to point out something that's obvious to me: television writers, in general, don't play roleplaying games.

From watching the Heroes finale (which was good in an understated way), and now Lost I have to think that these writers haven't watched zombie movies, either. Look, guys, three words, "in the head"!

If someone's bad enough to kill, he's bad enough to kill correctly. Don't just shoot him in the chest, do a 9mm double tap to the base of the skull. If you're going to stick a sword through the guy, why stop there? Take the head off at the neck!

Not a single roleplayer would take down the big bad without making sure the big bad stayed down.

The corollary is simple: someone isn't dead until you see the lifeless corpse. Even if the body is miles away, apparently dead, or lost in a planetary gravity well, they ain't dead until the lifeless (and preferably headless) corpse is in front of you.

3 comments:

Do-Ming Lum said...

Regarding bodies and their disposition:

... someone isn't dead until you see the lifeless corpse. Even if the body is miles away, apparently dead, or lost in a planetary gravity well, they ain't dead until the lifeless (and preferably headless) corpse is in front of you.

Ideally, you want both the head and the body, to verify that they actually belong together. DNA testing to ensure that the corpse is really the correct corpse wouldn't be out of order. Depending on who this person was, judicious use of a wooden stake, crucifix, elder sign, energy suppression field, or other appropriate binding spell might be a good thing.

This is not to say that gaming with Lorna has made me paranoid or anything...

Regarding Heroes -- I acquired recordings of the first ten episodes based on your earlier post on the show. I really liked the series, and it became one of my very few "must see" hours of TV each week. However, I felt that the end was weak. There were potentially several other ways to resolve the story.

Allan Goodall said...

I really liked the series, and it became one of my very few "must see" hours of TV each week. However, I felt that the end was weak. There were potentially several other ways to resolve the story.

It was definitely understated, given that they were playing up the idea that if they failed New York would be destroyed.

At first I was disappointed, but when I thought about it I saw that the story was fairly deep. "Save the cheerleader, save the world" was the season's theme. We found out a few weeks earlier that saving the cheerleader prevented Sylar from becoming immune to damage, allowing him to die and thus save the world. But that's not entirely true. There was another reason to save the cheerleader.

In the final episode we see the cheerleader talking to Nathan about his obligations in light of the imminent destruction of the city. Apparently her morality was the reason the grandmother (Nathan's mom) didn't want her to meet her true father. In the end, it was her comments that resulted in Nathan sacrificing himself to save the city. Saving the cheerleader was twice as important.

Still, the final battle with Sylar should have been more climactic. Everyone of the heroes in that square should have been important to the end. An almost completely victorious Sylar should have been standing over them, ready to explode, gloating and laughing as Hiro appears in front of him and skewers him with the sword. Sylar's near success should have been played up more. Then, Peter's near explosion should have been imminent. Nathan should have swooped in, no words necessary, and carried Peter into the sky.

But, as usual, television is scared to do anything without explaining it first. It's one reason movies usually have better action pacing than TV. TV (network TV, with commercial interruptions) is scared to do anything that will confuse the guy who was late getting back from the kitchen during the commercial break.

Do-Ming Lum said...

I didn't hate the last episode, nor was I intensely disappointed in it -- but I still thought it was a letdown.

It is possible that this was explained, and maybe I just didn't get it -- but why didn't Peter (who had already absorbed Nathan's power at the very beginning of the series) just fly himself up into space? Is Peter only able to manifest one power at a time, and if so, where was this established?

Agree with you about the final battle with Sylar -- this was the biggest letdown for me. Despite having Bennett, Parkman, Mohinder, the Finder (can't remember her name), Nikki, DL, Micah, Claire, Peter, and Nathan (have I forgotten anyone?) the battle isn't a particularly epic battle.