Behind the scenesA HEROES story conference:
TK: All right. We’re getting a lot of flack on the Internet over Hiro losing his powers, so…
BF: Save the cheerleader. Save the world.
TK: What the fuck are you talking about?
JL: It’s this thing we have stuck in our heads. ‘Save the cheerleader. Save the world.’ We can’t quite figure out where it came from. But it seems like it should be important. Like it should MEAN something...
BF: Probably just an old song lyric or something.
TK: Save the cheerleader, save the world? That’s moronic. You guys are killin me. Forgeddaboudit. Look. On this Hiro thing…
JL: You said he shouldn’t have his powers right now because if he can teleport around it will really mess up the plot.
TK: I know, but, you know, the audience wasn’t supposed to figure that out! You guys said no one would realize it was nothing but blatant story convenience! And now I’m getting all this shit over it!
BF: Well, we had that whole thing where Hiro and the other Jap were talking about how he lost his confidence after failing to save the perky redheaded waitress.
TK: We did? What happened to that?
JL: You cut it.
TK: No I didn’t.
BF: Yes you did.
TK: ::gesturing with his hand:: No I Didn’t.
BF: The old Jedi mind trick won’t work on us, Tim.
JL: We’re not weak minded.
TK: I don’t know, dude. I’ve read “Hush”… anyway. Bygones. Look, if we could let Hiro use his powers just a little…
JL: Dude, you don’t look anything like Greg Germaine.
TK: No, I’m much better looking. Come on. Work with me. If Hiro could just use his powers a little…
BF: But he has no powers right now! He needs the sword to get his powers back! We’ve clearly established this!
TK: But people think that’s stupid.
JL: It IS stupid, but, we can’t have the little geek bamfing around anywhere he wants to right now, either, or it’s like impossible to keep the characters apart, and…
TK: I know. But there has to be some way.
BF: Maybe he could use his powers at a moment of extreme crisis, when his life is in danger, and he doesn’t know he did it, because his eyes were closed, or something.
TK: I like it it’s working for me tell me more…
JL: How can he use his powers when his eyes are closed?
BF: Well, that’s a good point.
TK: No it’s not a good point! For God’s sake! How can a 90 lb teenage cheerleader carry a 200 lb firefighter out of the middle of a raging inferno? They can do it because we SAY they can do it! So you’ll do the Hiro thing.
BF: Well, okay, I can write it, but I still don’t know how he’s using his powers with eyes closed.
TK: What is he, Cyclops? No he’s not. He’s got power over time and space. Who says you need to see stuff to use power over time and space?
BF: Sure, but, see, I’m envisioning someone fires a gun in his face and in the extreme emergency with his life at stake he somehow reverses time and makes the bullet go back into the gun and it flies out of the person’s hand.
TK: That’s brilliant. Oh, that will look SO cool.
BF: Yeah, but if his eyes are closed how does he see the bullet…?
TK: He doesn’t have to see the bullet! His powerful mutant geek mind reacts to the threat of death and bypasses his normal sensory perceptions!
JL: Well… well… okay… but he’s unkillable, then.
TK: How’s that?
BF: Sure, that’s right. Because, even when he doesn’t have his powers, if he’s in extreme danger, somehow his powerful geek mind can alter time and space to save his life. Even with his eyes closed, he can still do that.
TK: Well… he… that doesn’t make him… I mean… someone could still sneak up on him and…
JL: No, because his mutant geek mind reacts to the threat of death and bypasses his normal sensory perceptions. He’s unkillable.
TK: Okay, well, were we going to kill him?
BF: No, but.. you know, it kind of takes some opportunities for melodrama and suspense off the table…
TK: That’s only if people realize he’s unkillable.
JL: You think our audience is stupid?
TK: It… well… most of them…
BF: He was right about that ‘Claire hauling the firefighter out of the inferno’ thing, though. Nobody’s said a damn word about that, and it’s really retarded.
JL: Especially given that her powers shouldn’t keep her from being actually burned, she’d just heal from the burns really fast, and she’d still asphyxiate from smoke inhalation.
TK: Yeah. Bygones. Okay. So we’ll fix the Hiro thing. And… listen… can we make Peter less of a pussy? Because people keep saying he’s a pussy.
JL: Well, he’s got that fucking emo hair.
TK: People like the emo hair. But they think he’s a pussy. Could he hit someone or something?
BF: I guess he could hit that invisible asshole.
JL: God knows I want to.
BF: Fucker threw him off a ROOF.
JL: I’d have smacked his ass.
TK: Yeah, okay, have him hit the invisible jerk. That’s good. But then maybe he could get in trouble and he has to use his powers to fly away. Or vaporize someone. Or something.
BF: I really don’t think he should vaporize anyone.
TK: Nobody would call him a pussy then!
JL: Yeah, but… he’s supposed to be a good guy.
BF: We could have him fly away. Maybe HRG and the Mysterious Haitian show up to capture Peter and the Invisible Twit.
JL: Yeah, they could have like cool helmets that let them see invisible people by their body heat!
BF: Like in that BUFFY episode with Mr. Trick where all those guys were trying kill the Slayers.
JL: Only it was Cordelia instead of Faith.
BF: Yeah! So they have that stuff and we can do the cool infrared POV shots, and Peter has to grab Invisible Guy and fly away with him!
JL: I think he should throw Invisible Guy off the roof first and then have to go catch him.
BF: Excellent! Instant karma!
TK: Well… whatever. If he can’t vaporize someone I guess that’s okay. Also, I want to introduce a new hot chick.
JL: Oh my God no!
BF: Dude, there are way too many characters already.
JL: We can’t fit them all in one episode any more!
BF: We can’t bring in new ones. We have to kill off some old ones.
TK: Sorry, marketing says we need a new hot chick. I’ll let you kill off somebody, though. Maybe Claire’s biological mom.
JL: Are you insane? Jessica Gilsig is totally HOT!
BF: And she’s trailer trash, so we can totally write scenes with her in her panties and bra.
TK: Yeah, I find that persuasive. Okay. Kill the black chick, then.
JL: No, not whatshername!
BF: The hot black chick who sleeps around? Oh no dude!
JL: We NEED a black chick. We don’t have any other black chicks. Let’s kill one of the guys instead.
TK: I’m sorry. What did you say?
JL: Uh… sorry. Sorry. My bad. I forgot.
TK: You forgot The Paramount Unwritten Law?
JL: Just for a second. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.
TK: I think we need a refresher. Say the Paramount Unwritten Law with me.
JL: I don’t need a refresher! I jus forgot! I’m sorry!
BF: Please don’t make us say the Paramount Unwritten Law with you.
TK: All together now:
TK, JL, & BF: We Are The Writers of HEROES. We Are White Males. Therefore, We Never Kill Off A Regular Male Character. We Never Let A Female Character Accomplish Anything Unless She’s Crazy. We Never Let A Non-White Character Have A Cool Power.
TK: Everyone clear now?
JL: Yes. Yes. Yes. Please don’t ever make me do that again.
BF: We’re sorry. We’re sorry. We’re sorry. Please let us kill the hot black chick for you.
TK: Okay. Let’s not let this happen again. Now. I think she should be killed in some really poignant, emotionally charged way. Some real tearjerker. And it should be heavily ironic, too. Irony is always good.
JL: Like raaaaaaain on your wedding day.
BF: Like a free ride when you’ve already paid.
TK: Exactly! I love that song. Anyway, I’m sure now that I’ve provided you guys with the basic idea, you can flesh it out with all the minor trivial little details it needs.
BF: I guess… well… maybe Peter and Isaac are fighting over who gets her, and one of them accidentally shoots her?
TK: I like it. It’s working for me. It’s got pathos and drama and squibs. And it’s tragic and ironic. Yeah. Yeah. Plus the bit where they’re fighting over her reinforces the whole subtext thing where she’s just basically sexual chattel for two white males, which is excellent.
JL: And she dies by penetration. Which is, you know…
BF: Jesus, you and your penetration fetish. Swear to God if I have to hear one more time about…
JL: Well a gun is a very phallic weapon and it’s shooting her with these silvery bullets I mean for the love of Christ if that’s not an obvious…
TK: Yeah! And she gets pregnant… with death! I love it!
BF: Sometimes I feel like that guy on the Monster dot com commercials.
TK: I didn’t catch that.
BF: Nothing. Okay, here’s a thing. So Peter and the painter dude…
BF: Right, Isaac. So they’re flailing around slapping and kicking at each other like a couple of girls because they’re both, like, pussies, and one of them has a gun, and it goes off and kills the hot black chick, right?
JL: Yeah, that works.
TK: Peter shouldn’t be a pussy.
JL: Well, we’ll have him turn invisible, then, and he’s taunting Isaac about stuff, and Isaac has a gun, and he starts firing wildly, and…
TK: Okay, that works for me. As long as Peter isn’t a pussy.
BF: But here’s the thing. Isaac can see the future, right? And if Peter’s in the room with him, then he can see the future too, right?
TK: Sure, sure.
BF: So if they can both see the future how is it that they accidentally manage to shoot the hot black chick? I mean, wouldn’t they see it about to happen and stop acting like idiots?
JL: Uh… good point, dude.
TK: What are you, morons? Do I have to do all the thinking around here? What’s the other Unwritten Law of Writing HEROES? Do we have to chant again?
BF: Oh Jesus no.
JL: Please don’t make us. It’s “The Powers Only Work When We Want Them To Work.”
TK: Exaaaaaaaactly. So, no problem, right? Am I right? Am I right or am I right?
BF & JL: You’re right.
TK: Okay. Now, I like the whole thing with Sylar traveling around with Mohinder and Mohinder doesn’t know who Sylar is. That’s excellent. One of my better ideas.
JL: YOUR idea…
BF: Shhhhhh! Shhhhhhh!
TK: As I was saying. One of my better ideas. Now, people really dig it when Sylar steals someone’s brain. So we need to have him do that again. And we want to give him some really cool power this time.
JL: How about teleportation?
TK: Yeah, that would be excellent!
BF: Then we could take it away from him until he gets… I don’t know… some kind of ancient weapon…
TK: Hmmm… no. Okay. Suddenly I’m seeing teleportation wouldn’t be such a good idea. Good thing you ran that by me first. Maybe something… I don’t know… less… what’s the word…
JL: Difficult to plot around?
TK: Well, that’s a phrase, but, sure.
BF: How about he and Mohinder find someone who has, like, super senses or something? Super vision. Super sense of smell. Something.
TK: No… no, I don’t like it. It’s too passive. Something cooler.
JL: Hm. Okay, how about…
TK: Wait. How about… super hearing?
BF: Uh… well… that’s kind of passive, too…
JL: It’s a brilliant idea. I love the idea of Sylar with super hearing. He can eavesdrop on all the heroes and they’ll never be able to sneak up on him. He’ll know everything they’re planning before they ever do it. It will be great.
TK: Exactly. Let’s do that.
BF: Um… I think maybe he was being sarcas…
BF: But if Sylar has superhearing we’ll never be able to do anything… ow! Stop kicking me!
TK: You guys behave. Okay. Another great brainstorming session. Glad I could help you out with all of this. Anything else we should do?
BF: Well, people are kinda getting impatient for some kind of explanation as to what the hell is going on with Horned Rim Glasses Guy.
TK: Well, fuck em. Let ‘em keep watching.
JL: No, I really think we should throw them a bone.
TK: Fine, fine, whatever. Have… I don’t know… one of the goobers… do something, so he can explain something, or something.
BF: It… I…
JL: Okay, we’ll come up with something.
BF: One of the goobers… do something…
TK: Is he okay?
JL: He’ll be fine. Glad you could stop by. We’ll get busy on a script.
TK: Good. Let me see it when you've got a draft. I'll have to tweak it, I'm sure.