Mar 10, 2009

No Heroics

Readers of this blog and/or followers of the Fair Use Law podcast know that I'm a big fan of superheroes. I was recently turned onto British superhero comedy "No Heroics". My bias towards capes aside, this has got to be one of the funniest, most original shows I've seen in my life.

This show takes place largely in a bar, The Fortress, where the city's superheroes do whatever it is superheroes need to do after a hard day of fighting crime. The story follows the life of four superhero friends who frequent this bar often:

  • The Hotness - Controls heat, he's an egotistical bumbling everyman. Take Simon Pegg (most notably Shaun, from Shaun of the Dead), make him self-centered and put him in a superhero universe. Searching for fortune and fame, he often finds himself getting the raw end of things.
  • Electroclash - Controls machines. Parents are some of the most revered capes in the business. A borderline sociopath, she uses her lineage to help her just drift by in life.
  • Time Bomb - Can see up to 60 seconds into the future. He's a Spanish gay superhero who quit the business after a career in torture, violence, sex and drugs eventually got to him.
  • She-Force - Super strength. She-Force is your stereotypical "naive British" character (there a term for this type of character?). Innocent, loyal and really looking out for the rest of the band of screw-ups she's friends with, she's really just trying - unsuccessfully - to find a man to settle down to a normal life with.
The premise alone on this show is noteworthy. Superheroes, those mythical god-like people we revere and look up to - the superman's, batman's and x-men of this fictional world... acting human. Struggling with common struggles. In this world you see superheroes mowing their lawns with frustrating equipment, waiting impatiently in line at the ATM, and taking public transportation to the scenes of crimes.

But the writing in this show is really what makes it shine. The show itself, much like the characters contained within them, is very dry in nature - like it's trying to take itself seriously in an absurd world. The show's execution is reminiscent of The Office (the British version, not the American version).

Speaking of the characters, all are well-developed and play off each other insanely well. The Hotness, when not being verbally abused by bar bully Excelsor, takes further verbal beatings from Electroclash, his former girlfriend. She-Force is often the voice of reason for others, yet she is woefully naive when it comes to her own love life. And on the other side of this spectrum lies Time Bomb, whose dark, dark, dark, past produces some of the darkest comedy I've ever seen and subsequently doubled over laughing at. Take the following scenes he's at group therapy for example:

The only negative about No Heroics is that the entire series was only 6 episodes long. Also, it's likely never going to come stateside.


Jazmeister said...

Most series are 6 episodes here. Must be a budget thing.


Jon Baker said...

If it's a budget thing, we gotta have a fundraiser or something. Seriously.