So last night was the season opener for the NBC series Heroes. Am I the only person left scratching his head? I had hoped that the series would start making sense again but instead it seems to have become even more convoluted. I want to enjoy the show but there is just way too much going on to keep track of from week to week.
In last night’s back to back episodes, one of the characters, Nathan Petrelli, credits the saving of his life to God and suggests at one point that perhaps he and his brother (Peter) could become angels. ‘God’ popped up in a few other places as well. It appears that one of the goals of the writers is to not turn off the religious folk. Apparently interspersing the word ‘God’ and making statements alluding to the possibility that God is at work in the doings of the characters is enough to do this. Maybe it is, but I’m not really impressed. The series is placed squarely on the evolutionary worldview, though I doubt even many evolutionists are prepared to imagine natural selection could select for time travel, etc.
Theology and evolution don’t mix well, if they mix at all, but the series doesn’t have a single character representing a knowledgeable theistic point of view. The series seems primed to have Nathan ride to power as a senator on account of the religious fervor of voters who are inspired by Nathan’s account of his experience with the divine. But would competent Christian thinkers simply buy in? The ‘miraculous’ healing is certainly something to take into account but the whole concept of God giving secret messages to individuals without any witnesses whatsoever apart from that individual himself is the approach of the Gnostics (heretics), Muslims, and Mormons.
According to Christianity, when God finally made his boldest move, he did so in public. Jesus taught in the temples and synagogues and streets for three years and died right smack in the middle of a shouting crowd. Later, he appeared to numerous people at the same time, including at least one incident where 500 people were present.
Heroes seems ready to embrace the notion that only atheists are skeptics and religious people will believe whatever is handed to them in the name of ‘God.’ Meanwhile, of course, survival of the fittest continues to play out amidst the characters (who unsuprisingly never seem to stay dead once killed) and we’re supposed to feel for them, despite the visual protrayal of a life that really is ‘nasty, brutish, and short.’
The series would be greatly improved if they got ahold of some writers who didn’t merely want to explore some philosophical concepts but who also could represent accurately those ‘on the other side.’ I might even be able to endure the plot upheavals that take place every five minutes.