Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Praise of "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?"

Hero worship - Rec Room - The Phoenix: "The lesson of the Sci-Fi Channel’s Who Wants To Be a Superhero? (Thursday at 9 pm) might seem obvious: the stock elements of reality TV — the preposterous challenges, the internecine conflict, the tearful confessions — become flat-out hilarious when the contestants are wearing capes and tights. But Superhero, which just wrapped up its second season, is more subversive than that. Yes, the aforementioned capes and tights are good for some cheap laughs; they also, however, prompt us to reflect on the overblown, pseudo-heroic drama that’s standard issue for shows like Survivor — and thus on our unquestioning embrace of this bogus tough-guy/tough-gal shtick. Like Spike TV’s late, great Joe Schmo Show, Superhero is a protracted wink at the inherent absurdity of an entire genre."


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