It has to be said that on first glance, ITV’s [[No Heroics (TV Series)|No Heroics]] looked like an unabashed piece of crap – crappy titles and crappy start sequence that’s funny once, then instantly loses its appeal.
But funnily enough, once you watch a few episodes, you’ll see what the buzz is about. The cleverly conceived superheroes all congregate in a rough London bar called The Fortress to spend their downtime. The three rules of The Fortress? No masks, no powers, no heroics.
There’s The Hotness (Alex to his friends), the most camply-named hero with lame heat-based powers. His deliciously skanky ex-girlfriend Sarah (aka Electroclash) can control machines with just her voice. Their friends, Don (otherwise known as Timebomb – can see 60 seconds into the future) is a manic depressive gay hero, and Jenny is She-Force, the third strongest woman in the world.
Alex’s arch-rival is Delvin, an utterly up-himself hero whose cape-name is Excelsor. Delvin gets all the recognition and glory and when he’s at The Fortress with his gang of friends, he likes nothing better than to mercilessly taunt Alex.
The programme is utterly filthy in terms of humour: Electroclash’s father doing a lax-attack on Alex was a classic, but disgusting moment. The story about She-Force and Electroclash forming a crime-fighting duo called LadyTrouble was priceless, especially as the story came out at a ‘fan convention’ of horny geeks.
The problem most people are pointing out with No Heroics is that the series only runs to a pathetic six episodes. Dan suggests that as a result, some episodes come across as a little bit light on content:
Actually, one of my overriding thoughts about No Heroics is how it contains a few good ideas, but never takes them to the obvious next level. It has the gritty, sexually-tinged, mordant humour down to a tea — but everytime something fairly clever or controversial presents itself, it’s not equipped or willing to carry it through.
In fact, it’s a sentiment echoed by the series creator, Drew Pearce in a great write-up over on Wired:
Starting out on a new series — writing, producing, casting — makes six episodes seem like so much work,” Pearce said. “But when we finished those six, I realized we were just getting started with these characters and their stories.
At a time when shows like [[Heroes (TV Series)|Heroes]] are perhaps a little bit grim, despite their big budgets and special effects, No Heroics provides a laugh at the expense of the superpowered dunderheads. Proving that on some level, we might all be a little bit cape-ist.