Post Scriptum: The Trouble with Oomph

My teeny-bopping sensibilities recently fought their way out of my internal state and declared their existence in the form of a humiliating icon that now exhibits itself shamelessly on my MSN. Like a true fangirl, I’ve got a photograph of Rory Gilmore’s best boyfriend Jess (a.k.a. Milo Ventimiglia for those lost in reality) sitting on a couch in a ‘thoughtful’ pose, with the word MILO photoshopped across him. Incase, you know, there was ever a question about his hunkilicious identity.

For what its worth Milo may be a wonderful actor but I fear that his glowingly beautiful appearance–ample bait for a biting audience–may outshine his true talent.

I often have the same fear for shows when I see what I like to call ‘trailer-oomph’; a preview with the perfect combination of pretty faces, compelling music and well-placed dramatic dialogue. The oomph makes the show look good, even though the odds may not fall in its favour during the ever-competitive fall-lineup.

Oddly enough, this fall my fears for both Milo and oomphed-out television are combining together to create a duo-dread effect with the premiere of NBC’s Heroes starring ours truly. With the current buzz surrounding the new show, which upon oomphy-trailer viewage comes off as a X-Men sans tights, I wonder if the hype is actually worth the time to watch. Over the years we’ve seen the superhero theme on TV explode from playful teenaged allegory to repetitive, unoriginal facsimiles of what came before.

I say this bearing in mind that our political and social situations have changed drastically over the last decade, and that the climate has obviously influenced the need for visions of super-heroics whether it is in life, or better yet television. By mass-producing different shows with similar themes, producers are making accessible what was once a unique diversion from the lineup of doctors, lawyers and uber-professionals on TV. So unique in fact that I bet if Heroes was pitched a decade ago it would have been shoved to the back of the pilot lineup, pending airtime status.

Now, fans are approaching the show at Herculean speeds and poor Milo seems forecast to have audiences saying ‘Wentworth who?’ for a good part of the TV season. It makes me wonder whether perfectly packaged trend-TV will always trounce originality despite its shallow attempt at giving new life to a been-there-done-that. It makes me wonder whether the true quality of this show will be displaced by the shadow of a well-marketed campaign to deem its super-heroics ‘epic’ and relating to the ‘true human condition’ when in reality its just banking on someone else’s inventiveness. With that being said, it makes me wonder about the state of storytelling on television and a little more about just how Charmed was on television for as long as it was.

It makes me wonder a lot. I don’t think Milo will adorn my MSN for much longer. Not until his Oomph matches his output anyway.