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SciFi Channel Rips off Heroes

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I don't know which of these two things is more ridiculous, how the SciFi channel -- owned by NBC -- is ripping off its parent's 2006 fall hit Heroes, or how Heores rips off X-Men. According to SciFi Newswire, the channel will be debuting a new series called Painkiller Jane, produced by (never a good sign) and staring actress Kristanna Loken.

In the series, Loken plays a DEA agent who is recruited by a covert government organization tasked with capturing "Neuros"—genetically enhanced individuals who possess superhuman powers of the mind.

And that's different from Heroes how?
  • Mutants: Check
  • Superhuman: Check
  • Covert organizations: Check
  • People trying to capture the freaks: Check
Yep, it's all there; all the action you can chew on and absolutely nothing of intrinsic value other than a pretty face to look at for an hour. Now I've never been all that impressed with Loken as an actress which will already count against the new series, so I can only hope she's a better producer. Chances of that are exactly none, though, and it gets worse. Loken isn't going to be just a producer, but a co-exec. Co-execs run the show. They decide what the cast wears, what sets should get built, what music to use, what scripts to shoot, what directors to hire, oversee editing and sound, and are directly responsible for coming in under budget and increasing the ratings every single season.

Most of the people who hold these positions are writers that have come up through the ranks over a number of years, experiencing at one time or another every job that sits in-between freelance writer and show runner. You have to be able to write on insanely short deadlines, fix other peoples scripts, find new writers, and that's before you even get to be called producer.

If Loken can prove herself capable of these responsibilities, then I'm happy for her success and wish her more of it. I will not give her respect though because she didn't earn the right to even try. She has a pretty face and gets a free pass because she carries a SAG card, because Hollywood is still operating under the destructive and misguided notion that stars are what make things successful. If you have a pretty face and the project you collaborated in succeeds, well then obviously it was all you. It had nothing to do with the director, writers, producers, and other people that have slaved their entire lives to build a career making movies and television.

I wouldn't look forward to this, unless you just want fluff. According to the Newswire, Painkiller Jane debuts in April.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.