Alphas and Ambiguity

Do you watch Alphas?

I started watching it (of course) because it was a different take on the superhero. Or at least people with powers.

I’m really enjoying the show – and some of the abilities are quite creative. Plus, it’s real character study with each person having their own demons and their own issues.

But one of the things that I really like about it is the ambiguity.

This is something you don’t often see in TV because we like everything wrapped up in a little bow. We like our right and wrong; our black and white. Don’t get me wrong, there are distinct groups of “good guys” and “bad guys” But when the “good guys” make a decision, they’re not always sure that it’s the right one. Even after the fact, when all the chips have fallen, sometimes you’re left wondering, “Was that the right decision?”

Because that’s what real life is like. Sometimes we don’t know if the things that we’ve had to do are right or wrong. Sometimes we don’t know until years later if we’ve made the right decisions. Sometimes we never know.

It’s a good show. Check it out.

Parallel Universes. And Books.

This is so weird.

I’m reading two completely different books (well, listening to one of them), and I’m having a hard time separating them because they have so many things in common. Fish-out-of-water stories aren’t so unusual with young adult fiction – stories about kids plucked out of their lives and placed into brand new worlds (cf, Harry Potter). Both of these books are in this genre.

But it’s the other similarities that make it weird. Both are about boys that find themselves with unusual capabilities or gifts (okay; cf, Harry Potter). But early on, they both make it to a fantastic and unusual place (still paralleling Rowling). But in both books, this new and fantastic place is constantly on the move to hide itself from it’s enemies. This is odd – but it’s one minor detail that makes it weirder; both characters find themselves high up in the air carrying on a conversation with a wise man levitating in lotus position.

I recently started reading Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation (by Matt Myklush, 2010). A young adult book about a boy who discovers he has super powers that he didn’t realize he had, is brought to a wonderful city full of superheroes and androids and aliens; the city moves around the Earth to avoid detection. Early in the book, he meets a levitating superhero outside his skyscraper window on the 400th floor.

I also started listening to Interworld (by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, 2007). A young adult book about a boy who discovers he has the ability to walk between parallel universes (that he didn’t know he had), is brought to a wonderful city full of others with the same ability; the city moves between parallel dimensions to avoid detection. Early in the book, he meets a levitating mentor as he climbs high on a mountain.

I’ve been having some trouble going between the books; the stories seem to have very little in common, while at the same time having a lot in common.

It’s a little like when I was watching Season 6 of Weeds, while at the same time listening to Phillip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly. But on a whole different level. Back then, I just wanted to go around dropping F-bombs, and constantly had the munchies.

Update: Major Spoilers for both books follow!!

Okay, now that I’ve finished both books the parallels are crazier. Of course, both main characters lose their powers at key points in their respective stories. Also, they both happen meet doppelgängers of themselves from parallel worlds or other places in time (weird coincidence). I failed to mention that they’re both bullied in the beginning of the books – and then they’re largely rejected by their new societies. But finally – to everyone’s surprise – they both turn out to be the amazing heroes that save the world. There’s got to be a name for that sort of genre.

The Unnamed Artifact on Warehouse 13

Holy crap.

Did you see Warehouse 13 last night (Episode 409: The Ones You Love)? Well…I’m not going to give any major spoilers.

But I do want to share one little piece of info.

Minor spoilers ahead…

Apparently, the writers really do their homework.

I was really curious about that cord – who did it belong to?

I paused as it showed a quick screenshot (just for a second) of the Warehouse display.

It took a few links to figure it out, but apparently, Mehmed II (the Conqueror) was a Turkish Sultan who ruled in the 15th Century. Not many of the articles I came across included this little detail, but according Encyclopedia.com Mehmed wasn’t exactly the favorite son, but when his brother was strangled in his sleep, Mehmed became the heir to his father’s throne. Of course, the implication in Warehouse 13 is that Mehmed is the one that did the strangling, and the cord that was driving Myka’s sister crazy was the one with which he committed the fratricide. Interesting.

Oh – and who was Myka’s sister? It took me forever to place her. Yup…Fred from Angel.

Almost forgot – check out the great recap at AfterElton.