The Times Finds Anti-Bush Discontent in...NBC's Hit "Heroes"

TV critic/reporter Alessandra Stanley issued a mash-up of profiles of two hit shows, (ABC's "Lost," which has its season premiere tonight, and NBC's "Heroes") for her Wednesday TV Watch column.

First Stanley forwarded one of her typical strained political comparisons: "The fans of these kinds of serialized thrillers are unusually passionate and devoted, carrying a clout not unlike that of anti-abortion activists - their intensity is in some ways more powerful than their numbers. The writers of 'Lost' say they pay close attention to Web sites and blogs devoted to the show, and sometimes adapt the script accordingly."

But it's a bit later on that Alessandra (who on January 25 referred to the Bible Belt as "the Loire Valley of American extremism") truly plunged through the looking glass:

"Both serialized dramas appeal to younger audiences, but 'Heroes' is especially popular with school-age children who enjoy the series's comic-book sensibility....But its contemporary settings in New York, Mumbai, Texas and California allow for more real-world references. Nowadays, many dramas obliquely echo the public's disenchantment with their government after Abu Ghraib and the quagmire in Iraq.

So does 'Heroes.' In a recent episode two Los Angeles police officers sought to interview a suspect whose supernatural power consisted of emitting deadly radiation from his pores. 'He's got one hour before Homeland Security sends him down the rabbit hole as a suspected terrorist,' one officer says.

"The other tartly replies, 'We both know he's not a terrorist.'

"'Lost,' set mostly on a hot, tropical island, has less opportunity to reflect contemporary political issues - unless, of course, the errant polar bear stalking the castaways serves as a symbol of global warming."