Who Wants to Be a Superhero? The humiliation of Episode 4.

(NOTE: I have no idea what’s going on here. I was originally planning to do this blog real time, but wouldn’t you know it, WordPress then decides to go through their maintenance at the same time, making it impossible. I actually typed this up on Word, and the copy and pasted it back here. Also, the maintenance has been screwing around with stuff. I noticed that there were some legit comments being filtered out as spam, and I haven’t yet figured out how to get those comments back. So if you commented on a page, thank you kindly. I’m sorta embarassed that you comments got chewed up like that.)

Is “Who Wants To Be A Superhero?” quite possibly the worst reality contest ever? Thus spake several non-believers on the internet. What they say rings of truth: the show does seem scripted, the rationale Stan uses to eliminate contestants is — to say it in a family friendly way — total bull-honky, the challenges are cheesy, and the prizes are totally bogus.

Star in your own cheeseball comic book? Have your character air on a Sci-Fi movie? Like that “Mind Snake” garbage that Feedback had to go through. Hell, I would pay NOT to do those things.

But, there are plenty of things that “Who Wants To Be A Superhero?” has going for it:

  1. There’s no way you can say that, unlike a show hosted by Donny Osmond, somebody won hair.
  2. I actually know the names of all the contestants, even if it is something as ridiculous as Hygena.

And besides, who doesn’t enjoy watching a bunch of people in spandex running around? Communists, that’s who. Because making a fool of yourself in front of a national audience: that’s the American way.

On with the show.

THE THIEVERY

The remaining heroes are Parthenon, Hyper-Strike, Basura, Hygena, Defuser, Hygena, and Whip-snap. We continue from their solemn march from the Rooftop of Judgment into the secret lair.

But what’s this?!?! When they get back, the room is in a mess! And the safe’s open!

Wait, there’s a safe? Defuser claims that the safe contained important hero profiles, and Dr. Dark has found out about their secret identities! Hygena throws herself into the role and says she’ll clean up. However, Defuser’s super police powers kick in and he tells them not to touch anything.

Parthenon, our resident homosexual hero with the Greek god theme, discovers that .. Oh, my God, the pencil is gone! Now, if anyone else were to go into hysterics over a missing pencil, than you’d consider the man to be crazy and have the men in white drag him away. But, ah, reader, this is no ordinary pencil.

They go the magic stick.

They got the magic stick.

This is Stan Lee’s magic pencil. You know, the one that inspired him to write such inspired lines as “Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth.” I found myself wondering if the pencil had the same properties as Uncle Scrooge’s Lucky Dime, and if this meant that Stan would never write again? Like, at the moment the pencil was stolen, whether his hand would just wither away like a Biblical parable?

Whip-Snap breaks into tears … again. Big surprise. Oh, man, she’s developed an unhealthy attachment to the other heroes, like they’re her new surrogate family. That’s … awkward. I know this is playing up for the viewer to sympathize with Snappy’s plight, but it’s only creeping me out.

Stan pops up on the viewscreen an tells the heroes that they’re in big trouble. Not only were their top-secret double-dog identities in the safe, but there was a $50,000 check in the safe from E-Surance! It’s for some environmental charity or something. And, oh crap … I was going to joke about it, but Erin Esurance pops in. And she is briefing the team on their mission. And telling the viewers at home to visit E-surance.com to save money on your auto insurance.

But... what does an animated woman have to do with charity?

But… what does a pink haired animated woman have to do with superheroing?

You know, I’ve been hard on these guys lately, but I think the Geico cavemen would be better dispatchers than Erin Esurance. Then one of them would say to the heroes, “C’mon, guys, it’s so easy a caveman could do it,” while the other caveman roles his eyes and says, “Sell-out.” Classic.

THE ULTIMATE PANTS CHALLENGE

Stan instructs the team to get to Universal Studios as soon as possible! Stan briefs them on their mission: their secret identity files are being delived by courier. The have to find the courier, but they must approach him while in disguise. Thus, their first task is to gather three different articles of clothing (jacket, shoes, and pants) from three different people at the Univeral Studios Citywalk. And they only have fifteen minutes to do so!

True heroism means getting people to take their clothes off.

True heroism means getting people to take their clothes off.

Hmm… you know how in an earlier review, I said that these challenges sound like some activities my girlfriend and I would cook up for the kids at summer camp? Well, I think I have a great new idea for a camp game!

As the heroes move around, asking people for their clothes, it becomes apparant the the people at the Citywalk are not plants. So we really are watching guys in terrible superhero costumes ask people to take off their clothes. And yes, watching this is as giddily entertaining as it sounds.

Defuser delivers the order with such stern authority that if I were at the Citywalk that day I’d have proudly gone starkers. Alas, Universal Studio people are made of sterner stuff than I. The guys soon realize that while people are ready to give up their shoes and their jackets, people are not so willing to let you borrow their pants. Obviously. Thus, the game boils down to one simple concept: he who finds the pants shall be the winner!

An obvious plant — oops, I mean a woman in sunglasses who unintentionally looks like a blind woman, suddenly approaches Defuser. She says she’s looking for a lost child. Will Defuser see right through the lady’s bad acting and realize that finding the lost girl is the true challenge?

“Ma’am, we all know you’re really Britney Spears in disguise.”

Diffuser chooses wisely goes looking for the little girl. But just as they’re about to search the stores, Blind Woman’s cellphone rings. She says it’s OK, her daughter’s safe. Phew! That was close!

Hyper-Strike solicits some backflips in exchange for pants. It succeeds. Whip-Snap pleads with a man in her endearing hang-dog way to get his pants. It succeeds. Some lady wants Defuser to wear her bloomers. She succeeds. Soon, Diffuser’s put up his hood land he’s walking around like the Unabomer.

“No, Ma’am, I do not own a shack in Montana. Why do you ask?”

But the day is not done yet for the crafty Blind Woman. One by one, she approaches the other heroes, trying to solicit their help in her quest to find a little girl. Everyone is keen on the challenege and offers to help the woman out. Well, except Basura, who hesistates. Oh, crap. Basura, didn’t you see Season 1? If there’s one Stan Lee rule that he never contradicts, its that little girls are priority one, no matter what! This does not look good for the most boob-tacular woman on the show.

Erin Esurance pops up the Dick Tracy watch after the 15 minutes are up. Man, I totally hate Erin Esurance. I mean, more than before. She gives her the next part of their olympian task : now the heroes have to humiliate themselves further by looking for a guy with a bag and telling him the secret phrase, “I need ears, can I have yours?” Yeah, I think it’s a great game to play at summer camp, too. The heroes run around the park asking bag-wearing people about their ears. Some people, who have tasty elephant ear treats, offer them up to our hungry heroes. However, one hero lucks out and finds the right guy.

The man who has intercepted the courier is: Parthenon! Hooray!

Let's hope the phrase wasn't literal.

“Sure, I’ll lend you my ears. Talk to me.”

He opens the case, and there they are: the superhero secret identities, stored in the folders you can pick up at Office Max. But Parthenon makes an astute observation: Stan’s magic pencil is not there!

THE HERO STORE

What perils lay inside the comic store?

What perils lay inside the comic store?

The heroes get into the super Nissan Pathfinder, and Stan directs them to an exciting new location where there are plenty of other heroes! Well, relatively speaking. He guides them to a comic book store. Stan gifts them with … their very own comic book covers! Except… none of them look like the characters they’re supposed to be. Whip-Snap looks like Halle Berry. Hyper-Strike is buff. And Hygena… is not Hygena. At all.

A tale of two Hygenas.
It’s Hygena! And her younger, cuter sister.

It’s some sexy, young Hygena. What gives? Fat Momma’s comic book cover at least looked like her.

PARTHENON, CALL HOME

The heroes go back to the lair and reminisce over the day’s events. They talk about the blind lady, and it suddenly dawns on Basura that she and her cleavage may soon be out the door.

Things are not looking good for the three of them.

Things are not looking good for the three of them.

Stan calls in, and Parthenon gets a reward. He gets a phone call home. In addition, he also gets to choose a fellow superhero who gets to make a phone call home! Hyper-Strike says that it would be nice to call his girlfriend. Pfffff. Yeah right. Girlfriend. Defuser and Hygena both have families they want to call. Basura and Whip-Snap play the self-sacrifice card and say that someone else should have the opportunity.

Parthenon chooses … Hygena! Defuser kinda winces, but to be fair, I think everyone was also surprised. The way they’re setting up Defuser as a self-centered control hog, I woundn’t be surprised to see him eliminated in the next two to three weeks.

Some sweet personal time.

“And guess what?  Today I learned that I could save on my auto insurance!  Visit Esurance.com!”

While Parthenon gets on the phone with his partner (and, honestly, I believe Parthenon is probably the nicest guy so I feel bad saying this, but the call with his partner is the most flamin’ he’s ever been on the show; I guess that’s love, huh folks?) the other heroes are having a heart to heart. Basura is talking to Defuser. She says something along the lines that says she wants people to see more of herself. Holy crap. If people got to see more from her, she’d be totally nude! Diffuser agrees; he wants to see more of Basura as well. Oh, man, what’s his wife gonna think when she watches this show? Basura tells Diffuser that he often interrupts people, which Diffuser does admit happens.

Stan tells the heroes to file the mission reports, and he says that he will only accept honest answers. When the mission reports come in, the first comment says that Defuser is a control freak. The second is a criticism of Whip-Snap. Defuser owns up to it. The third is a criticism of Hyper-Strike. Again, Defuser owns up to it. You know, the set-up here is becoming extremely obvious. You start off saying that Defuser is bossy, and then go on to reinforce this with two examples?

If I were Defuser, I would naturally be pissed at how the contest was being manipulated. Naturally, they show no other comments. What, did the other heroes not even bother to write in comments. Of course they did. I do wonder, though, if their comments were shown at any point during the live filming of the show. If the producers decided to hide their comments, then it should’ve been apparent to them that the folks in charge were trying to manipulate them into creating team friction. And frankly, that’s dishonest. Un-superhero-like, you might say.

And then we get to the most terrifying moment of the show: a commercial for “Mega Snake,” starring Feedback. Or rather, Feedback in a cameo role. My guess is that “Mega Snake” was just going to be one of those big beastie movies on Sci-Fi, and they just stuck Feedback in there to fulfull their obligation to have him in a movie. Dear Lord, this is the worst Reality TV prize EVER.

JUDGMENT

The heroes are called up to the Roof of Judgement.

Yep.  Totally gratuitious.

Yep. Totally gratitious.

The three pulled forward are

  • Basura, for hesistating to help the Blind Woman
  • Diffuser, for being bossy
  • Hygena, for failing to wear dirty clothes, really (humorously, Stan says she was a victim of her superpowers)

I am genuinely surprised Whip-Snap hasn’t been brought up to the red square yet. She is definitely playing the Feedback card throughout this whole show, turning on the water works and moaning about her wretched childhood at every moment. I mean, moping may be a common superhero trait (Batman, Spider-Man) but that doesn’t make her any more pleasant to watch.

The person leaving the lair is … Basura. Dammit.

DAMMIT!!!

Basuraand her bodacious ta-tas step up to the garbage can, and she transforms into a dowdy, frumpy nerd with a flower in her hair. Yet, she’s still strangely hot. Like she some sort of sexy librarian now. Growwr. An off she goes into the night.

Normal Basura.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dark had Stan’s pen .. and he’s extracted Stan Lee’s DNA! Stay tuned next time for “Attack of the Stan Lee clones!”

Squirrel Girl says:

“I’m sorry to see you go, Basura, but a real heroes don’t wallow in garbage. Leave that to homeless people and ninja turtles. And, hey, you wanna hang out sometime? I used to hate you when you were running around in the bikini, but now thatcha ain’t a superhero no more, you look kinda fun. Weird, huh?”

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