Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Heroes: The Mind-Blowing Peter Petrelli
Every now and then I just have to post some recognition for a character or celebrity who manages to achieve nearly universal sex appeal. So here’s my latest “Sexy to Practically Every Female” Award: to Peter Petrelli on “Heroes,” portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia.
Even more interesting, Peter didn’t achieve this status until this week’s episode, “Five Years Gone.” Up until now, he was a good-hearted but irresolute hospice nurse, a guy only beginning to realize the extent of his “special gifts” and not at all sure what to make of them. You could like him for being a nice guy, but he was too confused and unsure to live up to his sexy-superhero potential. The closest he came was when he narrowly managed to Save the Cheerleader from the all-powerful and purely-evil Sylar.
Well, in this week’s episode we were rocketed five years into the future, and apparently in the interim, Peter came into his own. He had already begun to realize he was different from the other “Heroes” in that he had every single superpower in the book, but it seems in the intervening years he learned to use all of them. Meanwhile, his guilt over not stopping (and apparently actually committing) the destruction of half of New York City has left him grim and cynical.
Therefore, we get to see an instant and astonishing transformation. Peter, who used to be a sort of naïve, bewildered hero like Peter Parker aka Spiderman, is a whole nother animal now. Now he has all the brooding emotional complexity of Batman, combined with the nearly godlike power of Neo from “The Matrix.” He flips in and out of invisibility with more carelessness than casting off a cape. He blasts people across rooms with the flick of a finger. And coolest of all, he’s the equal of Sylar.
My husband tolerated cheerfully my squeals of awe over Peter, recognizing him as an uberman who impresses people regardless of gender. Across town, my daughters were flipping out exactly as I was; Peter soared to Katie’s-favorite-Heroes-character status, while even more amazingly, he won equal approval from Manzi, who up until now had eyes for no one but Sylar (yeah, it’s interesting).
This whole little escapade provided clear evidence of what we already know: Nothing in a man appeals more to women than his being capable. Peter’s abrupt revelation as utterly, nonchalantly masterful simply takes a female’s breath away, literally. Forget that he’s good-looking (he’s always been that), forget that he’s nice, the thing is…there’s absolutely nothing he can’t do. He doesn’t need charming words or kisses to seduce you; it doesn’t matter what he wears or how he looks (although the scar across his face is pretty cool). You just want to watch him materialize at lightning speed, throw people around effortlessly, and shoot fire from his hands.
What man wouldn’t want to be this guy, and what woman wouldn’t want to date him?
Sidebar: I can’t write about “Heroes” without discussing the fellow who is the true heart of the show, Hiro Nakamura. The childlike, funny, pure-of-heart comics geek is still my true favorite. And meanwhile, his future incarnation deserves honorable mention in the sexiness category, for he too is a radical revision: the serious, angst-ridden samurai version of today’s Hiro, dignified and awe-inspiring in his own right.
Well, next week it’s back to the present for “Heroes” fans, and back to Regular Peter and Hiro. As much as we’re hoping the Heroes can do what’s necessary to save New York, I think we’re all wishing too that we haven’t seen the last of these guys as they were five years into the harrowing future. Their trials and tribulations were our gain, erotically speaking.